15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Although the town was beautiful, the hot...
"Although the town was beautiful, the hotel comfortable with a truly stunning location I'm compelled to write this review as we returned yesterday and our holiday was spoiled by the sea. Four out of seven days in the water there was what appeared to be sewage or bilge from boats. Despite asking at reception and tourist information, no one gave us any indicateion of what this may have been (a huge swathe of foaming yuk in the sea for several hours, including condoms, tampons and what can only be described as brown sludge), or what the possible health risks were. In fact all we got were shrugs and told that we swim at our own risk. Not very helpful or reassuring. It was so hot that everyone wanted to swim every hour or so and this was impossible as the water was so dirty. Even when it was crystal clear, all peace of mind was gone while we wondered when the mess would appear again. If you are not a sea swimmer then go ahead to Nerja as we loved everything else about it, but for me this was a really major factor and I cant believe nobody had mentioned it before in reviews as i have read loads and would probably not have booked this hotel had I realised."
- Travel date: Sun 10th of August 2008
We have just returned from our holiday i...
"We have just returned from our holiday in Nerja. We were in a room with a balcony overlooking the Balcon. The room was kept very clean by a very friendly maid. The room above the Balcon is noisy, not in a loud aggressive manner, just the bustle of tourists and street musicians. I felt this added to the ambiance of Nerja, a very gentle town. We had no complaints about the food, we had decided when we booked that we would eat out on a couple of occasions - we ended up eating in the restaurant every night. One evening we were asked to dine in 'El Nautico' the Beach restaurant due to a wedding reception being held in the hotel. This was an added bonus. The staff were wonderful throughout our stay and the service exeptional. This is our third holiday in Nerja and I would recommend this hotel as it is situated in the heart of the town. The market traders were on strike during our stay so unfortunatley we were unable to get ourselves a bargain! Nerja is ideal for couples who don't want the nightclubs and lots of English bars. We will be going back next year! "
- Travel date: Mon 14th of July 2008
Not only was the hotel a huge disappoint...
"Not only was the hotel a huge disappointment but they had double booked our room on arrival.
We had paid for a room with a sea view, through the booking agents âWorld on a Plateâ.
On arrival however, we were told that all the rooms with sea views were taken and had to spend our first night in what can only be described as âServantâs Quartersâ, directly opposite a very noisy Irish Pub.
The following day we were finally given the room we should have had but we had to wait hours for it to be prepared and that day was practically wasted.
They told us our room would be ready by 12 noon but had to wait until about 2pm.
On departure they tried to charge us for 7 nights of parking, despite removing the car from the hotel car park after two or three nights and parking it in an open area of land reserved for free parking.
Recent tricks to extort money out of me come as no surprise - the hotel is still trying to charge 108 Euros to my VISA Card despite being back home for four months.
The signature on the receipt they say is mine, does not belong to me but read the other reviews on tripadvisor and you will see that ripping people off is common practise with this hotel.
The Balcon de Europa staff are either totally incompetent or perhaps they are operating a dishonest policy?
As for the hotel it might have been nice thirty or forty years ago?
- Travel date: Tue 4th of March 2008
When we arrived we were put in a room on...
"When we arrived we were put in a room on the 5th floor with a view of the church wall, and every half hour the clock bell rang.
We asked to be moved and within an hour we had a 1st floor room with a balcony overlooking the walkway to the Balcon D' Europa viewpoint and a sea view. The problem was that all the street hawkers and musicians congregate on the walkway so it is very noisy till around 1am. The room was typical of any resort hotel, adequate is all I can say.
The breakfasts were self service and excellent, but the evening meals which could be self service one day and waiter service the next were often cold, bland and tasteless.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. The hotel has it's own private beach which is kept very clean. The hotel entertainment is of the usual average touristy standard. The local amenities were excellent and very reasonably priced.
As usual all the rep done was to try to sell excursions in which we fell for 2. A day trip to Seville and a day trip to Tangier. Both trips are not recommended as you spend most of the time sitting on a mini bus, really boring and very expensive. After falling for that we decided to travel by bus to Moreno, Frigiliana, Cueves de Nerja and Malaga. These were very cheap days out and more enjoyable than the excursions offered by the company rep and highly recommended.
If you got to Frigiliana get there well before 2pm as they take siesta very seriously there and you will be wandering the streets with absolutely nowhere to eat or drink.
If you are looking for nightlife, Nerja is not for you. You will have to travel to Torrox (12km) for a half decent nightclub.
Apart from the sudden electrical storm, which lasted for two hours, the weather was excellent.
I would recommend Nerja for a nice relaxing holiday but in another hotel away from the main walkway to the Balcon viewpoint.
- Travel date: Sun 15th of January 2006
Hotel in good position, nice beach,very...
"Hotel in good position, nice beach,very clean rooms, friendly staff.
The one disappointment was the food in the evening, meat fatty not much imagination, to the end of our stay cod was on the menu I thought good a nice piece of fish it turned out to be fish cakes . I would use the Balcon again BB .This is our forth year in Nerja.
- Travel date: Fri 18th of November 2005
"We have just return from Hotel Balcon de Europa........We have been too many fine hotels........But this one by far the best we have been to in Spain....Very clean, nice staff......Good breakfast .......Wonder position right on the beach with great sea veiw .........But they must sort out the car parkimg...... it cost us Â£70 for 7 days............But do-not let this put you off................its very good indeed..............Rees ......Cleveleys Lancashire England........."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of September 2005
Great Location. Great View
"We spent 2 nights here with an ocean view. Wonderful hotel in a great location â right on the beach. We did not eat at the hotel restaurant. There are many places within an easy walk. Hotel is a bit of a problem to find, but it is well worth it. I would definitely go back."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of September 2005
Highly recommend Hotel Balcon de Europa
"For a first class location and beautifully maintained hotel it would be hard to beat the Hotel Balcon de Europa. The rooms are of a good size, air conditioned and very clean. Breakfast was excellent with an extensive variety of hot and cold dishes, bread and pastries, cereals and juices all served in the dining room open to the view directly over the private beach (get a table next to the open full-length windows). The informal bar area outside the 6th floor (the entrance to the hotel) is excellent for a drink or a snack whilst watching the action on the Balcon (the main square).Overall the Hotel well deserves its 4 star rating with one minor irritation that it has only one lift and with ten floors this can be busy - but you are on holiday so what is time.
The location of the hotel could hardly be better right in the middle of things but quiet internally. The buzz around the Balcon de Europa in the evenings is electric but without the drunks - mainly families many of which are Spanish. Indeed it is quite remarkable that about half of the holiday makers are Spanish.
I will post separately regarding eating places but look out for El Encanto on Calle Pintada an Andalusian restaurant about 100 metres from the hotel and Nido on Calle Malaga about 500 metres away - both recommended very highly."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of August 2005
Great position, not so big on amenities
"Having stayed at the hotel twice, I can vouch that the sea views and side sea views are excellent. Infact, I've attached a few photos with this review so you can see for yourself. We stayed at the hotel in late winter and the weather was pleasant with just enough people around to give the place atmosphere without the summer overcrowding. The beach fronting the hotel is pretty private but small (it doesn't actually belong to the hotel; it's just hard for non hotel guests to get to). The pool is tiny but heated - it's more for a quick dip than a swim. The food is alright but nothing to write home about. Amenities are pretty minimal as the hotel sells itself on its location. The promenade "Balcon de Europa" is in front of the hotel and really is quite a delight. Watch out for the underground car park though! As a previous reviewer says, it's an absolute nightmare. Take your advanced driving test before trying it. I got wedged up against one of the supporting pilars in the car and damaged the whole left hand side of the car. Whoops! I wasn't the first and I won't be the last."
- Travel date: Mon 29th of August 2005
Excellent Hotel, Top Location
"This hotel is great. Its location is perfect. The staff are really friendly and helpful. The hotel is very clean and well-kept.
The room was of a good size and the balcony overlooking the sea (and so close to it) is brilliant. The room was nicely decorated, a good bathroom and always thoroughly cleaned by the staff each and every day.
The position of the hotel is perfect. The hotel has its own beach in a cove-type area. This is good as it appears that only hotel residents can use it. The hotelâs pool is very small and is not for swimming, but is good for a quick dip and to cool-off from the sun. There is a table tennis table. The breakfast is brilliant. Choices galore. Cereal, croissants, all types of bread, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, smoked salmon, etc. It sets you up for the day and is great.
The hotel does not have the myriad facilities of other Costa del Sol hotels - but it is perfect for adults and couples.
At night the Balcon de Europa is a hive of activity. There are pavement artists/cartoonists and street artists. There are numerous restaurants very nearby with most very well priced and to suit almost every taste and cuisine (Italian, Chinese, Mexian, Spanish, Tapas, Seafood, Meat, Snacks, etc). There are also quite a few ice cream stalls and shops. The area is nice and relaxing.
One small factor to bear in mind is that the hotel does charge for sunbeds by the beach (but free on the pool terrace) and for the room safe and minibar. However, in my opinion the quality of service, good breakfast (there are so many places to choose to eat nearby that I would not consider half-board), location and thoughtful and friendly staff make this a real gem. There are not many hotels which I would choose to return to â but this one I most certainly will."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of August 2005
"The best balcony rooms are the not the ones facing the sea ( the sea is the same everywhere). The side balconies (facing the Balcon - promenade to you or me ) provides endless free entertainment until the early hours. Street entertainers and people watching-the Spanish doing their paseo.
The underground car park is not for the nervous driver as negotiating it is tricky especially in an unfamiliar (hired) car. If you just want toget from Malaga airport and back (and if you want to do a lot of driving about why stay in this relatively expensive hotel in the first place) then take a taxi. I understand that there is a nearby free municipal car park. But because we arranged the hotel and flights via the internet (Alpharooms/Monarch airways) we didn't find out the 'form' from the courier as other guests had so we coughed up the 8 euros a day. There is no 'bar' as such that you can hang in till the early hours. The barman is not user friendly (well, surly actually) and directs you to the outside waiter service which is excellent and acceptible because of the position. But part of the buzz from staying in a 5 star hotel is hanging in the bar till 2 or 3 in the morning meeting new people, so forget that. Everything is extra:- room safe, key to minibar, sauna, beach towels, Finally, don't go near the water in southern Spain as all the beaches are 'black' which means that the quality of water reflects tha fact that the sewage is pumped direct into the ocean. The best restaurant is the Pata Negra in Marina Square...no discussion."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of June 2005
Terrific location - poor food
"We have just returned from Nerja after a 7 night half board stay at this hotel.
We love the position of the hotel as it is in the heart of the town centre and overlooks the sea.
However, the dinner in the evenings proved to be the let down of this delightful hotel.
When we booked our holiday the brochure promised a four star hotel,but we feel that with the poor quality of the evening meals this should be down-graded to three star.
The dinners were lukewarm on most occasions, they were uninteresting and lacking in quantity and quality. Most disappointing.
The breakfasts however, were plentiful and were quite acceptable.
We shall return to this hotel but next time we think bed and breakfast would be a better option."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of May 2005