I agree with the reviewer who said that good reviews on TA raises expectations quite high, and with that in mind, Alavera de Los Banos was not quite what we expected. It is a very small hotel, more like a guest house, with a very nice Moroccan vibe to the decor and is situated a little out of the main town area bang next to the Arab Baths. It has limited parking. If you are driving, ask for directions from town, as it is a bit difficult to find with the GPS alone.
The rooms are small. We were 3 of us (one teenage son) and we got a double room with a folding cot! Luckily my son is a no-fuss sort. The space is tiny, with just enough place for your bags. There is no tea/coffeemaker in the rooms, but you can order drinks in the lounge and pay for it. The beds are quite firm, which we don't mind, but may not suit those wanting super soft beds. Also, there is no aircon in the rooms. I thought we would have a tough time this being summer, but it all worked out fine and we were quite comfortable. The fan was enough despite the heat of July, and the room was quite cool. The wifi is weak, and you need to go to the lounge area to access it.
I agree with the reviewer who spoke of a smell of damp - we were on the ground floor and the room overlooked the road. The attached bathroom is fine, a good size with fresh towels and decent toiletries, shower and bidet. The lounge is like being in someone's living room, with a selection of books, board games and comfy sofas. Nice. The pool is very small but fine if you want just a dip or sunbathe and not do laps.
Owners Christian and Miriam are always around to help and assist, and at night you can help yourself to drinks from the bar and sign a chit for it - the honesty bar system, which worked fine. There's tea/coffee, wines, some spirits and brandy at the bar. There is no restaurant in the hotel, so you have to step out to eat. Breakfast, which is included in the room rate, is nice, just enough but not anything special. Juice, tea/coffee, bread, some slices of fruit, cheese and ham - no cooked food. But more than enough to start the day with. The breakfast is served in the terrace garden - very pretty with a little fountain. This is the best part of the hotel. Quiet and peaceful, overlooking a stable which had a mare and her foal among the horses in the paddock. Very nice!
The walk up the cobblestone path from the hotel into town is certainly do-able, unless you have health or fitness issues. My husband and son who are very fit, would run up and down in minutes. I didn't find it too difficult either, and we would do it at least twice a day.
Ronda is a lovely, quaint town with character, and our 3 nights there were lovely. Great eateries (try De Locos Tapas - brilliant tapas at ridiculously cheap prices a bit of a walk away - we went twice because we liked the food and the owner-chef, Guillermo, so much) and Traga Tapas (a little pricier/fancier) in the more touristy part of town, just off the Parador plaza. Also, we had a lovely dinner at Casa Santa Pola, which has a terrace overlooking the gorge - stunning view and good food, a bit pricier.
Overall, Alavera was nice, simple and efficiently run. Comfortable but not luxurious. Do scale down your expectations if you are planning to stay here, and you end up happy - this is no 5 star hotel, more like staying in someone's home. The owners are friendly and helpful. If you're looking for luxury, pick the Parador.
- Also Known As:
- Alavera De Los Banos Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the medieval jewry of Ronda “Alavera de los Baños” is a small family business offering affordable accommodation.Alavera´s nine rooms are all fitted with central heating and en suite bathrooms, and have superb views of the Serranía de Ronda and the city walls surrounding Ronda. At the back of the hotel is a split-level garden complete with swimming pool and garden furniture. ... more less
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