Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa
Travel Blogs from Marbella
... last ten years. We think they had such a great time that they won't wait ten years to come again!
We traveled far and wide, and as you have seen most of the places in our blog in ...
... a 20min walk made all the more better by flat roads and no boots. It was a quick six hours, a few beers, some sun, something to eat and we appeared to be off. It wasn't quite like that, we talked, we caught up, we found out all the Swansea gossip and then we were off. My T shirt sun tan may well become a craze in the costa del sol but I'll wait and see. Back to the airport and into the lounge (I'm an international traveler) before joining the flight for home and yes, we were the last ones ...
... of Madrid and then for a couple of nights in Bilbao. So if you can hang in there for a couple more entries..it's nearly over!
(As an aside I took one for the team in Ronda and let a wasp sting me. Not a problem until my arm decided to take exception to it and morph into a giant Walls sausage. All fine now though and no surgery required . This is included as it's important that you don't think we have been having too much of a good time.)
Speakin of bull fighters, Orson Welles is buried in Ronda, I know he wasn’t a bull fighter! Orson wanted to be buried in Ronda so his pal, a local bull fighter chappie buried his ashes on his ranch, mighty nice of him eh? Ernest Hemingway stayed here too and mentioned fighters been chucked off the “new bridge” in For Whom the Bell Tolls, during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s ,it’s a LONG way ...
... area by taking Corrie for a walk. It didn't seem promising to start with. We passed out of the camp onto a roundabout and along a road bridge over the motorway. Then the path took us through a dusty car park surrounded by scrub-land and bushes. There was what looked like an apartment block or hotel at one side with an advertising hoarding suggesting an array of different restaurants were close by. Once through the car park we arrived ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa Marbella
The grounds, tennis and swimming facilities were as you would expect from a 5 star hotel.
I was disappointed that having paid extra for the Beach Club facility, the beach was dirty, the staff indifferent and the facility was certainly not worth a second visit.
The bedroom was extremely ordinary - dark, depressing and not particularly clean.
I expected something a bit special, and Don Carlos was not.
Beautiful Grounds and Beach. Terrble room & Service. Charge for Pool use
I booked 1 double room and 2 singles. At over 300Euro per room night, I expected to have Queen size beds in the single occupancy rooms and a King bed in the double occupancy. I was horrified to find we were allocated 1 room with a queen size bed on the 11th floor, 1 room with a queen size bed on the 2nd floor, and a room with a child's cot!!!! After complaining they swapped the cot for a twin size bed.
The pool shown in the pictures of the hotel is not free to use. It is actually part of the "Don Carlos Beach Club" and hotel guests have to pay 8 Euros to use that pool or to get a chair on the beach.
There is no poolside or beachside service of drinks or food. You have to go fetch what you need.
On Saturday they closed the pool area and layed out tables for a Gala dinner! which made the Beach club pool unusable for the whole weekend.
The hotel could not care less. They were fully booked and as long as they had our money, they did not care whether we were happy.
Many of the guests staying there were unhappy.
Here is a bit of advice. Book to stay in the Marriott resort which is next door to the Don carlos, then walk over to the "Nikki Beach" which is just on the other side of Don Carlos. Pay your 20E and spend the day in the hippest beach in Marbella. You can even rent Twin size beds to lay down on the beach all day. Be pampered with Beachside service. The menu is varied from Sushi to Quesadillas....
At around 4pm, the Yachts start to arrive, they park off shore outside Nikki Beach and the Who's Who of Marbella come in on Jet boats to party.
Oh and by the way. The aircondition at the Don Carlos gave up working as soon as whether heated up!
Excellent service and fantastic beach. Golf.
Don Carlos is gorgeous, excellent hotel like many others in the Marbella Zone. Don Carlos's Hotel is in the marbella's best beach, luxurious gardens and well service.
Impresive the gardens.
A nice hotel in Marbella
I really can't say anything bad about the Don Carlos except that it was a little old. The night life in the hotel was mostly "convention folks" so make sure to head into town for some fun nightlife. The rooms were standard, nothing special but clean and nice. There are 2 pools, one on the upper level near the dining area which is free and one down towards the beach that you pay to use ( 15 euros or so for a towel) The beach was OK, but there were quite a few men walking around trying to sell you fake gucchi bags. It was somewhat annoying when you are trying to nap or read, however you'll get this all over marbella. We spent our nights in Porto Banus and marbella which was an absolute blast. The tapas and people were fantastic. All in all my husband and I enjoyed Marbella and the Don Carlos.
After reading recent reviews, I was expecting to be disappointed but was pleasantly surprised. The hotel is set in large gardens which slope down to the beach, with tennis courts. There are two pools, one at the top and one at the beach. Rooms were clean and well looked after. Service and food in the restaurants was excellent and there is a large terrace with views of the sea from where you can enjoy a sundowner. By Spanish holiday hotel standards this is a well run and upmarket establishment.
Nothing has changed
We stayed here about 6 years ago and from reading the current reviews,nothing has changed,not even the dirty room carpet.One staff member even got into the lift with me and delayed it although I was literally shivering , trying to get to my room after an unwise dip into their unheated cold pool. After checkout formalities,I asked to change some money into Spanish currency and was initially refused on the grounds that I was not staying there! An overpriced and overrated establishment.
Over-rated in Marbella
I have to agree with the Maryland and North Salem reviewers. Just got back from Spain (mid-August 2003). The Don Carlos has a few pros but many cons. First the pros: very pretty grounds, nice pool area (in the beach club), rooms were good and AC worked well. Now, the many cons: (1) they have the nerve to charge you 7.50 Euros a day for a lounge chair in the beach club -- there's a pool up by the hotel, but the nicer pool is a 5-minute walk (schlep!) and is right near the very mediocre beach (true of most of this area). So think about it -- a family of 4 would have to pay an extra $250 to sunbathe for a week!
Even the most expensive hotels in the US would never have the gall to charge its guests to use the pool over and above the room rate. Not to mention the $3.50 Diet Cokes in tiny plastic cups served at the beach club -- Outrageous!; (2) the hotel rooms and facilities itself are okay but certainly not 5-star! More like a 4-star; (3) internet access is via 2 coin-operated machines that are extremely slow and full of problems; (4) the location absoutely sucks! I cannot over-emphasize this one. No one really tells you these things -- the Don Carlos is located beyond Marbella (i.e. closer to the Malaga airport). You have a 10 minute cab-ride to Marbella and then 10-minutes more to Puerto Banus. So if you don't have a rental car (which we didn't), you are going to spend $12 each way to Marbella and like $20 each way to Puerto Banus. That adds up! SO, BOTTOM LINE: the Don Carlos is priced way beyond what it's worth. We paid exactly US$329 (including tax) per night for a double room. For that price, I would expect a true 5-star hotel. This is an over-priced 4 star hotel! You can email me for further details.
Do Yourself a Favor--Don't Waste Your Time or Money
The hotel advertises that a comfort room overlooks the mountains, a superior room overlooks the ocean from a lower floor, and that a platinum room (also the most expensive at $80 extra per night) overlooks the ocean from a higher floor. Based on the hotel's representation, we reserved the platinum room and looked forward to our breathtaking view of the ocean. To our surprise and dismay, our room actually overlooked a construction site--complete with cranes, tractors and loud traffic. What they don't advertise is that due to a design flaw, NONE of the hotel rooms actually overlook the ocean. You have to go out on the balcony and crane your neck as far as it will go to the right, in order to catch a tiny glimpse of the ocean. Obviously we felt scammed that we paid extra based on their misrepresentations and we asked to switch to a less expensive comfort room since we weren't going to get the advertised oceanview. Since they wanted to continue robbing us blind by having us pay the higher rate, they kept claiming that no such rooms were available--even though we saw people checking out of them left and right. (And after hiking 1/2 mile to the beach, each person is charged $10 extra per day just to sit on one of their beach chairs.) Instead of staying for a week, we left after one night and moved to a real five-star hotel that actually gave us what it advertised. Unless you want misrepresentations, construction views and poor service, stay away from the Don Carlos Hotel!
Not Worth the Money!
After spending 16 days traveling through Italy, Monaco and Spain and staying in great 4 star hotels we were excited to end our vacation by spending 5 days in The Don Carlos Hotel, a 5 star facility. Well, that excitement quickly deminished. We were greeted by a less than enthusiastic staff at the desk who shared no information about the hotel (e.g. where breakfast would be held, how to get to our room, etc.) until we asked. The room we reserved was to have a water view. We barely could see the water, but had a great view of the construction and cranes! The room, although cleaned by housekeeping, had a dirty appearance because the carpet was old and had stains, some tiles were loose on the bathroom floor, and the ac blew out a musty oder. The room was also quite small! Our second piece of luggage always seemed to be in the way. But besides all that, what upset us the most is that we did not expect to have so many additional costs since we spent so much to stay at the hotel. For example, the hotel states that if you put any drinks in the room refrigerator they will throw it away. So, we followed their request and kept some bottled water in the closet. We called downstairs to ask for some ice, and to our suprise we were charged 3.40 euros! Also, if you want to go to their lower pool or lay on a chair on their section of the beach it is going to cost you around 10 euros a day! Needless to say, the 4 star hotels we stayed in throughout our trip were far supperior to this hotel. It is not worth the money, and too far from the main parts of town to even try to justify the cost! It is a 3 star hotel. . .at best!
It couldnīt have been better, the service was great, the sea, the sun, the gardens, and of course we canīt forget that marvellous beach club!!!!!