Last year, after lockdown and to escape that locked-up madness, we booked a week’s break down on the coast. I had saved a fair few euros from doing nothing and splashed out on a week at Botaniq Beach Hotel on the playa in Mojacar. Previously I had spent only a night in Mojacar and hadn’t seen much of it. So we booked the dogs in with lovely Liz, hired a car and headed to Almeria.
I first spotted Botaniq on Booking, having ran a search for “hotels AND beach”, and really fell in love with the reviews and guest pics there. I am a bit of a beach bum, and require some time each year for the sea and surf to round off my spiky edges, like a pebble.
First off, they have a really awful website, full of computer generated pics that don’t resemble it in the least! Here’s their Insta page instead. It’s pricey, but it is right on the beach, is low level with just fourteen rooms, and has a sustainable edge. The sound of water, bamboo chimes, low level muzak, and the scent of herbs in the Asian inspired garden are your first impressions. As is the wait, the looong wait to be checked in.
Our room was a suite comprising entrance into a sitting area with TV and fridge, sofa and table, straight off a wooden deck with sofas and comfy cushions and filled with trees (and biting midges aplenty)
On past the extensive wardrobe area to a large bed, another big screen TV, and a window with a view of a fence dividing the loud apartment block situated next door. Off one side was a windowless bathroom, with double power shower, and a fabulous poured cement freestanding bath. There were plenty of toiletries and soft towels, including big beach towels, robes and slippers. There was no sign of the promised teapot and kettle so my herbal tea stayed packed.
The pool area is small, just six wooden steamer loungers, but there are Bali beds and other areas to relax around the gardens, including a hammock for two. The pool is salt water and tiled green, and very pleasant.
The view is straight onto the beach and the sea, some Botaniq reserved loungers and shades are situated halfway down in front of the hotel. First come, first served. Staff wander around asking if you would like refreshments, the cost added to your room number.
Food and drink
The food is sublime at Botaniq. The restaurant is called Xmile. No, I have no idea how you say that, either. Breakfast (included) was a choice of eggs, fruit, bacon, croissants, the usual fayre. Lunch and dinner: Grilled octopus and soft mashed potato was a favourite, small portions of deliciously fresh and local food elegantly served. Think fresh tastes, little foams of this and that, scented smoke. If you’re Desperate Dan you might want to have the breakfast and head up the playa for something substantial. Cocktails to start, wines to pair with the menu, take a nightcap back to your room. Pricey enough, the few times we ate certainly racked up the final bill.
Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup
Service, meh, not so great. Let’s start with the great, the maid was lovely and shouted greetings to us outside of the hotel and in. The waiter, an Italian chap, was simply lovely, knowledgeable , friendly, and poured an excellent Martini. The cook was friendly, and his food a work of art as well as delicious. You could say that the breakfast girls were not morning people. Clientele were a bit stuffy. The hotel is adults only but we spotted a few families there. The owner/manager is a helicopter, constantly hovering over staff, but not great in a crisis – our fridge was broken and he couldn’t manage to swap it, although he stood over it for quite a while! He did offer a bottle of Cava as an apology which was appreciated and provided the boasty beachy Insta bore shot.
What’ll it cost me?
Budget it ain’t. End of June for 2022 will set you back 213€ to 305€ for the top room facing the sea per night. Breakfast is included. Meals and drinks add up fast, for a week we had a couple of cocktails, a bottle of wine, two nightcaps, two lunches and one dinner and added about 300€ to the bill. Would we revisit? Probably.
The author was not paid for this review and all observations are personal opinion.