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“Great Family Resort”

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Macdonald Leila Playa Club
Certificate of Excellence
Hawkinge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
427 reviews
158 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,275 helpful votes
“Great Family Resort”
Reviewed 4 June 2011

My 21 year old daughter and I stayed here for a week at the end of May and had a wonderful time. We do not own at this timeshare resort but swapped in from Marriott using Interval International and were not disappointed at all. We were allocated a 2 bedroom ground floor unit which was very spacious and looked to be newly fitted out - certainly all of the kitchen appliances looked brand new. The beds were comfortable - twins in both rooms which is a bit unusual - and we had a little internal suntrap courtyard off one of the bedrooms and a large terrace with table and chairs on the front which was great for lunches. The lounge/diner was very spacious and had a new smart TV which could also access the internet and play computer games. The glassware in the apartment was of extremely high standard - it felt luxurious. We ate out every night but many people appeared to eat in and you could easily do so.
Location: - about 40 minutes drive south from Malaga airport on the sea side of the A7 and accessed directly from the A7. This takes a bit of getting used to - not for the fainthearted - but it's not so bad, you just have to wait for a gap in the traffic rather than attempt anything risky. There is a shopping complex directly across the road - Sitia de Calahonda - accessed by pedestrian bridge and there you will find banks, a supermarket, restaurants, internet cafes and tourist shops. All really useful.
Facilities: We used the pool most days and there was always enough loungers and plenty of umbrellas. The gardens around the pool are particularly lovely, very tropical. The pool is not huge and the childrens end is delineated but not seperated by a low ledge wall. This means that the "adults" area of the pool has only a narrow part which you can stand in. Not a problem for swimmers but if you are an adult that can't swim you will be faced with either going in the kids end or remaining very close to the dividing wall. The property is directly on the beach and its quite nice. There are loungers and umbrellas here too for your free use. Right next door is a beach club where you can pay for loungers and umbrellas and receive service from their cafe. The loungers were 4 euro per day. Not a posh place but food looked great.
The resort has a very family atmosphere and most other people there we met had been coming for 15 + years. Lots of grandparents with kids and young families. Having said that it was extremely quiet, we were never disturbed. Our room faced outwards towards a pine forest, rather than on the pool or gardens and while at first I thought this was a disadvantage, I now think it gave us more privacy and peace. The resort also has a crazy golf course, tennis court, snooker table, bar, restaurant, gym, Turkish bath and indoor pool. We used the bar a couple of times to buy bottled water but none of the other services. Check in was friendly and welcoming and took a couple of minutes. You pay for your electricity use on top and ours was about 40 euro for the week. Wed used the a/c at night.
Area: There are a couple of restaurants within walking distance, most we used were a short drive.
The Beach Bar: down to the beach, turn left and walk maybe 200 yards. Fantastic rustic beach bar with slightly eccentric owner but wonderful meat and seafood platters at a cheap price. Good wine list. Right on the beach with great sea views.
The beach club: down to the beach, turn right and its there. Very casual and good seafood. very family friendly.
Drive: Rancho Grill: go south on the to the Las Chapas exit, about a mile. Cross the A7 there and it is on the roundabout at the side of the road. Fantastic atmosphere, family friendly, a la carte and set menu. The set menu at 17 euro for 3 courses is particularly great value and includes dishes from the a la carte, not cut down. Portions are very large.
Maxis Beach: Go north on the A7 about a mile. Just after the Macdonald hotel you will see Maxi Beach on the sea side - large pink building. It has a great bar and deck area over the sea and a wonderful atmosphere. Family friendly and excellent standard. Menu at 22 euro is good value and the fillet steak option was fantastic.
Japanese Restaurant: If you like sushi and Japanese food this is a fantastic little gem of a place. Go south on the A7 to the Elvira exit - about 3 miles. Take the exit and at the top of the ramp is a small shopping precinct. The Japanese restaurant is at the top end of it on a corner. Wonderful sushi, especially the 27 piece boat at great value. Good wine list.

Things to Do:
We took the hotel bus trip to Estepona market on Tuesday because I didnt want the parking hassle. Great market and most enjoyable time there.
We drove up to Ronda one day - about 50 miles. A spectacular drive up into the hills and a stupendous place to visit. Many historical sites, good shopping, lots of typical restaurants and views over the gorge is amazing. Dont miss a trip up there. Spend the day its worth it.

We didnt go to Marbella itself this time as we have been lots of times before but it is only about 7 miles down the road. There are many golf courses in the area if you play. Its a great part of the Costa Del Sol to stay because its peaceful and yet there is plenty to do around. I would certainly go back. We had a most relaxing and enjoyable time

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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3 Thank alliebdive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
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English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2011

Great location with beautiful view of the med especially when a little wind swept. Room very comfortable - home from home really. Only one complaint - watch out for the hideous horse blankets on the beds. Most of the staff very friendly - a couple in the restaurant/cafe bar could cheer up a bit. Cabo Pino is lovely, either for a walk along the beach or to eat in the evening. We did struggle to find other eateries close by though - there is always the option of a pizza from Lidl :-). Grounds are superb and the frogs very entertaining. Used the gym and although limited had a good work out. Road can be a little noisy but easily ignored. All in all really enjoyable holiday.

Room Tip: First floor apartments have the best of the sun
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank monkjojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2011

My husband and 2 pre-teen children stayed at Leila Playa for one week during the Christmas holiday. We loved this location!!! Our room was literally 10 steps from the beach. We enjoyed the most beautiful panoramic views of the Med Sea. The room was excellent and more than what we needed! The staff was extremely helpful and patient. We enjoyed everything about this resort! The hotel was a short walk to the market, a short bus trip to La Cala de Mijas, and a nice bus ride to Marbella. We walked to several places with the children and had no problems walking next to the highway which is very close to the hotel. Miniature golf and Giant Chess were a hit with the kids! The heated pool in December was also fantastic! Earplugs would be an added bonus so light sleepers may want to bring some. Although the sound of waves will put you to sleep. **If you do not have a local taxi driver, the hotel is a bit difficult to find even though it is right off the highway.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank AylaSecura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Epsom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2011

This little resort is like a home away from home, right on the beach. I was lucky enough to stay in a 3 bed apartment (sleeps max 8) in April, with wonderful sea views. Bring ear plugs as if the sea is rough it can be very loud, and the frogs provide a pre-dawn chorus.
We ate at the onsite restaurant, which was very quiet. Prices and dishes were ok, but nothing very special. The service is a bit patchy, but very friendly.
The pool is heated for some months of the year, which made an early morning dip very pleasant, however the jacuzzi is cold and exposed. I didn't use the steam room and sauna, but they looked like they could use refurbishment. The gym is 3 machines and some weights, but honestly if the weather is good why would you be in-doors?
There are some lovely restaurants to eat at within walking distance, Cabopino is a walk along the beach away, and has a number of extremely nice restaurants and bars - we ate at Julia's which is reasonably priced, and a good selection of dishes and La Dispencer(?) which is next door to Julias - again lovely food and some really nice staff. This restaurant also has a non-smoking section inside.
Some quick tips - although LP does provide soaps, gels etc they are on the small size, so bring your own. Ear plugs are a good idea (as before). There is a lending library by reception for swapping books. DVD's can be hired locally. The Lidl across the road is within walking distance, but nicer bread and cakes can be purchased from the bakery just outside of the next door super market.

Room Tip: Parking a car on site can be very tight
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Irocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

Our unit at Leila Playa was in the newer "tan" building, next to the building that houses the bar, restaurant and main lobby rooms. Our balcony wrapped around the corner of our unit, and from each window we had panoramic views of the Mediterranean. If you hit a golf ball off the deck, a 6-iron would put it in the beach, we were that close. The unit had a large living room area with two leather sofas, flat-screen TV, separate area for a pull-down bed for guests, and a very well equipped eat-in kitchen. I had no problem with the furniture. We came to be at the seaside, and it was very comfortable for that. Sliding patio doors opened onto the balcony where there was a table and 4 chairs, as well as two "tanning" lounges. Our bedroom was large, and had its own separate sitting area. The bed was quite comfortable and the bedroom attractive. We only wish it had a lit clock with alarm. Otherwise, there was everything we needed. The bathroom was roomy, and had an openable window. Robes were provided, and a towel heater, and towels were adequate. Bring along an extra bar of soap from another hotel, however, as you will only receive two small ones. Leila Playa's landscaping is stunning, with fountains, pools and streams running from the top of the property to the bottom, filled with lush vegetation, tropical flowers, palm trees, and walkways with charming little bridges. A gorgeous heated swimming pool was in the center of it with lots of lounge chairs for tanning. The complex is smaller than its sister Dona Lola, just 2 KM to the East, and thus more manageable. There is a walkway bridge over the A-7 front almost right in front of Leila to the grocery, pharmacy, banks (where you can get cash from the ATM's) a bakery and other stores. When we opened the windows at night, we heard the sea washing ashore and not the highway. Leila is easily accessible by car from Malaga, and is convenient with well-marked highways to Cordoba (a bit more than 2 hours), Gibralter (1 hour), Granada (a bit less than 2 hours), Ronda and Malaga. We mostly ate our meals in those towns while touring, so only had a couple meals at Leila or Dona Lola (you can use your Leila card and charge the meals at Dona Lola.) But, the meals were good (paella.) Get to the bar between 6 and 7 and it is Happy Hour with significantly reduced prices. We met marvelous people from the UK and other places at Leila, and were made to feel at home immediately. Leila was sparkiling clean. The staff were very helpful and friendly and courteous. We used it more as a base for touring than to stay and relax, but we did manage a walk down the sand to the marina at Cabopino. March was too cold to swim in the sea, but the pool was very pleasant. They warn you about the entrance being a bit concealed. That is because the bus stop shelter is right at the near-edge of the driveway entrance. It is easy to find, though, because it is immediately beyond the "green" pedestrian bridge. Put your signals on early enough and slow down. We only missed it once, on the first day. As for leaving, just watch for cars. All along the A7 there are similar places accessed from the highway. It is no big deal. Our electric charges for the week were 27 Euros, with no air conditioning being used. Getting back late from our excursions in Andalucia, we didn't partake in the entertainment, but it is there if you want it. We absolutely loved Leila Playa, and very strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a great resort experience on the Costa del Sol. (One word of warning while touring. Do NOT pay the self-styled, self-appointed "parking" attendants who will come up to your car or waive you into a spot. They are thieves. Parking on Gibralter at the cable car tram was FREE. And, don't pay any "parking guide" in Algeciras if you are parking for the ferry to Tangier or the bus to the ferry in Tarifa. These people will guide you to illegal parking spaces, take your money as though they are authorized to let you park there, and leave you to a ticket or towing. Especially, DO NOT let them come up to your car when you are waiting in line on the Spanish side in La Linea to cross over into Gibralter. They will try to cheat you if they think you are a tourist. IGNORE THEM, and park for free when you are there.) In summary, Leila was a perfect spot, almost idyllic, to linger for a week and use as a base for sightseeing. We very strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank TerryG49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2011

Stayed at Leila Playa last summer and had a great holiday.
The location is perfect and sitting on our patio with the sea less than 30 metres away was breathtaking. Close to everything but very peaceful.
Apartmsnt was large, clean and well equipped.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank wayout211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Arrowhead, California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2010

My husband, myself, our adult son, his girlfriend, and our adult daughter stayed here. We ranged in age from 23 to 53 and we all got had a great time. The entertainment was good, we participated in many of the nightly events and had a great time. It was so peaceful and beautiful. The apartment was amazing, clean and spacious. The service was amazing!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jo2119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Leila Playa Club

Property: Macdonald Leila Playa Club
Address: Ctra de Cadiz No 196, Malaga Sitio de Calahonda, Mijas, Spain
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Mijas > Sitio de Calahonda
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sitio de Calahonda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Macdonald Leila Playa Club 3*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Leila Playa Club Hotel Calahonda
Macdonald Leila Playa Club Sitio De Calahonda, Spain - Costa Del Sol

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