The great Spanish Sun Lounger test was on duty in Almayate this week. Almayate is a small lovely village in between Rincon de la Victoria, and Torre del Mar. Approximately 30 kilometers east of Malaga.
But Oops! Our overall rating is only 6,2 out of 10. Why? I tell you here in the blog.
To start with: In general, I like Almayate. We have friends living here, the village is small and very Spanish. We always liked the beach having been there for beach BBQs in the past. But this year. Hmm...
Our initial place to go was the Chiringuito El Hornillero as a friend recommend this for a review. We were arriving on a Friday around 1 pm and walked through the restaurant to the beach. Walking through the restaurant I already thought "hmmm". The ceiling is very dark (made of straw?) and very low. I personally love airy and light spaces with high ceilings (if any) which give me a feeling that I can breathe. The restaurant here was the opposite but I thought "Ok, we can ask for a lunch table outside later on, not underneath the ceiling".
We went on to the sun loungers section and noticed that about 30% were occupied. The free sun loungers were packed in a corner. When the service lady arrived about 10 minutes later she shouted "all reserved. You have a reservation? No? It's all reserved". Well. OK. We didn't know we need to book, it wasn't necessary yet, but it's the middle of August and rules have changed?! With the not-so-cozy restaurant, no-available-sun-loungers, and not-very-welcoming-staff we decided to leave and try the next-door Chiringuito La Isla.
La Isla is part of the Restaurant BarTolo group with venues in Almayate and Chilches. Nice staff outfits, though, showing Bar... Tolo. Again, we walked through the restaurant which was nicely set up for the upcoming lunch business and went onto the beach. Same here, about 30% of sun loungers were occupied. We hesitated to take loungers with the previous experience and waited for a staff member. Asking him, he said it's fine to take loungers. Sun loungers are free of charge when having lunch (without lunch it's 4 Euros each). Wow! That was nice, usually, we pay regardless of having lunch.
We now took a deeper look at the beach and the sun loungers. Hmmm.... empty used plastic glasses and rubbish next to the loungers. Not very clean.... Sun Loungers itself: We might be spoiled because we always had thick mattresses on the loungers. Not here. In La Isla they have the odd and old blue uncomfortable sun loungers, you usually find in 2 or 3 Star Hotels. Quality was very poor, they have been used for a long long time. The headrest didn't work properly and it was a bit uncomfortable to lay on without a mattress. But Anyway. We made ourselves as comfortable as possible. Next step: Swimming.
There were no people in the water and we were wondering why. Having heard of a lot of Medusas / Jelly Fishes recently we stood at the beach, staring at the water, hesitating to go in. We did not see any Medusas but quite a lot of dirt. That wasn't very tempting, we just did a quick dip and jumped out again. Dirty water. Dirty beach. Umpf. Out of the water I wanted to take a shower to wash off the saltwater but there was no knob - hence, no freshwater. 'Guys, you are not making it easy for us today,' we thought.
As we are not easy giving up - we went for Lunch! The helpful staff (thumb-up) got us a table, and we checked the menu. We opted for a goat cheese salad for 9.50 Euro, sea bass 'lubina' for 16 Euro, bread, and aioli.
The goat cheese salad arrived quickly, and it was not looking very tempting. Taking a bit more time for food presentation would have helped. We had chunks of salad, lots (!) of nuts thrown over, some tomatoes, and on top the goat cheese. All that was covered in a very sweet kind of marmalade dressing. We were hungry and started eating, but without being very hungry I would have refused the salad.
The bread was packed in plastic, which I never understand. You see it quite often in restaurants. Unfortunately. We liked the Aioli, which came in a plastic bowl as well. The sea bass was fresh from the grill but quite small for 16 Euros. When the bill arrived, we were charged 0,50 Euros for the additional ice cubes we ordered. Something new, we never had "Extra Hielo" on the bill.
Toilets were disgusting, unfortunately. Very dirty. Out of toilet paper (of course) but it was quickly delivered after asking.
Our overall rating is 6,2 out of 10. Unfortunately the lowest we ever rated. Would we return? No. Dirty water. Dirty beach. No working shower as the knob was off. Old and uncomfortable sunbeds. Ok-ish but not great food. On the plus side, we have the helpful staff, quick service, and the restaurant decoration. But overall: Sorry Almayate Beach, you are not on top of our list.
Please note, these are our personal experiences and opinions. It is - obviously - no paid advertising which makes it 100% authentic. You might have completely other experiences.
We have reviewed:
Baobab Beach House Algarrobo Costa 9.1 out of 10
La Brisa Benajarafe 9.2 out of 10
Mambo Torrox 8.4 out of 10
La Isla Almayate 6.2 out of 10
Recommended (or not??) Water Sports in Andalucia:
ENGLISH Sup Yoga La Herradura
DEUTSCH Sport und Spass mit Sup Yoga
ENGLISH Canyoning Rio Verde
DEUTSCH Canyoning Rio Verde
"The great Spanish sun lounger test" continues!
Want to know our criteria, how we come up with the rating? Here is our questionnaire.