Holiday Apartment in Malaga*****

This time round, I’m reviewing not a hotel but a holiday apartment which we booked via FeWoDirekt.

Visit: 2nd half of August, 2014

The apartment on Calle Bandaneira 3 is actually in Puerto de la Torre, which is a small (but nice) town north of Málaga, but it seems closer to Málaga city, which starts just down the hill. “Hill” is a major keyword here: it is situated nearly at the very top of a rather large hill with very steep roads going up - driving up with a stick shift if you’re used to an automatic is a challenge at first - and not something you want to do at night with one vino tinto too many in your bloodstream!

The drive up brings with it two major advantages, though: first, it’s really quiet up there (with exception of the occasional dog barking concert from far below), which is very pleasant. Second, you get a view of Málaga from up there that - especially at night - is really breathtaking.

Getting into Málaga - with a car - isn’t a problem. If it weren’t for a double-digit number of traffic lights (usually red or turning red when you approach), you’d be in the harbor area in about 10 minutes. Taking the lights into account will double that time.

Generally, I recommend a rental car; while it is apparently not problematic to take the bus from the foot of the mentioned hill straight into town, walking up that hill - especially with water bottles or other heavy things - is not something you’ll want to do unless you regularly run marathons. Also, have a navigation device of some sort available, as the streets of Málaga run around the foothills, making line-of-sight navigation nearly impossible. Signage could also be better, so stick to either a Satnav or a software package on your smartphone that lets you preinstall maps.

The apartment is situated on a large property and the entire garden / pool / terrace that are on the same level are for exclusive use of the apartment dwellers! The pool is nice and of large enough size that doing your morning swim doesn’t consist of pushing off the side every 3 seconds. Our kids loved it and we used it extensively.

There are lots of trees and some palm trees, so you’ll find plenty of shade (which comes highly recommended in August!). There are pro-quality deck chairs available (8 of them, so you won’t run out) that make lounging that much more relaxing.

There are three (!) terraces: one right by the pool on the edge of the property - we sat here nearly every evening, as it is the spot where the view of Málaga is best. The second is a ways behind the pool, towards the crest of the hill. This second one is nestled into a patio covered by sailcloth, which will give you some shade (though not enough for the light-of-skin). The third is on the other side of the apartment, overlooking the eastern side of the hill. We never used the latter, as the view of the poolside terrace is just too enticing.

The apartment itself is cozy; it has two bedrooms (each with two single beds), a bathroom and a combination living-/dining room and kitchenette. We ate all warm meals out, so we never had to cook in the apartment - a good thing, as the kitchenette is very small and likely a pain if you feel the need to have hot lunch at the apartment every day.

The apartment is made to “house” four people, as you can tell by the number of beds, and is absolutely spacious enough for a family with two children (for example). Both bedrooms have windows, but the window in the one to the west can’t be opened, making aeration a bit difficult.

Due to the way the house is built, the back wall of the apartment is actually in the hill, making for pleasant temperatures even in August - if you remember to close the curtains on the large bay window facing south! There was usually a light breeze, which made airing out the place simple (just open the east terrace doors and the apartment door facing west).

The only negative aspect was the bathroom - while it is functional and, like the rest of the place, clean, it had an oder issue. My guess is that the rather powerful exhaust fan, coupled with a tight-fitting door, pulls air out along side the toilet mount. The smell wasn’t as bad the first couple of days but got decidedly worse. When we told the owner about the issue, she was very nice about it and had the issue taken care of right after we left, as she indicated in an email.

Right next to the apartment is a hotel (), whose dining room and terrace is situated right next to the western border of the property. While you do hear noise coming from the hotel, it wasn’t an issue for us at all, even though the hotel was completely booked due to the
Feria week. The only noise from the hotel that did get annoying once in a while was an air conditioning compressor apparently located just behind the hedge. You don’t hear any of this in the apartment, though.

All in all, we had an exceptional time at this fantastic apartment. The owner (who lives on the levels above the apartment was very discreet, friendly and helpful. I would recommend the apartment to anyone that doesn’t mind having to take a car to go anywhere. Since a car is highly recommended for a Málaga vacation anyways, this should not be an issue. Just don’t forget the Satnav.

The view is exceptional, the apartment quite good, the space that is made available to you is large and variable, the pool is nicely refreshing. There are plenty of sights within relatively short drives, including plenty of different beaches. A perfect mix for a nice vacation with the kids.