We brought a group of 40 to the Almuñécar Playa in mid-March to sign a Sister City agreement between Almuñécar and Hendersonville, NC and the hotel exceeded our expectations in many ways. On prior trips, I had stayed at the Bahia Tropical and at a friend's apartment, but needed a hotel within walking distance of the townhall and the Casa de Cultura, where our official events were held. I was a bit concerned about some of the negative comments, but most of them seemed to come from participants in Saga group tours, which appears to provide cheap vacations for Brits, many of whom seem to expect 5 star service for 2 star prices. Coming from a town of similar size, we are now concerned that we cannot provide the mayor of Almuñécar with accommodations of equivalent quality to the Almuñécar Playa when he makes his return visit. Considering the current weakness of the US dollar, the value we received was exceptional.
In fairness, the hotel is able to provide value by limiting the amount of staff. There were no porters to help with baggage when we arrived. Knowing that in advance might have been helpful, especially since Americans tend to travel with more baggage than Europeans do. The check-in, however, was faster and more efficient than I expected, and the elevators were not a problem. The only time we had an appreciable wait was when a large group checked in. Otherwise, they were very fast. I agree that the carpeting in the hallways is somewat worn, but with the amount of traffic it gets, they could replace it yearly and still have the problem. The alternative would be a hard surface, which would increase the noise. Compared to the time we spent at a friend's apartment in Almuñécar, the Almuñécar Playa was surprisingly quiet.
The rooms were spacious and clean, with large, well-equipped bathrooms. One member of our group commented that the hot water was so hot she had to cut it back - contrary to what Americans tend to expect in Europe. We had booked half board, which is the minimum, and were surprised by the variety and quality of the food, especially that things could be cooked to order, and very quickly. The cava on the breakfast buffet was an especially big hit, as was the 2-for-1 happy hour each afternoon. The wine list had about 25 selections under 10 euros, and one of our bigger surprises was how low our bar bills were at the end of the week.
It's possible that we received a few extra services because we were guests of the mayor, but it appeared that a more limited breakfast was available for anyone who had an early departure, with prior reservation. They had a more limited buffet on the day we left early for Granada, and table service on the day of our very early departure. In general, the staff tried very hard to please us, even though some of our requests may have been a bit unusual.
Almuñécar, itself, is a rather amazing destination, with incredible history. At this point, it is largely undiscovered by Americans. English is not as widely spoken there as in other, more developed coastal areas of Spain. Granada province has not promoted its coast to the extent that other Spanish provinces have, since much of it is primarily agricultural. Almuñécar is a gem, tucked into its southwest corner, and the last place the super highway has reached, since the mountains there come directly to the sea. We feel fortunate to have it as our first Sister City.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Almunecar Playa SPA Hotel enjoys a beachfront location, behind the seafront, just minutes from the old quarter of Almunecar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Almunecar Playa Hotel Almunecar
- Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel Province Of Granada, Spain