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“STUNNING! THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET.”

Review of DDG Retreat

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242 reviews
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Overview
Tented camp -
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Casares, Costa del Sol, Province of Malaga, Andalucia

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 242 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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LuckyShoe...
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“STUNNING! THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET.”
Reviewed 23 September 2015 for a stay in August 2015

This is my first TripAdvisor review, and I fear I may come to regret it, if we can’t get in next time we’d like to book! DDG Retreat is just one of those places that plunges you into that dilemma of choosing between telling everyone you meet how wonderful it is - or keeping it all to yourself. This was our fourth visit. Here are 10 reasons we keep going back.

• Stunningly Serene – By the time we’ve unpacked our bags, we feel so relaxed.
• Stunning Views – Three countries , Spain, Africa and Gibraltar. Amazing!
• Stunning Pool – Small, eco-friendly and a beautiful blue (can natural water be THIS blue?)
• Stunning Casa – These casas are individually crafted. We love the attention to detail. We also love the coffee machines and the fact that there’s a small kitchen where we can prepare light lunches.
• Stunning Terraces – Our casa had three fantastic balconies. One for dining, one with a swinging day bed, and the third offering a chill-out sofa in the shade. All perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sun set.
• Stunning Spa – A wooden cabin in the trees and the spa treatment by Luisa is the best ever.
• Stunning Food – We can’t compliment Olga’s cooking enough. Simple fresh meals, beautifully presented and served. Lots of good restaurants within a short drive too.
• Stunning Location – Close enough to great beauty spots to explore the coast, the mountains and the local towns and villages.
• Stunning Nature – This doesn’t seem like Spain, it’s a tropical paradise. The trees, the flowers, the tweeting of the birds. Lovely to get back to nature,
• Stunning Service – Last, but not least …. discreet but great service, there when needed, but never intrusive.

We can’t think of a reason we wouldn’t go back for a fifth visit. If you are looking for an authentic and perfect place to relax, we can’t think of anywhere better.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Liked best: Everything
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
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  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copper9
Yorkshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Heaven and Perfection together in one place, a superb place to relax and unwind, with 5 star service”
Reviewed 22 September 2015 for a stay in September 2015

Please keep this place quite, the less people that know about this fantastic place the better then their will be a better chance for a repeat booking.
Just a beautiful location, designed for relaxing and unwinding yet close to the delights of Andalusia should you wish to venture further afield.

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Liked best: Relaxing in paradise with really nice people.
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCA1981
Gibraltar
1 review
“Ultimate relaxation”
Reviewed 21 September 2015 for a stay in September 2015

Only minutes from the Costa del Sol but you'll feel like you're hours away. The owners have thought of almost everything to ensure that you have no stresses at all during your time there - and while they are happy to help with anything, it is in no way overbearing and they make themselves available only when you need them. The location, rooms, spa services and amenities were all great and at times you feel like you have the entire retreat to yourself. Would not hesitate to visit again or recommend to anyone.

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Craig S
Chester
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Relax in a beautiful location”
Reviewed 4 September 2015 for a stay in August 2015

DDG Retreat is exceptional and unique.
It's located at the top of the world, peaceful and completely relaxing.
You can quite literally close the door and enjoy the views from your accommodation or use the facilities and still enjoy the views!
Staff, food and service are all great - nothing intrusive, but high quality.
Would recommend anyone looking for some peace and something a little different.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: Peace and the views
Liked least: Would have liked to stay longer!!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyandra B
2 reviews
“Amazing Experience!!”
Reviewed 31 August 2015 for a stay in August 2015

Had a lovely time at DDG Retreat last week, very relaxing, such a beautiful scenery and felt totally disconnected from everyday life! Owners were lovely, very welcoming. Great experience overall, definitely recommend it to others and will definitely be returning soon! x

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
beanbaguk
La Cala de Mijas, Spain
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting but we didn't feel relaxed and very overpriced”
Reviewed 27 August 2015 for a stay in August 2015

I want to start off by saying DDG is beautiful. We chose it as a mini-moon venue after months of wedding planning, hectic family visits and a place to relax after our wedding day. Our aim was to unwind and hide away with our own company and DDG retreat appeared to offer this. Their online philosophy also promoted calmness in the lodges with everything taken care of.....it looked perfect on paper.

The lodges you stay in are lovely, and incredibly clean. The initial welcome was very nice also with some fresh orange juice and warm wipes to clean your hands. So first impressions were very good.

Our introduction to the room was also very nice and initially our host appeared to be accommodating when we asked her for a meal the following night during our four day stay. She also took our breakfast order as well although we had to haggle for a time to have it served.

Once in our room, we settled in for the evening and made ourselves a meat and cheese platter that we picked up from the local supermarket and had a good nights sleep.

The following day we came down at our allocated time for our breakfast which was very nice and incredibly filling. We then went to our private garden to relax however before long, my wife was unfortunately stung by a venomous ant called a Fire Ant. This was of no fault of the resort but it meant she was in excruciating pain and I had to rush down to the local town to visit the doctor and get medicine for my wife.

On my return, I asked for our dinner to be served at our room, at which point our host appeared to get quite upset with me. I was told she was rushed off her feet and she was the only one cooking and my request would cause a huge problem. There was additionally no apparent compassion for my wife's situation and I was then berated for leaving the breakfast area before receiving our croissant and french toast which our host reminded us she had worked so hard to cook for us.

I was quite taken back but remained calm and polite with the host, reminding her my wife wasn't able to walk so bringing her down to the eating area was impossible. That and her medicine made her very drowsy.

She reluctantly agreed to bring the meal up to our room which I thanked her for and she rushed off muttering she had no time.

My immediate thoughts were that of annoyance and total surprise but I went back to my room to explain everything to my wife. We had our meal which was pleasant but we didn't feel very relaxed at all and it put a huge dent on our DDG experience.

The philosophy on the DDG website explains we should be able to relax in tranquility in the comfort of our room. We paid around €1800 for four days of pampered luxury, expecting our breakfast and meals at our room at at our discretion, but discovered DDG does not offer this.

Everything must be booked in advance. Breakfast is available between 8:30-11am, but what they don't tell you is you must book a time to have your breakfast. The same for dinner. You have to inform the staff the night before and book a time slot. We were told bringing food to our lodge was not possible as it would arrive cold and the presentation would be ruined but every other 5* resort I've been to has somehow managed this so I don't see why DDG cannot.

We did raise our concerns with Daria by email and she was very apologetic and sympathetic to our situation but as she was on vacation, she wasn't able to personally resolve the situation but I do give her credit for trying. She also refunded our final dinner which was appreciated.

Ultimately however, DDG did not come across the way others have described it. We found it to be very overpriced. While the staff were lovely, their restrictions in not being able to serve us in our lodge really did put a dent on our expectations.

The main cons were:
- Having to book our breakfast and dinner. When we chose a time it was invariably busy.
- Not able to eat in our room. It's a retreat. Without sounding rude, we didn't want to socialise or be around others. This is why we chose DDG.
- Our host telling us how run off her feet she was. If this is the case, DDG must employ more staff and quite frankly, guests don't need or want to know how busy the staff are.
- The lack of compassion from our host. With respect, if I'm paying 5* rates, so I expect a 5* service and even if we may be wrong, I don't expect to hear it from the host.
- The price. It's about €800 too expensive. For the same amount, we could have stayed in the Health House Las Dunas and had change left over. We stayed one evening there and we were pampered from top to bottom.

Pros:
- The setting. It's stunning.
- The lodges are beautiful
- The cleanliness of the lodges
- The staff were wonderful

My advice to the management would be to make it very clear breakfast is not possible in the lodge, but for this price I would suggest offering it.

The same goes for dinner. You mentioned it's not possible due to the presentation. Other hotels I've stayed at serve and prepare the food in my room so this does not happen. I'm sure DDG can do the same.

Also informing us how busy the staff are and how difficult it is for them to cope is not something that is of interest to a guest. We paid 5* rates so regardless of how busy they may feel behind closed doors, we expect to be unaware of this.

Overall it's a huge shame we didn't enjoy DDG. We hoped to unwind after months of planning our wedding and left feeling only mildly refreshed and ready to go home.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: Setting and our lodge (casa)
Liked least: On-site customer service provided by the host.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
14 Sep 2015
Dear Nick, we would like to thank you for a very detailed analysis of disadvantages that you have discovered at Retreat. Please allow us to comment on your review and to point out at some of your comments that were slightly stretching the truth...To start with we are not an actual hotel and nowhere on our site does it state this. Furthermore we have never stated that we are a 5 star place either. Maybe you have been confused with the 5 star rating due to our Guests leaving us 5 star reviews and Certificate of Excellence 2014 however all of this is just a point of view of our Guests and their experience...Third point to mention you have paid less that the amount you have stated in your review. We are liable for any information that we provide on our website. Our site does NOT state nor it NEVER did that we offer room service at your 'discretion'. During your stay with us you have already raised this issue with us and we have given you a detailed anwswer why we cannot offer room service. You have accepted our explanation and have replied with the following 'Thank you for replying so promptly and addressing our issues. The reason we wanted to stay at our house is simply because we've been surrounded non-stop during our wedding by 100's of guests and we just wanted to hide away with our own company for a few days but we understand the issues you face bringing the food to us'. So to explain again, we do not offer room service because it is technically not possible. However if you do not mind the quality of food you would consumpt - we do care about the quality of food that our Guests receive. All of our prices are listed on our website. During the booking proccess you have specifically chosen your Casa and extras with the package. So your opinion about it being highly over priced leads us to assume that the real reason behind this review is your personal offence that food was not delievered to you every day and your chosen time. Because the rest of your stay seemed to be fine. In the wonderful hotel Las Dunas, we highly doubt that you could have for this amount a private villa with closed territory, private plunge pool/jacuzzi, tropical garden of 400m and 3 private zones to relax with views over Gibraltar and African coast. We are sincerely sorry that our values did not meet... All the best, DDG
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy P
Long Eaton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Relaxation in Paradise”
Reviewed 16 August 2015 for a stay in July 2015

Our stay was truly incredible. We only discovered DDG from a chance reading of a website during a lunch break, and that led to the best holiday we’ve had. The ambience, styling, location and helpfulness of the staff is beyond anything we'd anticipated.

Keen gardeners ourselves we loved the plants, wildlife and style of the retreat. I’m a trained designer and enjoyed the vast library of Architecture and Design books on offer to inspire us. Finally, the food cooked was finer than any of the restaurants we tried. The attentive service, freshness of ingredients and romantic setting really ended each day on a high.

The highlight of the stay however was the team. Throughout the stay we were always greeted by our names, and each member was genuinely interested in our stay, our trips to Casares and our experiences at local restaurants. Alex booking ‘the best tables in the house’ for us at each restaurant was a great help.

We are already looking to next year when we can next visit, and already investigating which Casa we’d like to stay in

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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