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“Basil is alive and well” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel

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Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Paseo de la China s/n. | Playa de San Cristobal, 18690 Almunecar, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Almunecar
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Basil is alive and well”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2008

Am leaving this morning and just wasting time waiting for the coach. I agree with the last review. Staff in dining room especially must have been trained at Basil Fawlty school of hotel management. Our friends complained and manged to get the room cleaned. Managements excuse for the state of the corridor carpet was that not being cleaned as being replaced 'soon'.

Unlike Arnie, we will not be back.

Stayed May 2008
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820 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2008

My wife and I (late 60's) just returned from a fortnight all-inclusive at the Amuneca Playa with Saga. (Our first Saga holiday but not greatly impressed.) Agree with much of the other reviews. This could be a really good hotel but poor management and basic design faults, eg two lifts for anything up to 400 guests, prevent this at present.

The location is excellent. However, there was non-stop pile driving for a new car park on the beach front during our stay and I would definitely not recommend a visit within a year or two because there is a huge building project, a hotel, apartment block and carpark, just underway right alongside the Playa hotel.

There were several areas of the hotel which were decidely grubby, eg the corridors outside the bedrooms (new carpet needed) and the solarium with several of its recliners and parasols broken. The weather was fine but extremely windy much of the time and some wind shields are needed - guests were improvising with parasols wedged into recliners.

The food was of a good standard and served at the appropriate temperature. A little lacking in variety, however, especially in green vegetables.

Turning to the staff, mostly they were on the less-than-friendly side with just a few exceptions including the chamber maids. And we were using basic Spanish. Many of the staff gave the impression that they would rather be elsewhere. Possibly because there was a very obvious shortage of personnel.

One instance of poor management: pigeons were nesting on a ledge actually in the balcony to our room. The young fledged while we were there but hung around with the parent birds. The mess they made on the outside furniture and floor with their droppings had to be seen to be believed. The Saga rep thought having the pigeons there was charming, however, saying "You wouldn't get that in England."!. Too right. It would be regarded as unhygienic and a definite health hazard.

Finally, the hotel managers were very noticeable by their absence.

PS If a really good example of a four star hotel is required, I would thoroughly recommend the Porto Rethymno in Crete where we stayed last year.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The poor management
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2008

Shouldn't really write this or the hotel will become inundated. The staff were excellent, always smiling, always helpful and always caring. Cleanliness could not be faulted. Food was brilliant - so much choice - all well cooked and hot. Ruben a chef checked each dish as I was allergic to chicken. Carmen cooks a mean steak. Bar Staff happy and very quick to serve. Reception always knew the answers and their English was really good. Room so luxurious and what a sea view. Spa.... incredible. Weather good and sunny. Very Spanish area and full of Spanish culture. Best holiday. I am going again in May.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liversedge,West Yorkshire.
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2008

We booked this hotel, with Saga, after reading some good reviews last year. A few days before our departure we were alarmed to read some more recent reviews, which gave us cause for concern.
We arrived on January 16th 2008 and our first impression of the hotel was good.However, we soon realised that the later reviews were accurate. In particular there was a problem with service, which would seem to have occurred since the Saga board basis changed to All Inclusive. There were insufficient staff to deal with demand and we often had to queue around 20 minutes at the bar. This was tedious, especially if we just wanted a bottle of water for the room or a cup of tea. Some of the waitresses were quite unfriendly and often brought the wrong drinks in the restaurant. We spoke to the hotel manager and suggested that a tea/coffee machine, soft drinks etc could be provided for Saga guests, in the Saga lounge, as often is in other hotels used by Saga.
We were disappointed with the Saga lounge, a dismal,windowless room in the basement.
The hotel rooms were nice but avoid the 8th floor if possible or you could end up under a buzzing generator as we did on our first night. We did change rooms the next day.
There is an excellent spa on the lower ground floor and it was very reasonably priced for hotel guests. We used it several times and a nice touch was the 'aromatic pool' with lemons and grapefruits floating in it.
There is mini golf and other outdoor games with access by stairs need the outdoor pool or disabled access from the first floor, though annoyingly the door was sometimes locked and we had to go to reception to ask for it to be unlocked.
The hotel itself is in a good location and we enjoyed walking along the flat promenade. The weather was very good throughout our 4 week stay.
We enjoyed our holiday but would hope for better service in a 4 star hotel.

  • Liked — Spacious rooms and 2 double beds.
  • Disliked — Tiled floors.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

This was our 6th visit to Almunecar but our first to the Playa. We stayed previously in the Helios 200yds away and wanted a change and looked forward to the benefits of the fourth star. We were not disappointed . The reception and porterage were warm fast and friendly. We had a great room with at last enough hanging space for my wife's dresses and skirts. From our balcony,, which had sun from 1pm when we arrived and noon by the time we left 4 weeks later, we watched the sun set over the Punta de Mona each evening bar the first 2 when we had rain and cloud. The weather makes a holiday . We spend January in Almunecar for the sunshine, seascapes and skyscapes and to escape the English gloom. We don't hire a car. We travel a little on the brilliant local buses. If only UK buses were as safe, modern and comfortable. Mostly we walk: To Cotobro and around and beyond one day to Playa Viella similarly on another day and in the old town on a third day.
The best points of the hotel after the location of the room was the quality of the food. This is Spain and if you like fish and seafood you will love it. Two fish choices and two meat choices cooked for you while you wait by very friendly staff at lunch and dinner and the best bacon rolls I have eaten in years for brekkie! The wine was excellent too, a young Riocha which we finally managed to limit to one bottle a day after the first week.
So what are the negatives? The bar is very gloomy and the service is slow. The atrium is a waste of space and very gloomy . there is nowhere to sit and there are no card tables.
But Hey it's a Spanish 4 star and 4 weeks A..I cost us £23.40 per day each ! Eat your heart out England . We pay much more than that for a B&B in Romsey. We will be back and we hope all the building work is finished in 12 months time but in Spain who knows!

  • Liked — The room, the staff, the food
  • Disliked — The bar/ atrium and the lack of evening activity
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calais, France
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
215 helpful votes 215 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2008

On the basis of many favourable reports by trip advisors on this hotel we decided to spend Christmas week here. It is true that the entrance is impressive with so many plants and such a high ceiling. The hotel is on the seafront and there is a lovely promenade with a very nice walk just in front. By the way you can exit from the hotel via the pool and also use your car to get in (on left hand side of entrance). We only discovered this on our second last day which was a great pity.
On the whole we got good sunny weather with temperatures around 15 or 16 degrees in the afternoon. We only got one morning of rain.
The old town is beautiful and only a ten minutes walk away (via the seafront). The streets are narrow and there are lots of shops and at least two nice squares. There is an internet café which provides seven hours of access for five euros - much cheaper than the hotel which charged 1 euro for ten minutes or 6 euros for an hour. It is also easy to visit Nerja, Fragiliana and many other towns and villages.
The hotel rooms are a good size and they have very unusual and pretty ceramics on the wall at the head of the two double beds in each room. We were on the first floor with a large balcony with a very pleasant sea view from while we could see the sun setting. This was nice but at some stage every day we found ourselves under a cascade of water from above - presumably automatic watering of plants on the balconies above us. It would have been nice to have been warned about the times so we could avoid being on the balcony at that time.
According to our brochure, this hotel is new but the rooms do not appear to be new. The furniture is tacky and seems to be a few decades old. The floor tiles also seem to be well worn.
If you like a noisy Christmas dinner this is the place to be. We were all given a Santie hat and two noisy presents (a tambourine and a sort of festive trumpet) each. Apart from the noise factor, it was a very pleasant dinner with a band afterwards in a lovely reception room with a capacity of 250 people. The ventilation was inadequate so it was very humid and the floor was damp because of this. It was very difficult to dance as the dampness on the floor made it a non slip surface so you could not dance properly and turn and swing about as you would on a normal dance floor.
Most of the staff were very pleasant and efficient. I would like to give a special mention to Maria in the bar who also served us with a smile on Christmas night and also to Antonio at reception who was always very friendly and helpful. In fact all of the staff except the first person we met on arrival merit praise and encouragement. They all work very hard in the restaurant and in the bar and upstairs in the rooms.
The whole experience of this hotel gave the impression of modern management with maximum profit for minimum staff and minimum costs. The hotel compared to other four star hotels where we stayed on an all inclusive basis gave off a certain feeling of meanness. For example there were no snacks, not even a biscuit, available outside mealtimes although coffee and biscuits were mentioned in our brochure for the afternoon. All other four star hotels with all inclusive offer snacks of varying standards in the afternoon. This lack of a snack is a false economy as people eat more at lunch in order to avoid being hungry in the afternoon. This is particularly difficult for people with young children. On the other hand there was a great choice of drinks available on all inclusive but you had to pay for cocktails.
The bar is far too small for the number of guests. As another trip advisor has said there is a general lack of seats in the communal area. There were constant queues for the lifts so they were obviously not enough of them. If there were other lifts they were a well kept secret.
The restaurant is also too small for the number of people in the hotel and there were constant queues for breakfast and dinner during our stay - it was not so bad at lunch time. The staff were all rushed off their feet and though we usually got served our drinks within five minutes we sometimes had to wait twenty minutes to get a drink. The food was often lukewarm and while we were there we read the trip advisor’s advice on the microwave so that warmed things up a bit.
Our clothes smelt very strongly of the food from the restaurant (like a smell of chips and fried food) all day long so there is an obvious lack of ventilation in the restaurant too. There was a great lack of variety of fruit (e.g. they often did not put out bananas) and especially vegetables and even potatoes (usually chips) during our stay. For some reason the lunch and the dinner on Saturday 29th December was a lot better and more varied than the other days we were there. Why? Was there someone special staying there or had the chef come back after a break? No idea. I nearly forgot to mention that there were very good fresh pancakes made quite often - this was the best feature of the restaurant.
In our room there was a feeling of dampness and when it got cold at night, we tried to put on the heating but they had switched it off at the mains. I wonder if the bed clothes are often washed as we suffered from allergies in the room and coughed and sneezed a lot at night.
The corridors outside the rooms were filthy and we never saw a vacuum cleaner being used - do not get me wrong - we are not blaming the cleaning staff as they were in a constant sweat and obviously under pressure to get a lot of work done. The cleaning ladies were very helpful and if we found something dirty, it immediately cleaned with a smile. There is an obvious shortage of staff and standards of cleanliness suffer as a result.
Our first experience of the hotel was not great. The girl who was on duty at reception between 12.00 and 13.00 on Sunday 23rd of December was very unpleasant and most unwelcoming. She is no doubt the worst receptionist we have come across on all our travels. She did not provide us with any information whatsoever on facilities, mealtimes, things to do... There was no documentation in our room and despite ringing reception and going to reception several times in the early afternoon it took a long time to get the pack of information available in every room. That girl was almost never present during our week there and all the other receptionists were very helpful. After dinner in the evening we went along to reception again and we met Antonio and he immediately got us the document for all inclusive guests although earlier in the day this was apparently impossible to find ! What a difference one receptionist can make to the guests’ experience.
Also when we arrived we asked for a quiet room - the hotel had been informed of this and it was on their computer. We did not mind whether we had a sea view or not but we wanted a quiet room as we needed rest. The receptionist was most unhelpful if not downright rude and told us that the room that we had been assigned was quiet. She refused to listen to any of our wishes so we had no choice but to accept the room. As it turned out it was not a quiet room. We were overlooking the road and also we were over the restaurant. You could hear a constant noise of chairs grating on tiles during all mealtimes, morning afternoon and evening. On the night preceding our departure at 04.00, we went to bed early but the noise from the restaurant prevented us from sleeping.
Would we stay there again ? No, we would not. It compares very unfavourably with the Barcelo, Iberostar and Riu hotels we have stayed in. We would certainly recommend the last hotel we stayed in on an all inclusive basis the Barcelo Hotel at Caleta da Fuste in Fueteventura.
Let’s hope that some of these defects can be put right. It made us realise the importance of having good front house staff. If your first experience in the first few hours in a hotel is not pleasant, it casts a shadow on your stay and on your attitude to the other staff who are in no way responsible for one bad egg. In my opinion, do not go to this hotel unless you are travelling with Saga who will look after you properly. Their musician is very pleasant indeed. He even organised carol singing for all the guests on Christmas Eve at 17.00 with mince pies and wine with the help of his colleagues.
I must also mention that the English speaking community in the area provide a brochure with information and maps which was most helpful. We found it ourselves on the left hand side of the reception desk.
So from our experience, do not go to this hotel as an independent traveller. On the other hand Saga were looking after their guests very well.

  • Liked — Beside the sea, the promenade and the lovely old town of Almunecar
  • Disliked — Dampness of room, heating turned off at the mains, general meanness and lack of staff and facilities
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2007

I agree with much of what the last contributor said. We visited the hotel in 2006 and really enjoyed it. We went on a half board basis with Saga. The rooms were good and I thought the buffet menu was a satisfactory 4 star standard. We enjoyed the happy hour in the bar 6 till 7. There was no problems with queuing in the restaurant or at the bar. However, we did eat at 9pm so perhaps that made a difference.
However, this year, what a change. We were all inclusive - no choice, Saga policy now, and it appeared most of the other guests were all inclusive too. That meant people ordering cocktails all day, and as they take time to make the queues were awful. The staff also had to clear up by the pool side and there was never enough of them to go round. However, they were all very pleasant, and in the restaurant too. A good hotel spoiled by a too small bar and not enough staff.
The area was good. The hotel is on the seafront and the town is nice. Easy to walk to. Handy for visiting Granada Nerja and Frigiliana.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel

Address: Paseo de la China s/n. | Playa de San Cristobal, 18690 Almunecar, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Granada > Almunecar
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Almunecar
#2 Luxury Hotel in Almunecar
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Almunecar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 227
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Almunecar Playa SPA Hotel enjoys a beachfront location, behind the seafront, just minutes from the old quarter of Almunecar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Almunecar Playa Hotel Almunecar

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