New Eco-Hotel in Estepona
**Popped back there for a drink May'09 - Terrible service - jug of beer eu14! They had made the beach nicer.
The Estepona Palace was as we expected it to be for a 4 star - Large, comfortable and not too ostentatious. Main reception area is enormous, nicely decorated, with plenty of seating & we were greeted with free champagne. Good mix of people of various nationalities..
Room was large enough for myself, KB and the Small Person (although she had to make do with a zedbed-upgrades to a junior suite are VERY expensive) - Spotlessly clean and had all the things you would expect for a four star. Nice bathroom, power shower, toiletries etc ... We joined the H10 club (free) and received a large basket of fruit as a gift.
The two large clean pools & kiddies pool were delightful, spotlessly clean, with nice plants & waiter service. (Although there were some points where we couldn't get a snack mid afternoon, maybe due to the fact it was the end of May, poolside snack bar opened on June 1st). Plenty of sunbeds, umbrellas and fluffy towels etc
During our stay, KB became ill with a bad flu. Staff called the hotel Dr (cost 100 eu, claimed back on insurance later) who came within half an hour, spoke fluent English & gave him some medicine to get his fever down. The hotel porter also kindly drove me to the other side of town on a Sunday to an open farmacia & drove me back 'the scenic route' giving me local info. Helpful and polite all round.
Restaurant staff were very efficient & especially good with the Small Person. It was all buffet food, with chefs on hand to fry up meat or fish of your choosing. - However, after a few days, I was rather sick of hotel food ..(although ideal for children, as they can see the food before they choose), but if we were going for a long stay, we would not choose the half board again, just B & B. Especially good were the deserts and fruit. Breakfasts also very good with loads of choice and I made the most of the free Cava they brought me to down with my orange juice. (Being semi vegetarian though, why do they put bacon in all the potatoes?!)
Unique Quality: Main disappointment - the hotel beach was was totally wild, with sharp rocks, loads of seaweed & some broken glass (not for kids!) Hopefully, being a brand new hotel it will soon be cleaned & ready for those who can drag themselves away from the pool. Nearby there were some beautiful beaches (notably the lovely Playa El Cristo' within short walking distance) but in a sudden heat wave (30 in shade) & KB sick it was too hot for the Small Person to walk there - There really wasn't any shade on the beaches & we saw many people coming back looking like lobsters-so take your own sunshade (I cannot stress this enough). Beaches are blue flag & sea was extremely clear.
Evenings saw the hotel deserted & the few bits of entertainment we witnessed were very uninspiring! Most people went out at night but again, due to KB being ill, I spent most evening playing cards with Small Person in a practically empty bar & suffering the tinklings of a cabaret pianist. (n.b. ladies on your own, one barman would serve a group of male golfers before me, even when I had been waiting longer).
Estepona Port & town retain their Spanish charm. If you like shoes (as I do!) this town is shoe heaven. Loads of shoe shops with very resonably priced quality shoes. The Sunday market in the port is worth a visit too.
The E.P. was a good deal for a young family and couples alike & I expect when the organised activities start in the summer season, the kids will be kept very amused while adults can laze with a book by the pool. There was also a life guard keeping an eye on the children at all times, a childs play area (no shade as yet)) volley ball, paddle tennis etc & plenty of space so easy to relax. The hotel is opening a gym & health center this year although I expect you wouldn't want to be indoors much with the sun and views outside.
It is also an eco-hotel, all decor being of a natural nature & designed in traditional style so as not to be a blip on the landscape. I would gladly return, but a week would probably be enough.
Directions: On coast,
20 Mins walk from the Marina