My wife and I recently spent 17 nights half board at the Florida Spa. We booked the holiday with Thomson. Overall, we thought the hotel was pretty good, but not as good as you might expect for a hotel ranked number 1 in Fuengirola. Would we stay there again? Possibly, but I think we would probably go back to the Yaramar if we were to go to Fuengirola again (we stayed at the Yaramar at a similar time last year). If this summary is good enough for you then you do not need to read further. If you want the background then read on!
Location – it is in a fairly bustling and noisy area because it’s very close to the town centre, public transport (bus and train stations), the sea front/marina, shops, cafes and restaurants. There is a small supermarket literally 1 minute away and the larger Mercadona supermarket 5 minutes away. If you want a hotel that’s on the quiet side it might not be for you
Reception – efficient and helpful. Most staff seem to speak some English
Maintenance – good. We had a problem with the TV remote control and the maintenance person was there within a few minutes
Lifts – good. There are three panoramic style lifts and you never seem to have to wait long for one. I would take issue with Thomson who say in their brochure you get “amazing sea views” from them. You can see a sliver of the sea from just one of them!
Room choice. Hotel basically L shaped. One side faces south east, fronts on to the sea and gets morning sun. The other side faces south west, overlooks the pool, gets afternoon sun and some of these rooms will have side sea views. With the exception of around 24 rooms that are larger (see photograph of typical floor layout), all the remaining 160 rooms are the same size. The hotel has 12 floors so generally the higher the floor the better the views. In my view this hotel has a significant proportion of rooms that will not get good views. This is because of the proximity of adjacent buildings. So, for example, you could pay extra to get a larger room and end up on the second floor front corner with no sea view at all from the balcony. If you have a preference for a particular floor or aspect you could try emailing the hotel before you depart.
Room – good (see photographs). We had a standard room with twin beds. Thought the beds were OK – firm but, for us, not uncomfortable. One creaked a bit. Reasonable size – bit tight between end of beds and units. Reasonable condition. Lots of storage and surfaces to put things on. Room safe and empty minibar provided free. Latter OK for drinks but not for food. Air-conditioning and heating good. Wall mounted flat screen TV with lots of British channels (see photograph). TV reception reasonable. Kettle with tea/coffee etc. provided. Spare sockets to plug things in. Towels for the pool provided. We were locked out of the room twice in two days but after getting a new key card this problem did not recur. Internal sound insulation not great – could hear people talking in adjacent bathroom and other bathroom noises!
En suite bathroom – good. Standard rooms do not have baths but walk in showers. Powerful shower. Hair dryer. Soap, toiletries and tissues provided but not flannels. Bath and hand towels provided. Some of the towels were a bit threadbare. Line provided for drying clothes as nothing provided on the balcony - drying clothes there actively discouraged
Room servicing. Poor. Extremely inconsistent. Some days done well. Other (most) days barely been touched. We were left without bath towels on one occasion, without tea/coffee supplies on another and without toiletries/soap on another. I also do not think we had the bed linen changed twice a week as Thomson say. More like twice in 17 days. I’m not actually complaining as twice a week seems excessive, but they should not say it is done that frequently if it is not
Food – excellent. Buffet style but good quality. Good choice (see photograph of typical dinner menu). Food clearly identified. Vegetarian options. Themed evenings once a week (Chinese and Spanish) when they handed out rice wine and sherry, the waitresses dressed up and they decorated the restaurant. Hot food did vary in temperature on occasions. First Spanish hotel I’ve been in where they do not have cava at breakfast. Main criticism – warm plates for cold food. Plates/bowls straight out of the dishwasher put by cold food eg starters and desserts. Other criticism – things running out and not being replaced quickly enough. Any adult who can’t find plenty to eat must have some very odd dietary habits. Children might find the choice more challenging. There was a reasonable choice of drinks with your meal too (see photograph) and you were not put under any pressure to buy them. Quite a lot of people declined to do so. I still wonder how they can get away with charging 2 euros for half a litre of water when you can get 5 litres for 65 cents a minute’s walk away. Spanish guests seemed to be given (or they asked for) free jugs of water. As far as I could see, a la carte menu not “available” as Thomson say although they did seem to offer room service
Dining room ambience – not great. Cafeteria like atmosphere. People wandering about looking for a table. People going backwards and forwards to get different courses. Waitresses buzzing around clearing tables or laying them up for dinner (at breakfast) and for breakfast the next day (at dinner). Loud tanoy announcements of evening entertainment and so on. The nadir came one evening when some musicians played as they walked round the dining room then came back asking for money
The pool – we did not use it but we did go to see it. The pool is small and surrounded on each side by buildings none of which are less than 4/5 stories high (see photograph). It is a little disingenuous of Thomson to say in their brochure that the pool “is sheltered by the hotel buildings” and not mention the buildings on the other three sides! If you want a pool that is secluded/private then this is not the hotel for you
Newspapers/books – the hotel did provide some English newspapers each day in the lounge but they had usually been nicked by mid morning. There was also a library.
Manager’s cocktail (cava) party – nice idea. All the key staff are introduced to you. If they have one while you are there (they do not seem to be every week) make sure you are not late. The one we had started at 5.30pm. By 5.35 all the staff introductions were over and by 5.45 they had stopped serving the cava!
Entertainment – not great. No daytime entertainment. Light easy going music every night on ground floor. Speciality acts three nights a week in basement area (happy hour there from 8.30 to 9.30pm) eg individual singers, Abba take off by two women. Some of it was pretty dire.
Spa – no comments as did not use it
There’s obviously quite a bit to like about the Florida Spa and some things not to like but, overall, the good outweighed the bad. Hence the 8 out of 10 score. Why might we stay at the Yaramar next time? You have more chance getting a room with a sea view as it is not so surrounded by other buildings; the entertainment is better; and it’s adult only. Those aspects apart, there’s not much to choose between them (they are both owned by the same company).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fuengirola’s New Hotel Florida Spa is located beside the port, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This state-of-the-art, four-star facility offers 184 rooms, all of which are complete with air-conditioning, heating, a fridge/minibar, satellite TV, Music Channels, and pay-for-view films. Along with the expected accoutrements of a telephone, a hair-dryer, and tea and coffee facilities, each room at the New Hotel Florida Spa also offers its own safe so you can enjoy the fun of the Costa del Sol with complete peace of mind while you leave your valuables behind. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cancelon, Orbitz, HotelQuickly, Travelocity and Evoline ltd so you can book your Florida Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Florida Hotel Fuengirola
- Florida Spa Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol, Spain