Gran Melia Don Pepe
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
An excellent run Hotel
"Just returned from the Don Pepe after spending 10 days there. We have been going there for over 8 years, and find that each year they improve their facilities. The staff really tries hard to please their guests. We end up each time with a bottle of champagne and fresh fruits. The location of the hotel in Marbella is just perfect. Each year, we visit other 5 star hotels always thinking that perhaps we should try one, but we have not seen any that are as nice, including the Marbella Country Club, which is located outside the loop. If you are headed for Marbella and can afford the price, you can't go wrong with the Don Pepe."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of August 2006
Excellent refit for a previously tired hotel
"Just a quick note about this hotel, as having looked at previous reviews they look quite mixed. I thought the rooms here were really elegant and the communal areas very clean. You have to bear in mind that this hotel goes way back and has made big strides in updating its decor and approach. I would definitely go back and would recommend the hotel to anyone."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of June 2006
Do not go full board!
"My wife and I went for our silver wedding anniversary - so thinking somewhere special! Hotel accomodation is excellent. helpful staff, very good location, lovely grounds. Although we went "out of season" - end of April that is, there was only one restaurant open. The service and food in the dining room was very poor . For a 5 * hotel the sweet course was " mozaic of fruit" this turned out to be a banana and apple in a basket ! Enjoy the breakfasts and lunch by the pool but there are lots of places to eat in Marbella town centre or along the beach in the evening."
- Travel date: Fri 19th of May 2006
Don't know how you can say the breakfast wasn't good?
"I wasn't going to write a review on our stay here (just through laziness) but having just read the one below felt the need to!!!
I agree with the below review that the hotel is very pleasing to the eye and the pool area is beautiful...the staff attentive and there when needed and the location was also excellent!
I disagree with the comments regarding the breakfasts and rooms. We have just spent 10 days in Spain and during that time we stayed in 3 different Melia hotels...the one thing that didn't disappoint in any (of which 1 was 5 * DL (Don Pepe) another 5 * and the other 4*) was the breakfast buffet. The food looked spectacular, was all fresh and kept topped up quicker than you could say boo! And the overall selection was 2nd to none. My husband and I both felt that there was every possible thing you could have wanted from fruit to bacon, cheese to croissants and pastries - Cava as well if you wanted to start the day with some fizz. Of course, if you have room service...maybe you don't get the selection. I'd say that the breakfast is definitely worth getting up for!!!!
We did eat in the grill restaurant (name escapes me) and that was also superb. The staff were lovely, food excellent and the overall surroundings very pleasant - not cheap but then, we were in Marbella!
The hotel did seem very quiet (though not like the Marie Celeste and it was early season) however, we later discovered that there were 250 Americans staying on a conference so maybe the Don Pepe is just very good at keeping things nice and tranquil!
As for the rooms..we had a standard room - mountain view on the 4th floor. It wasn't massive but then that depends on how you term massive. There was plenty of room for a huge bed (my husband is 6' 7" so that's important), 2 seater sofa, chair, table, dressing table/desk, ample wardrobe space, mini bar, tv etc. The bathroom had 2 sinks, bath, shower, slippers, robes and more toiletries than we could possibly need. ! Did we need anything further....ummm don't think so! Oh and a very nice man delivered a lovely gift of chocolates just after we arrived.
Again, with reference to the below review, we paid Euro 264 including breakfast for our room - approx Â£190, so I don't think you have to pay huge amounts and that wasn't because we booked early!
Hopefully, I have conveyed the niceness of the Gran Melia Don Pepe...I guess my overall view would be, good hotel, pleasant surrounds, good service and basically a very nice time had! Don't go if you like small and intimate but if you don't mind bigger but with an unobtrusive feel, give it a try!"
- Travel date: Mon 15th of May 2006
You either love it or hate it!
"Although we stayed at this hotel in September 2005, I forgot to write my review. And as we are going back to Marbella soon, I was browsing the hotels and saw some very adverse reviews on poor old Pepe. So of course have to add my pennyworth!
Overall, the hotel is very pleasing to the eye, with a really top location. Walk to the left and you (eventually) get to Puerto Banus. Walk to the right and you hit Marbella and then Marbella Old Town - such a beatiful place; you must visit Orange Square - it really makes you feel like you're on holiday!
We were in Costa De La Luz and didn't like the area, so decided to drive to Marbella and stay there instead. It was a toss up between Don Pepe, Marbella Club & Romano but I'd heard good things about the Pepe. I don't remember exactly how much we paid but I'm pretty sure it was nearly Â£300 per night.
The first disappointment was the room - it was the smallest hotel room I've ever had - I'm not sure how much you had to pay for a decent sized room but it must have been a lot! The bathroom was also really really small - no bath, just a shower and nowhere to put anything.
It may just have been a bad room but the hotel wasn't full by any means - at times it felt like the Marie Celeste. The atmosphere when you walked through the lobby, past the lounge was dead, although the decor is really beautiful. We should have asked to change rooms but we were shattered and couldn't be bothered with the fuss.
The other big disappointment was the breakfasts - they aren't wonderful contrary to what people say. For a 5 star hotel they were abysmal. We didn't eat dinner in the hotel; you don't need to to with such fantastic restaurants nearby!
But the pool area is lovely, the staff were OK and as I've said the location is great.
We've never stayed anywhere else in Marbella but when we go in April, I think we'll go to the Puente Romano. If the Don Pepe had measured up to reputation and delivered what I thought we'd paid for, we wouldn't need to be looking elsewhere. I would say if money is no object and you want a good location, book here but upgrade your room."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of March 2006
First Class Resort
"It's amazing to read reviews after you return from a trip and wonder who stayed where. Beautiful LARGE hotel overlooking the sea. Oceanview rooms are beautiful. Some reviewers seem to have booked closet rooms online with a view of the parking lot. So who's to blame. Nice grounds, large pool, spa is very weak. Food very good overall but town nearby dictates taking breakfast here and nothing else. Management very responsive as I reported something that needed to be cleaned on the grounds and it was taken care of within the hour. This hotel is THE excellent choice if you want to be near/walk to the old town. If you want to be more remote then Marbella Club might be your choice........."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of February 2006
Fantastic Gran Melia Don Pepe
"I stayed at the Gran Melia Don Pepe for 2 nights from 17th-19th Feb 06 and had a wonderful stay. The hotel arranged transfers to the hotel from Malaga Airport, cost 57.75 euros each way, for a 60km 40 minute journey this was competitive, the driver met us in the arrivals hall and we were in the hotel within 1hr of our flight landing! On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by the Head of Concierge and Reception Manager, we were allocated a great room with Sea View and Balcony on the 7th floor, this was the top floor for standard rooms, only the presidential suites were one floor higher. The rooms were nicely furnished, room 723 had a wonderfully comofortable king bed, a sofa, minibar, tv with many channels including UK, French, German and of course Spanish, the picture quality was not brilliant on all channels. The room had a small balcony with two comfortable chairs and a table, the view to the sea was tremendous, from dawn to sunset the view was great. The cost of drinks in the hotel were high, 17.50 euros for an Irish Coffee and Vodka & Light Coke, although I suppose you can expect this in a 5-star Gran Deluxe property. The Buffet Breakfast was fantastic, every possible choice, Fresh Salmon, Fruit Platters, Fried Eggs, Scambled Eggs, Boiled Eggs, spanish bacon, spanish sausage, etc etc etc the list is endless, even Cava was flowing freely! The hotel has indoor and outdoor pools, however, during our stay the outdoor pool was closed for cleaning, but the indoor pool was fantasic, very warm! There is also a Jaquzzi, Sauna and steam room, massage available at extra cost. The gardens of the hotel are superbly maintained. The hotel position is great, directly on the beachfront, you go through the rear gate and you are on the promenade, turn left and walk for 10mins 1km and you are in the centre of Marbella, turn right and walk fro 45mins 5km and you are in Puerto Banus. Taxis are available at reasonable cost, 5 euros to anywhere within the Marbella Central area. When in Marbella you must visit the fantastic "Orange" area (Naranja in Spanish) which is just behind the town centre taxi rank, superb little bars and restaurants and an old spanish church in typical spanish style, just amazing! So would i return to the Gran Melia Don Pepe, yes definitely, especially if I can get it for the same price i paid this time, 120 euros B&B per night, negotiated directly with the hotel!"
- Travel date: Mon 20th of February 2006
"Despite some of the vindictive reviews about this hotel, from people who would have been better off staying at a Two Star 18 to 30 Club Hotel, we stayed here for four nights. All I can say is that the Hotel was excellent and one of the best I have ever stayed at.
The location, decor, service and restaurant food were excellent in every way. The staff went out of their way to be helpful and for anyone looking for a relaxing stay, this is the hotel. The after dinner music with dancing was great and if you are looking for a rock band or a disco,look somewhere else!!
The rooms were fine with a wonderful sea view, were a very good size and very well equipped with an evening "turndown" a normal feature."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of January 2006
A stay for New Years Eve
"We have just returned from spending one night at new year at this hotel. Prior to this we had spent 3 nights at the Kempskini in Estepona but checked out early as the service was dreadful and we had been badly misinformed about what services were availalbe to guests not wishing to participate in the new year gala celebrations.
I moved to the Don Pepe as my family are regular visitors of this hotel.
I rang the hotel at 9am on the 31st for a reservation and we had checked in by 11.30.
We were given a floor on the 7th floor, fab seaviews.
The position is stunning. Located right on the beach/promenade, so no road between the hotel and beach. You access the prom via your key card. You can walk along the front to Marbella central in 15 minutes . To the right of the gate you can walk to Puerto Banus.
The gardens are lovely and the outdoor pool area is stunning - big pools facing the sea. Two adults and one childrens. Lots of loungers and the bali beds loads of space.
We booked a standard room, and got a beautiful room as they all face the sea. The rooms have been recently been renovated in a french Provencal style with a modern twist,the rooms are sunny and airy.
The bathroom had good quality toiletries, towelling robes and slippers, the toilet and bidet were separated off by a sliding glass door.
The bathroom area is in particular very small and the reception did advise the rooms on the side of the hotel also with seaview had larger bathrooms.
The room is ample, with a sofa and dining table, and a small balcony with 2 chairs and table.
The dining room for breakfast seemed fine, it is in the grill resturant although following the celebrations of the night before was very busy and the spanish were getting annoyed having to wait for tables.
the breakfast was tasty. There didnt appear to be a seperate area for eggs / omelettes made to order, the buffet had fried/scrambled eggs, frankfurter sausages, streaky bacon. Cold meats, cheeses, salad, etc. Bread and rolls, small cakes and other pastries.
The clientele was upmarket well healded spanish and european holiday makers, lots of spanish visiting to use resturants etc.
Very calm and peaceful.
The lounge areas are grand and very spacious.
There are shops and a hairdressers
The Spa is ok/average.
The Gym looked very well equipped.
Plenty of parking for hire cars. Taxis easy to get.
There is good security to the hotel via there own access.
Staff were of a mature age, very proffessional and on the ball. They take pride in their jobs.
The turn down service was ok, it did the job.
The corridors are light and airy, and each landing has sofas and flowers.
We did not eat in the hotel at night, but the menu at the pool resturant was good, although not cheap.
There were plenty of people eating.
In in the evening we ate out as we did not want to do the gala buffet at 350 euros per person plus tax, other set dinners were either 177 euros or 77 euros per person plus tax, only the gala buffet had live music and an open bar, you could go to the celebtations for just drinks only after 11.30 at about 100 euros per person, there was security on the the gala to prevent persons entering who had not paid.
At 11.30 we returned back to the hotel and spent the night in the piano bar, we had a really good time previous reviews are fairly spot on about the piano bar having live music and it is typically old fashioned but it resembles spanish style in a grand spanish hotel, if you not what i mean.
Half Board would be better value than eating at the seperate resturants.
Overall a really good experience, it does not match say the top hotels in asia or dubai but it is grand spanish.
This hotel is not a small boutique hotel but a large established hotel on the costa del sol.
Marbella has become very expensive and this is reflected in food and drink prices at any 5 star hotel or good resturants in the surrounding area.
If you like easy access to the shops/bars resturants etc this hotel will suit although some of the spanish villages have supberb hotels with real charm.
There are only a handful of hotels in actual Marbella/Puerto Banus on the beach/seafront.
I higly recommend this Melia hotel.
The weather from the 28 dec to the 1st jan was in the region of 20-23 degress, absoutely fab."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of January 2006
DISAPPOINTED AND ANGRY
"I booked this hotel based on the reviews here. And the fact that Melia claim that this hotel is 5 star Grand Luxe.
The location is superb - right on the promenade with gardens all the way from the hotel to the seafront. It has a huge circular outdoor pool with a smaller but still large children's pool. There was ample space and loungers in the gardens at any time of day.
Inside the hotel is immaculate. Very cool, tranquil and calm. There are indeed flowers on every landing, and it is spotless.
So the actual building and gardens and pool are definitely 5 star.
But I was sorely disappointed elsewhere. My room overlooked the car park with no balcony. So on a hot summer night I had no where to sit. The room itself was fine with a very nice bathroom, good toiletries, robe, slippers etc. But very claustrophobic. And only Fox News and Sky News and CNN on the TV. Hardly a relaxing/entertaining choice. But had I booked a cheap deal? No. My room was well over 300 Euros a night. I had booked on the Melia website, and it said all rooms faced the sea. I asked to be changed to a sea view room but was told that none were available. This was a lie. The hotel was no where near full. I could see row after row of empty sea view rooms from the gardens.
On top of that the spa is closed - no mention on the website, so no massage, sauna, gym etc. Ther is also building work so when you sit in the lounge during the day you can see it and hear it. This should have been stated on the website given it is supposed to be 5 star Luxe. No private beach or beach restaurant. The beach itself is all grey sand and pebble, and virtually unswimmable. I was so disappointed as this was supposed to be 5 star Luxe.
Every night the bar has he same man on an electronic organ singing ballads in pigeon English. It was very reminiscent of a holiday camp. A few ancient clientele wobble on the 'dance floor' or sit in a stupor.
Overall the average age of guests is 70. I'm 40. They were all dressed in their eyes to the hilt. But seeing aged men over 70 in pink and orange polyester slacks with their wives smothered in garsih make up trying to teeter about in high heels is not my cup of tea.
But worst of all the food. Breakfast was ok. The usual. However, the hot food at breakfast was fried eggs swimming in oil under a hot lamp, cheap straky bacon and chorizo sausages all floating in oil. And for the previous reviewer TownsleyTownsley- I'm afraid the Kellogs cereals are no more - the cheap varities in big plastic containers, reminiscent of a 3 star package hotel prevail.
The real downer was dinner. I had expected a decent buffet. But it was waiter service. And for a seaside hotel this is a mistake. They try to have a fancy menu but they don't have the chefs or the quality ingredients. For a 5 star hotel it was unbelievably bad. There were ever hardly any guests at dinner. The starters were cheap - pretend smoked salmon smothered in dressing to cover up it was of poor quality and stale or soup or microwaved ravioli. The main courses were tiny portions of poorly cooked chops, steak, fish. I had teryaki chicken one night - swimming in gloop with tasteless rice. I have had much better from a take away Chinese. Desert was creme catalan, sorbet, ice cream. Every night. I had cheese and it was litle cubes of the same cheese dished up at breakfast with a few cheap crackers still in their cellophane wrapper. For 45 euros excluding any drinks, water or coffee it was outrageous. For a seaside hotel they would be far better off having a buffet in the evening.
The staff are friendly and try hard. But they can't cope. For example, by the pool they insist on bringing you a towel rather than letting you get it yourself. But then I waited half an hour because the one pool guy couldn't keep up - and there weren't that many guests to cater for compared to some hotels. As for ordering a drink by the pool, it took an hour to arrive after having waited for ages for a waiter to show up. I ended up gettin it myself from the pool bar.
Overall 6 nights cost me nearly Â£2000. Nothing at this hotel can justify that. So in summary I feel ripped off completely. The hotel grounds are lovely. The staff do their best. But the things that make up a 5 star Grand Luxe hotel are sorely missing. They need to shape up the restaurant, and be more truthful on the website. And have prices that they can justify.
I took a walk along the front and saw the Marbella Beach Club and Puente Romano. Lots of guests of all ages really enjoying themselves. And both had lovely private beaches with watersports and lovely beach front restaurants. Not the quarter full old folks home the Pepe was."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of September 2005
Arrived safely and were met by Taxi tran...
"Arrived safely and were met by Taxi transfer which took us straight to hotel saving lots of time waiting around for coach.
Hotel very plush, they thought of everything you could possibly need and nothing was too much bother.
Only B&B buts lots of nice restaurants to eat at nearby.
Weather not great but a bit of a gamble in Feb. Would recommend to anyone."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006