We stayed at LIFETIME VACATION CLUB AT MIRAFLORES, 29649 MIJAS-COSTA, MALAGA, SPAIN from Saturday 14-21 APRIL 2012 on an exchange through Interval International.
We completed the check-in procedures with no problem but had to pay €28.50 energy surcharge/electricity fees; €25 (including €10 deposit) for use of the safe for one week and €15 for an internet router as there is no wi-fi throughout the resort. So we were out of pocket €68.50 before we got into the unit. American and some other travellers may question the practice of charging fees for use of a safe (especially given all the reports of theft at this resort), although this has been commonplace in Spain for a great many years. Equally, in my view, all resorts should have free wi-fi throughout these days and, although the charge was not excessive, the service was poor.
(In order to recover the safe deposit it was necessary to return the activator pin thus disabling the safe, the night before we left, as the reception was not open before we were leaving in the morning.)
On returning to the unit after dinner on the first night, the internet router was installed but the Movistar system would not accept the password given by reception. A technician (who doubled as the minibus driver, or perhaps it was the other way around) was called and delivered a replacement router but this did not accept the password either. I knew more about routers and passwords than the so called technician. I was then supplied with a mobile internet stick “as a favour” by the resort staff (since the Lifetime Vacation Manager was not available until the Monday) which worked on the Saturday night and Sunday morning and then ceased to operate. To cut a long story short, I did not get a working internet facility until the Monday evening, which caused me a great deal of inconvenience with business and personal email. The speed during our stay was a somewhat less than lightening 0.82 Mb/s to 2.56 Mb/s but mostly under 1.50 Mb/s. I was still charged €10 for the 4.5 days use and no compensation for the inconvenience over the first weekend.
We were housed in Rancho Miraflores I, which was a considerable distance uphill from reception and apparently one of the first buildings on the extensive site, built approximately 25 years ago. Little, if anything, appears to have changed over that period.
The good news is that this third floor unit (310) has an excellent view along the coast to Gibraltar (see picture). The bad news is……
The bedroom had twin beds and a curious fitted headboard covered in (colour coordinated!) material which had not been dusted or cleaned in a long time (see picture). The bedside clock was covered in a thick layer of dust (otherwise the apartment was clean). There was ample hanging space but no drawers in the bedroom other than one small drawer in each bedside cabinet. However, there were four open wire shelves within the wardrobe unit which were adequate for our needs for a week’s stay. The beds were comfortable although each had an oblong, rounded pillow. There was a small balcony off the bedroom which had double glazed patio doors. We had to jam some kitchen roll at the top of these doors to prevent them from rattling (it was a bit windy during our stay).
The bathroom housed the washer/dryer; water tank; double wash hand unit; toilet and bath tub with shower over. The towels were very poor quality and two of those supplied had holes in them (see pictures). Some shampoo and bath gel was supplied but oddly no hand soap. After one person takes a shower it is necessary to wait approximately half-an-hour (according to reception) for the small water tank to refill sufficiently for a second person to take a shower at a high temperature. Failure to wait will mean that the second person finds the water temperature gradually reducing and, if the second person is a male, then the water after showering will not be warm enough to shave. If there are four people sharing the unit it would be necessary to stagger shower times or for two to shower at night and two in the morning. There is a curious open shower type hose on the wall to the side of the toilet – which may, at one point, have had a shower head on it as some type of bidet device (although without the normal sanitary ware that one would expect to accompany this type of system).
The kitchen and living room are on a split level (see picture). The kitchen was adequately supplied with the usual pots and pans, crockery and cutlery. The warning light on the oven temperature gauge was missing. The lid on the coffee machine was broken and the replacement coffee machine supplied had a metal jug which did not keep the coffee hot and had a stopper that did not have a pouring facility leading to a potentially dangerous accident. A third coffee machine was supplied, that did not have water level markings on the jug or the coffee unit itself. The turntable on the microwave did not revolve. There were inadequate sockets which led to us requesting an adaptor in order to use both the coffee machine and the kettle at the same time. We interchanged the toaster and the microwave plugs. There was a fold-down table but in our opinion if four people had been dining, space would have been at a considerable premium. The water did not drain from the (dual) sink when the shower in the bathroom was in use!
The furnishings in the living area were long overdue to be replaced (see pictures of faded chair/sofa arm-ends). There was a modern TV with an adequate number of channels in both English and Spanish. There was an ancient, bashed freestanding floor lamp.
In our opinion, this unit/resort does not warrant an Interval International Silver/Select rating and would only achieve such a rating if it had a complete refurb of all furnishings and equipment.
We did not use any of the clubhouse facilities, including the restaurant and bar. There are three restaurants approximately half-a-mile from the resort reception area (about a mile from the unit). We had a good meal and service in La Plaza (Ristorante Italiano) although it is a bit pricey and a perfectly adequate pizza in the much cheaper Mamma Nostra (Ristorante Pizzeria). We did not try the Chinese restaurant. There are two supermarkets in the same group of shops – Supermercados Mas is cheaper and has greater variety; but OpenCor is open longer hours. There are more restaurants at La Calla de Mijas at the next junction towards Malaga but traditional Spanish food is hard to find.
It is essential to have a hire car. We took day trips to Mijas Pueblo, nice but a bit touristy; Antequera, an historic town approximately 45 minutes inland; Estepona, which we found a bit disappointing; Malaga old town where the Picasso Museum may be worth a visit; and Benalmadena/Fuengirola which has a very pleasant paseo and good fish restaurants in the La Carihuela area – we ate in La Zoco and had a great mixed paella, postre casa (the usual flan type desert) a decent bottle of white Rioja (their house white, €8.90), coffee and a gratis local cream liqueur "orujo de galicia" as “un digestivo” for a total of a very reasonable €38.30. We can also recommend Restaurante Entrecote in Los Boliches-Fuengirola where we enjoyed the filet steak.
If you do not go with high expectations of the resort itself then you will not be disappointed with plenty to see and do within a short drive.
NB: Apparently not all the photos were uploaded.
- Also Known As:
- Miraflores Vacation Club Hotel
- Miraflores Vacation Club Hotel Mijas
- Miraflores Vacation Club Mijas, Costa Del Sol, Spain
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Miraflores is a vacation resort built in an Andalusian "pueblo" style with small groups of apartments and villas no more than 2 or 3 stories high. All apartments have beautiful views of the sea, the mountains, or the golf course, or a combination of all three, surrounded by sumptuous gardens with palm trees, flowers and tropical plants, all competing with each other in their beauty. You will be greeted by the Reception staff upon arrival and you will receive all the information needed during your stay. The Club House where the reception is situated includes a marvelous restaurant where you will be able to enjoy a breakfast, lunch or a gastronomic dinner and live entertainment surrounded by the exquisite gardens and water cascades. The resort includes a Sports Centre with newly built clay tennis courts, an 18 hole Golf Course and a number of services at your disposal. The number of Gardens, and their lushness create this very special atmosphere of privacy, an impression which is further reinforced by the presence of private swimming pools for each little group of apartments. ... more less
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