About Iberostar Malaga Playa

  • high speed internet in room
  • swimming pool
  • restaurant
  • free internet
  • fitness center
  • bar lounge
  • wifi
  • suites
  • wheelchair access
  • free wireless internet in room
  • air conditioning
  • meeting room
  • flatscreen tv
  • family rooms
  • multilingual staff
  • breakfast buffet
  • outdoor pool
  • conference facilities
  • parking
  • housekeeping
  • private balcony
  • breakfast available
  • beach
  • sauna
  • facilities for disabled guests
  • kids activities
  • poolside bar
  • kids club
  • private beach
  • evening entertainment
  • butler service
  • water park
  • safe

Reviews summary

( 2073 reviews)
  • 5 room
  • 5 pool
  • 4.5 beach
  • 4 service
  • 3 dining
  • 4 amenities
  • 3 food

35 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Seriously Disappointing

Reviewed Wed 30th of March 2011

"We have just returned from a week at Riu Ferrara, Torrox. The hotel has a lovely setting and very clean but what spoilt our holiday was the seating arrangements in the restaurant at first we were told we had to dine at 6pm but could change to 8pm if the head waiter could find us a table. We could not have a table to ourselves unless staying for a month. We look forward to dining on our holidays and we were all squashed into one end of the resaurant and sat with strangers. Two other areas were not in use and cordon off. It felt like Butlins. The balcony would have been nicer with some kind of barrier between the next to us as they were smokers and the smoke wafted across and we had no privacy, our neighbour could stand and look into our room. We will not return to this hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 29th of March 2011

Rating breakdown

  • 4 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 3 Service
  • 1 Dining
  • 3 Amenities
  • 1 Food

fabulous ... such a perfect place to spend your holiday!

Reviewed Tue 16th of March 2010

"i literally got bk from that hotel last night .... i had been there a week and absolutely loved it .. plenty to do ... well loooked after by staff .. very friendly ... you are presented with a glass of bubly on your first day of being there .... i eat in the main restaurant every night .... which had allot of different choices to choose from starting with soups up until afters .... the breakfast was fab too ... huge outdoor pool .... great indoor pool and sauna and gym .... huge main hall as well as computers and reception desk .... and sun loungers are free ... rooms are very spacious and cleaned everyday beds made .... i really can not express enough how good this was i would not state it as a 4* i would personally class as a 6* hotel everything is jus perfect thanks love ashleigh in hertfordshire ... ps i would consider it as a dream palace =]"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 15th of March 2010

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 5 Amenities
  • 5 Food

Self Catering hotel?

Reviewed Fri 28th of August 2009

"This holiday was one of Thomson platinum packages. We stayed in a two bed self catering apartment which was lovely and spacious. Howeveer, we felt no part of the main hotel! The brochure shows the back of the hotel and swimming pool - at the front are two separate buildings for self caterers - so your accommodation is not part of the hotel complex and you need to go through the main hotel reception to access the pool.

The views from out corner apartment were dire - we were overlooking an adult bar, above a retail unit and opposite a pizza parlour. Straight opposite was an abandoned caravan with a dog tied up all day. We did ask to be moved straight away (after all this is meant to be platinum). We were offered a move mid week but were unpacked etc. Torrox sea front itself is full of high rise spanish holiday homes. Riu Ferrara is the nicest hotel in the area. The beach was nice and the people friendly. Just a shame the brochure doesn't show you more of the hotel before you book and gives you the impression that you are overlooking the pool. Won't be back again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 28th of August 2009

Fantastic Place!

Reviewed Sat 18th of October 2008

"Me and my boyfriend are mid 20's and visited in October 2008 for 4 nights.
Good points: Greeted at reception with a glass of champagne, hotel staff are very friendly and helpful, bar staff bring your drinks to you in the lounge, you just walk in and sit down and they come and take care of you, lots of gorgeous coktails to choose from, night time entertainment authentic spanish and exciting, they treat you like royalty, massage room and hair dresser downstairs (i have a bad back and had a massage and it really helped my back for 30 euro) sauna room which you can use privatly, self catering apartment was HUGE! bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, lunge, balcony. Very clean and spacious, the pool is clean and also huge, outside pool bar to enjoy drinks in the sun, you key card operates the gate to the beach and promanade which is only a stone throw away, lots of cafe's along the beach to enjoy your dinner, no clubs or pubs though. 4 Supermarkets along the top of the main road which have a good selection of foods, also a few chemists. Nerja is well worth a visit, jump on the local bus for 1 euro and its a 15 minute journey, go and see Nerja caves at 7 euro entry, they will blow you away! Amazing. We took excursion to Mijas and Marbella at 35 euros each, you must go there its absolutely beautiful, Mijas is something else. Hotel is very quiet at night, by that i mean no noise or doors slamming, nice and peaceful.

Not so good points: If you go self catering, you need to ask at reception for your toaster and kettle and 20 euro each, which you get back when you hand them back in. We wouldnt have know this if we hadnt gone to the thomson rep meeting in the morning. At night time they turn the lights off in the hotel corridors to save electricity i think, very dark and hard to find the light switch, not safe if you have had a few drinks! Do not go here if you want night life outside of the hotel - it isnt there. Cafes are open late to enjoy a few beers thought. Beach isnt sandy, lots of stones and grey in colour. Also all the supermarkets are CLOSED all day on a monday. But the hotel snack bar is open until 3.30pm. Transfers cost us 150 euro from malaga airport, takes 1 hour.

* Go to the thomson rep meeting to book excursions or else you will get bored!

* Dont forget to ask for your kettle and toaster

* Get to the pool early for your lounger - they will not allow you to put your belongings on there to save it - they will remove them

You will LOVE it here! xxx"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 18th of October 2008

We stayed in a one bedroom apartment in...

Reviewed Mon 8th of September 2008

"We stayed in a one bedroom apartment in this 4*hotel as we prefer to eat out of the hotel and sample the local restaurants.
Therefore we were classed as self-catering. Our apartments kitchen had a cooker hood over the 2 ringed hotplate the size of mount Everest, but thats all there was...a 2 ringed hotplate oh yes and a coffee machine. No kettle, no toaster, no grill, no oven nor a microwave. So I am grateful I hadn't planned on doing any catering!
The apartment was lovely and big although our view was very poor.
We did the spanish horse & flamenco night excusion and because it was a bargain price I was concerned it wouldn't be up to much...It was delightful.
The hotel stipulates no reserving of sunbeds......towelled draped sunbeds were everywhere from 8am onwards. No airbeds in the pool....airbeds were everywhere. I always live in hope that rules are there for a reason.
Out of the gates of the hotel & there is the beach...lovely. Not the nicest beach in the world, but certainly nice enough.
The resort is very tired and non-Spanish though which is a shame. It is also very small.
We had a very pleasant holiday but I wouldn't return to Torrox.

We were very annoyed at our rep though, who told us that despite our coach pick up time being 7:45am we must be waiting at 7:30am outside the hotel, because if they arrive early they will go without us and we would have to make our own way to the airport. If this were the case, why not have the pick up time as 7:30am?.....the minibus actually came at 7:55am!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 8th of September 2008

This is a first class hotel with staff,...

Reviewed Wed 27th of August 2008

"This is a first class hotel with staff, facilities and cuisine to match - all in all a fantastic 4* holiday. We were more than pleased with all it had to offer from the friendly welcome glass of cava and settling-in phone call to check we were pleased with our room. Meals were a delight on the eye with a colourful and creative choice of food that it seemed a pity to disturb it! All of the staff were cheerful and very attentive to our needs throughout the week.

The pool area was a dream and we soon realised to reserve a sunbed, you had to get up pretty early(7.30am) and place your towels in the desired spot! However, no-one complained and there seemed to be plenty to go round. A lovely touch whilst you're lying (melting) in the sun - the bar staff bring round fresh melon or cool samples of apple juice to refresh you!

We had stayed further south on previous holidays, taking in the tours of the area, so decided to use local buses this time. These were not very reliable or well marked, resulting in me having to ask the destination in Spanish each time. We did go to Torre del Mar market on the Thursday and enjoyed browsing around at the many bargains.

This is still a very underdeveloped resort and the hotel is the only one (and 4* at that), in the area which we felt left the guests in a vulnerable position. In hindsight, we realise that it was an easy target for the pickpocket who stole my husband's wallet from his secure pocket. We discovered that other guests had been targetted too by this Spanish looking 50-55yr old man who pretends to use his mobile, bumps into you and by 'trying to apologise' proceeds to very professionally remove your wallet.

Disturbingly, the hotel could not assist as they say the local police do not speak English, therefore you need to hire an interpreter and then travel up to Torrox town inland, finally travelling to Torre del Mar to have the report logged. So PLEASE be warned, this is a great hotel, but only carry small amounts of cash, leaving all else in your safe. We were fortunate that we had done this, but it left us feeling very vulnerable for the rest of our holiday.

I don't think we'll be back to this resort, which is a pity as we loved the hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 27th of August 2008

Simply wonderful! This is the 3rd time w...

Reviewed Tue 3rd of June 2008

"Simply wonderful! This is the 3rd time we have ventured back to the Riu. The hotel itself is beautiful, luxurious rooms (all carpeted floor!), generous sized beds and rooms can fit a 3rd camp bed too. Equipped with mini bar, hairdryer, TV you have everything you need. (a kettle in the room would top it off nicely for us tea drinkers!!)

The staff are fantastic ambassadors for Riu - speak english to a high degree, although we liked to converse as best we could in the local dialect so not to appear typically English and ignorant!! Nothing is too much trouble, on arrival you are greeted with champagne, juice or water and smiles! You even receive a phone call shortly after entering your room to ensure that all is okay!

The food is simply wonderful....so much choice every night, suitable for kids too. We were a party of 4 adults (2 over 65yrs) and 1 child of 4yrs and ate well each night. There are 2 sittings for your evening meal - 6.30 and 8.30.

The pool area is large and lots of sunbeds are available and i am afraid we got into the habit of taking towels down early to reserve the spot near the shallow end of the pool!! There were lots of kiddies there and there is daytime entertainment too plus a small playgorund and small splash pool. There is also an indoor pool but we visited this once just for a look...it was quite cold and it was a shame to be inside!

The beach and promenade are just outside the electronic gates at the rear of the hotel and the sand is quite dark - quite pebbly too but safe.

There are lots of restaurants and a few shops on the promenade which sell lovely souvenirs or papers, water, crisps etc and not too overpriced either!

We always book this hotel directly via www.riu.com and book flights seperately too, a taxi from Malaga airport cost us €71.50 on arrival and only €55 on the way back - there are always so many taxis waiting outside malaga airport. We saved on average about £250-£300 booking a break independantly.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone - the evening entertainment does start late at night 21.45 but my little girl managed to stay up for 3 consecutive nights to watch dancers, flamenco shows and musicals, which I add are very professional. There is also a mini kids disco at least 5 nights a week and starts at 8.00pm each night.

The hotel is popular with German & Spanish visitors but we did notice there were more Brits this year than previous years.

The outdoor restaurant serves drinks all day and food 12.30 - 3.30 and again, very nice and not too expensive either.

Overall, we love the Riu service, style and price and will continue to go back year after year - give it a go......."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 3rd of June 2008

My very good friend and I went to the Ru...

Reviewed Sun 4th of May 2008

"My very good friend and I went to the Rui on recommendation from a friend who lives down the road where he operates the El Ancla bar (also a tremendous place)...

Staff were very friendly and didn't laugh at our attempts at speaking the language; spacious and clean room with two balconies and a spacious clean bathroom (accommodated 2 girls getting ready for a night out!) Food was lovely and varied and the poolside was tremendous....we're both well travelled and have stayed in many hotels across the world and we both felt very spoilt at the Rui.....a thoroughly enjoyable stay.....so much so, I'm heading back there in a few weeks with some more girlies!!!


Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 4th of May 2008

Just got back from the above listed apar...

Reviewed Tue 22nd of April 2008

"Just got back from the above listed apartments in Torrox.
Booked a 2 bedroom apartment for 8days for the 4 of us. The hotel is impressive finely decorated in the main reception lobby, the bar and the free wi fi zone are also kept spotless. The only disappointment was the location of the main building compared to the apartment block, it felt that you were not part of the hotel as such, having a separate access to the apartments, would have preferred to have been located inside the main complex.
The rooms i found adequate, cleaned daily to a good standard although any used cups would not be washed out for you. The kitchen is basic but depends on how much you want to use it, if self catering it would be a nightmare to use.
The pool is presented to a good standard although being the month of April the pool was too cold for any one to use. Facilities for the children were basic, but it was out of season at the time.
The restaurant we found to be reasonable, but the selection of food was a bit disappointing, albeit fine if you like the continental style of food. One good thing is that upon arrival / check in you are presented with a sitting option for your evening meal, this avoids the usual scrum for the dinner tables , we opted for 6.30pm 1st sitting.
The staff are friendly , helpful and do take pride in the roles, plenty of staff to people ratio, but the thing that i noticed was that there seemed to be more favoritism towards the German tourists.
The indoor pool was as cold as the outdoor pool , indoor heating would have been an advantage.

Pro's: Well presented hotel, with keen , friendly staff, and good accommodation standards,
Meals good choice and cost at the pool side snack bar, for lunch.
Con's: Too many German tourists, poor choice of food, isolated with very little to do i the evenings . The entertainment was terrible presented mainly by the same two people every other night, and ended at 10.30pm. The location of the hotel not a child nor family holiday location more suited to older couples. Not a family orientated hotel.The beach was dirty and consisted of huge stones and pebbles.

I have given this hotel a rating of 8/10 but that is just based on the hotel itself.
Location: 2/10

I don't think I'd return to this hotel but would defiantly recommend the riu chain of hotels.
One more thing your not obliged to buy a drink with your evening meal, so i am not sure what the previous comment/post is about."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 22nd of April 2008

The hotel was very clean and tidy, and s...

Reviewed Tue 22nd of April 2008

"The hotel was very clean and tidy, and still looked like new.the food was of a good standard. On arriving on a sunday we found that all local shops and stores were closed in the area. Going down for the evening meal there was some confusion on the whereabouts one should be seated, we ended up sitting in some one elses place. we should have been given a specific place to seat for the week, this was sorted soon enough though. more confusion for breakfast we could sit anywhere?
the hotel entertainment was basic, there was not alot to do in the area outside of the hotel complex, more interesting on a short bus ride was Nerja a few kilometres down the coast."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 22nd of April 2008

Our first impression was that the hotel...

Reviewed Tue 8th of April 2008

"Our first impression was that the hotel looked great and the apartment spacious (with a separate kitchen), a double bed, and comfy settees etc in the living room. We were then very disappointed at the self catering facilities - no kettle or toaster, no microwave and no oven. For a 2 bed apt in a good standard hotel, we expected good facilities. There weren't even any bowls in the cupboard nor were there enough pillows for all 5 of us and we had to wait 4 days before another appeared. I always cook some meals for my young children so I was disappointed with this. However, other than that, we loved the resort - quiet enough but with plenty of placse to eat and drink, the beach was good and straight outside the hotel gates and my daughter who is 4 loved the exercise equipment on the seafront. The hotel has great facilities for young kids with a playground (swings, slide and bouncy animals) plus a kids club which was nicely set up (I'm not a fan of the type where people dump their kids and there is a riotous atmosphere), kids pool and a good sized shallow section of the main pool which was good for my nearly 2 year old, table tennis and other games. The indoor pool wasn't anything to write home about - heated?!!! and not so great for the kids but did us for the odd swim but we didn't almost live in as we have in other hotels. The staff were very helpful and friendly (even though reception did tell us there was no playground or mini club!). Everything was clean and lovely with nice entertainment too (again I'm not a fan generally of hotel entertainment but if it hadn't been for the kids and our early mornings I'd have quite enjoyed a few nights in the lounge bar). It's dead easy to get a bus to Nerja etc and there are lots of lovely places to visit if you hire a car. I'd recommend it to anyone. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 8th of April 2008

One word, fantastic. A marvellous hotel,...

Reviewed Tue 8th of April 2008

"One word, fantastic. A marvellous hotel, beautiful gardens and pool, the best holiday we've had. Spotlessly clean and kept this way at all times. All of the staff. at all times were friendly and could'nt do enough to assist. Activities during the day for adults and kids alike,and the shows in the evening are always worth a visit.
Around the corner, set back from the front is Alberto and his Manikin bar. A fantastic host and always a "no problem" from him. His fayre is a treat too, from his steaks to his noodles, but you must try his rack of ribs before returning. Nearer is Cafe Luis, a Spanish bar, with a friendly atmosphere and a host always welcoming.
We can't wait to book a return visit."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 8th of April 2008

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Iberostar Malaga Playa is also called

  • Hotel Riu Ferrara
  • Riu Ferrara Hotel
  • Riu Ferrara Torrox

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