“ Address: Paseo Martimo 47 / Playa del Lido / Playamar / Torremolinos 29620 / Spain / Telephone: 952 38 17 44 „
After a grueling visit to Jerez and Seville, the thought of three days lounging around at a beach resort had a certain appeal. Torremolinos on the other hand, didn't. But short of uprooting this hotel and relocating to somewhere more tasteful, we were stuck. So why go there? Simples, for the hotel. As I said, we wanted a beach hotel and we wanted a nice beach hotel and we wanted an affordable beach hotel. Somewhere picturesque would've been nice, but in actual fact, HOTEL ISABEL is located in a quiet area of the town so it wasn't too bad at all.
ON THE BEACH
Well, not quite. The hotel's address is: Paseo Maritimo, Playa del Lido, Playamar so it's a safe bet to assume it's not in a rural, mountainside setting but rather close to the sea. And it is. Admittedly, you have to cross a road to get there, but as the hotel is situated at the far end of the town and there's not a lot of traffic on the road, it's no biggie.
It's far enough away from the busier parts of town that it's fairly quiet at night but it's certainly not remote and a few minutes stroll along the promenade will take you to the centre. Besides there are oodles of shops, bars and restaurants within spitting distance (although most object to that)
They offer covered parking at a charge but, apart from the weekend when the streets are jam-packed, you can park relatively close by for zilch. So I did.
OFF THE BEACH
Strangely, the main entrance is at the side of the building. Well I suppose with the pool area situated at the front, you'd hardly want to be lugging your luggage past scantily clad sunbathers, would you?
The reception area is pretty much standard for a costa hotel with acres of shiny, slippy marble abounding. It's not a large area and wasn't exactly overstaffed but it didn't take too long to do the necessaries and be on our way.
The hotel has two elevators, a normal one (normal in the fact that it's cramped, clunky and claustrophobic). The other is a glass, scenic elevator. Now, mabe I'm being over cynical (moi?), but a scenic elevator on a building that only has seven floors seems a bit optimistic. Especially one at the back of a building where the scenery consists of a supermarket, small apartment blocks and parked cars.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
We had requested a room on a high floor with a sea view (actually, we paid extra for the sea vew so that wasn't so much of a request as a contractually binding agreement) and we were given one on the third...close enough I suppose. The room was bright and airy, well furnished, and although the furniture was a little dated, it was all in good condition.
We had the usual bits and bobs which make life in a hotel room bearable, namely: two comfortable twin beds with stripey covers that matched the curtains (not to my taste, but I guess they didn't do it just for me) , a small dresser/desk with the minibar/fridge underneath. Thinking about it, it couldn't really be described as a mini bar as there was nothing remotely bar-like in it...in fact there was nothing at all in it. It was handy for storing cold drinks in though...more of a fridge then. I wasn't impressed with the fact that, in a four star hotel, this had to be rented, as did the safe. A little mean, if you ask me.
More marble in the shape of a floor - not just to keep the noise and danger levels up, but also to keep the room cool. The room was a decent size at 24m² and there was plenty of storage and drawer space in the large wardrobe. Great air conditioning and a nice touch was the tea and coffee making facilities.The room was well decorated and very clean.
We had an average size balcony with table and chairs which overlooked the swimming pool and over the beach to the sea. Very nice. Very quiet. Very relaxing.
The bathroom did indeed have a bath. Not only that, but also a shower (which was ok) and the rest of the porcelain themed acoutrements one might reasonably expect to find in a room of this sort. More marble, a lovely beige colour this time, adorned everything...exept the aforemention 'p.t.a.'s'...obviously. And the large, well lit mirror. Oh, and of course the abundance of towels which were thick, fluffy and large enough for the most ample of bodies. Toiletries were of the individual squeezy-tube type and were replenished as and when. Everything was very clean so no complaints from me in the bathroom department...thankfully.
That's the toilet, now the humour: I got fired today for downloading porn on the work computer and causing everything to crash.
Some would say that's a bit harsh.
But they're pretty strict at Air Traffic Control.
Nobody goes to a hotel on the Spanish costas to partake of the gym facilities, do they? Which is handy because this hotel doesn't have any. In fact the amenities consist of a swimming pool and a ping pong table. There's not even a restaurant - just a cafe-bar that sells snacks during the day. Luckily, there are one or two restaurants and bars in the town so it's not really a problem. It might be for someone who doesn't want to venture further than the hotel but then they should really go to one of those all-inclusive deals where you don't have to think for yourself. Nope, no complaints about lack of amenities from me.
We did partake of breakfast though. Well at only £5 extra on the room price (for both of us) we'd've been completely mad not to.
Breakfast wasn't too shabby. Plenty of choice of both hot and cold items coffee and juice and well worth £2.50 each for goodness sake.
We paid a paltry £66 per night for this hotel which I think was pretty good value. It ticked all the boxes for me regards location and the room itself. It's actually rated 3rd of Torremolinos hotels on Trip Advisor which, although not the word of Zod, is a pretty good indicator.
All in all a pretty decent hotel and one which I would have no hesitation in recommending to others or staying at again myself. And Torremolinos was much better than I expected as well. In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much we're returning to Toremolinos for a few days later this year. So obviously we will be returning to the Hotel Isabel...won't we?
We...ll, no actually. We'll be staying somewhere else. I hate repetition. I say I hate repetition.
The Hotel Isabel is a 4* establishment situated just across the road and promenade that run parallel with the playamar beach in Torremolinos. They don't advertise as being a stone's throw, but they legitimately could, and many of the rooms have at least a partial sea view. The hotel is a very short walk from, though not on top of a good range of sea front bars and restaurants including those obviously aiming at the Brits and plenty of others with a more international feel.
Torremolinos town is on a hill above the beach. It is walkable in about 15 minutes but would not be accessible for anyone who was not quite fit. There is a frequent bus service up to and from town and there is also a lift with its base about half a mile along the prom from the hotel. As everywhere in Spain, taxis are plentiful and cheap.
Even though the hotel is in Torremolinos it is not set up entirely for British guests; there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms and the only English language programmes available on the 14" room TV sets are BBC World and CNN. The TV also receives a full range of terrestrial Spanish TV, the French TV5 and RTL in German.
The hotel has a pleasant garden area with pool, tables and chairs, sunbeds and shade. This adjoins the hotel bar, which serves drinks in the garden area as well as indoors. There is also a table tennis table and a pool table, but I did not try these. Apart from that there is no entertainment laid on.
It has 70 double rooms. The one I occupied was taken up almost entirely with two giant single beds and bedside tables placed next to one another, leaving room for a small writing desk with the TV on it and a suitcase stand. There was no seating in the room apart from perching on the bed. The built in wardrobe had a three drawer chest inside it and a safe. The bathroom contained a shower, toilet, bidet and sink. There was a balcony outside with plenty of room for the two patio chairs and the patio table that were provided.
Everything in the rooms and public spaces was good quality and spotlessly clean. The bathroom gleamed and the body massage shower was a delight. There was no bathtub. The rooms have built in radio with speakers in both the main part of the room and the bathroom. Even though the radio stations are Spanish one of them played Radio 2-like music all day and all night.
Every room has free Wi-Fi; all you have to do is ask for a user name and password from reception. My laptop rated the signal as "weak", but it was consistent with no drop-outs. The reception staff were emblematic of all the staff in that they were formal, efficient and very polite. The impression was that they were professionals, who took a professional pride in providing excellent service.
My deal included breakfast. This was a self-service buffet with a good range of fullish English (well, egg, bacon, beans and a sausage and onion mix), toast, cereal, fruit, fruit juice, cheese and meat. The coffee was not up to normal Spanish coffee standards, being dispensed from a machine rather than being the real stuff you get in any Spanish bar. Apart from this, breakfast was good. They cooked the bacon and eggs in small batches, so there was no question of munching through a piece of leather masquerading as a fried egg.
Internal and external soundproofing was good, and each room has individually controlled air conditioning and heating.
I would rate this hotel as very good even if I had paid the rack rate of 85 euros a night in the low season. Considering that this hotel is available via the usual internet agencies for a knockdown rate (I paid £18 a night for bed and breakfast, in the low season for single occupancy) I have to rate it as a fantastic bargain.