I have stayed in the El Barrio 5 times over the past 2 years. The main reason that I usually choose to stay here is simple - it is in a perfect location for travelling around the town of Nerja and is ideally situated to the main square, and the Balcon. There are plenty of bars and shops in the surrounding area only a few mins walk away.
The accomodation is quite good, if you are getting it for a reasonable price. If you think it is slightly on the expensive side then it might be worth shopping around and looking at what else is on offer because the El Barrio is VERY basic. I have stayed in the apartments as well as the smaller sized studios and both have been clean on arrival with everything we needed for our stay such as kettle, dishes, toaster, iron, microwave. I do not do much cooking on holiday but we made breakfast a couple of times which was easy to do in the small kitchen provided. One thing that I would say is that we have paid slightly more for an apartment with a small balcony attached and to be honest we hardly used it as it is quite 'open' and looks out onto a busy/noisy street.
There is some major work being carried out at the end of 2011 into 2012 on the street which makes it very noisy to stay here during this time. They are digging up all of the pavements which causes dust and debris all over your shoes and luggage. The noise stops in the afternoon but commences again early the next morning, so bear this in mind if you are looking to pay more to book a room with a balcony attached.
The accomodation is always spotlessly clean upon arrival although the last twice I have stayed here there has been quite a strong smell of sewage when flushing the toilet. Perhaps this is connected to the street works? The rooms are furnished well although it is all very basic, but had everything we needed.
Ways to improve our stay would be if some sort of communal bin was provided... it is a pain to have to take your rubbish bag out with you each morning to try and find a bin in the street to dispose of it. Also, I would prefer it if some light cleaning was done during our stay, but this is probably down to personal preference.
The staff/owners don't speak any other language other than Spanish so have your phrasebook handy but they couldn't be more welcoming and are always pleased to welcome you to their property. Very friendly and welcoming.
Overall we are usually pleased with our studio/apartment and will stay again.
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