“ Address: C/ Víctor De La Serna 1 / Marbella / 29600 / Andalusia / Spain „
It's been a good few weeks since I wrote my last reviews so i'm hoping to get back on track by reviewing Hotel El Rodeo in Marbella where I stayed at the end of June this year. After much deliberation I decided on Hotel El Rodeo as it seemed to keep coming up on the search engine results as one of the more reasonably priced hotels in Marbella in a central location near to plenty of restauarants, bars and the beach. The best deals for this hotel seemed to be via travelrepublic.co.uk. Before I went I read plenty of reviews on tripadvisor which were very mixed - some very bad and some very good reviews! I decided to think positively and risk it! On the whole it turned out good enough but I'll try to structure this review as best I can and give my overall balanced opinion!
As described on the various websites the hotel is in a great location which is one of its best points. It is located in the centre of Marbella (which is about a 40 minute taxi journey away from Malaga airport) right on the edge of the old town. It is just off one of the busier main roads in an area of tiny, narrow one way streets. The side of the hotel that we stayed in was quiet enough as it faced on to the narrow street side but the other side of the hotel faces on to the main road which is a lot busier and probably noisier.
From the front door of the hotel if you take a left and walk to the end of the road you will find the taxi rank which is very handy for going to Puerto Banus or getting a taxi to the airport etc. (Taxi to Puerto Banus is about Euro15 and a taxi to the airport is about Euro50). There are also horses and carts that you can go on from this road as well - (I used to always wonder why I was awoken to the sound of horses and what sounded like sleigh bells each morning!) The beach is a 5 minute walk downhill from the hotel and there is a mssive promenade that you can walk along the beach front which stretched for miles. You can also walk the whole way to Puerto Banus which we did one day along the coastal path which is about 7km away - and tough enough going in the heat! There are also plenty of shops, restaurants and bars not too far away from the hotel. The old town is just up behind the hotel which has a good selection of bars and restaurants.
As I mentioned above - the best deal that I found was on travel republic which worked out about £260 per person for the week full board. This was expensive enough for what it is but it was one of the best offers we could find as the hotels in Marbella generally tend to be expenisve.
THE HOTEL ITSELF
The hotel has 100 rooms and is 3 star. It is fairly basic and a bit dated but the main thing is it is very clean. There is a small reception area and only two lifts which are very small and hold a maximum of 3 adults. I wouldnt risk trying to squeeze any more in! The decor is all very 1970s and the rooms could do with being freshened up a bit but they were surprisingly spacious with large bathrooms - the shower was surprisingly good too. The was maid service every day with fresh sheets and towels. The rooms are described has containing a fridge in them but to be honest they are just small mini bars which dont have anything in them. We did our best to squeeze our bag of ice, beers and mixers in though! Just remember to take the ice out before you go out for the night otherwise there'll be a pool of water waiting for you on return! Each room has a TV and air conditioning. We never actually tried the TV but the air conditioning came in handy.
One negative aspect of the rooms is that the walls are quite thin. Luckily enough we didnt hear too much as there didnt seem to be many people about but I did hear someone being sick one morning!
The views from the hotel aren't great either as it's in quite a built up area so you are basically looking out at other buildings which tend to be private residences or office buildings. The balconys though are quite spacious.
Ok, this is the worst thing about this hotel!! Before booking I read mixed reviews about the food in the hotel and to be honest they were mostly bad but because the deal I was getting worked out better with full board I thought I would risk it as I thought even if the food isn't great, surely there would be something decent enough which would do and therefore save a bit of money rather than eating out every night as generally Marbella is quite expensive. I was wrong. Take my advice....NEVER EVER waste your money on full board with this hotel. The bad reviews I read about the hotel are true! When we first arrived it was lunchtime so we decided to give it a go before we went out to find our bearings. We were the only people there and it was a buffet of supposedly hot food....but it was freezing. I chose a selection of things which were not good at all - all the meat was just pure fat and the galmon was like rubber! So I thought the chips might be ok - but no they were freezing too. So we all settled for melon and ice cream...which was great! That evening we thought we'd risk dinner to see if that was any better....but no! Dinner was a mixture of the same things still sitting out since lunchtime plus a new batch of unidentifiable cold things! We perservered again the next two days but after three days of living on ice cream for dinner and waiting until our end of night pizzas we decided to cut our losses and spend the money eating out the rest of the holiday! The full board option didnt even include any drinks either which had to be paid for separately and the restaurant staff wouldnt allow you to bring in your own water....though pleading ignorance to what they were trying to say always helped so they usually gave up! Just dont eat the food here at all! Maybe bed and breakfast would be ok but certainly nothing else.
There is a bar in the hotel but it's dead and no-one seems to use it so dont be coming to this hotel if you are expecting any kind of entertainment or bar atmosphere. Again, the website describes having a pool side bar but this doesnt seem to open any more....what they now have is a coke machine!
The swimming pool is on the roof top and I have to say is pretty disappointing! It is a very small pool which is more or less covered by a glass roof so it's a bit like having a swimming pool in a conservatory or a greenhouse!! There are a few sunloungers at the pool as well. It's alright if you want a bit of peace and quiet as there never seems to be that many people at the pool. The beach is so good and handy that most people tend to just go to it.
On the whole the hotel is alright if you aren't expecting too much and just want somewhere clean to rest your head which is in a convenient location. It's definitely not the type of place you would go to stay in if you are expecting the kind of 'holiday resort' type atmosphere that you might find in other spanish resorts/tenerife etc. It is very much more like a city break type hotel. If I was going back to Marbella I wouldn't rule out going back to the hotel but i'd probably go for a villa next time which can be better value for money. If you do decide to stay here take my advice on the hotel food!! Normally I can eat anything, even if it is rubbish but this was the worst i've ever had and after a few days it does start to get you down!