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“An honest reflection....did we really travel to the same place?”

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Bambu Boutique Apartments Exclusively for Women
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“An honest reflection....did we really travel to the same place?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012

Having been to Bambu and read the reviews we feel it is only fair to give a balanced perspective and prepare discerning travellers for the reality of the experience that is 'Bambu'.
We wanted to support a lesbian-run business and enjoy unspoilt locations however we will not be booking again nor making recommendations since we felt that overall considering location, accommodation and lack of amenity our stay was poor value for money.
The location was remote and access via unmarked,unlit, rough hilly dirt track at least 20 minutes on foot from the nearest village- a hike to which is not an enticing prospect for a sole lady traveller in the height of summer or after dark. the driving is challenging in an average hire car in the summer but would be treacherous in winter after heavy rain without a four wheel drive. Banamocarra- no restaurants just a few snack bars and small food shops. Local men dominate the social scene.
The accomodation only offers privacy to the occupants of the room with access to the roof terrace. All other room doors open on to the communal terrace and are relatively close so that conversations are easily overheard from outside and between rooms. The rooms cannot be described as suites or 'boutique'. The furnishings are very basic; odd mismatched linen , non functional bric a brac and certainly not 'chic'. A daily rather than weekly room rate is charged but daily services &/or linen changes are not offered.
Several rooms only have a door to the terrace and an electric fan to provide ventilation. There is no air conditioning- an important consideration if staying in July or August.
Given the very many pretty towns in Andalusia which are unspoiled and close to places of historical and cultural interest offering high standards of accommodation and better value for money especially out of season, we recommend other discerning travellers look elsewhere.
A shame because we had hoped for better and otherwise love Southern Spain.

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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank discerning t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CatherineBambu, Owner at Bambu Boutique Apartments Exclusively for Women, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Well, what can we say in response? Trip Advisor readers will see the other reviews and appreciate that what appeals to many, clearly doesn’t appeal to everyone. We don’t claim Bambú to be anything other than in a rural location and a 20 minute walk to our nearest very authentic Andalucian village – we are not in the middle of tourist-land – this is the real Spain - but all the same Bambú is very close to the amenities of the coast, only 15 minutes drive away.
The road outside Bambú has just in the last few weeks been upgraded (possibly since this guest stayed), meaning that it is not at all challenging – there is just a riverbed (95%+ of the time completely dry and doubling as a road) which has to be crossed - and in the event of heavy winter rainfall there is an alternative slightly longer route to Bambú. Unfortunately at the end of September 2012 when we think this guest was staying, we were hit by some appalling weather, which resulted in terrible flash floods and the loss of 10 lives in southern Spain, some of the worst hit villages only 40km from Bambú. As Bambú is at the top of a hill, apart from a couple of leaks we were largely unaffected but the weather was pretty miserable, not conducive to a positive holiday experience.
We personally disagree about the bric-a-brac and mismatched linen comment – our own style is eclectic and anti-bland conformity - but again, what appeals to one person is quite different to what appeals to another. And we don’t claim to be 'chic' - Bambú is a converted Andalucian farmhouse - if you want chic, the city is probably a more appropriate holiday location.
Our nightly room rate simply means that guests can stay for 3 nights or 10 nights if they so wish and are not restricted to a Saturday to Saturday week. We don’t offer a nightly rate for our convenience but for the convenience of our guests.
We use the word ‘suite’ rather than ‘room’ to identify the fact that all our accommodations are self-catering, having their own kitchen. It is unusual for self-catering accommodation to be daily serviced. Self-catering holidays always work out less expensive than hotel based holidays, unless of course you eat out every meal. Most of our guests really appreciate the choice of eating out or cooking for themselves – especially vegetarians who are not well catered for in Spain. One guest recently commented that they had used just 30€ of her cash all week! Possibly a record for holiday spend! But almost everyone finds that they spend less as eating out in local restaurants and buying produce in local markets in such good value.
Lastly, as for air-con, no we don’t have it at the moment – few villas and rural properties around here do and almost none of the locals and expats living here have it – but having said that we are contemplating installing it for summer 2013.
We do our best to create a comfortable, quality and sociable holiday environment for our guests. We would love to appeal to everyone but guess this isn’t a realistic expectation – the vast majority of our guests love Bambú, have an incredibly positive holiday experience and leave with nothing but happy memories and new friendships formed.
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142 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Crossford, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012

Bambu Resort, A tiny Spanish paradise.

For all of my travelling and shenanigans over the years I had never visited Spain . Mostly because the idea of miles of tourist laden beaches and high rise hotels had never appealed to my idea of a holiday.

My preconceived impression of Spain was well and truly blown out of the water when this year I was invited to pay a wee visit with some friends to Bambu Resort. A seven bedroomed hotel nestled in the hills overlooking Benamocarra, in Andalucía a beautiful (but hilly!) small town of whitewashed houses.

What makes Bambu really special (apart from the hilltop location and spectacular views!) is that it is exclusively for lesbians.

The seven self catering rooms are spread around the pool and main outdoor dining area, allowing for privacy as well as easy access to socialising all in one!

The accommodation itself is clean, fresh and has everything you need for your stay. Some rooms are of a superior level (one with a spectacular terrace) but even the basic rooms are perfect as a base and have the most wonderfully powerful showers that certainly wake you in the morning!

Catherine and Susanne, who own Bambu were delightful, hostesses, with great ideas for days out and could not have been more helpful during our week long stay.

Due to the location you do need a car although Catherine and Suzanne will pick you up at the airport if you just want a week of lounging by the pool!. Benamocarra itself (which is a good 20 minute walk down a very steep hill!) is limited in the size of shops and restaurants (but still has a few for the odd meal out!), but the nearest big (and I mean BIG!) supermarket is a 15 minute drive away. Malaga airport is a 45 minute drive.

With a car the world is your oyster… or at least the Paella bar on Nerja beach, which is definitely worth a visit after visiting the famous caves. No-where is too far away, The Alhambra in Granada , Gibraltar (although that would be a full day’s travel there and back!) and so many beaches and beautiful towns to visit.

Although this is a resort which suits couples perfectly, I visited with friends and although there were only 4 singles (out of 14) the intimate but friendly ambiance did not make it feel awkward.

One of the most interesting aspects of the week for me was the different nationalities that were there. Scots, English, French, German, Australian and Romanian, all enjoying the sunshine, the friendships and the odd HUGE barbeque or two! New friendships have been formed, cuddles have been given, bikini bottoms have been tied to door handles (but that is a whole different story!).

For single ladies “single” weeks are held, but by Catherine’s own admission it is not designed to “hook” women up with each other but simply to allow single lesbians to enjoy a holiday in the company of other single lesbians, to develop friendships and enjoy each others company.

Other events such as walking weeks are already happening and other “specialist” weeks will be introduced in the future.

There is a huge choice of activities to be found in the local area, from horse riding, to golf to undertaking one of the many walks. Of course, you can always just lie back at the side of the pool and demand to be fed with grapes… although, for me, this did not work and is really my only complaint about the whole holiday!

Room Tip: there are only 7 rooms .. room 5, 6 and 7 are a little more private (room 7 has a wonderful private...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank CJ J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2012

Bambù is a fabulous place to relax in a quiet room with a terrace overlooking the mountains was beautiful, we must go to understand the air conditioning would be welcome night.
Each morning we loved seeing the sheep cavaler the hill.
We met great women of different places of Europe and it was great. Being in the pool 30 degrees, playing ball or two to find the bar surrounded by flowering trees c is also very well, prickly pears, grapes and fresh figs were suculentes. What we most appreciated is respect for the quiet privacy of each and the availability of Catherine, the owner, tell us about the different place to visit, how to rent a car, etc. .... Bambù is also, near the foot of the small Benamocara village where you can shop and also by car, you can go where there are lots of choices. It is recommended thanks to Catherine ballad on the Rio Chillar, walking feet in the water in a beautiful place in a beautiful nature, c is a fabulous experience; Thanks also to Gabriela for his great shiatsu massage and openness of mind to communicate with us. Fredy our love the cat more cuddly, always present but never obtrusive. We look forward to returning to find this little piece of paradise to live carefree where our love life is a long quiet river

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank KATIE O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castlebar, Ireland
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

Me and my girlfriend stayed at Bambu for a weekend during a 5 week tour around Spain.
Our original plan was to move from Malaga city to Granada for a Friday - Monday but this plan fell short. After sitting down at the laptop on the Monday beforehand I found this haven that is Bambu. Originally, it attracted us because it was quite close and also the fact that we had never done a gay/lesbian retreat before. We emailed Catherine who was away at the time and with a swift response we checked in for 5 days time. Catherine was very friendly and helpful with her emailed welcome pack and helped us organise our bus trips to get there.

Susanne was gracious to pick us up from the bus stop, something I would never even consider to expect to hope from a hostess and she was very friendly. The resort itself is beautiful.. words cannot describe how beautiful and pictures would definitely fail to show. The 7 apartments are quaint and cosy. The pool is warm with cleaners arriving during our stay, there is private space with each apartment provided with it's own little terrace and sun chairs but in opposition the open space and the layout of Bambu provides for a friendly atmosphere and you are sure to meet many new friends - even drinking vodka and wine at night with no lights onto see the stars.. sounds corny but see if you get a chance to be in a situation like that again. Bamby is surely memorable.

My only advice if you're staying at Bambu?
*Bring food (although the girls provide food packs if you ask for them) unless you fancy a hike down a 20 minute dirt track and
*Get a car so you're not just stuck on the grounds or relying on anyone else ( they also bring u to and from the surrounding towns/cities for a moderate price ).
Although I did love Bambu and can see myself returning, it would however, not be for a long period of time.. but this is a personal choice as it is literally just too quiet for me and I would miss the 'buzz' and atmosphere of a tourist populated resort after 4 or 5 days. Otherwise, you can't find fault.

One review on this site states that it is falsy advertised and does not live up to expectations. If you read Susanne and Catherine's welcome pack in your room, it states that they aim for a 'home away from home'. This shouldn't provide false expectations of a 5 star hotel but a homely private villa on the hill top of Rural Spain which is what you get.

Thanks :) Rebecca & Lizann

*End of Novel*

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rebecca C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donegal Town, Ireland
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2012

we stayed 10 days in bambu and had a fantastic holiday, it is a little haven tuckedd away in the andalucian mountains.. we loved the experience of rugged mountains, the bells of neighbouring goats and the comfort and safety of the bambu holding.
catherine is a great host, pleasant and helpful and non intrusive, allowing the guests to make bambu their home.
the aapartments are comfortable and have all you need to cater, the nearest village ia 10 min walk away and is typical spanish and really great value when shopping or dining.

the experience fully recharged my battery and we have made many friends from all nationalities and shared life experiences together, it felt natural and special spaecial tobe alesbian and i am so thankful for thet experience!!!

we love andalucia and have been there before and stayed in another lesbian accommodation which was cuisine wise superb, but because it was inclusive of meals, naturally meal times had to be set, in Bambu you dined at your will, solo, as acouple or on your own, which really suited us better as we prefer to self cater.

i look forward to going back, it was so reasonabe, so relaxed and easy going,,, thank you catherine and suzanne for making bambu such a special place, hope to see you soon

Room Tip: apartment 1 is great.. dont buy olive oil there is loads at bambu
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank idurkanmaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2012

I booked a holiday at Bambu as I was travelling alone and wanted to be somewhere that wasn't too far to travel to from the UK, and somewhere that I would feel safe and comfortable on my own as a single woman - this ticked both of those boxes. Booking was easy with regular email communication throughout the process, and with the option of airport pickup and food provision pack supplied, I was very happy. The place was beautiful, with a lovely pool, honesty bar, outdoor table for social dining, great hilltop views, and cats too! The fabulous weather helped, as did the company of other guests who were there at the same time. My room was lovely (as were the others I saw - we all had a tour of each others rooms) clean and comfortable, and I had a fabulously relaxing holiday in all.

Even though I was the only solo guest there during my stay, I was not made to feel excluded, and we all got on swimmingly! I would recommend though, that a car would be a good idea. I don't drive and thus found myself spending most of my time there and only really venturing out to attempt a bus journey to the coast once, and visiting the nearest town a couple of times. If you're planning to go on your own, look out for the 'solo' break dates - I hope to do this some time too :0)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Basia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

We spent 4 days at Bambu as a part of a 10 day trip in Andalusia. Bambu was a wonderful, beautiful, and restful getaway, tucked away between avocado and mango groves. The proprietors run a clean, laid back resort that will allow you the freedom to fill your schedule with various actives in and around velez-malaga or just chill pool side and meet new friends.

Bambu runs more like a vacation rental, in that, don't expect any room service. Load up on groceries and wine at the local supermarket -- stock your fridge for your stay, and use the fully equipped kitchen. If you've eaten your fair share of hotel food, or have eaten all your meals out while on your travels, being able to buy your own fresh produce and cook is a great relief.

Bambu is a great stay whether you are looking for a quit retreat, or a lesbian location to meet new friends, or want a romantic getaway. If you are more of the adventurous sort, Bambu is also just a couple hours drive from historic cities and sites -- if its your first trip to Andalusia these are sites not to miss.

Bambu is highly recommended to say the least, especially for any Americans out there who have always wanted to go to Spain, put Bambu on your itinerary!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank g m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bambu Boutique Apartments Exclusively for Women

Property: Bambu Boutique Apartments Exclusively for Women
Address: 63 Los Pepones, 29700 Velez-Malaga, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Velez-Malaga
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Velez-Malaga
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bambu Country House Holiday Studios Exclusively for Women, Andalucia, Spain. Enjoy sublime countryside, stunning pool, extensive terraces, beautiful gardens, quality self-catering accommodation and the company of other travellers like you. Perfect location for exploring mountain villages, historic cities, the Mediterranean coastline and some of the most stunning countryside in Europe. Walking distance to nearby village of Benamocarra. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bambu Boutique Apartments Exclusively For Women Spain/Velez-Malaga

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