Some regular readers may have noticed that I don’t always write a post featuring the hotel where I’ve stayed on a trip. I’m really only interested in writing about ones that offer a little something extra and I would return to without hesitation and recommend to friends and blog followers. Others may be fine but not special, and I’ve stayed in some I’d not want to go to again. Where I stay is important to me, and my second stay at the 4* Salles Hotel Malaga Centro last week offered many of the things I’ve come to value and I will definitely stay there again next time I go to Malaga.
I booked it, as I often do, with BA at the same time as booking my flight. I’m not in the ‘top, expensive, luxury hotel’ league, but I do like to stay somewhere nice and comfortable, with maybe a little touch of luxury, at a reasonable price.
One of the reasons I chose the Salles hotel in Malaga initially was its central location. You just have to come out, turn left and walk 50m or so, cross the bridge Puente de la Aurora, and you are in the historic centre. When I’m on a short break staying centrally is important to me as I don’t want to have long walks or a need to catch buses or trams to get anywhere I want to go; I want to be able to walk to sights and restaurants easily and it be no trouble to go back to the hotel for a short break, or to drop off something I’ve bought. You can walk to the main plaza in Malaga – Plaza de la Constitution – in 5 minutes; the cathedral, Picasso and other art museums are similarly close. You can walk down to the stunning marina in about 20 minutes and on to the beach in another 5-10 minutes.
To reach the hotel, there are buses and trains from the airport or take a taxi – as I did (it cost €22 from the airport; €18 going back). My flight last week was early and so I landed at 11:25 and I was at the hotel a little after midday. I’d already contacted them about leaving my suitcase there until I could check in, but happily I found my room was ready and I could go to it straight away.
Salles hotels are a small Spanish chain. Arriving at the Malaga hotel you walk into a large, bright, modern reception area. The staff are friendly and helpful and there’s always someone around to ask for help or advice. Also in the reception area is a small bar where you can get a drink or coffee. There is also their Picasso Restaurant if you want to eat a meal in the hotel.
There are comfortable sitting areas and on my last day I sat in one near reception for about an hour before catching a taxi to the airport. I ordered a coffee and asked if I could plug my phone in to recharge, which they were happy for me to do.
The hotel had had a facelift since my last visit and my bedroom was very attractively decorated (I had a standard double room for single use). There was a large en-suite shower room, which was nicely decorated in a relaxing, warm light grey colour. There were all the usual facilities – TV, WiFi, minibar etc and also a kettle with mugs and some tea bags and coffee. I really like this extra as it makes a big difference to stay in a hotel when you can relax in your room and make a hot drink.
The first morning I made my way down to the basement breakfast room and was delighted to see how wonderfully it had been refurbished. It had been ‘OK’ before but now it was a very attractive area. So often I’ve found hotel breakfast rooms grim places, especially basement ones, but this was somewhere you wanted to start your day.
There was a huge array of drinks and foods; anything you could possibly want or think of. I’m not a hot breakfast person (I may be English but don’t ever try giving me a Full English Breakfast!). I like some juice, fruit, cereal and pastries and coffee. But there were plenty of hot dishes too; bowls of tomato pulp to make tostadas, the typical Spanish breakfast; Spanish hams and cheeses.
As well as pastries there were delicious cakes and the bottom one in the photo below became a favourite – a gorgeous almond cake, so light and not too sweet. There was a huge Nespresso machine with a choice of pods and flasks of hot milk at the side, as well as a more standard coffee machine where you just pressed a button for a cappuccino or whatever you wanted. All the trays and plates of food were constantly replaced as they emptied and there were helpful staff on hand if you needed anything.
There was a lot of rain on my first day but on the second the sun arrived and I took a lift up to the 6th floor where you can access the hotel’s rooftop terrace, which has a bar and a swimming pool.
Even in Malaga, January is not a month for swimming in an outdoor pool, but when I was there last time in October, many people were using it or sunbathing on the sun lounger chairs.
The views are fantastic and in the warmer October visit, I did go up sometimes for a coffee in the afternoon or aperitif early evening so I could enjoy the views across the city.
I think the hotel would be a good choice for anyone but as a frequent solo traveller I’m looking for particular things to make my stay happy. I choose to stay in hotels (rather than taking the popular apartment rental option) as living on my own and working from home with only the computer and the cat for company, I value staying somewhere with people who will say good morning with a smile, chat to me about my plans and give advice if I need it (e.g. the staff were helpful about my trip to the botanical gardens). I’ve stayed in a couple of nice B&Bs in the last couple of years, but they tend to be deserted during the day so you have the same problem as an apartment – there’s no one to talk to! I was only at the Salles for three nights but the staff got to know me, would talk to me, and it really makes a difference. I also like having someone to make my bed and get my breakfast. For me, that’s a treat!
Staying in a nice hotel where you feel welcomed and can relax really makes a holiday more special. Thanks to the Salles Hotel Malaga Centro for their welcome!