After reading recent reviews I was slightly concerned about returning to Cortijo Blanco. With some reservations I gave a very favourable review of it after visiting last year.
First impressions are that it is a very long way from Malaga unless you have a private transfer: Two hours with the many stops we had on a shared shuttle. That said, you do get to "see what you could have won" in some of the other resorts.
On arrival Scottish Joyce was behind the desk and as ever staff there are friendly and helpful. There is free wifi in reception and it is available for 25 euro a week in the room. We had asked for two rooms together and in the quieter tennis court area. We got exactly what we asked for (and on the top floor which means no scraping tables and chairs above) and with a balcony overlooking children's pool and tennis courts. Good size, very clean and with air conditioning. The rooms stay cool as long as you use the shutters.
The food is fine. I really do not understand what some people complain about. Its nothing special...you wouldn't choose it as an evening restaurant but if you look at how much you paid it is certainly adequate. The breakfast is excellent. You may not like the type of bacon or sausage but i think this is standard in Spain. You do have a choice of boiled, fried, scrambled eggs and spanish omelette too. No choice for children? - they don't generally have nuggets and meat cut in teddy bear shapes but there is chips with most meals and pasta too. I do accept that sometimes it is not hot by the time you get it to the table (due to the trays being out a while) but otherwise there is a good salad selection and always good soups: fish and gazpacho at lunchtime and vegetable in the evening on our first day. The hot mains had a couple of Spanish fish dishes - dogfish, hake and mussels, as well as spicy meatballs, chicken, pork, squid rings, breaded chicken and rabbit casserole. One plus which no-one has mentioned is that you can eat healthily here too thanks to some good salads. Something which wasn't on when we visited last time is the barbecue area - a large paella there on one day and a BBQ with sangria the next. The things I chose were fine. If you want pies, steak or "British" food - meat and two veg - you won't get it or if you do it won't be as nice as at home. Desserts are poor in a continental way. Good fresh fruit but then custards and jellies and creamy confections. Red and white wine, water and fruit juices are on tap. The waiters I found worked hard and cleared plates away very quickly with a smile. One tip is that if their is a queue in the main restaurant, there is hardly ever a queue at exactly the same selection in the snack bar. There is also a toastie maker in the snack bar area for those difficult-to-feed children.
The bar area is also very efficient. Free local spirits, sangria, machine-created over-sweet cocktails and beer. There is also a tea, coffee and hot chocolate making machine as well as tea bags including camomile and mint tea. The evening entertainment is a bit ropey sometimes, especially the Sunday night games evening but they are entertaining a mixed crowd. There are good numbers of Spanish, French and British as well as Belgians and Italians. If you relax into it you will be fine and the sight of 12 people of varying nations passing balloons between their knees is inoffensive. I will recommend the multilingual bingo as a very funny piece of entertainment - actually carefully crafted and delivered in the same way whichever of the crew is delivering. The main quiz evening is good fun, the Lionel Ritchie act is fine, flamenco is pretty good but the Russian dance evening was not for me. The second quiz was poor - consisting of questions about the group hotels and being little more than an advertisement.
Entertainment during the daytime tends to be of the darts and pool variety. Not complicated but something which adults and kids join in - certificates are handed out before the evening show. Cortijo Blanco is not one of those all-inclusive resorts where you are going to get entertainment everywhere, every day. Tennis and table tennis is available just by putting down a deposit for the equipment. There is also an organised football tournament which was dominated by competitive tikatak Spanish players when we were there. It is just good relaxing fun if you are in the right frame of mind.
If you want to leave the hotel there is a free bus to Puerto Banus and back. The market in San Pedro is on a Thursday and is a mile walk away through the back of the town. You can catch a bus into Marbella from the stop outside the hotel at reasonable prices. Coming back is a bit tricky as the stops are all a few hundred yards walk. I recommend the stop before the footbridge as it is flatter. The beach is 400 yards walk thought the quiet streets. It is quite gritty and nothing to write home about. Along the sea front are some exercise stations if you like an early morning jog or walk.
The main pool is generally very busy. The sun beds are packed in here and there is a further sun terrace above. The area by the children's pool at the back is quieter and you can normally get a subbed and some shade from and umbrella, trees or buildings there if you want it.
The downside is still the sweary British and Irish. This tends to be by the main pool or at the volleyball or table tennis. I'm sure the other nations do swear as well but I understand the English words and so do the children. It's not excessive and there can be noise when the party animals come home but closing the second door in the room at night makes a big difference.
The hotel is run very well in my opinion. In a morning there are plenty of people out scrubbing the paths, repainting areas that need it and doing the gardening. They carry on through the day but every morning the hotel looks clean and ready for a new day.
Cortijo Blanco is not a culinary, cultural or luxury destination but it is a relaxing, fun, clean, European destination that is incredibly good value. Even though we went at a slightly different time of year we saw some familiar faces from last year...if not Brian and Ponti...which does speak for itself. Choose carefully on the buffet by trying some local food, rather than loading up on everything, and you may even enjoy that too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Globales Cortijo Blanco is situated in San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella, in the Costa del Sol, in a tourist area that still preserves traces of its colonial past. The area has many luxury residential areas, golf courses and magnificent beaches. Just 3km from the hotel is one of the most glamorous sport ports in the world, Puerto Banus. It was built in 1962 and over the years has undergone many renovations over the years the last of which was in 2014, however it still retains its pure Andalusian style with white walls decorated with forged iron, typical balconies, grassy areas shaded by trees - the perfect place for a relaxing and unforgettable holiday. Enjoy the cosmopolitan and fun ambience of the hotel, with the best value for money hotel offer in the Costa del Sol. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cortijo Blanco Hotel
- Hotel Cortijo Blanco
- Cortijo Blanco Marbella
- Blanco Cortijo Hotel
- Globales Cortijo Blanco San Pedro De Alcantara, Costa Del Sol, Spain