I returned home from my weeks holiday with my girlfriend yesterday after our first holiday together. I can't sing high enough praises about this resort, everything about it oozes quality. By far one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in and I say that having been lucky enough to stay in quite a few around the world.
As I say, every little detail of this place is perfect for a lovely get away, we went here with incredibly high expectations having read pretty much every review on trip advisor, we still had our expectations beaten.
Let me start with the staff, you often hear the people make the place and that is certainly the case at this hotel, every single member of staff we encountered was lovely, they did everything they could to help you and couldn't have been more courteous. I was astounded at just how good their English was, certainly the reception staff, everything ran perfectly but I get the impression that had there been complications there would be no battle with a language barrier. Felt in very safe hands in that respect.
The value is great, We were lucky enough to get a good deal on one of the "trivago" or "secret escape" type websites (forget which one) and so we got a very good price, however I'd have been happy to pay more to guarrentee staying here, and probably will in the future if we can't get the same deal.
Sleep quality was excellent, partly because relaxing in the sun takes it out of you and partly because the room was so lovely. There was a fan and brilliant air con in our room so the temperature was always lovely. We also had live music in the area just below our balcony which was nice to sit and listen to. One thing worth noting though is that this did go on until nearing 12pm. It's not a complaint from my part, but just something worth noting for some people who are light sleepers who would be wanting to get early nights. We never found it a problem though with the door shut it was fine.
Cleanliness is excellent, the cleaning staff are wonderful, rooms cleaned every day to a very very high standard. Not just cleaned, but tidied too. My girlfriend is rather messy and so it was a shock to me to after only 24 hours find her shoes, straighteners, make up bits and other things strewn around the room and so it was so lovely to find everything had been tidied up by the maids when we came up from the beach. Unfortunately it didn't last long as 30 minutes later she'd strewn it about the place again... but hey that's a review of my girlfriend not the hotel.
Location I think is perfect for what we wanted. It is out of the holiday experience is far from the Malaga party nights that the people who were getting off the coach before us were headed to.
It's about an hour and a half from Malaga airport (what I imagine most people will fly in to) and has a duel carriage way literally outside it. This is not a problem though as you can't hear it at all from in the hotel, even in the foyer, probably the part closest to it.
There is an Aldi, literally across the road, about a 2 minute walk over the bridge which is fantastic. You can get all of your water, wine and snacks for the room here at a fantastic price, you won't believe how close it is... so so convenient.
The hotel is about a 10 minute taxi drive from Estapona town this equated to between 8.50 and 9.25 euros each way which is not bad at all. They drop you right near a taxi rank and so you don't need to worry about getting back.
We saw this described as an "old town" in some reveiws, and some people were a bit flipant about it. It is beautiful, it has a beach running all the way across it, loads of little shops and restaurants and loads of beach bars with the coldest beer you've ever had that literally frosts the glass as it's poured. It all so has the best cocktails there too that are very cheap... all of this delivered to you on your sun lounger on the beach. Definitely visit this area in your first few days and make your mind up, as we left it quite late and were both disappointed in the days that we could have spent here.
If you don't want to travel into the town to visit the beach, fear not because in addition to its two pools the hotel also has a beach right out side with free to use sun loungers and parasols. This is about a 30 second walk from the hotels pool area.
Just around the corner on the beach is a nudist beach, so if you fancy going there to remove the tan lines you can, we both walked over there but bottled it.
In summary the area could not be more perfect.
Rooms are perfect, ours was HUGE. More space than you knew what to do with, my girlfriend just took that as more of a space to leave her things lying about however.
Bathroom is gorgeous and again it's massive, with a shower and a bath and his and hers sinks.
Lovely wardrobes that i believe all have a free to use safe which is handy to keep passports etc in. (not that either of us felt worried for our possessions at any point, but better safe than sorry). (Pun originally not intended then seen when double checking and intentionally left in)
Can't say much about the spa as I didn't actually go in but the area just outside it looks beautiful and so I'd imagine that continues throughout, but I did use the gym several times, which I can say is great. Got a great range of machines and even better... it's free to use.
The food... there are a few reviews on here that say it isn't five star quality and some that really do complain about it's quality. I have to say I want to meet these people and try the food they're comparing it to because the food in hotel Elba is great. A huge huge choice, we were half board and every night there are 3 fish and 3 meats that you can have cooked in front of you to exactly how you like. The nights are themed and the salads and pastas and other delights are plenty and varied. There's also a children's section with plenty of food they're sure to like, chips, pizzas etc for any fussy eaters.
Breakfast is even better, every morning there's cereal, toasts with I think 5 or 6 different breads, danishes , croissants ,jams, pancakes, waffles, bacon, beans, and omelets cooked in front of you.
Honestly some of the nicest food I've tasted in a hotel, certainly for buffet style.
To conclude, and I realise I've waffled on, this is a beautiful hotel, it's 100% quality and makes for a brilliant holiday. It is placed excellently and great inside. I can think of very few points for it to improve on. If I had to say something, it would be that the cocktails in the hotel aren't great and a bit pricey for the quality they are, compared with what the beach bars make. Though that is such a tiny thing doesn't detract at all from the experience.
I will definitely come back to this hotel in the future, we had a brilliant holiday and I would (as you can probably tell) recommend it to anyone.