Written on: 17/02/2012 by andraco (3 reviews written)
I was expecting much more from the La Fonda apartments. In the low season you can rent a proper house for this kind of money, however this had the added booking security provided by the agent and that is why I have decided beside of it. I wish I would have not done it. (I am not an employee of travel Republic!!!) Let me go trough of everything:
Benalmadena is a pleasant enough place. The apartment is about 15 minutes drive from the beach which is your typical Spanish holiday beach. Not my cup of tea but bearable trough the low season. The apartment is in the old part of the town, there is a charming square with a fountain nearby, with typical Andalusian white washed houses. A few shops, bodegas, restaurants and a bank are all within walking distance. The parking space is extremely limited. Even in February the closest free parking space was about 5 minutes walk from the apartment on a very (I mean VERY steep road). Not a huge problem, but carrying your shopping is a bit annoying. The village is very close to the motorway which is very handy if you would want to travel around in Andalucia like us.
The apartment: La Fonda hotel has bought a block of house which has been converted into studio, one and two bedrooms apartments. We have rented the two bedroom one. After entering the house itself there is a clean staircase. The apartment itself is basic. When I say basic I mean very basic. It is lacking any charm whatsoever, with cheap furniture. The walls inside of the whole building are made of cardboard (I would guess) sound proofing as such is non existing. You can hear if your neighbour switches off the light, flushes the toilet, have sex, a laugh or just sneeze. We were lucky as we only had two groups of teenagers (after each other). from a sport club and therefore they were considerably quiet as they probably had a curfew imposed by their coach. (I cannot tell the same from about a couple above us on the second night. The lady definitely has enjoyed a large part of the night... ) The heating is by three air conditioning units which had to be turned on to 32 (the maximum setting) degrees as the building is not insulated. They are loud, smelly and horrible machines. We ended up running one 24/7 in one of the bedrooms which we have not occupied and open the door to let the warm air in the rest of the flat. It is however clean, it was freshly painted and we had two very small balconies looking onto the streets (no traffic as cars are not allowed).
Bedrooms: the heating is a problem, but I have mentioned this before. The beds are probably the most uncomfortable beds I have ever slept in my entire life. One week of constant back pain. They put a matres cover on the bed which made out of sheet plastic. I was sweating for two days before I have discovered, that I am sleeping on a cover made out of hardcore "carrier bags"... The bedding is horrible, cheep blankets, covered with 100%nylon. We have asked for a baby bed. It was a cheap travel cot, which had a wobbly leg which has banged on the floor every time the wee one has moved. It was nicely made up though but that is thanked to the maid, not the owners.
Living room: heating is noisy and smells of which I only can describe as pee. There is a TV which is about 20 years old with some TV channels (9 Spanish, BBC news, Disney and a German one) Not a huge pain, but they could have provided at least a radio or something. Furniture is cheap, the sofa is very old but it was comfy.
The Kitchen: American style, open plan. If you do not want to do ANY cooking whatsoever than it is alright. There is a fridge/freezer, a microwave, toaster and a kettle, also a small double plates electric cooker. The utensils are very limited, some of them dirty. Not good enough for a self contained apartment.
The Bathroom: clean and with a good shower. The best part of the whole flat.
The maid service: it is promised three times per a week. The reality is only two times. It is not a problem but than do not make promises. The maid was friendly tough and she did change towels and mopped the floor etc.
Would I ever stay in that apartment again? No. I think it must be horrible when they have a full house, mainly because of the noise. I think it is unsuitable for families due to be so poorly equipped (and the noise of course). For the winter it is horrible because of the insufficient heating. It could be alright for a group of friends (the two bedroom apartments are good for 6 people) whom are on the beach during the day, going out during the night and only stays there to sleep.
The reasons why I give two stars is the location and the cleanness, (minus the utensils), However overall I was unhappy with this apartment and I would not recommend it.