Stayed May 2013
The San Fermin is a 3* budget hotel – and essentially that’s what you pay and that’s what you get.
There were some genuine plus points which deserve a mention. I’d emailed the hotel a few days before going and got a prompt reply confirming my reservation was all in order. When allocated our room, we found that our request for one away from lifts and on higher floor had been met. The hotel was clean with the room cleaned and towels changed every day. Room, though small, had tv and air con at no extra cost and had a safety deposit box available for 2.5e a day plus 5e deposit. Bathroom had a hairdryer, bath with shower, always had hot water and basic toiletries were supplied.
So far so good and for these reasons I don’t want to over criticise the place but, there are some issues there and I can see why people might not always be happy.
It is on a steep hill which, though ok for many, would be unsuitable for wheelchairs or those with mobility problems.
The room had a single glazed door onto the balcony and to me, it didn’t seem to be safety glass. Although ours wasn’t a family room anyway and it didn’t pose a problem for us, that would be a concern if you have young children.
The food – perhaps the thing most reviewers seem to criticise - was patchy. Some of the things that were always available were good though – the breads, cold buffet, salads, fruit etc . But some of the main courses that changed each night were bland or unpleasant and the choice wasn’t too great. However, they always had the “Safety net” of burgers, pasta\bolognese available. Desserts were essentially cold rice pudding or fresh fruit and ice cream though one night had a chocolate fountain and another a selection of cheeses. On the whole, there was always something to choose – but many visitors will be familiar with buffets with wider choice and the things that came out once a week here, being permanent features elsewhere.
Didn’t try the pool – water too cold in May – and didn’t watch the entertainment either - though there was flamenco, parrot show , singers etc during the week.
Hotel had a wide variety of nationalities including Russian, Polish, French , Italian , Spanish and a minority of British – probably because it doesn’t seem to be listed with one of the major uk tour operators like the Bali next door which was receiving regular coach loads of Jet2 clients for example. But a minority of Brits is not necessarily a bad thing!
We found the staff courteous and efficient though admittedly it was early season and relatively quiet.
Because of the few gripes, I’d struggle to recommend this place to a friend but if you’ve already booked don’t fret. Just don’t expect 5* at 3* prices - be a bit forgiving and relish the fact that the money you saved on the hotel goes a long way when you leave the hotel.
The San Fermin was about a 20 minute walk from Benalmadena train station and the train direct form the airport was only 1.95e each and only took 15 minutes or so. Strangely, getting the bus back to the airport was 3.60e each – but we chose that because the bus stop outside the MedPlaya hotel was only a couple of minutes away so easier to carry the bags.
In the resort itself, well worth a visit for those with a head for heights is the cable car (look out for 2e discount cards in foyers or on the back of bus tickets)- visit on a clear day when you can see the top of the mountain and there’s not too much wind about and you’ll enjoy tremendous views and even a twice daily falconry display. Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Malaga are all easy on the bus (1.60e each way and 1.90e each way for Malaga) with Torremollinos a short walk and Feungirola walkable in a morning. Benalmadena has some quite steep hills and steps to negotiate but it does have nice beaches, promenade and bars and restaurants aplenty and an attractive and lively marina hosting the sealife centre, more bars and restaurants and numerous boat trips.
I would consider going back to this area but would do a few price comparisons before choosing San Fermin again. The right deal might still get me back though.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jet2Holidays , Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Hotel San Fermin reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel San Fermin Benalmadena, Costa Del Sol