I really hesitate to write such a negative review, but travellers should be aware. My husband and I broke our recent trip into 3 parts where we stayed at one resort in Costa Del Sol (had an amazing experience), travelled to Morocco, then returned to Spain for a final 3 nights before returning home. We booked this hotel with high expectations, judging by the photos, majority of reviews, location and price. We booked a high end room that being a junior suite with a side seaview. First impression, the exterior of the hotel and the gardens looked lovely. The lobby was impressive. At the desk, "Sonia" dealt professionally with an irate guest, then politely turned to us. We felt she did very well under the circumstances. Our room however, was surprisingly underwhelming. The bathroom was first class, the room was immaculate, and our view was as described as a partial sea view, which was fine; however, the positives stopped there. The décor was distinctly dated. There was no attempt to decorate - not even a throw on the bed, nor prints on the walls. No robes in the rooms, unless you pay a returnable deposit in the pool. We had no shampoo and the little things in our room which I believe had been an initial oversight. Our air con was not working. Luckily it was October. The room was bare bones minimum and not, in our opinion, up to a 4 star standard having stayed in 5 star and lovely 3 star hotels. Were we not paying nearly 600 Euros/per night, we could not complain. What was so frustrating was that it would not have taken much to give the room a boost. Our overall impression was that all of the effort had gone into the public areas of the hotel and the rooms were down the list in priorities. We were also left with the impression that the owners were relying on the fact that the hotel has THE best location in terms of it's proximity on the beach and close vicinity to the historic quarter.
What contributed to our disappointment and which would have improved our experience exponentially was that the staff we came across in the restaurant at the bar and at the main reception were distinctly unhelpful (to the point of being ignored while standing in front of them. The staff had little to no command of English and seemingly no interest in trying. This surprised me working in a hotel catering to tourists. However, it was more than, it was the attitude that set the tone for this potentially amazing hotel. We saw a guest pleading (yes, pleading), with a restaurant staff member for one more cup of coffee before he turned the coffee machine off. The staff member refused stating firmly that it was 11:30am and there was coffee in her room. Another example was after my husband had waited in line at the hot food station, when his turn came, the cook refused to serve him indicating he had started from the wrong end and made him start him start at the end of the line again! The buffet had a relatively large selection of food, but the hot food was terrible. We were also disappointed to learn that the evening we checked in, there was the once weekly flamenco show that night and a once weekly cocktail hour that we were not told about. Now, given her negative experience with the guest before us, this omission was forgivable. Having said all of the above, the outstanding bright light in all of this was the Director, Maria. She embodied professionalism, enthusiasm and effort. She went out of her way to get us ice one night, when absolutely no one would assist us. We saw her interact with the other guests. She was genuine and engaging. She even offered to purchase and send us a Barcelona jersey if she was wrong about them being available at the airport! The hotel is very fortunate to have her. Sadly, notwithstanding the location, our impression was overwhelmingly negative and for the value, we would not recommend this hotel, nor would we return.
One further note that may be a positive or negative for some travellers depending on your expectations of your stay. The Hotel is heavily marketing and advertising special rates for 55+ guests. As a result, there was a distinct older demographic in the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fuerte Marbella, the most emblematic hotel in the centre of Marbella, combines tradition and innovation. On the beach front and surrounded by 4000 sq. Meters of garden, Fuerte Marbella Hotel is an oasis walking distance to the Marbella old town, with restaurant and shops. Most of the rooms have magnificent views of the Mediterranean sea. A 7 km long beach promenade allows gentle walking to the famous Puerto Banus, with international shopping and restaurants. Fuerte Marbella offers a complete sports centre with covered heated pool (winter only) and a beach restaurant with sun beds (extra charge, summer only). Easy access from Malaga International airport (60 km) by rental car, shuttle bus or private transfer (book through the hotel). Public direct bus to Marbella bus station is also available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Fuerte Resort
- El Fuerte Marbella
- El Fuerte Hotel Marbella