10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Best Birthday Ever!!!
"My partner booked this for my 40th Birthday and we enjoyed every minute of it. The hotel was spotless, staff extremely helpful and friendly and the food excellent. I would certainly recommend Gran Hotel Benahavis to everyone. The village is beautiful but would not recommed here to anyone with walking difficulties due to the steep hills but we will definately be going back."
- Travel date: Thu 29th of May 2008
What a hidden Gem!
"I stumbled across this hotel by accident and then read some of the previous reviews on Trip Advisor, so thought I'd give it a try. I'm so delighted that I did as it was truly amazing. The hotel sits at the foot of the hills a few miles from Puerto Banus, Estepona and Marbella. From the moment you walk into the grand reception area, through to the fabulous old style courtyard with beautiful gardens and swimming pools, you feel ready to relax and enjoy your holiday. The fact that it has a spa is an extra bonus. The spa is wonderful and was very under-used whilst we were there, at times we had the place to ourselves! The hotel is a wonderful haven of peace and quiet, with hardly any children and no noisey groups to irritate you. The town of Benahavis is beautiful and typically Spanish with it's little white houses built into the hillside. The hills are pretty steep, so if you're not fit and active or don't like hills, then you won't enjoy it but it's worth it when you get up to the main town as the restaurants and little bars and terrific. If you want to get out and about to explore the surroundings and nearest beaches, then you will need to hire a car. Though saying that, we didn't go to the beach once and didn't miss it at all. The hotel staff, were very accommodating and helpful. The rooms were very large with high ceilings, plenty of wardrobe space, an iron and ironing board for those who are inclined when on hols! A safe in your room which you don't have to pay extra for and a large bathroom with shower. You don't even have to bring towels on holiday with you as they provide fresh towels everyday at reception for the poolside if you want them as well as clean towels everyday in your room. If you really want to push the boat out, for a little extra you can ask for one of the pool side rooms, where you can walk out of your door and the pool is just in front of you. The hotel is wonderful and sophisticated and not for those who prefer plenty of hotel activities, entertainment, drinking competitions and the birdy dance every night! If you want a stress-free, low key, quiet holiday with no noisey kids running around and a bit of pampering thrown in if you want it, then this is the place to be."
- Travel date: Wed 28th of May 2008
"We have stayed at this hotel approx 16 times since 2005. Previously we stayed on the coast and used to go into Benahavis village for a meal, then we saw the hotel being built. Now we wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else. Friendly staff, fabulous rooms and great pool areas. We cannot fault it at all.
This is our little taste of paradise.
The hotel only tends to get busy at weekends with Spanish families or if there are any weddings in the private function building in the hotel grounds.
Breakfast has all the usual assortments, lunch and dinner restaurant food is excellent.(We can definately recommend the Paella)
We tend to have the short (steep) walk to the village in the evening for Dinner. The village is typically Spanish with approx 30+ restaurants and Tapas bars. Even though we have been going for so long we still haven't eaten in all of them.
Near to the hotel there is a great Municipal Pool Bar next to the football Pitch. Its a nice stroll. It opens in Summer time and has a great friendly Spanish atmosphere where all the local families go. This is where your Spanish phrases come in handy. Excellent Hotel and surroundings.Its cheaper to hire a car than getting a taxi from the airport. Care re directions to hotel, they tend to be quite misleading for your first visit. Look out for the hotel signs, there are at least two! Once you have travelled round the narrow winding roads up the mountain, turn right at the water fountain and follow the road until you come to a sharp right steep hill. Pastel coloured apts are
on the left hand side. As you turn the bend you will see the hotel on the right (just past the park) Go over the bridge and you will see the hotel on the right. Enjoy. If you don't enjoy this hotel and the village you need help!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of May 2008
Grew on us...
"We were a bit dissapointed with location at first but the we were glad to be away from the craziness of Marbella- this hotel is close enough! The mountains are breathtaking and it is a great place to relax and get away from it all! The rooms are nice and very spacious and the breakfast is great but the room service was AWFUL and expensive (go out to eat for sure!). We loved the spa which you can use for free (sauna and jacuzzi) I had a facial done (about 60 euro) and it was lovely. There is a driving range across the road which we enjoyed and a lovely park which was perfect for our daughter. The town is quaint and lovely and is filled with yummy restaurants. Try the taperia La Torre.
In Marbella, I can recommend a great sushi restauant Katsuro which was DELICIOUS and the staff was lovely!"
- Travel date: Thu 24th of April 2008
Just booking our second stay
"We stayed in this hotel last october. It was the most peaceful relaxing hotel that i have ever come accross and was so impressed that we are just about to book another week in october.
We had two days stop over before visiting family, our room was a delux room with its own, very private balcony, overlooking the court yard, However, at this time of year it is so quiet that we felt like we had the hotel to ourselves.
The staff could have been a little more obliging on occasions but all in all I rate this hotel extremley highly."
- Travel date: Mon 31st of March 2008
"This is our third year at the Gran hotel Benahavis and I must say that since our last visit the place has undergone some changes.
Our stay was beyond expectations! The level of service has greatly improved since our previous visit. the standard of cleanliness throughout the hotel is excellent and the general attitude of all staff has improved.
The Spa is simply THE place to enjoy.
Congratulations on such great improvements!
We will have no hesitation to return and to recomend the hotel to anyone in the future."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of September 2007
"This was my 5th stay at this hotel in the last 3 years and i cannot believe how much the standard has deteriorated. The hotel used to be refined, quiet and luxurious. It is now more like a holiday camp for irish weddings.
The hotel was definitely up there with the best of the 4* hotels but i would say that it is currently struggling to be a 3*. On the plus side the rooms are lovely. However, the hotel is now in the Thompson brochure and must be marketing themselves for weddings more and more.
This resulted in 3 weddings in one week during my stay which obviously involves large groups of wedding guests also staying at the
hotel and long nights of loud music and drunk guests. It's great having a lovely room but not so great if you can't sleep! I myself am
only in my 30's but Benahavis is just not the place for this.
Benahavis is a sleepy village where people have been going for years to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Since last year the cut backs have been amazing. Tables at breakfast and lunch are not longer set with nice tablecloths and cutlery, instead it is more like a canteen. The service is mixed. Some staff are friendly and quick, others are utterly miserable and slow. At breakfast you now have to make your own tea and coffee out of canteen
style machine and nothing is brought to your table. You spend more time fighting with the crowds of hung over wedding guests trying to get your food and drink rather than enjoying a quiet breakfast. Then to top it all off, the one waitress on duty comes round clearing the tables with a trolley and two big buckets on top - one to literally throw the cutlery in and the other to scrape the un eaten food into. Not at all what you expect from a hotel of this standard. The pools are now dirty and not cleaned enough, as is the area surrounding the pool. Cups, glasses are left out over night and you need to watch out
for broken glass or china on the floor that has not been swept up (probably following yet another naf wedding). My sister had her 2 small children with us and they could not use the small pools as they were so dirty you could not see the bottom.
In previous years the wicker sunbeds were lovely and laid out each morning with thick cushions. However, this year you have to find your
own cushion and the lower level pool now has plastic uncomfortable beds.
The food at lunch is lovely but i would not advise eating there on an evening.
This hotel has so much potential to be a sofisticated, charming retreat but it has lost all sofistication it ever had. Such a shame.
In previous years i have recommended this hotel to many people but i certainly wouldn't recommend it now."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of September 2007
not what it seems
"the hotel is not what it seems. First of all, when we arrived -3pm-the room was not made up, as we were exhausted after a long trip I asked for another room but the hotel was full. What we notices is that the hotel didnt have enough staff, we had to wait at the bar, at the spa, everywhere.
If you havent got a car dont go there because the access is not easy at all.
the rooms were fine, clean and good size as well as the bathroom, but the bathtub plug didnt work.
the spa was fine and the quality of the breakfast too.
but what annoyed me most was that 2 women came in our room without even knocking at the door!!! first i had a phone call from the receptionist asking me to leave the room and then the 2 women!! incredible, after having waited the day before for 2 hours to have our room ready. The hotel says that the check in is at 2pm."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of August 2007
Shame - poor standards !
"An extract from my Email to them.
I have just returned from my 4th stay at this hotel. As a frequent traveller and guest of this hotel both myself and my wife were very dissapointed with the hotel in its current condition and would like you to review my notes below.
there is not enough staff during the day, they are all friendly but look very busy/stressed.
Drinks/ glasses/ plates are left by the pool overnight !! always there the next morning.this constitutes a health and safety hazard, and promotes rodent infestation.
The pool bar when closed at night still has dirty glasses/ ash trays left on the bar overnight every night!
The pool was disgusting!. there was mud, tissues all at the bottom of the pool. one day the lifeguard attempted to clean the pool himself. This used to be attended to daily on previous visits. it was so bad we had health concerns with the water and did not want to take the plunge.
The grass area around the pool and childrens paddle pool had established 'weeds' growing.
No staff are available to collect drinks / orders from guests around the pool side.
Breakfast juice / coffee is now of a 2 star hotel standard.
There was a wedding during our stay with a large reception during the night. All staff at our hotel seemed to respond to them and hotel guests were left with very little staff.
After the Wedding ceremony, the glasses / plates outside were there for 3 days after !!!, plates with cake on them with lots of fly's, glasses half full of wine etc.
We noticed the hotel pool side towels were changed this year, who decided on the size! these are hand towels !!
The towels in the room were of very poor condition and are needing a change.
The hotel room we stayed was not looking its best with noisy fans now and shower doors that longer close. As a once contender for 'worlds finest hotel' do you really expect guests to go around noting down faults then reporting to reception! i think not! a world class hotel would have a planned maintenance program to regularly inspect each room for defects.
I think this is a great shame for what was a really good hotel of once world class.
You must realise that when a guest reports defects to reception such as shower doors that do not close etc, by this time the guest has already decided not to revisit.
We spoke to many guests at the hotel who were also re-visiting the hotel like ourselves. They also had the same opinion and like ourselves would not be returning again unless we are given guarentees of improved standards
Overall, the hotel was a contender for a 4/5 start rating is in our opinion a 2/3 star rating with 4 star prices.
I hope you find our opinions helpful and respond to them with haste."
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of August 2007
Pease and quiet
"We stayed at this hotel in January we have stayed at most of the hotels in Marbella and choose this hotel for the chill out factor and that is exactly what we got.
The village is a steep walk away ,good to get rid of the extra pounds gained over the festive season however the restaurants in Benahavis are superb so more weight gain unfortunatly.
We were half board but ate very rarely in the restaurant as the food left a lot to be desired! however we did make our comments made to the manager and he has ensured us that changes will be made.
The spa was very nice however not the best in Marbella but as it is free entrance one can't complain, the massage was excellant.
Nice room nice grounds no complaints with the staff.
Thinking of staying again in September so will update on improvements then."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of June 2007