We stayed in Rancho La Paz as part of a week long riding tour that they offer around Andalusia. As part of this tour, we stayed in Racho La Paz at the beginning and end of our stay and made use of their horses and guide throughout the rest of the week while staying at other resorts that they booked for us.
Overall, while we enjoyed the riding aspect of the trip, the poor service and food and the mediocre standard of the accommodation led to a great feeling of frustration amongst our party and all other members of our group.
There are several other reviews on this site with which we agree wholeheartedly and are worth reading.
Rancho La Paz
The accommodation is quite basic, although in a nice setting and attractive countryside. We were extremely cold in our rooms, although we did stay there in December(!). Riding is really the only activity at the hotel for which the facilities are good. There are a large number of horses and stables etc that will appeal to horse enthusiasts. There is a pool, which we did not use due to the weather. The Ranch is situated about 20-30mins by taxi from the beach and from any shopping. However, there are some suggested walks to local villages.
The food at the ranch was very poor and consisted of canteen style food. Most meals were a piece of meat + chips. Canned (Heinz?) soup was served on one occasion. Desserts were equally basic. Breakfast consists of little more than bread and jam etc.
All drinks at the ranch are extra (ranging from 1 Euro) for a Coke. Although prices were not high, we felt that given the price of the trip these could have been included (particularly at mealtimes, and definitely orange juice at breakfast!!!) It also annoyed us that drinks were offered as if they were free, and then we were asked to pay for them afterwards!
The staff at the resort were rather sullen and not very friendly and we encountered several occasions where services were 'offered' to us, only to find later that they involved extra cost.
We were accompanied by a tour guide throughout our tour who lead the group. She spoke only German and it was left to us to translate her instructions to an Australian lady in our party. The guide remained at the front of the group throughout the whole tour and offered no local information/stories or history whatsoever. Unlike other similar tours we have been on, she made no attempt to engage with the group or to include everyone and seemed to make an effort to remain on her own to drink and smoke in the evenings. We did not appreciate her smoking at the table at mealtimes!
We stayed at two hotels during the tour, both of which offered an acceptable, but basic, level of accomodation (2*). The meals offered were equally as poor quality as at the Ranch. It was clear that there was a very small budget available for food (not in proportion to the total cost of the trip). Meat and chips was served at almost every meal with no fresh vegeatables or fruit. There was a very poor (in some cases zero) choice. Breakfast consisted of a roll with jam, and orange juice was once again extra (2 EUROS!). One of our party was allergic to fish and this proved difficult to arrange. On one occasion she was served the same Tuna salad as everone else, with the tuna scraped off the plate!
The organisation of the tour could also have been better. While the area around the ranch is quite attractive, the tour took place further around the coast where the landscape was rather more ordinary. Due to heavy rains in the previous week, some of the normal route was inaccessible. Since the guide had no local knowledge of the area, we resorted to riding for long distances on roads, which became rather monotonous. Although the poor weather could not have been helped, it would have been nice if the route had been adapted appropriately.
Once of the days (Wednesday) was a non-riding day and involved a visit to the Royal Andalusian Riding school. This was interesting, except the main attraction (a show) only takes place on a Tuesday or Thursday, which we therefore missed. Another example of the poor organisation of the tour.
On a positive note, the horses were well trained and manageable for all members of our group despite the varying levels of experience. The saddles and tack were comfortable and in good condition.
Overall we felt that the experience was very let down by the poor accommodation and food, the unfriendly attitude of the staff and the poor organisation of the tour. It was clear that there was tremendous potential for this to be an excellent experience, and it was frustrating that this was a long way from being realised. For such an expensive tour you would expect a much higher level of amenities and service. We therefore would strongly urge you to look elsewhere if you are considering this type of riding holiday in Spain
- Also Known As:
- Rancho La Paz Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol