I stayed in a Riu in Nerja over the New Year and someone told me there was a good Riu in Torremolinos. I checked Tripadvior and that confirmed the comments. Since I had a free week at the beginning of March and wanted some time to work on a new book I’m writing, I went off to the Riu Nautilus.
The hotel has just been refurbished. The rooms are in two tones – grey and white with purple curtains, seat covers, and bed covers. The room not particularly big, but adequate. Public rooms are attractive and everything is shiny new.
The dining room is very cramped even though there are two sittings, but the buffet style breakfast and evening meal provide both plentiful and good food.
However, my stay was not entirely enjoyable. Riu is famed for its friendly and helpful staff. That did not extend to the Nautilus. When I arrived at 8pm I handed over my Riu card to the guy on reception, I got a less than warm reception. I said I’d requested a room with a view and was told my room did have a view. It was 8.05 and I was told I had ten minutes to get to dinner. At dinner I wondered round lost until a waiter led me to a table (at other Riu’s there were often people to greet diners),.
Anyway, after dinner I went to my room. No view. It was on a low floor (I’d asked for a high one and even emailed the hotel). It was facing another building a few feet away. Hard to imagine something worse. Reception told me it was too late to change but they’d note my details.
I went back the next day. The receptionist had a similar unwelcoming style and said they’d let me know when something came up. I never did hear from them again. I was also told that all rooms were the same and yet I heard some tourists complaining that they’d been give rooms with showers and not baths. I myself had a shower in spite of having a booking reference that clearly stated a room with a bath.
On the last night I went to pay my bill and they wouldn’t let me pay until the dining room closed several hours later. I explained that I hadn’t had anything to drink – but that didn’t help (I was leaving early the next morning and wanted to pay before going to bed). On another occasion when I asked about shopping my question was answered in a remarkably cold and terse way. A least welcoming place I can’t imagine.
I’ve been to few hotels where all my contacts with reception were so uniformly negative – and it’s certainly never happened at a Riu. This is one place I am not likely to return to, and a place where the consensus seems to be at odds with my experience. Curiously, I did meet someone here who told me that she’d been before, and said that the changes has not all been for the better.
Note that I've given my room a very good rating. The room itself is ok. I don't like the location. It may even suit some people. My problems were almot entirely with the indiference of the staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Located 2 km from Torremolinos* 3-storey and 7-storey buildings* 2,500 garden* Separated from beach only by the beachfront promenade* 700 m from Puerto Marina* 700 m from various shops* 8 km from the Malaga airport* 100 m from a bus stop ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Nautilus Torremolinos
- Riu Nautilus Hotel Torremolinos
- Hotel Riu Nautilus Torremolinos, Costa Del Sol, Spain