Resort Name: Diamond Club Las Calas (aka Club Las Calas)
Date of visit: 5/3/09
A major refurbishment project at the resort has only been completed in the last 12 months and the work has been done to a very high standard. We were allocated unit 257, a one bedroom unit on the 1st floor (2nd floor to US visitors) overlooking the pool of Las Calas 2. A small ‘Welcome Pack’ was in the apartment on arrival and consisted of milk, water, tea, coffee and sugar, along with a bottle of wine.
It provided the basics and was much appreciated as we arrived after 8 in the evening with no knowledge of the whereabouts of supermarkets. There is actually a small supermarket about 50 yards from the complex with other larger ones within a few hundred yards.
The living/dining area had a 3 seater convertible settee and single armchair, table suitable for 4 to eat comfortably, coffee table, large flat screen TV and DVD player. Limited English language channels – ITV1, Channel 4, a couple of Sky Sport channels and Sky News being about it. We found the beds (2 singles) to be exceptionally comfortable, soft but supportive i.e. not sagging. Plenty of storage space in the bedroom too. The kitchen is fully equipped with cooker, microwave, kettle, filter coffee maker and even a fruit juicer. No dish washer or washing machine, but there is a laundry on site. On the balcony there is a table and 4 chairs plus 2 sun loungers.
The living room and bedroom have ceiling fans but no air con although we have never found the lack of air-con to be a problem in our many visits to the Canary Islands. The one bedroom unit was ideal for a couple but I think it would be cramped if the bed-settee in the living area had to be used.
There are actually 4 sections to the development – Mimosa, comprising just 10 units; Calas 1 with 19; Calas 2 with 60 and Calas 3 with 56. There are heated pools in each section and all guests have full access to all facilities. Calas 3 has the largest pool and sundeck so the area is always busy in good weather although we never had any problem in obtaining sun beds. My only complaint in that respect is the charge for sun bed cushions with owners paying a €6 deposit whilst exchange visitors are charged an additional €1.20 per day or €6 per week. I really do resent being treated as a second class citizen when I exchange into a resort. The other problem created by the deposit system is that you have to take the cushions with you when you leave the pool area, not a major problem if you happen to have a unit conveniently located for the beds you are using, but a real hassle when attempting to negotiate the many, many steps in the complex.
There are 2 bars and restaurants on site. The Welcome Inn which has most of the live entertainment and Rincon which is more focussed on the restaurant side in the evenings. Food in both was good although I do feel it was a little over priced – a factor of the captive market really and not uncommon in other resorts.
Staff throughout the resort were very friendly and helpful with nobody qualifying for the Mr or Ms Grumpy award. We were visited by one of the resort sales staff, but to call it a ‘Sales Pitch’ would be a gross over statement. We were provided with a list of the current re-sales units which actually seemed to be priced as realistic levels, although we aren’t in the market anyway. The sales lady actually stressed that they don’t handle any of the actual sales process on site, it is all done through their UK office once potential purchasers have returned to the UK, so no pressure sales techniques to worry about – obviously a positive sign.
The RCI site says that the resort isn’t suitable for those with mobility problems and that can’t be emphasised enough. There are steps everywhere and no lifts at all.
The resort is about 10 minutes walk from the nearest beach and about 20 minutes walk from the Old Town and harbour where the better restaurants tend to be found. The area is very hilly with one section nicknamed ‘Cardiac Hill’ and not without good reason. That said, we didn’t find anything apart from the one named above to be difficult, in fact the walking gave us a good workout.
We really liked the Las Calas resort, but can’t say the same about Puerto del Carmen which we found to be soul-less with the exception of the Old Town. For that reason we are unlikely to return, which is a shame as Las Calas is one of the friendly places we have stayed. There are many, many owners who return year after year and have never used any exchange system which itself speaks volumes for the place.