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“Good BUT”
Review of Hotel Utopia

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Hotel Utopia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 5, 2012

A really nice boutique hotel in a very strange location. Benalup is a very unattractive village about 30 minutes from beautiful beaches at Conil. The hotel room we stayed in was called Tanger which was beautifully decorated but with awful lighting and a totally useless bath. It was huge and after 20 minutes had only filled the bath by 50mm. The restaurant was decorated in an art deco style with fabulous posters and artefacts. During August it has live entertainment every night but out of season it's only on a Friday and Saturday. We went on a Tuesday! The food in the bar was excellent and the service from restaurant and front of house was efficient and friendly. I can't understand why they would charge guests €3 to visit their museum! It was pleasant and I would recommend it but with reservations.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 8 of 182 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2009

This is a really lovely hotel, very interesting and different. It appeared this way from the photos on the booking site so we booked to go in spite of knowing that the temperature inland at the end of July is very high. This was the case, and the small town Benalup where it is situated would not be worth a visit without the hotel.

Our room, Tánger, was beautifully cool, a lot of the time without having to use the air conditioning. It was very comfortable and with very interesting decor. The bathroom was spacious with a huge bath.

There is a large restaurant/bar, and really this is the only place to eat if you are staying there. We were half board which included a delicious five couse meal each night and a plentiful breakfast. On Friday and Saturday nights there is always live music, and every night in August. The restaurant is in an old bakery, decorated and furnished in 30s style, the walls covered in 30s pictures. We loved the decor of the whole hotel and obviously a lot of care and feeling had gone into it.

The small museum is fascinating and well worth allowing quite a bit of time for.

All the staff we saw were exceptionally friendly and attentive, and helpful with information that we asked for.

The hotel is just half an hours easy drive from the beaches. We went both days to El Palmar, a lovely wide clean beach with easy parking. The countryside round the hotel is beautiful, and it is within easy reach of Seville, Jerez, Medina Sidonia, Cádiz and many other places.

I would definitely recommend this hotel and certainly hope to go back there.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DM-and-RM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2008

A hotel that you really want to like but that just falls short of the mark. On our first night we arrived at around 20:00 and they received us with a complementary drink inside their restaurant (fantastically decorated with relics from the '30s). What seemed like the owner (he didn't introduce himself) explained to us that tonight was a special night, Ferrán Adriá the famous Catalan chef was coming together with a few other celebs from Spanish TV and that there would be a reduced menu.... great we thought, but as we were tired and wanted to unwind, we said we would confirm later, which we did at 21:00 when we came down ready for dinner.... only to our surprise that the restaurant was now "fully booked"!! How, in what they claim as a 4 star hotel, can you deny your guests dinner at 21:00 in the evening.... saying that the restaurant was fully booked because Ferrán Adriá was coming????!!! We would at least have liked to have been warned that the restaurant could get full up. We reluctantly left the hotel, having been offered no other solution (a sandwich??) in search of another restaurant which is where we discovered that this hotel doesn’t “fit” this town. Benalup is not the most beautiful town in Andalusia and its choice of restaurants is limited, a couple of bars, pizza places, all jam packed full with noisy families in mid-August, which leaves you thinking “why put such an exclusive, elaborately decorated 4 star hotel in a place like this?”.
Our biggest deception was the quality of the service and the lack of that welcoming feeling that is so important in a small hotel like this, first no dinner, then the jacuzzi in the room didn’t work and despite having advised the staff of this on our way out in the morning, it was left untouched and still didn’t work in the evening (apparently the service guy was informed but later “forgot”).
It’s obvious that this establishment is more an upmarket theme restaurant than it is a hotel – priority is seemingly given to the restaurant and its clients over the staying (and paying!!) hotel guests – the hotel is new and this shows, they still have a lot to learn. (by the way – they “recommend” that you give 3 Euros to enter the so called 30’s museum (one small room), even as a hotel guest, which is not stated on their website).
Our advice is – go somewhere cheaper and better nearer the coast.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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2  Thank BarcelonaFlump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2006

The hotel is a special designer hotel located approx. 25 minutes drive from Costa de la Luz. If you prefer relaxation with a very special atmosphere, but don’t mind a little driving to the cost, this is for you. Although only one or two of the neighboring towns are turistically worth visiting, we have not regretted choosing a hotel not right at the ocean. Each of the rooms is a little different, I’ve only seen ours, but it was stunning, with much attention paid to the smallest detail. The breakfast / dinner place flashes in a special arc deco style, but was not only a special treat to the eyes, the wide selection of food for breakfast was a treat to the stomach.
The people were friendly, speak some English and did everything to make sure we have a good time.

If you prefer swimming in large pools you would be disappointed, the pool is quite small, only for cooling off, not for swimming.

The hotel is probably only accessible by car, it lays in a district of typical narrow Spanish streets, but we have never had problems to find a place to park within a walking distance of 5 minutes.

During our stay in Spain, this was the only hotel where we had no problems with the Internet, just plugged in the cable and everything went fine.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LTamas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2017
Google Translation

Stayed: February 2017
Thank Francisco S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Solo conoci una habitación, son todas distintas
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  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ferzambrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Todas son temáticas de los años treinta y cabaret
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  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank canaillas1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Utopia

Address: Calle Doctor Rafael Bernal 32 | Benalup-Casas Viejas, Cadiz, Espana, 11190 Benalup-Casas Viejas, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cadiz > Benalup-Casas Viejas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Benalup-Casas Viejas
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Utopia 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Where do we start? This sure is one bold project and also a rather unique place to describe. More an experience than simply a place to stay it is, as the Utopia itself readily admits, also more of a town within a town, a tribute to the 30's and a maze of cultural and leisure activities all rolled in to one heady package. But to get things going we'll start with the easy bit. The Utopia Hotel itself is located in the old part of Benalup - Casas Viejas, and made up of 16 completely different, and fully restored rooms designed in keeping with the town's old constructions. Each room evokes a theme from the 30's and is named after a specific topic from that decade. Hence rooms such as Tanger, Estrecho, Poetas, Republica, Art Deco, Utopia, Paris 1937, Jazz, Tango, Cabaret, Casas Viejas, Estrellas, Ilustracion, Vanguardias, Paquebot and Zeppelin. Decoration is in keeping with the name of the room, so the Art Deco is decorated in the style of... Well, you've guessed it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Utopia Spain/Benalup-Casas Viejas

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