La Bobadilla, a Royal Hideaway Hotel
7 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
gracious old fashioned service in beautiful setting
"This is not a design hotel and all the better for it. We had a full suite for 3 nights to celebrate a milestone birthday. I saw a number of other rooms and everyone is entirely individual but all have the same qualities, wonderful fixtures and fittings, antique tilings, superb views. The suite was huge with 2 floors of terracing. Room service is immediate and gracious. The staffing is very personalised. Unfortunately half the hotel was taken up by a conference who went off-site in the evening meaning that the restaurants were a little empty. La Finca's 4 course daily changing menu is excellent value and quite superb - no little courses here. The spa is quite small but beautifully laid out and the jacuzzi with various jets is superb. The outdoor pool in October is bracing. I would not recommend this hotel for families during October as the pool is only ok for a short dip and there is not enough for them to do, i am sure it is different in the summer. be sure to use the free excellent mountain bikes on the large number of trails around the hotel - work off some calories before the next superb meal. Overall an excellent experience - but if you like to drink tea suggest you bring your own bags !"
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of October 2007
"This was about the 6th time we have been to this hotel and this time was for a week with two children (aged 6 and 3).
It still is the most beautiful property in a stunning location with fab rooms, restaurants and grounds/swimming pools. However since our last visit about 3 years ago it has been taken over by the Barcelo chain hotel and this in my opinion has meant one or two changes.
Introduction of an excellent kids club (or at least a bloke that entertains them really well).
Kids all eating together at night, giving adults time to themselves was a fantastic innovation.
The food was always good, but in my opinion has improved further.
Service is slow in the restaurants. This was really annoying and many other guests were getting wound up by it.
The staff are charming (especially the older faces) but it seems the staff to guest ratio has been downgraded by the new owners and it shows. This needs to get sorted to keep its luxury top notch status.
Wasps. Didn't bother me, but there were quite a few this time (especially at breakfast) and guests were flapping away like hummingbirds.
Will i return to this hotel. Unless things worsen, then yes of course - it is still fab (more than a week is too long in my opinion), classy without being snooty and a special find. Enjoy."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of August 2007
Lovely hotel perfect for families
"We enjoyed three nights at Barcelo La Bobadilla in August and had a wonderful time. The suite (#9) was perfect for families with small children (under 10). There was a patio off the main floor and a very private patio on the second floor with loungers, a table and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. The furnishings were consistent with the country setting...comfortable but not luxurious. The bathroom could have used a little updating but was certainly adequote. Fresh flowers in the room every day were a very pleasant touch as was a constantly replenished fruit bowl. I should also mention that the hotel was very quiet and witht he shutters closed, there was almost perfect darkness (set a wake up call or you'll sleep past noon!).
The breakfast buffet warrants special mention. I despise buffets as a general rule, finding them stocked with indifferent food of questionable freshness (and cleanliness). But at La Bobadilla the food was excellent and it was presented with a delicate touch and a nod to the local cuisine. There were wonderful morsels of local sausage presented in miniature tangines, purees of fresh fruit in shot glasses and an excellent selection of local cheeses..in addition of course to the expected eggs, meats, fruits, etc. And everything was wonderfully labeled in english.
The hotel staff was very helpful and most spoke passable english...this was not the case at the Ritz in Madrid or the Alfonso X111 in Seville. The front desk was especially helpful in acquiring Alhambra tickets for my family. And room service (we dined one evening on our terrace and it was wonderful) was exceptionally quick and accurate. The restaurants were excellent as well and there was a childs menu, which we found was rare in Spain.
The setting of the hotel is gorgeous but the grounds themselves were a bit tired. The pool was enormous and there were more than enough loungers to accomodate the guests. While the hotel grounds would not compare favorably with a Four Seasons or an Aman resort, they were consistent with what we've experienced in top-tier European resorts.
Finally, I would add that it is wonderful to have your children play in a pool where there were no other Americans....the cultural diversity was (as you might expect) very broad...and it was a pleasure watching our children interacting with children from very different backgrounds.
Oh, and I assume that anybody that books here uinderstands that it is removed from Granada but we traveled into the cit twice and found the commute to be very easy...about one hour. We had not considered it before this trip but would definitely use La Bobadilla as a base from which to expore the coast as well in the future. And do go to Antequerra if you have the time...it is a charming town."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of August 2007
A fine resort!
"This is a beautiful 5 star resort set alone in the Spanish countryside 70 kms outside Granada. Grounds are some 350 hectares allowing many activities shooting, cycling, walking and horse riding. Unfortunately Bobadilla has no golf course. it does have a wonderful swimming pool and three excellent restaurants.
Our junior Suite with patio was spacious, beutifully decorated and well appointed. Staff were friendly and helpful."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of June 2007
Lovely, but with some flaws
"We stayed one week at La Bobadilla at the end of Aug through to early September. 2 adults and 2 children, we booked a junior suite directly with the hotel. These are our views which I hope will be of help:
the property is lovely albeit very isolated so if you do not have a car you really are stuck here - which is what we wanted after all. We changed room after one night as the one we were allocated was dark and had no outside space. The room we were eventually given had a lovely little garden with direct access onto fields: much better for the children and much more luminous. The property is child-friendly and guests included both couples and families (mostly nanny-endowed as several parents seemed to have no interest in their children, but there you go). Virtually all guests were either English or Spanish.
The property appearance and layout is very pretty indeed, Lots of flowers and little fountains and a truly peaceful retreat (well, when there are no weddings....we had two over our stay but it was only a minor inconvenience). Junior suiites are spacious and well appointed - very clean. The pool is superb - perhaps a little cold but no big deal. It never felt crowded and all sunloungers were taken only twice during our stay, but as long as you get to it before 12.00 you will be fine. Service in the pool area was excellent. Small but cute Spa. Piano player in the hall on certain evenings was fantastic - a shame nobody was there to listen...
Transfer and excursion costs are horrendous (â¬180 for a 45-minute drive to Malaga...) so we would definitely rent a car anyway next time. There is definitely a wasp problem in certain areas (our daughter was stung) and perhaps the hotel could spray the breakfast area a bit more as in the end almost everybody was forced to eat inside (lovely room - a new addition by the way). The grill bar near the pool is, in my opinion, to be avoided as it offers extremely poor value for money - we much preferred eating tapas in the courtyard (that said, after a week it gets a little boring though). I wish staff smiled a bit more - I suspect the property is actually understaffed as many of them worked in different areas and looked positively shattered in the evening. Other than the occasional piano player (see above) there was no entertainment of any sort in the evenings in the common areas.
I feel I should explain this: the hotel has two main restaurants: La Finca and El Cortijo, as well as the grill bar to avoid. We ate twice at La Finca - the first time was disastrous: sulky waiters, average food, poor service and a â¬280 bill. We gave it another go and it was better although we could eat MUCH better in Malaga (eg. Montana Restaurant) for the same price. We preferred El Cortijo as the food was just as good and meals were taken in more relaxed surroundings on a lovely terrace overlooking the chapel and the rolling hills. Service was friendlier here. The truth is that I would not stay more than a week though, as the food could get a little repetitive.
Would we come again ? Not sure. It was a good (and expensive) stay though."
- Travel date: Fri 8th of September 2006
beautiful hotel and grounds
"Just returned from a wonderful holiday. Our rooms were gorgeous, the staff were very friendly and helpful, the food was delicious, especially in la Finca restaurant. service in the restaurants was a little slow on the whole. Only complaints are that the huge outdoor pool is rather cold, and that there is a wasp problem around the hotel. The wasps are not aggressive, but can be found around the pool and especially at the restaurants where they too find the food very tasty!"
- Travel date: Sun 27th of August 2006
This hotel is allegedly rated as 5 stars...
"This hotel is allegedly rated as 5 stars and one of the "leading small hotels of the world". It does not justify these ratings, or indeed the resulting prices.
Whilst the fabric of the place is modern and well presented, the hotel is very small and very remote and you are wholly in the hands of a staff that are polite but diligently non responsive.
The hotel capacity is about 150 people, so when a coach trip of 120 people from France arrived the place turned into something resembling a Butlins holiday camp with no exit.
Not value for money. Avoid."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of August 2007