The Hotel Trebol is an excellent budget option in a convenient location near central Malaga.
From the cruise port it is a short taxi ride. From the bus and train stations take any local bus to Alameda Principal (most bus routes go to it, as does the 2 euro airport express bus), and then walk north about 200 meters. The hotel is on a quiet corner just north of the indoor farmers market (ask for Mercado Central de Atarazanas).
The Trebol is a small hotel with only 4 rooms per floor. Two face the street and have large windows and balconies. Two face air shafts toward the back.
On my recent stay there I had a small non-smoking back room with a double bed at the single room rate. The room was modernized with IKEA style furniture and a flat screen TV (no international channels). The climate control worked well and was quiet, although I did not use it much since my window onto the air shaft provided nice fresh air.
The shower (no tub) had fantastic water pressure -- a joy after a long day of sightseeing. The streets around the hotel are very quiet and I slept very well. Even the balcony rooms in front are probably quiet enough.
The front desk staff was friendly. I booked through Expedia and had no problem with my pre-paid reservation. Booking directly may be even cheaper. The hotel was good about replying to my email requesting a confirmation of my stay.
Next to the front desk is a wi-fi lounge for the free use of guests. There is no restaurant. I simply bought fresh fruit, bread, and cheese at the farmers market, and wine at the nearby small supermarket (southwest of the farmers market on the same street).
Malaga is a very tourist-friendly town, with several information booths offering free maps and good advice.
The Picasso museum is the most famous draw, but the small free art museum in the Episcopal palace, the free open air Roman amphitheater, the small museum of costumes and crafts, and the free modern art museum were all enjoyable.
The cathedral is impressive from outside but I did not enter since the tickets seemed over-priced.
Best of all, Malaga is very pedestrian-friendly, with many shopping streets and sidewalk cafes and crowds of locals enjoying a paseo in good weather.
For day trips outside Malaga, there are buses to the east and west along the Costa del Sol. My recommendation is Nerja, a picturesque beach community an hour by bus to the east. From Nerja, stop by the mirador “Balcony of Europe” and then walk to one of the fine beaches east of town.
Buses for both coastal directions leave from the main station west of the town center, and some also leave from the bus depot on Avenida Manuel Heredia near the downtown cruise port.
In summary, Hotel Trebol provides an excellent tourist class value, with small rooms, good rates, and a very convenient location.
From rooms have large windows and a balcony. Back rooms have a window on an air shaft but are fine...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC