>  Accommodation   >  Hotel Gold River, PortAventura World – Thoughts…
Hotel Gold River, PortAventura World

For our 4-day theme park extravaganza, we opted to stay right in the heart of the action, in PortAventura World itself, and Hotel Gold River seemed to tick all the main boxes.

My standards are suitably downgraded at theme park hotels ever since a trip to Disneyland Paris’ Newport Bay Hotel back in 2021, which taught me – despite the pandemic – about breakfast overcrowding and never-ending corridors. As a result, I felt well prepared for the inevitable, especially coming into summer in 2024, long after the pandemic exited everyone’s consciousness.

Hotel Gold River - Swimming Pool

Hotel Gold River can only really be arrived at either via car, or through the park itself – and although it’s not immediately obvious, the main building is actually one of many holding guest rooms for the property.

Mobile check-in proved to be a huge boon, as we were able to scan the QR code on a reader and skip the check-in queue entirely by just collecting the two keycards that the machine spat out right away.

For a self-professed 4-star hotel, one disappointment surely has to be the lack of complimentary luggage storage – I was honestly very surprised by this, and found it to be an incredibly cheap move that doesn’t really set things off to a good start. Instead, you’ll need to set a PIN, identify your favourite animal and then produce your favourite payment card in order to obtain a locker.

Hotel Gold River - Luggage storage

In theory, an SMS seemingly should be sent to guests letting them know what room they’ve been allocated, which they can then immediately make their way to at check-in time. This never happened for us, and I ended up having to route past reception once again to ask – this actually took some time, as if it was totally unheard of that the SMS would never be received.

Hotel Gold River does however benefit from a number of pools, none of which (in early June at least) ever got too busy and there seemed ample space even during busier times. One comment however – I didn’t either see any pool towels, nor where they might come from, and given the paid locker situation it seems believable that these are also either charged or need to be brought from your room. Something to keep in mind.

Hotel Gold River Pool

The whole property is very comprehensively themed to the Wild West, and this carries throughout all areas of the hotel – I thought this was really very well done, considering the sheer number of buildings and rooms.

Into our room then, and I would best describe it as very much about adequacy over luxury; the size was on the slightly tight side, with few places to lay down and unpack a suitcase.

Hotel Gold River - Guest Room

The bathroom was similarly compact, featuring a combined bathtub/shower, single sink, along with wall-mounted (but frequently replenished, which is a rarity anywhere, it seems) toiletries.

Hotel Gold River - Bathroom

Our view looked out over one of the pools, not that we were in the room often enough to really need to appreciate the view – as I’m sure is true of most of the other guests.

Hotel Gold River - Room View

Meanwhile, not that it got much use either, but a TV sat atop the desk by the far wall, along with a mini-fridge underneath that proved to be ideal for storing a bottle or two of wine for a nightcap or three before turning in each night.

Hotel Gold River - Room

All told, the room was more than adequate for the amount of time we spent in it. If there was any drawback, it would have to be that the walls seemed to be quite thin – and the kid in the adjoining room made sure we were awake by 7am each morning.

Breakfast has to be reserved in 40-minute slots, in advance through a website. To be honest, the whole dining and reservations system just, in my opinion, doesn’t really come together well at all.

Dinner reservations are taken through a different system that you wouldn’t even know existed (until you can’t get dinner anywhere, as we couldn’t, on night one and have to quickly figure it out), which is very irritating.

Anyway, breakfast is served in the grand hall within the main hotel building. The spread was actually considerably varied and generous, and despite having to wrestle with the hordes to even get near the food, the only item I ever had to queue for was the coffee machines, of which several more could come in handy.

Hotel Gold River - Breakfast in the Grand Hall

On the whole, I was impressed by the breakfast – but less so with the absolute strict enforcement of the 40-minute eating time limit. I understand that they want to refresh the room and have all the tables ready for the next sitting, but it did make breakfast feel incredibly rushed, and again, not in any way a 4-star experience.

Arguably the biggest benefit to staying at this property, or on-site generally, is the private access to the park, which came in handy so many times both for getting in in the morning, but even just nipping out during the day if we forgot something or needed to chill for a while. Overall, Hotel Gold River did the job and was a pleasant, if not particularly luxurious, place to stay for a few days. Most guests, ourselves included, will be using the room very much as a base to stop in, sleep, and go, and for this purpose, it works perfectly – but wouldn’t either be a place you’d want to spend any more time necessarily than you had to.

Reformed backpacker & former ultra-cheap traveller, Andy now atones for his past by overspending on premium travel experiences and failing at making the most of the miles & points game. Former expat now returned to Ireland, he is a product manager by day, and travel aficionado by evening and weekend.

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