A major refurbishment is due to relaunch this prime location, art deco, liner of a hotel, cant wait, I bet it will be fabulous.
At the moment though, it's like staying at a Great Aunt's grand, old house; warm and comfortable enough, but very much lived in, (some may say shabby even?) and with small, almost abandoned grounds. Added to this, she doesn't seem to hear everything you say and her old Hoover doesn't pick up everything it should. If this would bother you and you want fresh painted, shiny new everything- stay somewhere else, this isnt for you (yet!)
The view from all sea facing rooms is ever changing and pretty special when compared with the usual flat ocean horizon. Look out over the Botanical Gardens and architectural goods sheds (which are surely just years away from redevelopment into a chi-chi Cape Town style waterfront development?) and then past the busy commercial harbour yard, into the bay beyond. Here schools of big boats bob at anchor being filled with tax free fuel by shoals of small Gib tankers. Behind them is the busy Spanish port of Algeciras whose ships of all sizes arrive and depart throughout the day, twinkling as they do at night.
Not enough in a hotel view? Well see that hazy headland a dozen miles over the straits there on the left? That's Africa. Quite something.
The fresh paw prints up the exterior walls and faint whiff of pee n poo on our balcony warned us that the sign saying monkey room service was unlikely, was hopeful rather than factual.
Gibraltar monkeys (the cheeky, fruit eating variety, not the cheeky, tax dodging type) have been playing Trick or Treat on the terraces and tables of the Rock Hotel for many generations.
Every time new guests check in, the apes may be in for five days of feasting in return for photo opportunities with monkey loving couples, or get screamed at and shooed away by belt wielding businessmen, fearing for their Blackberrys. They truly must think us humans are a right risky, schizo species to live alongside and its no surprise that some prefer bag-snatching to begging and have lost patience with us temperamental tourists. They just want your food and will do almost anything to get it; rather like the Tax Free and tat shops on Main Street will do anything to get your cash. Be wary of both and you should be OK.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built on Gibraltar's western flank with stunning views across the bay, it has been welcoming guests since 1932. As the colony’s premier hotel the guest book is littered with famous names as diverse as Sir Winston Churchill and the Two Ronnies! Tastefully renovated, it has the character of a bygone era with the facilities of a modern 'Grand Hotel'. Traditional afternoon tea is served in the lounge and the hotel’s Rib Room Restaurant is recognised as one of the finest places to dine in Gibraltar. The atmospheric Barbary Bar and adjoining wisteria covered terrace are wonderful places to be on a summer’s evening, both are delightful meeting places, the latter a popular venue for weddings. The hotel’s pool area and gardens have an air of tranquillity, yet the centre of town is only a 10-minute downhill walk. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gibraltar Rock Hotel
- Rock Gibraltar