The Hotel Palmasol is an excellent location for exploring Benalmadena and the surrounding area. It is a couple of minutes’ walk down through the hotel gardens to reach the nice marina with its wide choice of restaurants and shops, and a few minutes up a bit of a sloping road to get to the main road bus stops to travel to Malaga, Benalmadena Pueblo, Mijas, Fuengirola etc. Torremelinos can be reached in about half an hour by walking along the Paseo Maritmo. The train service is quick and cheap, but you might want a bus or taxi to the station.
The hotel itself is a little dated, but the rooms are quite acceptable. When we arrived we were checked in by someone learning the ropes, so it took quite a time. It's fair enough that someone has to learn, but she kept having to go ask the male receptionist for help, instead of him staying to supervise and help her, and she never apologised for the delay. The second problem we had was that we couldn't get the air conditioning to work. When we asked at reception, they said that it wasn't switched on until the end of May, and that would have been it had I not pressed the point that we had booked this hotel because it had air conditioning. Then they sent the engineer to turn it on, but he didn't leave the remote control to vary the temperature and fan speed (a little noisy), so it was simply on or off.
We had asked in advance for a quiet room (pool view) and it seemed they had tried, since we were on the 5th floor away from the lifts and with a nice view over the sea from the balcony. However, the outside bar area was directly below and it could probably be quite noisy on warmer evenings if people sat outside chatting till late. There was a reasonable size wardrobe, a safe (€3/day extra), a TV (BBC World in English), and two quite comfortable single beds. The bathroom wasn't large and the toilet was in a bit of an awkward position, as others have noticed, but it did seem that the basin had been replaced by a smaller one, so it was just possible to sit on the toilet normally. The shower was walk-in with a half door, which meant it was impossible not to get quite a bit of water on the floor by the end of a shower. There is no fridge in the room. Wi-Fi is available from the hotel for €21 per week or €4 per day, but I managed to find another free open network on the 5th floor. Contrary to some reports, the room itself was kept quite clean.
The main disappointment was the food. We had paid only marginally more for half board, on the basis that we could eat out sometimes if we wanted, and it was just as well. It's not that there wasn't a good choice and plenty of food, nor that some might find it not 'English' enough (we like foreign food), but the main complaint was that it often just wasn't hot. Sometimes it was barely lukewarm, other times cold, with a heating lamp not switched on. The latter applied to some pizza my wife got - when she complained to the staff, they suggested she go get some more which had been put out, but even that was only vaguely warm. On the first evening, the salad starter food all appeared to be covered in mayonnaise. One frequent pudding seemed to be cold custard with digestive biscuits on top. We ended up eating out on 4 of the 7 evenings. The breakfast wasn't too bad, with eg (watery) orange juice, cereals, freshly-prepared pancakes (sometimes nearly cold though if left standing for a bit), cooked food, croissants and pains au chocolate, but other items, where one might normally find Danish pastries, were instead wafer biscuits and uninteresting looking buns. There is one microwave for heating things up, but there was often a queue while Spanish people heated up their bowls of milk etc.
The clientele in May was largely older Spanish couples and the nightly evening entertainment seemed aimed at them, although it was always in English too. The quiz night was quite good (thanks Renato!) and the flamenco dancing was nice for a while, but other nights there was bingo, average singers, a young magician doing some rather old tricks with ropes and rings, karaoke, a short display of wild birds (indoors!), which was partly an opportunity to sell photos of people with the birds. There are some daytime activities, such as darts, but we didn’t take advantage of them.
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- Also Known As:
- h10 Palmasol Hotel Benalmadena
- Hotel Palmasol Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol, Spain