We are in our late 50’s and decided to have a relatively cheap holiday in the sun. We had been to the Costa del sol nearly 20 years ago, so we were not surprised to find that it has changed,
Booked with Jet2 holidays. It was two weeks half board to the Fuengirola Park hotel 4 star. included all the transfers for £1100 approx. We cant fault Jet for their service. The checking in at Leeds/Bradford airport was smooth. We had pre booked our seats and breakfast on the plane, as it was a 7am flight. When we landed at Malaga, we were guided to our coach transfer and shortly after lunch we were in our hotel room.
The hotel reception was very efficient, so we had our rooms key/cards within minutes and we had time to relax and do a bit of unpacking before our evening meal. By this time it was 32c in the sun, so it was nice to be in an air-conditioned room and bar area for the afternoon. Of course we did take a look at the pool and gardens, but we were tired.
We had requested a room with pool view or sea view and we got both, although it was only glimpse of the sea between buildings. It was good to see the pool. as the other sides of the hotel, would have just looked on to other hotels or apartments. It also included our compulsory balcony. The room was quite spacious. Plenty of wardrobe space, draws etc. What we did not expect for our budget holiday was the use of a fridge in the room, but it was well use by us, to keep our drinks cool.
Food – The restaurant was clean, organised and efficient. There were plenty of people on all-inclusive with their little wrist bands on, so we needed to show our room card on entry to the restaurant, which was fine. The food was well cooked and the variety was excellent. The salads, soups, vegetarian etc were on offer every day. the hot food did vary, but we were noticing some similar options by the end of the second week, which was expected. Overall, we were very happy with the restaurant. If we had one complaint, it would be the sometime the food was not kept hot, under the heat lamps. After a few days we aimed to be the first few in to the restaurant to get the first choices and hottest food. I’m not saying it all went cold, but sometimes you could just time it wrong and take something and 5 minutes later and new portion of hot food would be brought out and topped up the various options.
Chips was an option every day, but they had the boiled, roasted, mash options. Meats varied from chicken turkey, ham, lamb and beef, in all formats. Lasagne, chops, steaks, pies etc Odd nights one of the chefs would be carving speciality joints of meat. The deserts for anyone who has been to Spain before, will know they like the sweet deserts. The was always a choice of about 10 deserts, plus rice, yogurts and fresh fruit.
if you wanted drinks with your meal, could buy them at the restaurant bar. ( 2 bottle of water and a jug of wine was included for those on all-inclusive). We tended to buy a bottle of water or a Coca-Cola each.
Breakfast was also worth attending, it was a little busier, as there was clearly people just bed and breakfast options. Again, plenty of options for food. hot, cold food, toast, tea, coffee, juice etc.
In all cases eat as much as you want. Food was also available from the Pool bar during the day.
The swimming pool was probably a bit small for the number of people for the time we were there, it was fine. It is an old hotel and I guess when it was built, the pool would have been fine for the needs of holidaymakers. There was plenty of entertainment for those that wanted it during the day, such as water aerobics, water football, etc. The gardens around the pool area were always clean and tidy.
There was also a spa area, with an indoor pool, but we never used that.
There was a games area for children, but it was not that big.
The nightclub area, was also fine, entertainment every night, from kids activities up to 9pm ish…. and then dancing, magicians, flamenco etc later in the evening.
Other things to do with the hotel. Tennis courts, but we did not use them. Free parking, which was very useful, as we did hire a car for a week. Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The hotel caters well ( in my opinion) for wheelchair users, prams, etc, You had the obvious lifts to every floor, but everywhere had slopes as well as steps.
We felt that the people were generally the mature generation, with the few younger families ( from different countries) here and there. On a Friday to Monday the hotel did become quite busy and it seems as if the Spanish take long weekend breaks there. It was quite obvious some are regular visitors. I suppose the Spanish visiting confirms its a good place to be. The location of the hotel is actually in Torreblanca, which is the next village to Fuengirola, but they all blend it together. It was only a five minute walk to the sea front and what we found useful was the train station was only a five minute walk. The train was perfect for travelling along the coast to other resorts. It started in Fuengirola and went all the way to Malaga, stopping at various places including Benaldamena, Torrimolinos and others. The train stopped in the main shopping areas, so it was far better than a bus and cheaper than taxis. The trains were on time, about every 20 mins, they were air-conditioned, smooth electric, so also quiet. A typical journey for two people with return tickets was about 7 euros
Promenade, were long and flat, with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. The closer you got to the marina and main town of Fuengirola the more shops you had. The marina was nice to see and there is a weekly market there, but we did not use it)
Many of the other resorts along the coast are the same, but the shopping area of the other resorts are quite hilly. Malaga and Torrimolinos particularly. Again all steps and kerbs catered well for wheelchairs, prams with the slopes.
Beach/sea. The beach was clean and had plenty of sun beds and sun shades. the sun beds had a mattress on them, so it made them really comfy. So comfy, it is easy to fall asleep on them ( as I know). Two sun beds, one shade and usually a small table costs around 10 euros for the day. As for the sea, I was a little disappointed. I was expecting clear blue sea that you can see your feet in, when its only waist deep, but it was not that clear. The further out you went the better it got, but you had to be a swimmer. The beach shelves steeply in to the sea, so within about five steps you are past your waist. It was like that in most beaches we went on, not that we did them all. The best two we found was an area not far from the Fuengirola marina called California. ( the beach areas all had names). this was a more gentle slop and calmer sea, as it has a sea wall protecting it from any waves. the other place was 30 minute drive a naturist beach. ( clothing optional) where the sand was still clean and soft, but the sand was a very gentle slope in to the sea. Plus there was sand dunes, rather than everyone looking at you from the promenade.
Car Hire – we felt we found a great deal on car hire by just asking for rates in the first week and comparing them, including those offered by our hotel. Helle Hollis in Fuengirola did a great deal for us.
Jet2 going home. They arranged with the hotel to take our hold luggage early on departure day. It made it hassle free, as we then had breakfast, went back to our rom to finish off with the hand luggage and check out an hour or two later when the coach came to collect us. we did not see our hold luggage at any point from then until collecting it back at the Leeds Bradford airport. Great service.
So, to summarise. We had a great holiday. I would recommend it for the more mature person. There are some really luxury hotels, but we were happy with what we had. Fuengirola and the other resorts are all worth visiting. especially if you are looking for a relaxing, holiday, to sit in cafes or on benches and watch the world go by.