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Reviewed October 10, 2010

I stayed at this hotel for a week with my family and was extremely disappointed. The main thing that struck me was the complete lack of service - it is not like a hotel at all. There was very little evidence of staff anywhere. Nothing ever seemed to be cleaned - the sun loungers by the pool were wet every morning, ash trays weren't cleaned, and dirty cups and glasses lay around the honesty bar. There was no bar or food service at the pool, and no room service whatsoever. The 'honesty bar' seemed to just be an excuse for the hotel to not hire any bar staff. It was basically a communal mini-bar, which was badly stocked and expensive, especially given the lack of service. For example, if you wanted a coffee you had to make it yourself using a coffee machine with powdered milk and paid the price you would to order a coffee in a restaurant. When we asked at reception for a pot of coffee, we were told it wasn't possible. The only snacks available in the bar every night were walnuts from the garden and tasteless home-made cake.

The food was terrible. The set menu was meant to change every night, but always had the same starter – a buffet of salad from the hotel’s garden, which, for a 19-euro menu is really poor. The a la carte options were equally disappointing. I ordered serrano ham, eggs and fried potatoes one night and was served egg and fried potatoes with a few tiny scraps of ham. It felt like they were cost-cutting at every corner. The breakfast was the worst I have tasted in a hotel, with stale pastries and cheap cereals. Even the scrambled egg looked highly unappetising.

The pool area was not looked after, with an untended bar, rusty old toilets and unmown grass. There was often an unpleasant smell of sewage by the pool. There was no pool service, so if you wanted a drink you had to traipse all the way to the honesty bar and serve yourself. It was more like a self-catering holiday. In fact, guests were actually doing a 20-minute drive (ten minutes of which is down an unpaved road) to a supermarket in Ronda to buy food for a picnic by the pool.

I have no idea how this hotel got four stars - it was a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank Rebecca009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

We stayed here for over a week recently, so had plenty of time to make a realistic assessment. We ate in the restaurant on the first two nights, once from the fixed-price menu and once from the a la carte. On both occasions the food was poor and overpriced given the cheap ingredients. The breakfast was also disappointing: the hotel makes great play of using organic produce from its garden, but the tomatoes served at breakfast had absolutely no taste. The doughnuts were stale and hard, and the “homemade” cakes looked as if they had been made by children in a playgroup - extremely unappetising. Furthermore, the coffee with milk was served in tiny espresso cups, and when we asked for normal-sized cups we were told that they didn’t have any, despite there being several dirty cups on other tables that could surely have been taken into the kitchen to be washed.

As a result we chose not eat in the hotel again and mainly went to Ronda, a 25-minute drive away (as opposed to the ten minutes stated on the hotel website). This was not much fun for the driver, given Spain’s strict drink-drive limits and the horrific nature of the road leading to the hotel, untarmaced, unlit and with occasional half-metre-deep gulleys at the side. (In fact, during our stay one couple driving to the hotel in broad daylight had the misfortune to end up with their hire car stuck in one of these and had to order a pick-up truck to rescue it.)

There is no room service whatsoever, not so much as a cup of coffee. In fact, there is very little service at all, although it must be said that the staff are friendly and do their best. There are just not enough of them. The self-service honesty bar is very expensive, and was frequently littered with dirty cups and glasses. Likewise, no service at the swimming pool which was at the far end of the garden which meant we had to trek up to the honesty bar if we wanted a drink, not so good particularly if you are over a certain age. Furthermore, the pool area was not well looked after - we had rain one day and nobody bothered to take in the loungers, so when the sun came out and we went down to the pool the following day, the mattresses were still soaking wet. Ashtrays full of cigarette ends were also left littering the area from the day before.

The website is misleading. Apart from stating that Ronda is ten minutes drive away, the hotel also claims to have a cafeteria and library. The former is non-existent and the latter is a bookcase mainly comprising books you would not want to read on holiday, such as legal and medical books in Spanish.

The only positive feature was that both the public areas and bedrooms were comfortable and well decorated .

How this hotel has four stars is a complete mystery. Avoid it. There is no manager on-site, so nobody to deal with complaints. We came away feeling completely ripped-off.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank Lizzie084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2010

Huge potential, but poor maintenance, almost no staff and a lack of attention to detail let it down terribly and make you feel you’ve paid too much for the average experience. I would love to seethe owners take control and bring this property back to where it should be.

After about ten minutes drive from Ronda, through the valley of ‘la cruz’ you see the sign to the hotel. The narrow lane takes you past ‘La Fuente de las Higuera’, and further into the olive groves. The road deteriorates a little, into a dirt track, and before long, one arrives at the Mill, a large building with walled gardens, and vineyards behind. The journey was easy and not complicated. Old iron bath tubes filled with flowering geraniums line the outside the property.
The greeting when we entered was a little half-hearted. The receptionist remained facing her PC screen, just moving her eyes up to see us, said hello and then returned to the screen. This was to really set the tone of limited number of staff.
The property is great; lots of interesting corners, paths, terraces and courtyards, with some charming Andalucían style architecture. However the place is not that well maintained and this is a great pity. Rustic charm is one thing; lazy upkeep is another. The pool area was disorganised and in need of an update – the pool is in a secluded walled garden, so could be spectacular – but when we used it on a very hot September weekend, the sun loungers were still soaking from the irrigation system. You arrived and had to find a lounger and drag it over to the pool – it would have taken just a few moments for a staff member that morning to wipe down the beds, position them and instantly the place would have been more welcoming – but the reality is that guests are left to do thing themselves – almost like we’ve rented a villa, not staying in a hotel. The place does have an undeniable charm and I enjoyed photographing the place, but this charm is sadly not reflected in the staff.
The weekend we were there, all the guests seemed to be left to their own devices. The receptionist lacked personality and warmth; the only time I saw her smile was when she was huddled around the PC screen with a cleaner, laughing at a website. The hotel has an honesty bar, but its drinks are full price, despite having to prepare them oneself, with old, clumped together ice, no lemon and no snacks and very little choice of mixers – just tonic the weekend we were there.
I ordered a sandwich; the opportunity to showcase the wealth of tasty organic produce from the Ronda was missed. Instead for 5 or 6 euros I was served two pieces of square, factory made unbuttered bread with a filling of square, processed turkey slices, and iceberg lettuce – no seasoning, no mayo, no butter, no tomato; nada. Needless to say we dined out in Ronda that night so can’t comment on the service or food in the dining room but I wouldn’t have high expectations.
Our room was fine, with access to large shared terrace and it was peaceful – just needed some maintenance and ‘TLC’. The potential here is amazing. The room had a high ceiling, a very comfortable bed, some interesting rustic details, but was tired and not that clean. (there is no excuse to leave cobwebs, not descaling the loo, etc.)
Each room is named after a different olive variety, with quirky designed signs. There are plenty of these details around the property that make it so interesting and unique.
Overall the hotel is charming, but without any representation of the owner or management and just one receptionist, the place lacked a welcoming atmosphere. Fellow guests sipped glasses of wine in near silence on the terrace; peaceful yes, but the property lacking atmosphere that could take this property from average to amazing – it seemed empty despite being full of guests. Hard to explain - ‘soulless’ I think is the word.
The positioning of the hotel on it website is upscale, boutique – this is very misleading - the reality is not. However, it could so easily be upscale, boutique. It just needs investment in maintenance and some visible staff that are genuinely happy to have guests sharing this lovely property.
There was a new receptionist at front desk on the morning of check out that invited feedback and asked us to fill in a questionnaire that she assured us was reviewed by the owner. The staff member was very receptive to our constructive comments and invited us to come back again and give it a second chance. We will – but at off season rates!!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Andrew F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2010

We knew nothing about this hotel! We couldn''t find a place for only one night in Ronda. Leaving Seville, we found a sign pointing to the hotel on a rain-washed road. Arriving, we discovered a beautiful 18th century villa that produced olives. The interior was completely modern with a dedication to serving organic, locally grown food. The terraces were beautifully landscaped with century old water fountains. The trickling water, incredible sound of birds and distant views of Ronda were so peaceful. I could have stopped my vacation right there. The dining room was on the second floor so there was a gorgeous view. It was memorable. Had I to do it over again, I would have stayed longer to hike in the area. A wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2009

What a paradise!
Hotel Molino del Arco was a little hard to find, but we were trying to use the TomTom...using the map was easier!
Following the winding dirt road up to the property took us further away from our normal lives. It's like "Stealing Beauty" but in the Spanish countryside.
The hotel is very well presented. It's not perfect (it's close though), and I think that adds to it's charm.
The staff are friendly and down-to-earth. Our room was huge and lovely decorated.
We chilled out by the pool down the back, which was so relaxing and peaceful even when all the deck chairs were taken by other guests.
Breakfast was delicious and simple! Fresh eggs, tomatoes and olive oil from the property - delicious!
We had dinner there too, which was again, simple, but charming.
This is a special place that should be enjoyed with someone special. It's not as expensive as other places, but offers an unpretentious charm that's worth a visit.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bec82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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