04 July 2013
Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso Spa Review
Not particularly imposing on first glimpse in daylight, the terracotta coloured Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso Spa sits by the roadside, but pull off the road and head to its entrance and it just gets better and better.
Walk towards the revolving door and a magnificent lobby and the sight of glistening blue water through the huge glass windows is impressive (unlike this photo).
Then just as huge a warm welcome from Reception, a glass of typical Moruno tea (tasting like a green tea and peppermint mix) and our bag and us were whisked off to our Junior Suite overlooking the gardens and the calming shushing of waves on the beach.
Elba Hotels, a young group, has several hotels within Andalucia and the Canary Islands most of which are on or very near a beach.
They pride themselves on going the extra mile for their guests and we had the pleasure (and relief) of finding that out.
Because of a last minute handbag change I’d gone without my spare camera battery and low and behold (I know I should have checked) the one in my camera was completely dead.
Asked if I could leave the camera with them at reception so they could access Lost Property in the morning, we did and went to explore the hotel and get our bearings, we found the spa, both an indoor and outdoor pool and gate onto the beach, lovely restful well-kept gardens with plenty of space and loungers, and lots of different charming sitting rooms everywhere.
Our suite was lovely, complete with loads of space, air conditioning, private terrace, satellite TV, hairdryer, mineral water and fruit, mini-bar, lounge area and a huge bathroom with shower and a real bubble bath with massage jets both big enough for two, we made sure.
After dinner, which is either a huge often themed buffet or a la carte menu in a choice of restaurants, by the poolside with palm trees gently swaying we took a stroll on the beach, relaxed to the shushing of the waves onto the sand and the twinkling lights across the bay in Estepona, our destination for the next day.
Next morning with only the camera on my phone and little hope of an appropriate lead being found we returned to reception. They hadn't found a lead, but they had found a battery charger which my battery fitted and was that any good? Oh yes, thank you, it most certainly was.
Breakfast is a huge buffet with everything you could possibly want or think of, high calorie, cava, healthy or detox after a walk we headed for our 10.30 spa session in the the gorgeous Thalasso Spa.
A great time to go, we had the whole of it all to ourselves, hammam bath, Sauna, Shower Circuit with contrast and aroma showers, thermal pools, water beds, Turkish baths, heated stone relaxation beds with foliage and garden views to add to the whole relaxing, invigorating (see that bucket of water over the shower) and regenerating atmosphere.
We then went into Estepona town heading first to the marina with views across the bay. Plenty of restaurants were setting up for lunch and although there were menus in both Spanish and English it was definitely that way around, a welcome relief from nearer the airport.
Walking along the empty beach we had to smile when a couple with deckchairs in hand headed across the beach and carefully choose their spot on the vast empty beach.
Lunch time soon arrived and a pleasant enough chiringito cooking sardines over coals took our attention. Prawns kebabs and red peppers with tuna beat the sardines to our table and an obligatory cold beer or two.
Then on into town and a delightful small town with narrow streets filled with gaily coloured pots of flowering plants, a lovely church with fabulous old wooden doors (I’ve a bit of a fetish on those) and then we wandered into the Plaza de los Flores where another cold beer had our name on it.
This is a Spanish town, a typical pueblo pretty much unchanged by time and tourism, which hasn’t done wonders for larger towns along the coast. Narrow streets and one way systems make leaving the car behind and walking a must and a pleasure. So much more is seen and discovered on foot.
Then the heat of the day made us retreat back to the Gran Hotel for a laze and a swim. Being June and with a cool start to the summer it was a hasty dip, we quickly swapped the outdoor and cool pool for the indoor one with a more pleasant water temperature for us softies. Both pools are lovely but rather weather dependent. The gardens are really well-kept and there plenty of space around them to gather around the pool or slope off into your own corner.
Another day over and our last night’s massive choice buffet dinner in a delightful spot, with great surprise these country lovers had found a spot of coast and a town that we’d be happy to return to again and again and sad that our pampering was over in the more than pleasant Elba Hotel with its empty beach in a lovely Costa del Sol town. A great escape
So was everything perfect? Not quite, but easily sorted. Being a bit fussy I had to straighten out some crooked light shades in our corridor and my fresh pineapple still had the centre core in one breakfast time but other than those small details everything was indeed 5*.
See related posts about Estepona and some other photos from the Gran Hotel Elba Estepona.
We were complimentary guests of Elba Hotel group.
Posted by Rachel Webb - Spaniola