The Hotel Riviera is a hotel i went to not long ago with my family in the costa del sol. It is quite near torremilinos. When i first arrived i looked up to see the hotel and my first impression was it looks ok. When i had finally got all my bags i draped inside the door to be amazed. My opinion had changed from ok to amazing. I walked further in to find myself and my family in a huge reception area all nicely done up and looking very presentable. Then to my left was a massive bar with a dance floor and disco lights surrounded with loads of chairs and tables. It looked superb. Next it was time to check out the room and I was astonished. I walked in a freshly clean room everything up to standards and looking very nice. Also the view from the balcony was great aswell. I was on the side of the hotel with the view of the swimming and the beach. After i had had a look around and unpacke dit was time to check out the restaurant. This was also good. The restaurant is a self service buffet with a different selection of food every night. The restaurant looked out to the swimming pool and beach and had huge chanderleers hanging from the ceiling. A great added bonus that i found that i didn't find at some other hotels was that every single night there was a live performance by someone that spoke english and every sunday if you would like to see flamenco dancing that is on as well. When i was there they had a person who did bryan adams on stars in their eyes one night. Also the hotel is children friendly and has activities all through the day for them to get involved around the pool. There is two pools an indoor and an outdoor but you will almost certaily be on the outside one. Also there is a table tennis table and tennis courts. One great thing that made this place superb was that even though there is a road next to it you can't actually hear the traffic. Also at the back is the beach. All you do is walk
out the back gate and there you are. At night there is such a great atmosphere endless amounts of restaurants along the beach front that i recommend you go to at least one. Also it looks very nice. With all the lights lighting it up and the patterns that have been put down that is relatively new. Also down one end of the beach you can go into a beautiful harbour. All the boats are lined up in the docks and the whole way round there are shops, and more restaurants. When it is all lit up nat night it looks very good!! In the end i had the time of my life and i totally enjoyed and definitely thinking about going back because it is well worth it!!!
Villacana is a small villa complex to the South of Spain, lying between Marbella and Estepona. It succeeded in restoring my faith that there are fantastic holidays to be had outside of America. I didn't think that anywhere would be able to live up to the amazing, magical experiences that I have had in the USA but my holiday here was totally unique. I was a bit dubious when my Mum first told me that we were going to be staying in a villa instead of a hotel this year. What?!? No pool? No other guests to make friends with? No men to ogle?!?! But then she told me that there was a pool and that there would be other people near to us. Plus, the offer of bringing along my best friend was hard to refuse. Perhaps we could make it fun. We left Newcastle Airport (after numerous delays) on July 14th and arrived in sunny Malaga Airport three hours later. Then, after having to wait what seemed like days to actually find our bags, the nightmare continued as we had to wait another hour to get our hire car. At this point it was quite late and Rach (my friend) and I were both gagging for food. You can imagine our delight when we saw the big yellow 'M!' We ordered our McDonald's (quite skilfully in Spanish) and then headed off to the villa. Immediately what I noticed was that the Costa del Sol is a very youthful area with hundreds of kids meeting and enjoying themselves quite late at night. It was after 12 and it seemed that everywhere was buzzing. At the complex, I realised the mistake I had made, prejudging an area! Our villa was in a huge complex; a community in fact! It was like a neighbourhood with little streets and great potential for meeting people. We wheeled our little (or huge as Rach's case may be!) suitcases to the villa and collapsed on our beds. Waking up next morning we explored the villa. It was gorgeous! It was very spacious with two bedrooms (one twin and one double), a bathroom, a kitchen, a lounge area and a
patio. The only bad thing I could find was that the stairs were made of marble and were extremely narrow so I was bound to cause myself an injury after a fun night out! Exploring the rest of the complex we discovered there were four small pools (belonging to small groups of villas) and one large pool for use by everyone. Adjoining the pool, there was a huge grassy area (which became known to us as the grassy knoll) where everyone topped up there tan during the day. Villacana is situated right on the beach and there was easy access to the sea, the pedalos and jet skis. There were two beach bars (both of which served food), one posh restaurant (Casa Felipe's) and one bar (The Piano Bar). Just up the road, outside of the car park, there was a mini supermarket where you could buy all of your food and basic essentials. Tennis courts, a gym and a pool hall, as well as a hair salon and a laundrette were all in the nearby vicinity. WOW!!!! This was better than I could ever have imagined! So, what else could we do other than to change into our bikinis (it was too hot for anything else!) and go down to the grassy knoll to sunbathe. One thing we noticed straight away was that everyone seemed to know each other and everyone seemed to be Irish. This was obviously not the case but, as we found out later, the majority of the people had been coming to Villacana since they were born, if not before that. This was one of the main problems; it is very hard to break into a group when they have been established for 18 years or more! However, we did succeed eventually and met some great people, including all of the great barmen and waiters! They were all SO friendly and so funny! If you go, make sure that you meet little Diego - he may seem tough on the outside but he's a softy really! Rach and I basically fell into a rut after that; my mum and dad would go off and explore some random mountain or something whilst we would sunbathe for the day and then go out at
night. My mum assures me that there were loads of great places to see, which there must have been because they went to a different place every day! We did leave the complex once or twice to go to Puerto Banus (known to everyone as The Port) and Marbella. Both places were great for shopping and The Port's night life has a fantastic reputation. For our nightly entertainment, we were spoilt for choice. We had the beach bar (open until 12), the Piano Bar (open until 3), the Robin Hood (a quaint little English pub just a short taxi ride away, open until 3) and the Exotis (the club next door to the Robin Hood, open until the early hours). All were great, but be warned, things don't get going until late because of the late opening so you need lots of stamina. We also had a great time at the three Karaoke nights which excellent entertainment. The best has to be a Tuesday night at the Piano Bar, hosted by Steve who has every song you can think of on his books. Overall, Villacana is an excellent place to go if you're looking for a holiday that will suit everyone! Although very popular with the older teens, there was a huge selection of people spanning all ages. There were hundreds of things to do and there was no chance of anyone getting bored. Everyone is friendly and helpful and the complex is totally safe, with 24 hour security. The majority of the people in Spain speak English and, therefore, you will have no problem with language barriers. The villas are greatly ranging in size and price so you will easily be able to find the ideal villa for you. I had the time of my life here and, to prove it to you, I am now planning to go there for my holiday next year.
Being highly overworked and under-paid I decided it was time for me to recharge my batteries and take a short break. So a few old friends and me had a look around on the trusty teletext holiday section and found 7 nights in a hotel called the Minerva Jupiter in Benalmadena situated in the Costa Del Sol. The price was reasonable and the pictures of the self catering apartments and the pool that they had on offer looked great, so with a quick phone call we were ready for our trip to sunny Spain. Upon arriving thinks started to look bad straight away, the Minerva Jupiter was actually made up of two separate and very large apartment blocks; we were situated in the Jupiter, that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a housing estate. After checking in at the desk, which took longer than we expected due to Pedro (this was really his name) failed to find our room key, we headed upstairs to our very own apartment. At first the door would not open, perhaps this was a sign from above, as when my friend finally managed to negotiate the lock on the door it swung open to what appeared to be the gateway to Hades itself! The room was absolutely dire, as you walked in you had the kitchen to the left of you, supplied with a Moulinoux Microchef oven to cook and grill with, and two electric hobs, which were attached to the side of the sink basin. Now correct me if I am wrong but if I remember correctly from my school days isn't mixing water with electricity a very bad thing to do? To your right was the bathroom, this was comprised of a bath/shower, a basin, bidet, and a toilet all crammed into a room about 6ft by 4ft. This was a little restrictive as the shortest of my mates is 5ft 9". We took two steps forward to what would become our living room, and sleeping quarters. The total size of which was around 10ft by 15ft. We were supplied with two very squeaky and weak beds, and a sofa bed. I made a dash for the bed but after my much lighter frie
nd managed to break one of the boards supporting the bed by simply sitting on it I decided it best to opt for the sofa instead. We then headed out to the balcony, this wasn't too bad, as we could just about see the ocean over the other high-rise apartments in the area, and we had a couple plastic garden chairs and a table to sit at. As you can imagine for this time of year it was also very hot, but there was no sign of air conditioning or a fan. We enquired about this and were advised that we could hire one for the week. We refused, as in all honesty they were asking around an extra £6 pound for something that should have been supplied with the room. Don’t get me wrong I know that it isn’t much, and I am definitely not a skinflint (probably why I owe the bank so much money), but it was purely the principle of the matter. To put it bluntly we were far from impressed, and made a pact there and then to stay in the room as little as possible. So the next day we were went out in search of the luxurious pool which we had seen in the online brochure. This was much to our delight the case; the pool was built to cater for the two apartment blocks and as a result was extremely large, and very clean. It had a variety of different water depths, plus water slides and a smaller pool for the kids. There was plenty of space to sit down and catch the sun, and two bars for you to buy food and drink from. These however were avoided, as the prices were a lot steeper than we were prepared to pay when we had a shop outside selling the same things for half the price. We ended up spending most of the day sat at the pool. This was because going down to the beach was a bit of a mission as you had to abseil down and mountaineer back up due to all the slops and hills that they had decided to build the hotel on top of. In all seriousness the beach was only 700 metres away, but the hills made it uncomfortable to come back to the hotel as even cars struggled to
get up them in first gear! Other than the pool the hotel had very little else to offer. They were situated directly opposite a supermarket which made shopping for our self catering holiday a lot easier, and an Internet cafe next door so I was able to pop into Dooyoo a few times as well, at around £1 for 15 minutes though! As it was a resort there were plenty of bars nearby and restaurants if you fancy eating out, but the hotel itself offered non of the facilities that they advertised via their section on the Internet. We were promised a bar, supermarket, restaurant, and other amenities. But on arrival and having a good hunt around, and then after asking at reception we were told that it was just the room and the swimming pool. It appears that in their advertising campaign they fail to mention that all of the things that they have to offer are actually a short walk from the hotel and not actually on the site itself. Our time at this hotel was a mixture of good and bad, the room seemed to suck out our wills to live, as every time we were in there we ended up falling a sleep. The maid came twice in the week to change the towels and not much else. And the cooking and cleaning facilities were a joke. The hobs took 10 minutes to even get slightly warm, and once you had achieved a heat that may warm your beans you discover that they have supplied you with a tin opener! And taking a shower turned into a game of Russian Roulette as each time you took one you risked being electrocuted as there was an electric wire exposed in the bathroom. On the good side there was the pool, and the balcony, but for what we had paid we were very disappointed. To sum up if you are intending to go on holiday to the Costa Del Sol, and to Benalmedena avoid this hotel like the plague, or else you have a very high chance of catching it! If you fancy a gander take a look for yourselves at the following address: www.skyhols.com and then select search, enter in 3 ad
ults, no children, for seven nights and departing from Gatwick to the Costa Del Sol. This should present you with the option to see the Minerva Jupiter.
In a complete change of policy, we have abandoned Post Houses for something a bit more pleasant. The Don Miguel is on a hill outside Marbella, about 20 minutes walk, or 5 in a taxi from the main drag. Its about half an hour from Malaga airport just off the main motorway along the coast. It is a golfing and sport resort hotel, and operates on a philosophy that you don't need to go outside, but if you do, we won't make problems. You can go there on either an all inclusive package, full board, half board or bandb. It has a good but limited selection of conference rooms which are out of the way of the main hotel's activities. Facilities are not great, and its mainly for round table meetings, but you should take your own kit with you. Accommadation is pleasant with airy rooms with balconies. They are not really geared up for working in, and there were not really enough electricity points in the room, and no modem points. Food is mostly buffet style, but is of high quality and good choice. There is flexibility in meal times. One of the very good things is the hotel's flexibility for arrangeing meals for working groups separate from the guests of the hotels. These were imaginative, and the staff were helpful. There are good leisure facilities including a gym, and superb swimming pools out doors. Using this hotel off season is a great idea. Itis not too crowded, and there is no problem over housing a group pretty much together. We went mid June, and negotiated a rate of £40 per night for rooms, which is good value.
The Hotel Riviera is a hotel i went to not long ago with my family in the costa del sol. It is quite near torremilinos. When i first arrived i looked up to see the hotel and my first impression was it looks ok. When i had finally got all my bags i draped inside the door to be amazed. My opinion had changed from ok to amazing. I walked further in to find myself and my family in a huge reception area all nicely done up and looking very presentable. Then to my left was a massive bar with a dance floor and disco lights surrounded with loads of chairs and tables. It looked superb. Next it was time to check out the room and I was astonished. I walked in a freshly clean room everything up to standards and looking very nice. Also the view from the balcony was great aswell. I was on the side of the hotel with the view of the swimming and the beach. After i had had a look around and unpacke dit was time to check out the restaurant. This was also good. The restaurant is a self service buffet with a different selection of food every night. The restaurant looked out to the swimming pool and beach and had huge chanderleers hanging from the ceiling. A great added bonus that i found that i didn't find at some other hotels was that every single night there was a live performance by someone that spoke english and every sunday if you would like to see flamenco dancing that is on as well. When i was there they had a person who did bryan adams on stars in their eyes one night. Also the hotel is children friendly and has activities all through the day for them to get involved around the pool. There is two pools an indoor and an outdoor but you will almost certaily be on the outside one. Also there is a table tennis table and tennis courts. In the end i had the time of my life and i totally enjoyed and definitely thinking about going back because it is well worth it!!!
Two weeks ago, I returned home from a week in sunny Spain, or to be more precise, the Costa Del Sol (look out for my review of this soon!). My family and I stayed in the Hotel Siroco, in the town of Benalmedina, and here follows my review of this hotel. The hotel has four storeys, so it is not too big compared to other hotels tailored for package holidays in Spain, but is nevertheless very spacious. The corridors are a good width, the foyer area is large, with a reception, lots of comfortable setees and chairs to sit on, a large bar, well furnished and decorated cabaret room, a shop and left-luggage lockers. As you enter, there are two small (we found they only fit about four people) lifts on your left. The first thing I noticed when I entered the room was how clean and tidy it was. I could tell that at this hotel they really make an effort to clean the rooms thoroughly. A neat little touch was the special polythene wrap around the toilet seat, which had something like "Freshly sanitised" printed on it, and you had to remove it before you could use the toilet. The bathroom had a toilet, shower, bath, bidet and sink. There were plenty of fresh white towels, as well as soap, shower gel and shower caps. The bathroom was fresh, clean, and reasonably modern. The room had three beds, which were very comfy indeed. There was an excellent TV, brand new, with fastext, which had around 12 channels (the only two English ones were Sky News and BBC World, however). There was a very nice balcony, with a great view overlooking both the hotel's two pools and the Mediterranean Sea! Excellent! There were two pools ajoining one another at the hotel, surrounded by plenty of deckchairs. Although I didn't go in the pools, they looked very clean and attractive, and my mum + dad went in and said that the water was "freezing" at first, but after a while they got used to it. There was also a table tennis table, which was
free to use. The restaurant was clean (as with everything else in the hotel), and large. The meals were always buffet-style, you just helped yourself to whatever you fancied. Our package was a half-board deal, so we had breakfast and tea included, but they served dinner/lunch as well. The standard of the food tended to vary according to what you chose, they chips were always rather cold so they weren't very nice, but there was often some unusual delicacies such as squid and veal. There was a *very* wide selection of fresh fruit, my favourite was the mouth-watering melon, which I always had two pieces of for starters! Again, there were some unusual fruits that you would not find in Britain. There were also drinks machimes for fruit juices and hot drinks, such as Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Cappucino. At breakfast time, there was only two cereals to choose from, they were cornflakes and sugar puffs, which I thought was a bit limited, but there was a lot of other things to make up for it, such as crossaints, pain-au-chocolat, apple pastries, lots of hot items such as fried, boiled, poached and scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages etc. One of the best things about the hotel was the fact that it was so cosmopolitan. We met people from Germany, France, Holland, Spain, America and the UK who were holidaying there! The staff were all Spanish, and they were very friendly and helpful. Overall, an excellent hotel, but not perfect, mainly due to the standard of some of the food.