I've read the reviews of the hotel that have been posted on Tripadvisor in the last year or and wanted to provide updated information to travelers. We stayed there as part of a U.S. travel agency package deal. To summarize, the Amaragua Hotel is nice, very nice. Overall, the hotel is in very good condition. The lobby, bar area and restaurant are very nice and all of the staff is very friendly and quick to resolve any issues. Much of the staff (especially front desk) is fluent in English, Spanish and German, although they clearly appreciate if you try out your Spanish, regardless of how bad it might be. With that being said, Americans should understand that a "4 star" European (or at least Spanish) hotel is a bit different than a 4 star US hotel. You are not coming to Spain to stay at the Marriott or Sheraton. In the interest of full disclosure, this was my first time to Europe, so all I had to compare was U.S. chain hotels.
Guest Rooms - The rooms, while very nice are a bit dated, the beds are very hard from U.S. standards and the pillows are long and very flat, making sleeping difficult if you're used to a softer bed and larger pillows. The bathroom is very modern, always clean, however small slivers of bar soap are only available at the sink (liquid body wash/shampoo and an unusual 'body sponge' is available in the shower). Towels are adequate and staff is quick to supply more if needed. We had an issue with how warm the room was when we arrived and after a 'Spanglish' (due to our bad Spanish) discussion with a maintenance man, we discovered that the entire building shifts from AC to heat on November 9th (we arrived on the 16th), so getting any cool air in the room required opening (and leaving open) the window, which had no screen. We saw this as an annoyance, but by itself not a deal breaker. The room did in fact cool down with the window and balcony door left open at night.
However, if you only take 1 piece of advise from this review, it is, MAKE ABSOLUTE SURE THAT YOU DON'T GET ASSIGNED A ROOM THAT FACES THE STREET (other rooms face the pool/ocean). The hotel is on a busy, noisy city street (a fact of life, but not itself a fault of the hotel) that stays noisy late into the night, making sleeping difficult. This street noise was our main complaint of the entire hotel. We don't live in a big city where this might be the norm, and so the noise made for several nights of lost sleep. Fix this and you'll have no other major complaints. Side note: we had an iPhone app called 'Sleepmaker' on our phone, which provides an ocean surf noise which we used to drown out the street noise. We highly recommend that app.
The facilities of the hotel are first rate. We enjoyed the outdoor pool overlooking the boardwalk and ocean, as well as the spa area, where they have a smaller salt water heated indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, nice workout facilities and other, expected spa facilities such as massage (avg price was 75 euros/hour) and facials. The sitting area and bar off the lobby was great, with lots of inside and outside tables for conversing. Cocktails/wine at the bar averaged 5 euros.
Internet access - I've read comments about spotty internet access. These are true. The hotel does offer free wifi around the hotel, however due to the many dead spots, not to mention the hundreds of guests trying to access it at the same time it is spotty to non-existent inside the rooms along with many of the common areas. However, if you sit on the room balconies or down in the area of the public internet terminals (1 euro for 15 min, 2 euro for 30 min), particularly in the afternoons, the wifi is plentiful and fast. We found that after 11am most guests had checked their email and that the internet worked fine.
Our travel package (and apparently most other guests as well) included 1/2 board with breakfast and dinner included in the room price. I've seen several complaints about the food at the main restaurant. I'll tell you as a 'foodie' that the meals were very good. Given the understanding that the Spanish chefs are trying to satisfy the palates of the American, Spanish, English, German and other palates, its hard to satisfy everyone. That being said, they certainly try hard to please. Is there repetition in some of the menu items? Sure. However, the breakfasts and dinners have at LEAST 15 choices of meats, cheeses, salads, seafoods and other items to choose from each day. Spanish cava (champagne) is served with every breakfast and while wine is supposed to be supplied at dinner as 1 glass per person, the waiters frequently provided a 1/2 bottle to each adult patron of either a good Spanish red or white wine, as well as your soft drink or coffee/cappacino/espresso of choice. Note: for some unknown reason, coffee/cappacino/espresso seems to only be available at breakfast, not dinner. No idea why. A nice dessert station is available morning and night with fresh baked desserts as well as at least 5 different types of ice cream. There's not much to complain about with their meals.
Location - While the hotel isn't in the center of Torremolinos (such as the Melia Costa del Sol), there is plenty to see and do in this area, as well as hundreds of wonderful restaurants. If you're staying for multiple weeks at the hotel (some guests were staying for 2-3 months!), I found an article before our trip about a self service laundry facility at the Sol Timor hotel, located about a 10 minute walk away from the Amaragua. This turned out to be right on the money. For 3 euros to wash and 3 euros to dry, it was fine. Not cheap but it did work and that hotel had no issues letting people from outside that hotel use that facility. The dryers weren't high powered and some of our clothes didn't dry completely, but it still allowed us to bring less clothes.
In short, were some things not exactly as we imagined at this hotel? Sure. However, we've never stayed in a hotel in Europe and had no way to compare what we got with anything except name brand, chain hotels in the U.S. Would I stay here again knowing what I know now? Yes. The staff, facilities, food and other amenities generally offset the issues of the very hard bed and annoying street noise. So, come to Costa del Sol, stay at the Hotel Amaragua and if possible, ask for a room away from the street. You'll have a great time, meet some interesting new people, who want nothing more than to help you enjoy your stay and your 'Spain experience'. Enjoy the adventure!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.