Macdonald Dona Lola Resort
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We were very impressed with our apartment overlooking the sea and the pool at the resort. We were unsure if we picked the right Macdonald resort but I think we did as it was very central for everything, shops, buses, restaurants etc
The apartment was clean and tidy and had a balcony so it had all we required. The restaurants at the resort were excellent, infact there is no need to leave the resort as they cater for all tastes from pizzas, italian and a superb fish restaurant.
The weather was fabulous for this time of year 25 degrees every day, just perfect for lounging around the pool and relaxing.
We will be back one day.
Fiona and George McLaren"
- Travel date: Tue 18th of November 2008
"This was a lovely resort. We exchanged our timeshare week for this place. Given Luisa 'T', which was on the third floor, but lovely views over the Med. Gardens well kept and maintained and the pools are very well maintained too. Hubby is a water treatment specialist and always checks pools are looked after. Food in the complex not that great but ok. Don't eat at the buffets, reports of dodgy tums! 'The Restaurant', run by Carl and Sheley along the walkway above the reception area is excellent. We only stayed at the resort for a week but went there 3 times. Couldn't fault the food. You do need a car as nothing much around. Just outside the resort there is a very busy highway A7. You do not walk across the road you must go over the bridges. Met some wonderful friendly people.
Just watch out for the timeshare people. If they knock your door to ask if you have settled in and offer maps and places to go to, just don't go as they are definitely timeshare touts. Or, they ask you to help with their 'holiday survey', just say no!!!! But not too much of a problem with them at all."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of September 2008
"Just come home from two weeks at the Dona Lola resort, Calahonda, Spain and wanted to share our experiences with you.
Resort is approximately 20 mins from Malaga airport and 15 mins from Marbella (Two roads - both really good, 1 toll, 1 free)
Arrived at resort at 1pm, not expecting access until 5pm which is check in time - but handed keys immediately, despite resort being fully booked out. Reception staff very helpful and friendly.
Stayed in Elizabeth 121 - first floor with partial sea view. Apartment beautiful - every 'mod con' apart from washing machine. Very spacious, fully air conditioned, towels, appliances, even iron, hairdryer, - everything including washing up liquid and dishwasher powder! The master bedroom had two complimentery bath robes for the stay and complimentory toiletries in both bathrooms.
Children delighted as all bbc and itv terrestrial channels and selection of sky channels too.
(**NOTE:No lifts to apartment**)
Resort was beautiful too - maintained gardens, lots of landscaping, waterfalls, fountains leading down to swimming pools (3 - general, childrens and adult only) (Note:**Lots of steps - might not be great for buggies and people with mobility problems**
Swimming pools warm and clean - life guards on duty - dont allow sunbeds (plenty of these) to be reserved with towels. Only allowed inflatables in main pool between 12-1 and 3-5. Path from pool area leading down steps straight onto beach.
Beach was slightly disappointing - quite stoney in places - and rocks - but more than adequate for even 2 weeks. Be careful though, were sea urchins and jelly fish if go out too far - but can get them anywhere, so dont let this put you off.
Found it expensive onsite for drinks and food - mainly ate in apartment because for family of 5 we were paying inexcess of Â£100 per meal - much cheaper in neighbouring resorts - even Puerto Banus (a must for mixing with rich and beautiful jet setting lot - dream on)
Lovely indoor pool and small gym. Short 'street area' with bars, resteraunts and mini market - mainly english themed if you want that sort of thing abroad. Even macdonalds that is within 15 min walk if desperate!
Do watch out for pushy time share sales team - will call on you inviting you for chat - be firm if you dont want to lose 2 hrs of holiday.
Didnt find much to do in Calahonda itself - meant to be a few tapas bars further into town - not a quaint spanish whitewashed vilage - which is divided from hotel with dual carriage way. There are a few shops and supermarket - but again, found quality and price alot better elsewhere.
Trip to Gibraltar a must - but be prepared to queue a long time to get through passport control both in and out. Only bargains to be had are alcohol and cigarettes - everything else british prices more or less. Cable cars are most terrifying thing for two parents with fear of heights (kids fine!) and the caves are spectacular.
Did have to pay for electricity which we expected - but was suprised when they charged us over E80 fot the two weeks - more than we pay at home.
So, to sum up - generally a quiet, family friendly and safe resort - one that we would definately recommend and possibly return again - but have too much of the world to see before we do. Hope this has been useful."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of September 2008
A superb break at a superb resort
"Our flight arrived in Malaga at around 1pm and after a very quick hire car pick up we headed down the coast to Calahonda.
Check in at Dona Lola is 5 pm but we arrived shortly after 2pm and the apartment was ready for us, check in was swift and took no longer than 5 mins with the usual forms requiring to be filled in.We had been allocated Diana 202 which is beachfront 1 bed 1 bathroom apartment and was directly adjacent to the steps that led to the beach.
I had read various other resort reviews that steps were a problem in the resort but I personally didnât think it was any different from any other resort that we have stayed in along the coast (I certainly found this resort easier with a childs buggy than say Marriott Marbella). Maybe we were fortunate that from the car park located above the fountains we were able just to walk down the slope slightly and we were then on the lowest part of the resort.
The apartment itself was well appointed with everything you would find at home, the kitchen was fitted with dishwasher, microwave, oven, grill, fridge freezer, every utensil you could possibly need to cook and plenty crockery. It was very clean an tidy and the appliances were in very good condition.
The bedroom was well appointed with plenty of drawer space and plenty of hangers available in the wardrobes. (A hair dryer was supplied which my partner was delighted with as she had forgotten hers) extra pillows and bedding were provided and stored in one of the cupboards if required.
The bathroom consisted of the usual suspects ( bath also had a shower overhead) and soap, shampoo etc were provided by the resort in the minature bottles. Again, very clean and fit for purpose.
The lounge was large and bright with two leather sofas, and large table, which doubled as a games table with chess, backgammon and playing cards stored under the lid. A large wall unit housed the television with a (free) good channel selection available including the Disney channel which was quite nice to settle the little one at nights. The resort has recently installed a new system which provides internet, e mail and pay per view movies which are accessed through a remote control. I never used this facility so canât report on how good it is.
A large dining table was also provided with 4 comfortable chairs and all the placemats and napkins provided for setting. Crystal glasses of various sizes and an ice bucket were also provided.
The balcony was a good size and a table and chairs along with 2 sun loungers were provided, this was accessed from the lounge through a set of sliding doors and gave unspoiled views of the beach and sea as far as the eye could see.
The resort itself was well staffed on our visit and maintenance staff seemed to be going about their business. Security staff were very much present and I witnessed them several times stopping people and asking to see some form of proof that they belonged to the resort. They also came round the pool area twice with a clipboard and asked which apartment you were staying in which was reassuring.
As we had our little one with us we spent much of our time around the childrens pool, the pool itself was great and sloped from the entry area very gently to a maximum of 1 metre. Our daughter was more than happy to spend the whole afternoon in there without any problems and as parents we were able to relax without worrying about her. To me, this was one of the best bits about the resort.
The poolside maintenance staff were friendly and helpful and when we asked if the kiddies pool could be cleaned (after a windy night had blown some leaves and debris in) a member of staff arrived and had it all cleaned again within 10 minutes.
The resort also has an indoor pool with Jacuzzi, sauna, and a very impressive gym with the very latest equipment. A snooker room is also present and looked very nice when I popped my head in.
We ate on a couple of occasions in Vista Mar which is the restaurant by the pool and had no complaints on the quality or the service. A similar situation was found at Barbrass by the main reception when we ventured up that way.
There are plenty eating establishments directly outside the resort and we found good quality and value at The Look Inn, Da Vincis Italian and the Buffet restaurant (the name escapes me but it was something like Mellot or maybe I had too much wine). The food in the Buffet was outstanding and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the resort or the area, There was around 70 different dishes/items available and everything from carvery roasts to Spanish to Italian and German was available. . I was slightly apprehensive when we looked at it as you are never quite sure how long food has been sitting in the buffet situation but we had heard it was good so took the plunge. During our time sitting there the chef was constantly coming out the kitchen and checking the temperature and quality of the dishes, he took several away (even though they were still full) and replaced it with fresh. All in all great value and highly recommended.
As this is getting a bit long now Iâll start to sum up a little.
The resort and accommodation were superb, all staff were friendly and helpful and I cannot find fault with anything during our weeks stay there. My daughter had a wonderful time and as parents we got to relax beyond our wildest dreams due to the kiddies pool. So mission well and truly accomplished.
All in all I would say this resort is both suitable for families and non families as the childrens pool does not in any way interfere with sunbathers by the large pool. Nothing worse than hoards of children running around you when your trying to relax, but the layout of the pools ensures that there is little chance of that."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of June 2008
"My husband and I stayed at the Dona Lola Club resort from May 17-24.
Check in was smooth. I asked for a top floor apartment but didn't get it. We weren't impressed with Christine 106 so we went back to the office to see if they had anything else available. We ended up in Louisa âTâ. Eventhough it is the closest building to the highway, we were much happier with the accommodations. There was a nice view of the Mediterranean from our livingroom and balcony. Some days we could even see the Rocks of Gibraltar.
The kitchen was well-equipped and quite satisfactory for a week. There is a Supermecado across the highway that you can walk to by taking the overpass. If you continue walking about a mile there is also a Lidl market that had much better prices, but not as complete a selection as a grocery store. The food is quite expensive but the fresh bread was definitely worth the price!
The resort was well-maintained and very lush. There was an abundance of flowers and water features.
My husband swam in the pool, but it was on the chilly side. There were enough lounge chairs for the time that we were there. There was some topless sunbathing, even at the family pool.
Almost every night there was some sort of entertainment. It wasnât too bad if it was at the pool. The nights that it was at the Bar Brass by the reception, it was much too loud. That was the only part that we didn't care for.
We took two tours- one to Morocco and one to Granada. Iâm glad that we were with a group in Tangiers but it would have been nice to have more time at the Lahambra in Granada.
It was a very pleasant week and would recommend the resort."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of June 2008
Lovely apartment- great base for exploring
"Spent a week here with another couple in a two bedroom apartment. Was pleasantly surprised with our apartment. Two bathrooms, full kitchen, dining area and lounge with a balcony and sea view. Plenty of bars, cafes and restauarants within the grounds or within few minutes walk. Lovely to have an adult pool where you could relax! Great place for hiring a car and visiting other resorts along the coast. Supermarket near and a mini mart in resort so we had breakfast and some lunches on our balcony and ate out every night at various venues. All in all a resort I would recommend to friends."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of December 2007
Very nice place
"We stayed at Dona Lola for a week, at the end of March.
The appartment was really clean, the maid was coming every day. The resort itself was also very well looked after.
The facilities are good, and the view is fantastic.The indoor swimming pool had just been refurbished and it all looked spotless and top quality.
Overall our stay was extremely relaxing and really nice indeed.
The only bad point was that if you dont rent a car ( luckily for us we did....) there is not much going on around.....
Also, our downstairs neighbours were extremely noisy, but that obviously has nothing the do with the quality of the resort itself.....
We enjoyed our stay very much and will go back."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of December 2007
Amazing getaway by the beach.
Nice, clean resort.
Not very busy in May so able do anything.
Able to walk up beach to Cabo-pino marina....gorgeous views and restaurants
Need a car to get around as fairly isolated."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of August 2007
Beautiful Dona Lola
"The Dona Lola Club was freshly renovated with equisite gardens, an "adults only" pool, two restraunts and private beach. The rooms were spacious and clean, all newly painted and refurnished. The staff were helpful and friendly, everyone here speaks several languages due to the large numbers of British, German and Americans. Overall, the resort was family friendly as well as couples-friendly!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of June 2007
Great First Time Trip to Spain/Costa del Sol/ Dona Lola Resort
"Spent a week at the lovely spot recently in Callahonda, between Malaga and Marbella. We were very surpised that almost everyone speaks English. The area is a haven for freezing Brits, Irish and Scots who are running from winter. Nice accomodations, just be sure you are AWAY from the reception building as it is very noisy from the bars at night. It does stop at midnight.
Across the A7 highway we found a gem of a restaurant called the Meson Callahonda. Fantastic food and service, a nice and cozy spot that the tourons haven't found. Reservations in advance are a must. Moderate prices and fantastic food, especially the seafood. The best Dover Sole I ever had!
Fly into Malaga from many locales. Modern and efficient airport. Even the cheapie airline (Air Europe) was great, somewhat like Jet Blue. Easy and quick access to Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar, The Alhambra, Antiquera and so many other spots. Fun visits to flea markets in nearby towns made shopping inexpensive and an adventure as well, Great for a first time trip to Spain as language is not a problem."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of March 2007