The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for British holidaymakers and hordes of tourists from across the globe flock to the sunny coast every year.
Lengthy sunshine hours, a limited amount of rainfall and soaring high temperatures are almost a guarantee when coming to the Costa del Sol, as is vibrant buzzing nightlife, a glorious choice of restaurants and plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy.
Hotels lead the way in terms of accommodation, although there are other options such as villas, small apartments, hostels, B&Bs and campsites – just take your pick.
On a budget
Many British foreign holidaymakers will have a budget to stick to when travelling to Costa del Sol. Fortunately, there is a plethora of good budget accommodation to choose from.
Benalmadena Palace in Benalmadena is located within easy walking distance to the local promenade in the centre of town. The hotel offers excellent facilities; highlights include a spa centre which offers massage services, a steamy sauna and bubbly whirlpool options. An indoor heated swimming pool is open all year round and the evening entertainment offers a diverse range of nights and events, from amateur karaoke to funny comedians.
Based in Malaga, a cheaper option is the Oasis Backpackers' Hostel Malaga. Less than a 10-minute walk from the historic Malaga Cathedral, this lively accommodation option offers many communal lounge areas, so meeting likeminded holiday buddies should prove easy. There's also a rooftop terrace with a bar, free breakfast and plenty of activities on offer to keep visitors entertained.
If you're planning to stay in Fuengirola, look no further than the relaxed and charming bed and breakfast Pension los Faroles. Situated close to some of the most spectacular golf courses in the whole of Europe, as well as a host of clean and inviting Fuengirola beaches, this is a great pick. The friendly B&B offers free Wi-Fi service, is a no smoking property and the staff will offer solid recommendations on where to go in the area. It is also close to many other amenities such as various supermarkets and restaurants. The price rates are excellent, but although it's listed as a bed and breakfast, breakfast is not included in most packages.
For those looking for total luxury, try Gran Melia Don Pepe Hotel in Marbella. Just a short stroll away from the bustling heart of Marbella, guests will be treated to some sensational meals in the Calima restaurant, pampering treatments in the Health Club, free entrance to the Casino de Marbella and three swimming pools situated across the complex, one specifically for children. With a beauty salon, interactive satellite TV, two tennis courts and a steam bath, discerning types will love definitely rate this top-class resort on the famous Marbella Golden Mile. It might be pricey, but you get what you pay for.
On the main promenade of Torremolinos sits Hotel Isabel, which has undergone a recent refit. The 70 freshly decorated rooms are spotlessly clean and comfy and offer free Wi-Fi. The service is warm and detail orientated, the breakfast is delicious – and although this hotel is fairly modest in size and modest in style – the staff are extremely hard working and the overall quality of this place is consistently high.
The range of hostels in the Costa del Sol is staggering. This type of accommodation might lack some of the on-site facilities and activities a standard hotel would provide, but they can offer an excellent alternative for budget travellers, and for those who want to take a foreign trek abroad for a short stay, such as a long weekend.
The town of Nerja has many hostels due to its good location on the Costa del Sol. Located in the old town part of Nerja is the Hostal Andalucía. By not being right in the heart of the town, this hotel offers a quieter atmosphere conducive to a good night's sleep. The rooms are clean and spacious and have air con/heating, a kettle and a TV. The welcoming staff are very accommodating and helpful. Handily located just 100 meters from the beach and a good array of shops and eateries, this hostel is a top choice for travellers looking for somewhere reliably decent and well priced.
Modest in size and charming in character, Hostel Guadalupe in Torremolinos is located just a few metres away from Bajondillo, Torremolinos' most centralised beach as well as the old town. Each room is quirkily different at Hostel Guadalupe as they have all been decorated according to various styles. Non-guests can enjoy the coffee bar and restaurant, which means the atmosphere in the hostel is always pleasantly buzzy. The owners are super welcoming and previous guests rave about this accommodation 'gem'.
An old-fashioned choice is the Casa Al Sur hostel in the capital itself. Although it has been remodelled fairly recently and features clean, bright and roomy rooms, it is actually an old Andalusian house steeped in history – 100 years worth to be precise. The hostel offers both private and shared rooms, with a choice of balcony, and as it is in the historic part of Malaga, it's easy walking distance to some fantastic locations and attractions.
Fuengirola Beach Hotel located next to the banks of the River Fuengirola, is ideal for families - especially with those with young kids. The resort offers a kids club, a playground and a play area for children, while the adults can stay in good shape by using the tennis courts and outdoor swimming pool. There's also a games room and good restaurant. All rooms have a flat-screen TV, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities, with different sizes of room available on request depending on how many people make up your group.
Another fine choice is over in the town of Mijas. Los Amigos Beach Club is fully equipped to provide a superb Costa del Sol experience. The range of facilities include some attractive gardens, an indoor and outdoor pool and a bowling green. Those who can't help but share the ins and outs of their holiday via Facebook et al should note that the hotel's Wi-Fi costs six Euros a day, however, this isn't indicative of the overall rates or general prices in the bar and restaurant.
The four-star resort Vime Reserva De Marbella in Marbella is a great place to enjoy a family holiday. The nearest beach in Marbella is a fair distance away, about a 20-minute walk; however, the on-site activities are fantastic. Along with the standard facilities of an outdoor and indoor swimming pool and a gym, there is a weekly Flamenco night and an entertainment programme that caters for both adults and children. This resort is ideal for tourist who are thinking of booking a self-catering holiday.
By the beach
Views of the sea and being within close proximity to the beach encourage many holidaymakers to book accommodation near the water. Many will provide stunning backdrops and a good range of facilities and activities.
Hotel Gardenia Park in Fuengirola is a great hotel that provides options for half-board and all inclusive customers. Leisure activities on-site include a daily entertainment programme with activities such as badminton, water polo and archery on offer. There are two outdoor swimming pools and some lovely green areas around the hotel. It is near Caravajal beach, and many rooms will provide a balcony with tremendous views of the sea. Gardenia Park is well prices throughout the year, but to get a really good deal, book outside of the summer season.
Situated on top of the nearest sea in Nerja is Hotel Balcon de Europa. This accommodation is handily close to a host of good bars and bustling cafes in Nerja. The hotel's layout is different to many other hotels in the Costa del Sol; the reception is actually on the sixth floor. One of the best views can be found on the top floor, where the swimming pool and sunbathing terraces are located. For things to do, Hotel Balcon de Europa has a games room set up for professional poker players, table tennis and a piano bar that offers live music at least three times a week. This four-star venue is a fab top end choice and perfectly blends excellent service with fantastic facilities.
For somewhere suitably luxurious, check in at Finca Valtocado in Mijas. Staying here offers a great view of the Mediterranean sea, and being located a mere 25 minutes away from Malaga airport, it benefits from an easy to reach location. This place has two luxury cottages with a kitchen and two other luxury rooms. It doesn't matter whether the choice is Balcon Valtocado, Casita Jimenez or Balcon del Mediterraneo; all four establishments have tremendous views of the mountains and the sea from a distance, and are spotless, welcoming, bright and supremely comfortable.
The wonderfully clean, quiet and comfy Escuela la Crujia located in the splendid Andalucía countryside offers a more tranquil than many of the busy tourist hotels downtown. The owners are the epitome of a warm welcome and the feel of this place is so relaxing and laid-back that you won't want to ever leave! Guests can choose from three lovely guest rooms (two with kitchens) in this former rural schoolhouse, which has now been converted into a charming guesthouse by the sea. The pool is small but pristine and the setting really is idyllic. A well kept secret…not any more!
Marbella's Jardines De La Reina Boutique is a superb bed and breakfast that is less than 10 minutes away from the town centre. All five rooms provide an en-suite bathroom, a mini bar and a private patio, with other general facilities including being able to rent mountain bikes. This B&B benefits from a peaceful and private setting, great rates too.
Should holidaymakers be looking for some sparkling romance to spice up a holiday in the Costa del Sol, they should try El Oceano Beach Hotel in Mijas or head for Fuengirola and check in at the Florida Spa.
El Oceano Beach Hotel provides great coastline views and all-day comfort and top service and entertainment. There are 40 rooms on-site, all well kept, well equipped and well serviced. Look out for the Polynesian Pool area, which boasts a laid-back pool bar by day and a delicious terraced restaurant when night falls. The setting is beautiful and the atmosphere is chic, chilled and perfectly conducive to enjoying a relaxing break with your number one. A really gorgeous seaside gem.
Florida Spa is a four-star place overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and is fairly new to the Costa del Sol's accommodation line-up. Each clean, bright and airy room provides the standard equipment of telephone, air conditioning and a minibar, but also, each room has a safe for peace of mind in terms of storing your valuables. The overall quality of this hotel is high and the staff are friendly and always happy to help. The food is first rate and there's a huge choice on offer. The hotel offers a very handy location and is near to everything you might need for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
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