We have recently returned from a two week stay at this hotel. We were blessed with good weather for most of the stay in March.
The hotel is located in the outskirts of Torremolinos, in a fairly quiet area and just over the road from the beach. There is a lovely promenade that runs for miles along the sea front, which is great for walking.
Reception and other staff:
We found the majority of the staff in the hotel to be very friendly and helpful, from the waiters in the restaurant, the management and even the cleaners. Always ready with a friendly greeting.
Our room had a side sea view and was of a very good size with plenty of storage space. The furniture looked new (just because it’s dark wood doesn’t make it ‘dated’ as some have said) and it appeared to have been recently decorated.
The balcony was a good size, although the outward opening door was a bit of a nuisance (it hits the plastic table / chairs and threatens to blow shut in the breeze).
The bathroom was a reasonable size, but the plastic shower curtain is awful and old fashioned – please replace with a screen! The lack of any extract fan meant that it could take time for steam to clear.
There is a fridge in the room – putting at least a bottle of water in there for the guest’s arrival would be nice, but it was empty. Water is freely available from the bar.
There is a small safe, for which you pay a returnable deposit to use.
An old fashioned TV is provided (not flat screen) with only two English channels and these were the desperately poor BBC World News and something else that showed corny old films. Not really good enough – neither the old television set nor the programmes available.
No wi-fi is available in the rooms. Apparently you can get it in reception (at extra cost) and again, this isn’t really acceptable in a four star hotel these days.
The big problem was the amount of noise transfer between rooms. You could hear every cough, every conversation, the TV next door and toilets flushing all around. This is something that needs to be addressed with some urgency – a pity it wasn’t done at the time of the decorating.
The main bar is at ground floor level, in the lounge / entertainment area. There is also a pool bar but that wasn’t open during our stay.
The range of drinks available was a little limited but just about ok. I think it wrong though that other drinks are available to guests who weren’t ‘all inclusive’ and also wrong that they got preferential waiter service and more attractive glasses. ‘All inclusive’ should mean that everything available within the hotel is included.
It would have been really nice to have approached the bar and found a member of staff waiting there. Almost without exception, all the staff were always hidden away in a back room. They would emerge when a few people had gathered at the bar and then wouldn’t know who to serve first.
The hotel entrance is very pleasant and the reception area is open and airy. There is a covered patio area where you go out to the pool, but that usually had people smoking in there, so we never really sat in it.
There are a couple of outdoor sitting areas with tables and chairs, but these felt a little small and restricted and were in the shade a lot of the time.
There was loads of space for sun-beds around the good sized pool and a few tables and chairs dotted amongst them would have been nice. There is also a small indoor pool.
Riu, for some reason, have this strange arrangement whereby you have to chose an early or late sitting. Not only that, but you are allocated a table for dinner and have to stick to it for the duration of your stay.
This isn’t too bad if you get a nice table (which we did), but there didn’t appear to be enough space in the restaurant, so a lot of people had to share with another couple only a few inches away. Some made the most of it, but most seemed to spend their time staring ahead and pointedly ignoring their enforced dining partners. This is a very poor arrangement. The situation could have been improved if the whole dining area had been open all the time – there was a huge area cordoned off for most of our holiday. Riu need to seriously reconsider this arrangement.
The food itself was fairly uninspiring – nothing especially wrong with it, but nothing to make you look forward to the evening meal.
Breakfast had the same sort of selection as most hotels and lunch was similar to the evening meal.
The house wines were fine.
We had a little bit of ‘tummy trouble’ while there and we did hear of other guests with the same problem. We just bought some tablets from the chemist across the road and it passed in a day. Others will make a lot more of it, of course
Overall, we were quite pleased with the hotel, but there are a number of areas where it could be improved, as indicated above. It appears to be an old hotel that is struggling to keep up standards, despite the best efforts of the staff that work there.
Some of these points would need to be addressed to make us go back there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located 2 km from Torremolinos * Opposite Torremolinos beach, 50 m away * 2 km from various shops * 5 km from the airport * 10 km from Malaga * 50 m from a bus stop * 1.5 Km from the train station * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Riu Belplaya
- Riu Belplaya Torremolinos
- ClubHotel Riu Costa Del Sol Torremolinos, Spain