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“Get away from Spoiled Spain”

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Hotel Fuerte Grazalema
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Grazalema
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Sheffield
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Get away from Spoiled Spain”
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Found the beautiful mountain village of Grazelema on a trip from Seville to Ronda and have visited it a few times. The hotel actually sits on a hill facing the mountain village and as a result means you need a car. The hotel and the area is unspoiled and as far away from most people's perceptions of coastal Spain as you can get. Remarkably beautiful, unspoiled and like stepping back in time.
The hotel is welcoming and in March when I last visited was not in the least busy. It is built into the side of the hill and most of the common areas and the rooms themselves offer splendid views over the landscape, which is breathtaking. There is a lovely outdoor area with a pool and a jacuzzi and a garden to sit in. Walks can be made in Grazelema in the day. In the evening I would recommend a car.
The rooms are comfy, the hotel is good value and if you want to discover Spain sans lager louts and noisy x-pats this is for you.

Room Tip: There are two junior sweets but the basic rooms are nice too. The ground level (floor one) opens ont...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ravenbrand
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 (39)
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Gibraltar
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

we chose this hotel after staying at the same one in Marbella, both very different, I was looking forward to breakfast here after the Marbella one, this was good but not up to the same standard. But having said that there was plenty of choice and you can get bacon and eggs cooked freshly.
Other cooments on trip advisor mention the children, its probably best to stay midweek and not in school holidays, there were a few during the week we stayed but lots of families arrived Friday eve, and Spanish culture means they stay up late, so it was a bit noisy in the sitting area but we didnt have any problems at night with kids running around and we had a ground floor room
There are mountain bikes to hire, a kids play area and small animal area, a clean but cold pool and a jacuzzi overlooking the mountains
The hotel is about 3 miles away from Grazalema, there is a bar nearby which served ok food at a good price
The hotel food in the evening was good, a hot and cold buffet, plenty of choice, my only critisim is the food could have been hotter, and we ate at the 8pm opening time
If you walk into Grazalema in the evening, be warned its a bit of an up and down walk, no street lights so take a torch for coming home, there is a stone path about half way to the town that cuts off about half the walk. Deffinately worth leaving the lights of the hotel to see the night sky, no light polution
there are lots of resonable bars to eat at in the town
there are lots of walks and bike rides to go on but it isnt flat!!
We had a great time, the staff were friendly and helpful, some bar staff dont speak much English but receptionist do, the rooms were comfortable and quiet and we werent really bothed by children but I can imagine it would be noisy in the school holidays but we would definately recommend it.

Room Tip: the ground floor rooms open straight onto the garden and short walk to the pool area, but according...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank salanddave315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
suitcase
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2011

The Hotel Fuerte in Grazalema is in an excellent spot for nature, fresh air and exercise, it is well run and it delivers what it says on the tin. It has an excellent outdoor swimming pool, with wonderful views of mountains from the pool aswell as from the hotel. There are footpaths leading away from the hotel across country and through the woods for walkers and hikers.

The hotel was full on our visit, and most of the guests were Spanish. The staff all spoke more than one language (mostly English). Signs on one of the noticeboard in the hotel also indicated that it is one of the TUi hotels marketed to its German clients, and various certificates are on show to show that German standards of hotel management are applied.

The hotel is well organised for families - there are children's activitiy clubs but we did not use them. At the end of a path there is a menagerie which is part of the hotel with a couple of ostriches and on our visit two new piglets. You may spot rabbits running in the fields surrounding the hotel.

We tried half board. It was possible to eat indoors or outside on the terrace. The food was good and there was plenty available. The children particularly enjoyed their breakfast -freshly prepared crepes and fresh fruit for some, anything they could find which came with chocolate for the others.

We used the bar before one meal and it was really good - great views, calm environment, good service and stiff g and t's!

The rooms are a reasonable size with a large double and an extra single which we requested and it was all clean and inviting. On our floor you could open the windows and step out onto a terrace. There is a games room with ping pong and pool - although the bats and cues have taken a bit of a battering.

Another recent reviewer has pointed out that their experience of this super hotel was spoiled by the behaviour of the children of other guests - I can see how this might happen if you are not used to the rhythm of Spanish life, with it's later mealtimes and bedtimes - but if children are unruly, that is not really the fault of the hotel, is it? I did not feel that families dominated - on our visit in the second weekend of September 2011, it was mostly couples. As a parent I was pleasantly surprised that the hotel had an instant civilising impact on my kids - who were immediately relaxed by the rural mountain setting and clear night skies, and made uncharacteristically appreciative remarks like "oo, this is very nice daddy". We would happily have stayed for a few more days. It is an excellent four star hotel.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank late_night_typist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2011

If you want a peaceful holiday forget this hotel. It is in a wonderful situation in the middle of a national park with beautiful views all around & balconies overlook the local village & mountains. The rooms were nice & comfortable and very clean but that is where the beauty ends. The hotel has 77 rooms and mostly all the rooms were occupied by Spanish families and their 'screaming' children. There is no escape from them, they came down to dinner after 9pm and as the meals were buffet style they proceeded to pile their plates high with food only for it to be thrown away, then they would run around the dining room screaming & shouting making it impossible to get near the buffet to get your food. We decided we would eat as quick as possible - no leisurley meal here - and take our wine into the bar/lounge area to sit and have a quiet drink - forget it. Once the families had finished in the dining room they let the kids free in this area, shouting & screaming till the early hours of the morning. They have no consideration for anyone; one parent poceeded to change her babies 'dirty' nappy in the lounge on one of the hotel sofas with no changing mat and no thought for anyone around - quite disgusting. The hotel cannot make any money as these parents spend no money in the bar/lounge and make it impossible for anyone else to, it is just a major playground for their children.
After a day sightseeing we decided to go for a swim - forget that as well. This hotel is soley for the children to run around screaming & shouting with no consideration for any guest who were there without children of which we were a minority. We found out very shortly after our arrival why so many children, what we weren't told when booking is that children stay & eat free here!! The only time the hotel was remotely peaceful was at 8am for breakfast as they are all so comatosed after their nightly antics they didn't get up till mid morning.
If you do have the unfortunate experience staying here walk to the top of the drive where there is a local restaurant & bar, the food & people are lovely and any children are well behaved. Again this is such a shame as the area and scenery are spetacular - wasted on the majority of the people who stay there!!

Room Tip: clean & tidy
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank uktravellerHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
INMACULADAMEDINILLA, Gerente at Hotel Fuerte Grazalema, responded to this review, 14 September 2011
Dear Client

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing our Hotel Fuerte in Grazalema.

With reference to your complaint about the noise, we would like to inform you that both the Director and Personal Staff are aware of the amount of children that we have staying here in the hotel, especially at weekends, bank holidays, and school holidays. During these periods we try and control the situation by organising activities for the children in the Forti Club run by a qualified Monitor. The children do not always use this service so the children are then under the responsibility of the parents. This makes the situation more difficult to control.

Referring to the buffet, on the restaurant door there is an information notice asking all our clients to only take what they are going to consume otherwise food is thrown away daily because people do not follow the rules.

In one of the toilets on the 3rd floor next to reception we do have changing facilities for babies, we apologise for this disturbance of those who do not decide to use this service.

We are very sorry that you were dissatisfied with your holiday. We know by your well expressed instances of the bad behaviour of some guests who do not know how to respect and educate their children.

The Manager and Staff try their best to make our clients have a comfortable and enjoyable stay and we are grateful for you informing us about your experience and hope you would return one day in a different period of the year, where you will be able to see that you can find the tranquillity that you were looking for.

We hope to see you back here in this hotel and apologise once again for your bad experience.

Kind regards
Inmculada Medinilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2011

Clean rooms in a natural environment. Our room had a nice terrace in the garden.. From the hotel you have a splendid view on the village of Grazalema at the opposite side of the mountain and you can enjoin the sunset while dining outside. Very nice swimming pool. For the kids animation is free, but the animators speak only Spanish which is not that easy to understand for kids from abroad. Good location to experience the pueblos blancos and the stunning nature.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DanielleV5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mechelen, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2011

Excellent breakfast which can be taken on an outside terrace overlooking the village of Grazalema and surrounding mountains.In spite of being in a deserted area, the hotel is very noisy. They don't make any attempt to segregate the areas, e.g. the bar from the sleeping quarter. Closing in between doors would make a lot of difference. Both nights we stayed there, we were kept awake till ~ 2 am.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank gvodbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2011

This is a very nice 4* hotel. I paid 36 euros for 1 night! I had no complaints about my large room and it had a beautiful view towards the village of Grazalema (an hour's walk away at least). But... I don't know, there was something odd about the place. It's like finding a Tesco Extra in a pretty country village - one can't argue with the convenience and the value but it just seems out of place.
When I arrived, the receptionist told me: "Your room rate includes breakfast." I said: "Really?" as I wasn't expecting this. She looked down at the computer and said: "No, you don't have breakfast included."
I was worried about dinner as reviews on this site had criticised it. I tried to eat in the bar but they stopped serving at 7.30 pm (in Spain!). I was told: "There is only the restaurant." (The hotel is in the middle of nowhere - there is a bar at the road junction but I don't know if it serves dinner in the evening.) The restaurant was a buffet with a fixed price of 20.10 euros. Reluctantly, I went in... and it was actually very good. I was very hungry after a day's walking and certainly ate my money's worth. The food was excellent; the drinks were a bit expensive.
In the morning, I asked at reception for walking directions to Montejaque. The receptionist did not have a clue. (This is supposed to be a walker-friendly hotel.) But, as usual, it was OK... the path is down the signposted track next to the bar at the junction, by the way, NOT immediately opposite the hotel (I wasted 45 mins).
Overall: nice but a bit soulless? Not really the ideal place for the Rough-Guided independent traveller?

Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank TheProfessor34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Fuerte Grazalema

Property: Hotel Fuerte Grazalema
Address: Baldio de los Alamillos Ctra. A-372, 11610 Grazalema, Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Spain
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Cadiz > Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park > Grazalema
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Grazalema
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Fuerte Grazalema 4*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
cological 4 star hotel situated in a cork tree forest in the heart of the Natural Park of Grazalema and only 20 Km from Ronda.77 rooms equipped with central climatization (cold in summer and hot in winter), telephone, minibar, safety box (extra), music channel, hair dryer, satellite TV, Internet connection (extra), cot (free of charge on request), WIFI in Bar Noble area (free).The hotel has a restaurant specialised in local cuisine, terrace bar, pool bar (seasonal), lounges with chimney, Tv room, game room, outdoor pool with sun beds and solarium, outdoor jacuzzi, limited parking space (free of charge), mini animal farm with children's playground. Baby carriage, cot and baby bath free (depending on availability), internet room Complementary activities: bike rental, trekking, horse riding etc.Half board consists on breakfast and dinner, except August when guests can choose between lunch or dinner. ... more   less 
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