Hotel Review x 2 – Spanish Costa Weekend – Budget and Luxury

You might be wondering about the title: it’s simple really. We chose to stay at two properties for a coastal break in one Spanish coastal destination, picking top-rated properties at both ends of the scale, budget, and luxury. What did we find? Read on!

Scoring high

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Ever use the rating system on these booking websites? We do, in fact, we tend to book depending on other people’s views and recommendations. Word of mouth is better of course, but choosing somewhere new to go means we rely on this little 8s and 9s – in fact, I would not book anywhere not in the top 20%. It doesn’t always work – we have stayed in several squeaking bed ‘suites’ that have left a lot to be desired!

The destination

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Salobreña was the point of the pin on the map back on a very hot late May weekend, and we rode the Harley down from our home in Granada to the fresh and breezy Costa Tropical. Previously only for a stretch of the legs on the Málaga airport run, a trek up to the castle, or to see my daughter dance in the Traditional Trovo group from Murtas. Up to now, Salobreña featured as an away day rather than a layover type of stop – but Mick and I love a weekend away and it’s nice and close. With a history stretching back 6000 years, old and new towns to explore and 5 beaches to ramble – it’s a good choice. Coming from Málaga? It’s just a bare hour along the usually empty A7, and still remains typically Spanish so is a nice alternative away day from the bustling and touristy Costa del Sol.

Choice 1 – Budget: Hostal Jayma

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Score on Booking: 9.4

Small and family-run, Hostal Jayma is situated in the Old Town, and parking is a bit of a nightmare, there is none at the accommodation. Having said that, it’s easy enough in May to find a space in town – it might be a little more frustrating in high season. 10/10 for friendliness, the hostal owner is helpful and chatty – he also speaks English if you need it. Our room on the first floor had Wifi, a small flat screen TV, and a decent bathroom with toiletries and towels aplenty. The room was clean and quiet, had a little balcony to sit on at the front, and although a bit basic and tired when it came to decor, was not unpleasant. The hostal is central, a few minutes stagger to local bars and restaurants, and for that all-important Spanish breakfast of coffee and Tostada con todo times two. Would we return? Yes, for the odd night it’s perfectly fine and reasonably priced from just €50.

Hostal Jayma

C/ Cristo 24
18680 Salobreña
Granada, Spain
(+34) 958 610 231
info@hostaljayma.com

Choice 2 – Luxury: Hotel Miba

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Score on Booking: 9.2

The next morning we had that leisurely breakfast and checked out. Harley parked up, boots off and flip-flops on and a morning spent on the beach and a 2pm chiringuito fresh fish lunch a few steps from our sun loungers (which served as storage for the boots, helmets, bags and all the ‘stuff’ a ride down brings!) At check-in time we put back on the leather and took the short ride up to Hotel Miba for the second leg of the weekend.

Hotel Miba is fairly new – I remember driving past as it was built a few years back and wondering if I would ever stay there. Sometimes you get what you wish for! We booked the best room, the larger of the two suites (Queen Suite) for the ultimate luxurious experience. Oh My! It was everything you might expect. Parking is free in front of the hotel which is directly off the A7, perched right at the top with views over the sea. Reception staff are chatty and helpful. Our room was priced at €180 (with drinks, dinner and breakfast about €300ish) and worth every single cent. It was big – 65 m² – with two large double beds together to make an ocean of a bed. The roll-top bath was in front of the (not overlooked!) expansive terrace doors, the fridge has Cava to drink, perfect in the bath 🙂  there was a separate large luxury bathroom with a shower to fit a party of 10 (no, I didn’t!) and the terrace was all around the suite. The decor is funky ethnic, there are a rooftop Skybar and pool (which we had all to ourselves) and both breakfast and dinner were phenomenal. The quality of food and service is outstanding, and dinner was the best I have had in Spain. Any drawbacks? Could be a better choice of toiletries at that price – maybe some really good bath foam for that fabulous bath? Would we return? Yes, in a heartbeat…!

Hotel Miba

N-340, Km. 325,

18680 Salobreña,

Granada

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The reviews in this article are not paid for or sponsored  – views are my own.

Hotel review: Casa Federico, Granada

Rolling back to last winter for this overdue review. It’s hard now, with the mercury rising so quickly, to even imagine cold, wet winter days, with easterly winds and a bite to the air. But, that’s what it was like in Spain last winter. To break up one such weekend, we booked a night in Granada, to take advantage of someone else’s heating and hot water. The budget was set for a reasonable place to stay, it had to be central, and with a little bit of character. I would rather stay at home than do a run of the mill awayday.

A good fit

So, on paper, Casa Federico looked like a good fit. It is. Set just a few steps from the cathedral, the great value price did not reflect a budget hotel stay in any way and we enjoyed the location, excellent decor, and friendly atmos.

Rooms and decor

Named after our favourite Granada poet, reasonable parking is a block away. Upgraded on request to a superior room, it was a large-twin-bed-pushed-together scenario. Plenty of storage, spotlessly clean, room to walk around, a corner bath in a spacious bathroom, and quirky touches such as Moroccan decor, and headboards fashioned from old shutters. There were two full-length windows, and balcony views to the front, and to the spires and tiled rooftops of Granada.

The reception staff were friendly and helpful – and there’s no stuffiness. My only gripe was leaving behind a piece of sentimental jewellery and no reply to my Facebook messages. Otherwise, I say go ahead, book Casa Federico for great value, and a lovely place to stay in a convenient location.

*This review is independent and was not in exchange for a free stay.

At home, abroad, on St Patrick’s.

I always say I can grow anywhere away from home, a little like a container plant. But where home is these days, I’m not really sure. But, having said that, I’m pretty sure I also haven’t yet found it. The world is too big, and I have more places to see, live in, and to write about.

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There are none so patriotic as the Irish abroad. We love to sit in Brooklyn or Birmingham, Bangkok or Brighton, and sing a rebel song whilst silently weeping into a pint. Re-runs of Father Ted and Mrs Brown’s Boys only get funnier with time, and we long for the sweet scent of the Oul’ Sod. The Fields of Athenry are sung with passion, and the free bird is allowed to fly at the big games.

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But, wait just a minute. How many of us know where the heck Athenry actually is?  (It’s Galway, lads, catch up) As for all the words – feck it, any of the words – to The Soldier’s Song, in English or as Gaeilge, I think not.But the 17th of March, now, that’s a different thing altogether. Everyone is Irish on St Paddy’s day.

It’s been 30 years since I spent St Paddy’s at ‘home’ in Ireland, and this year I looked forward to it.Well, I pondered it anyway, as I suffered a ride on the hard plastic seat  over to Dublin, complete with Zebedee behind me.

Childhood was green ribbons, mass, a Sunday-style  dinner, and the Big Parade. Trips home, later on and then with my husband,  were made up of a fortune spent in Kenny’s, Courtney’s and The Ball Alley, all local village watering holes. A blur of pints and laughs, smoke filled bars and quick wit, shirts lost at Cheltenham from the comfort of the pub, big breakfasts at my parent’s house – “to line your stomach “- and dinner kept warm and served with a thump – we were always late back.

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This year, I wandered down alone, stone cold sober, and stood for a bit under Carroll’s awning until the drizzle became a bit of a drip, then gave up and came home to watch the Dublin parade with Mother, where several dozen times we cleared up the facts that, yes, it was still Friday, and no, St Patrick’s is not a movable feast. Testing times? A bit. But, it’s okay, we’re alright.

The city centre parade was beset by horizontal rain, high winds and arctic temperatures. But, you know, everyone was smiling, enjoying it, and the Temple Street bar area held the riotous after party, if the Live Web Cam was anything to go by. We enjoyed it all, in our own way, from the safety of the sofa, and the furnace-like blast of the central heating.

It seems nothing stops us. We love a little adversity. And, I thought, no, I may not know where home really is, or what the future holds, but I’ll always, emphatically, be completely Irish!

Lettuce Pray

Those words I always thought the priest uttered at Mass on soft Irish Sunday mornings – I was an almost-adult before – like many song lyrics – I realised I had it all wrong. Young folk have no idea how lucky they are that they have lyric sites at the swipe of an iPhone – and that they’re not bullied into Mass, for that matter.

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But this post is neither religious or musical, though I suspect a Mel Brooks-style treat is being hastily scribbled in the wings.

I ask you to to forget about world hunger. Begone Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and those irritating refugees looking for non-essentials such as shelter and water. The new kid on the block is Britain. Yes, in true OLIVER style, the begging bowl is out. The supermarkets are bare and the Sun editor is doing back-flips. It’s the scoop of the century. There is no lettuce. In February. That’s winter, right? But there’s no use whining and begging. Spain is NOT for sharing.

So, let’s consider the great #LettuceGate scandal of 2017 as a great hunger, perhaps even a Famine. Ah yes, we knew we’d have you eventually, landowners and bigwigs. You thought you could get us with our own potatoes when the chips were down.

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There’s a monumental disaster afoot and it’s caused by a lack of Lactuca Sativa.

What if #LettuceGate has the same consequences as the Great Famine? Starvation. Disease. Lettuce is a rich source of Vitamin K and Vitamin A. It’s a source of Folate. The National Health Service will crumble.

There’ll be mass emigration. The fact that no-one will want you is a bridge you’ll just have to cross in search of Iceberg, Cos or your next bag of Looseleaf.

What’s the solution? Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP might like to know that it’s possible to wait until lettuce is actually in season and grow her own.

Remember one more thing, Britain. Where did all the Irish go after An Gorta Mór? Oh yes, but now, sure, isn’t that ‘just desserts’?

Eco Travel Envy!

Wish list or bucket list, whatever handle you have for it, we all have at least one, don’t we? At least when it comes to travel…hang on, just dreaming of a bikini body to go with those sunset dreams…zzz. Sssh, don’t wake me up just yet.

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If you know me at all well you’ll also know that I champion the sustainable lifestyle. From my slow-food Spanish recipes, to our s-l-o-w lifestyle here at the top of the mountain and our Spanish idyll.

I already run a team of bloggers and write for the lovely Simon and the organic beauty suppliers, Mypure Natural Beauty, you’ll find all my powder and paint reviews over at my other blog.

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Fitting nicely with that are my articles for Eco-Companion, who drive home the wanderlust for sustainable, ecological travel. That’s our long term dream, to see the real world, eschewing resorts and 5 star bland boredom for the roar of lions in the wild,  a safari eco-lodge, and far-away unforgettable experiences.

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Trouble is, if you start to browse the eco experiences, projects and amazeballs getaways over at Eco-Companion, then you’ll also have to open a bottle of wine and settle down for the night, there are so many to drool over and choose from.

*Note to Max – the site really needs an addiction warning plug-in.* 🙂

Meanwhile, join us over on the blog, our travel journal with stories of current wildlife and eco news, and tips and hacks to help you travel more sustainably. We’re a nice bunch really, come over for a chat soon. Another warning. There are also seriously cute pictures of baby animals. 🙂

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