Removed from Costa del Sol action, with great sea views
Spacious, boutique suites with funky decor, all with sea views
All suites are air-conditioned and many have balcony hot tubs
Bar and restaurant serving well-liked Mediterranean and international cuisine
Continental breakfast included in some rates
Sharp outdoor pool with a bar and terrace overlooking sea
Full-service spa with water circuits and sauna
All-inclusive packages are available
Off-site beach club and water park (fee for some guests)
Wi-Fi is available (fee)
Location outside of major towns won't please everyone
Stair-filled 10-minute walks to the beach aren't easy for everyone
Fee for Wi-Fi
Part of Malaga's Holiday World group of hotels, the 28-room Holiday Hydros is an upscale boutique hotel that has access to a popular beach club nearby. It's a bit removed from any major Costa del Sol action, but many guests consider that a plus. Suites are modern and done in attractive dark palettes, and all have sea views. Some have huge balconies, and many have outdoor hot tubs. A continental breakfast is included in some packages, and meals at the attractive restaurant are well-liked. The outdoor pool and bar overlook the sea, and the elegant spa provides a range of services including hydrotherapy. Travelers looking for a more family-focused property could check out the Holiday Palace, which has an on-site kids' club and outdoor playground.
Chic, modern hotel with stunning sea views that's best for adults and couples
In an area of Spain known for its sun and sea views, the Holiday Hydros certainly offers the latter in spades. While it's not on the beach, there are stunning Mediterranean Sea views from vantages throughout the property, including from the attractive, contemporary rooms. This property is situated in a terra-cotta four-story building in a lovely, quiet area overlooking the water, which helps capitalize on the seascapes. Guests enter the lobby through sliding glass doors, where they find a chic space decked out in dramatic black-and-white tile floors, pink accents, and illuminated glass-walled stairs. Pink and white sofas and chairs provide places for guests to hang out, and a changing exhibit of local art hangs on the walls. Although it offers family-friendly services, this hotel is more suited to adults than children, and it's especially popular with couples.
Hillside location overlooking the Mediterranean, between Fuengirola and Benalmadena
This hotel is located in a residential area that contains four other Holiday World hotels. There's not much else in the immediate area, so guests need to rent a car or be prepared to take taxis to reach much of anything. Otherwise, the Holiday Beach Club water park, which all of the brand's nearby hotels share, is about a four-minute walk from this hotel. The hotel also provides free transportation there and to other Holiday World hotels. The closest sandy spot is a 10-minute walk west along the busy road next to the hotel -- the walk also involves a good amount of steps. There are several seasonal cafes and restaurants neat the beach as well. Otherwise, those looking for bars, shopping, and nightlife will need to head to Benalmadena and Fuengirola, which are 15 to 20 minutes away by car. The Carvajal train station is about a 15-minute walk from the hotel, and Tivoli World amusement park is about a 15-minute drive. The closest airport -- Malaga Airport -- is about 25 minutes away by car, or an hour by public transportation. Known as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, the city of Malaga is a bit farther away than its airport, a 40-minute drive up the coast.
Contemporary boutique-style suites with sea views, many with hot tubs on balconies
All rooms at the hotel are suites, and they can accommodate from two to six people. Decor is contemporary, with pleasing neutral color schemes of gray and beige accented by shades of pink, green, or blue on bed toppers and pillows. The boutique ethos is most notable in the bold black-and-white furniture and artwork hanging on the walls. Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, minibars, MP3 docking stations, and safes. Unfortunately, there is a fee for Wi-Fi in rooms. The smallest rooms, the Buganvilla Lofts, are located on the top floor and offer spectacular sea views from huge balconies equipped with a hot tub, lounge chairs, and a dining table and chairs. Biznaga Suites have a separate living area and bedroom and can sleep four people. Their balconies are smaller, but they still have hot tubs and a table and two chairs. Double Lavanda Suites have two separate bedrooms and can sleep up to six people. They also have sea views and hot tubs on the terrace. Black-and-white bathrooms are modern and sleek, with above-counter sinks, bidets, tiled and glass tubs and separate showers, hairdryers, and magnifying mirrors. Holiday-branded toiletries are supplied, as are robes and slippers.
Well-liked restaurant and bar, sleek pool, full-service spa, fitness center, and off-site "beach" club
On the main floor overlooking the sea, Hydros Restaurant is a hip, sophisticated space done in the same cool color scheme found throughout the hotel, with white furniture and pops of aqua and purple. A breakfast buffet is served there daily, and lunch, snacks, and dinner are also served; children get their own menu. Food is well-liked by most previous guests and dishes include Mediterranean and international influences. The restaurant also puts on theme nights, like sushi nights. Chromatherapy lighting illuminates the bar, and candles add a touch of romance at night. All-inclusive rates are available, and most guests appreciate that this includes hand-crafted cocktails and upmarket cuisine rather than standard buffets and well drinks.
The outdoor pool sits within a wide-open terrace overlooking the sea. It's sleek, if a bit stark -- with few trees or greenery -- but there are unencumbered views mountains and the sea all around. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are provided for relaxing poolside, and daybeds and bean bag loungers are available as well. The pool bar serves drinks and snacks, and there are cushioned wicker sofas and chairs on the expansive deck. Although the beach is clearly in view, it's not that easy to access, as it's down the cliff with many steps or requires a walk along a fairly busy road. Most guests choose to go the Holiday Beach Club water park instead, though the hotel runs a shuttle there and to a local beach throughout the day. Note that only those on all-inclusive plans receive free access to the water park.
The elegant Hydros Spa offers a variety of water circuits, as well as a sauna, steam room, massages, body and facial treatments, and salon services. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide natural light and relaxing views of the sea. The compact fitness center has cardio and weight training machines, as well as free weights. Otherwise, laundry and dry cleaning services can be arranged and given the hotel's tourist-heavy location, there are few business services. Wi-Fi only comes at a fee.