“ Address: Plaza Independencia S/N / 29620 Torremolinos / Spain „
The bad weather was starting to get me down so I started looking into going away for a few days somewhere sunny. My main criteria for the holiday was that it had to be cheap and somewhere sunny so I focussed my search on Spain in particular the Costa Del Sol region as I know the area quite well and could be reasonably confident that in the beginning of June there would be quite a bit of sun.
We ended up booking a package through Expedia which for 450 Euros included 5 night's hotel, car hire and flights for two. The hotel portion of the package worked out at just over 100 Euros for the 5 nights and the hotel we were allocated was the Picasso hotel in the resort town of Torremolinos.
For the money I was expecting a basic hotel and frankly I was a little scared it would be so bad that I might regret going so cheap but in the end whilst not exactly singing its praises I left the hotel Picasso having enjoyed my stay.
The hotel was fairly easy to find as it is located just off the main road into the town from the airport and although we drove around for half an hour looking for it once we realised where it was I was happy with its positioning.
It is located on the Plaza Independencia which is only a couple of minutes walk from the main area with the bars and restaurants. The beach is a little further and is about a 20 minute walk from the hotel and getting to the beach involves walking down some steep steps so people who have trouble with walking need to be aware of this. Also for disabled guests to the hotel it does have elevators which would fit a wheel chair.
We checked in and were allocated out room which was at the back of the hotel facing a square with a few cafes and a church next door. There was a balcony with some chairs and I was pleased with the location of the room until the next morning when I realised that the balcony faces a building site which started work at 8 in the morning until about 8 at night. This wasn't the hotel's fault but if you are looking for a quiet room then I highly recommend that you ask for a room at the front of the hotel at least for the rest of 2011 as the building project isn't due to be finished until 2012.
The room itself was extremely basic and sparse with only two single beds, a desk, telephone and a TV. There was also a built in wardrobe with extra blankets and a mini safe. To use the safe you needed to pay a deposit to the hotel for the key. You also needed to pay a deposit to the hotel for the remote for the TV but we never bothered doing this as the TV was just an old potable so we didn't think they would have any English channels.
Everything was quite old looking and it desperately needs a refurb but it was spotlessly clean. The en-suite bathroom had a toilet, sink, bidet and bath with shower and this was surprisingly modern and the shower was quite powerful and hot water was plentiful. There were enough towels for two but another couple would have been nice. The room also had its own independent air-conditioning unit which came in handy as the temperatures were quite high.
Breakfast was served on the first floor and was included in the price of the room. Again because the hotel was so cheap I wasn't expecting the breakfast to be up to much but to be honest it was better than I have had in some four star hotels.
There were coffee machines, juice etc and the food was served as a buffet. There was the usual cold meats and breads but there was also a hot food selection including bacon and some Spanish dishes such as tortilla.
Breakfast was served between 8 and 10 and was always busy but the room was large with enough seating for everyone and the food was replenished in a timely manner as soon as it started getting empty.
The amenities at the Picasso weren't great. There was a lounge bar, a café adjacent to the reception and a restaurant but this seemed to be full most night with Spanish guests who had dinner included in their room rate.
Apparently there is a swimming pool but there were no signs in the hotel pointing to it and we couldn't find it when we looked.
There were signs pointing to a guest lounge and games room and when we went to have a look at these the lounge was basically a small room with a TV and the games room was another small room with some tables and chairs and 1 board game and a pack of cards which I though was a little dire.
The staff at the Picasso were all really friendly and polite and spoke excellent English.
The hotel also doesn't have its own car park which we knew before arriving and we used the shopping mall car park which was located about 10 metres from the hotel. When we enquired about parking just in case anything had changed they told us they had an arrangement with the car park we were using which meant that guests at the hotel could use the car park for 7 Euros per 24 hours which was a considerable saving on the price the car park charged non hotel guests.
If we had been paying 100 Euros a night for the Picasso then I would have been disappointed and frankly annoyed but because it was so cheap I really think it was a bit of a bargain. Yes it is basic but for the money it more than lived up to my expectations and thanks to its location and the excellent breakfast it actually exceeded them.