We have just returned from a two week stay at the Pez Espada with Thomson, and we enjoyed it very much, despite almost continuous rain for the first 7 days of November.Fortunately for the second week, the sun made a belated appearance and the weather was lovely.
The Pez Espada was the one of the first hotels to be built in the area in the 60‘s and attracted film stars and royalty in its heyday, whose signed photos still adorn the walls as you walk to the dining room, a bit pretentious especially as the hotel is now starting to show its age and certain areas need updating, although everywhere is spotless. In terms of appearance and facilities I would rate the hotel a 3 star, but the food and service, especially the restaurant service, was excellent, easily 4 star quality.
Our room was in the smaller annex, a garden view room which received no sun but that
didn’t bother us. The room was a very good size with comfortable beds, a fridge, large wardrobe with plenty of hangers, dressing table, sofa bed in addition to the usual twin beds. All the furnishings were in very good order and everything was clean. The bathroom had dual sinks, huge mirror, bath and shower. The flat screen TV received BBC 1, ITV 1 and 2, Sky News and Film 4 with a good picture. The room also had a safe, but the smallest one I have ever seen, it would not even take an i-pad, and the hotel charged 28 Euros for 14 days to hire it, a rip off. I had emailed the hotel prior to departure asking if the room safe would take a laptop of a certain size but did not receive a reply. The room was quiet and our sleep was not disturbed at all.
In room internet access is charged at 10 Euros per day, again rip off land when you are staying 14 days, although free wi-fi is available in the lounge/bar area, which I could actually pick up when stood on our balcony, but it was unreliable.
The food in the hotel at breakfast and dinner was very good quality with a huge choice. Imaginative salads, excellent carved meats on some days, fish such as plaice, salmon and trout, pasta every day and plenty for vegetarians. The sweet course had lots on offer mainly aimed at the British taste (eg apple crumble and custard!) plus four different ice creams and piles of fresh fruit,The service in the restaurant could not be faulted, the head waiter was super efficient as were the kitchen staff in keeping the buffet supplied, and the waiters were brilliant at clearing plates and tables whilst under considerable pressure. Drinks were at reasonable prices and the red wine was perfectly drinkable at 7 Euros a bottle.
As usual with buffet food, it was sometimes not hot enough, but a microwave is provided, and at breakfast, unusually, no queues for the toast machine as there were 3, a first.
Coffee is served at your table in a flask and another for hot milk, not the best system as it was occasionally not hot enough if it had been standing around, so another job for the microwave.
3 local hotels are closed for renovation for the 2012/13 winter season, the Riu Nautilus, Riviera and Angela in Fuengirola, resulting in the Pez Espada being full to capacity, and the management are cashing in on this, but the hotel was too full. This caused long queues for the dining room. The hotel should have arranged two sittings for dinner, but it is difficult when most of the Brits want to eat early. The official opening time of the dining room at dinner was 7pm, and guests started queing at 6.30.(the same ones at the front each evening!). To try to ease the pressure, the restaurant opened early and by 7pm all tables were taken, so anyone coming down for dinner at 7pm expecting to get a table had a 30 minutes wait at least, and this is not acceptable, although as I said earlier the restaurant staff did a fantastic job under considerable duress. Clearly this situation is a one off until the closed hotels are back on stream and I suspect next year the Pez Espada will be back to normal, so I would have no hesitation in staying here again in the future.
The hotel is in an ideal position on the sea front, mid way between Benalmadena and Torremolinos and it is possible to walk for a few miles in either direction. The frequent bus services run along the main road above the Pez Espada to all destinations along the coast and inland, except to Marbella where you have to walk to the stop above Benalmadena Marina as this bus is limited stop.
The nearest train station is Montemar, a good 15 minutes steep uphill walk from the hotel next to Battery Park.
Despite the rain, we still managed to get out every day, and made full use of the green travel card from the Portillo Bus Co, which enables you to travel everywhere up and down the coast to Fuengirola, Mijas, Malaga, Arroyo for 90 cents per journey instead of the usual 1 Euro 40. You can obtain one from the kiosk on the main road above the Marina. Strangely, the kiosk is closed on Friday and Saturday, yet opens 5.30 am on Sunday, very odd, and you cannot use the card on the urban bus which goes past the hotel, but that is Spain for you.
Prior to booking, I always read the reviews on here, then take a balanced view, and it has not failed me yet, largely ignoring some of the one star reviews as being from serial complainers, and some of the five star ones, if the reviewer returns to the same hotel year after year and likes to be welcomed by the staff as an old friend, rose tinted glasses come to mind.
I hope my review falls somewhere in between and you find it useful.
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- Also Known As:
- Pez Espada Torremolinos
- Pez Espada Hotel
- MedPlaya Hotel Pez Espada Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol, Spain