19 May 2017

Staying at the HPB Bena Vista property on the Costa del Sol

If you regularly follow my blog, you'll know that I'm a member of the HPB scheme which entitles me access to a property portfolio across Europe. And you'll also know I'm a massive fan. You can read more about the scheme here.

In my endeavours to stay at all the properties in the portfolio, I recently stayed at the HPB Bena Vista property which is in Estepona on the Costa Del Sol.
The view from the clubhouse

I chose this property simply because we were travelling in April and it promised to have the warmest weather out of all the properties in the scheme at that time of year. Plus, the flights to Malaga Airport were short and cheap and the transfer to the property from the airport was under an hour. And, since we were travelling with our two year old son, this was essential. 

The property we selected was a two bed, ground floor apartment with a private garden. And, as always, the place was absolutely immaculate. They'd set up a lovely, little cot in the second bedroom and both bedrooms had a private en suite. The garden was south facing and completely self enclosed so ideal for our son to play in. We even had a little coal BBQ- all perfect for a small family get away.

The entrance to the complex
We also loved the position of Bena Vista because it was situated close to bars and restaurants. Some of the properties we've stayed in have been fairly remote and required a drive to get to amenities. Whereas this place had bars, restaurants and supermarkets on its doorstep. 

In fact, right next door, there's a lovely bar called Restaurant Los Arcos which we ended up going to most days! The bar has a lovely enclosed outside area complete with children's play park, enabling us to sit having a drink, a meal and relax while our son played in a safe, enclosed area with both Spanish and English children. We ate there once and the food was pretty good too.

The playpark at Los Arcos
Bena Vista does have a beach which is literally 5 minutes walk away. But, to be honest, it's more of a stony crop on the edge of a building site! Considering the beautiful beaches on the Costa Del Sol, this is not somewhere you'd choose to hang out (unless you had an interest in watching Spanish builders at work!). However, there were numerous beaches within 10 minutes drive in Espepona, Puerta Benus and Marbella. I've written about my favourite beaches here.

The resort also had two swimming pools but they're not heated. So, in April, even with a wetsuit on, our son could not be coaxed in! 

All great, so what's the catch? Well, we had a lovely holiday and we were really lucky with the weather considering it was April. But there are a couple of things that might put you off.

Our lovely enclosed garden
Firstly, the road. Randomly, the whole Bena Vista resort is built on the edge of a pretty main road. And, when I say a main road, it's like the A3 or A34 in England. Busy day and night and only passable via the numerous footbridges dotted along it. Our apartment was several rows back from the road, but you could still hear it, even with the doors closed.

Secondly, I can't even talk about how many keys we had to grapple with in order to navigate around the complex. Now, I understand the need for security, but surely there has to be a solution that doesn't require a key for the front door, two keys for the back door, two keys for the other back door, a key for the side gate, one for the swimming pool, one for the laundry room, one for the Club House...the list goes on. In fact, because we were outside the main HPB complex, we couldn't even get into the main area because we didn't have the key. The whole system needs a complete overhaul.
Gorgeous swimming pool

Look, if you're looking for a remote, isolated and picturesque resort, I'll be honest, this place isn't going to be for you. Although the grounds of the complex are beautifully maintained like all the HPB properties, it is on the edge of a really main road. I'd recommend HPB La Gomera or HPB Almeria if you want peace, tranquillity and unspoiled views. 

However, if you want to be near amenities, to be able to walk to bars and restaurants and if you're travelling with children and need to be able to entertain them, this place is ideal. Although I loved HPB Lanzarote with it's nearby bars and restaurants, the property we had here was much nicer and the enclosed garden was ideal for a toddler. However, you didn't need to hire a car in Lanzarote.

All in all, we had a lovely stay there and we would definitely return. Another great property from HPB.