After a few days at this hotel I had mixed feelings. It's perfect for families as you can book a suite where kids under 12 go free, a reasonable option. There were some pretty messy goings on with the booking & sad to say a few incidents that put me off a bit. On arrival after dealing with James Bond style car park in the heat we got to the room to find other peoples things in it! They had given us someone elses key- BAD! A treck back to reception. On first impressions the suite was spacious & clean but on a closer inspection the fridge was off & boasted a brown smelly stain. Failing to work it out we asked reception who said wait 'until manana' for an 'engineer'. Turned out there was a switch you had to 'slide down' or something - not obvious & no notice to tell guests, in fact there as no info re anything much. Had brought some cheese & wine etc which rapidly went off, also no chilled water for the night. Uncleaned graffiti graced one bedroom wall & I couldn't help thinking we'd be bunged in a slightly 2nd class rather stale suite. Plus side - we had a huge balcony with a garden view. Reception were very efficient but had that feeling that they were looking down at you somehow. Being the only Spanish speaking person in our party (not totally fluent) I end up speaking alot for others & on resorting to English very briefly at reception one day, I was told in no uncertain terms to 'habla en Espanol'! Afer the freedom of a village house where you felt very involved in life around I felt cooped up in this place of mirrors & floor 6 felt like it could have been anywhere in the world. The food & drink prices were seriously inflated & the A La Carte restaurant was dark & empty, so if you didn't book full board it was very dull. The gardens and pool looked fabulous lit up at night though, symmetrical and lots of lovely flowers and fountains. As I say it wins on price for family, but I wish we had gone back to our little 2** in the mountains, but the small people loved the pool, so that was a major plus.
Unique Quality: Excerpts from the A La Carte Menu (English version) : )
Imperial of the orchard with bonite fish of the north in escabeche mode.
Papada Capaccio with stroke salad with vinaigrette with pinions .
Rodaballo heart at the short broth.
Back of barracuda in scab of almonds.
Back of Codfish to the Baezana
White garlic with Partridge in escabeche mode with grapes jam
Shallots, soup yoke and Duck ham.
and... selection of 'Rises on request' :
Rice with 'stroke' (sounds fun!)
and possibly for desert?
Stawberries with green pepper and citrus juice.
Fried milk with vanilla ice cream?
Hotel Tip : Take your own beach towels, if you dont want to pay 12 euros for a towel, although you do get to keep it if you do.
Directions: Not on the beach, slightly out of town, but walkable for most things.
25th July - Staying in a suite here for the last weekend of our trip. With large swimming pool/garden area & free kids under 12, it'll be nice to have our b &bs made for us & sip a coctail round the pool before going back to the grindstone.
27th July - Problems - Have given c.c. details but no confirmation of booking. Contact on their given email addy received a 'Please do not make bookings via this email address reply'- When people take your c.c. details there should be a quick response. Will give them until a bit later.
3 days later. A garbled confirmation of sorts has arrived from the hotel - apparently, their internet was having problems & is now fixed but now it seems the price of the room has gone UP by 54 euros from the original quote. Worldby.com (booking agent) have been chasing up - Too much hassle.
2 weeks later - Huge problems with this booking. Confirmation voucher eventually arrived but at the higher rate & on receiving c.c. statement they have charged me TWICE- once at the lower rate & once at the higher rate. Subsequent efforts to ammend booking & get any sense out of anyone have failed. Had a series of emails from a bunch of worldby.com staff with a variety of colourful names who suddenly become 'out of the office these days' & who 'pass me onto a collegue'. Extremely irritating.
10th Aug - After much time spent on my part, received a sensible email direct from the hotel asking me to clarify which booking I want. Hoping the matter will now be sorted.
Today - Matter Sorted. After email direct to the hotel explaining situation, have delt with the pleasant Maria & all 'seems' to be ok. HIGHLY recommend dealing directly with the Hotel and NOT worldby.com/spainby.com who send emails out as if they were the hotel but are actually not (check email headders to see exactly who has sent the email). Just got to make sure 2nd deposite taken , is now returned promptly. (*It was*). Please see separate tip for post visit review.
Unique Quality: Hotel appears not too large and not too ugly! Nice white facade and marble flooring etc Large family suites with their own kitchens, children under 12 free of charge. Very nice grounds and pools.
Recommend Hotel Albayzin de Mar check all their website links for correct email address though, the online booking system leaves alot to be desired.
Again, I advise avoid worldby.com/spainby.com at all costs, sometimes their system works and sometimes it doesn't! Deal direct with the hotel who are much more organised and now that this is sorted out, much more pleasant.
Directions: Set back from the sea front and slightly out of town, but still handy for all.
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