Almunecar is a very nice town for a holiday as most of the reviews of the hotel agree. The Playa spa is very well situated for the town and the beach. The hotel offers benefits if you put a nice review on tripadvisor and allow them to vet it first - I didn't take up their offer.
We visited in October which means that due to the line of shops forming the southern boundary of the hotel the sun didn't properly reach the outdoor swimming pool and so it was too cold for comfort. There was a small heated indoor pool and jaccuzzi in the basement but both were heavily used by numbers of energetic children leaping from pillars etc during our stay. This is despite notices saying the jacuzzi was adults only. The indoor pools are completely unsupervised.
As others have noted the carpets in the corridors need at least a good steam clean and generally there is an air of the ship being spoiled for want of a ha'porth of tar.
As for dining there is a large buffet spread of food but it is not well prepared and some dishes seemed to make an appearance the following day if not consumed at the first attempt. All pastry based desserts had that tell-tale uncooked layer in the pastry that you get if you put something in the oven without defrosting it first. Having stayed in several hotels in Almunecar over the years this is the first that the show cooking i.e. freshly cooked in front of you, has been worse than the buffet. The local farmacia, just along the front is very good if you ask them for remedies for stomach upsets, Primperan works a treat!.
Reading other reviews we were obviously not the first to fall foul of the reception when booking in, not welcoming at all. This brings me to staff, everyone at reception was lovely except the one when we booked in (perhaps having her photo displyed so prominently has gone to her head) and this was our experience of the hotel staff, almost schitzophrenic, most of the staff were very nice indeed and then just when we'd relaxed and for no reason at all we would be treated in a most rude and its not too strong to say arrogant manner. Some of the staff also seemed almost to be scared of criticism, when the coffee and hot machines were not working one breakfast the waiter almost went into a panic saying 'its not my fault!' repeatedly and took some time to calm down and tell him we we not blaming anybody we just wanted tea with our breakfast. He rapidly brought a jug of hot water for tea and was very nice about it but we felt dreadfully sorry for him because he was so worried.
The bed linen in the hotel is of mixed vintage and as it is dyed orange different sheets and pillow cases have faded to a different extent which gives a most odd look. In the early part of our stay our room, which was of a generous size, was not cleaned properly, however this improved for the second week without us having to complain. As for extras the safe is 5 euros a night and the parking eye-watering but on road is free in October.
The management of the hotel seem to be trying hard for the guests as do a lot of the staff and I know that times are hard and they are running on a extremely tight budget but overall weeeeell, we don't think staying there is an experience we would care to repeat.
Having said all this, other people seem to like the hotel or maybe its just Almunecar, the town has a way making you feel good who knows?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.