We wanted a week of Spanish sun before visiting friends and our travel agent suggested the “Gran Hotel Sol y Mar”:https://www.granhotelsolymar.com/en/, Calpe on the Costa Blanca as it was adults only, on the beach and had a champagne bar (she knows us well).
There were lots of pluses about this hotel which I’ll start with:
Our sea-view, balcony room was ready at 2pm despite check-in being 4pm (always a good start).
Our room was huge with elegant cream and black décor and furniture. We had a good-sized sitting area with leather sofa and chair, desk, fridge (with two complimentary small bottles of water and cans of coke being provided daily and a welcome bottle of cava and glasses), fruit, whizzy coffee machine, wall-mounted TV and practical tiled floor. The bed was huge and very comfortable with lovely pillows. We were provided with robes and slippers and there was a nightly turn down service which as well as having the usual chocolates, had more interesting things like a floating key ring, sleep spray and lavender salts.
The bathroom was large with a separate loo/bidet off it. There was both a bath with overhead shower and an excellent standalone shower. Towels were white and fluffy and toiletries were Yves Rocher. The hairdryer was the usual ‘all noise, no puff’.
Breakfast was magnificent spread and as we usually ate before 9am, generally quiet. The room was large, light and airy with some seats overlooking the sea. It was hard to choose from juices, cereals, pastries, hot options (including an egg chef) and lots of cold choices including fabulous jamon, smoked salmon etc. We indulged in a glass of cava to set us up for the day.
Whilst we didn’t eat in the hotel, the bar had reasonable prices with €11 for a bottle of decent rose.
There was complimentary wi-fi available all over the hotel, even at the pool and a library with a decent stock of English books.
There were plenty of bars and restaurants within a short walk and a supermarket directly underneath the hotel.
Now to the bits we didn’t like as much.
The ‘beach club’ was reached by going down to level -2 in the lift and along an underground corridor and through a gate. This area didn’t open until 10am, which we thought was late but at least it prevented people ‘bagging beds’. On our first morning we arrived at 9.57am to find a queue of around 25 people already waiting. However, there were plenty of comfy beds with cream leather cushions although there were very nipped in around the long narrow pool. However, down a couple of steps there was long strip covered with fake grass and a line of beds which was much quieter but there was no shade. Towels had to be signed for but could be changed daily and there were bottles of factor 30 sun cream and after sun available. There was a bar and every time you ordered a drink you were offered crisps, nuts or olives.
Because we don’t like being squashed next to people, we often used the public beach but because two beds and a parasol were €15 per day, you really needed to spend the whole day there.
The Champagne bar didn’t open until 9pm and the disco/music didn’t start until 11pm although the latter didn’t bother us in the slightest.
Whist there were lots of positives about the hotel, we both agreed it’s not a hotel we’d want to return to.