On the Costa de Luz, in the bay of Cadiz and close to the town of Chiclana, lies the modern development of Novo Sancti Petri. This area has been relatively late receiving the attentions of the developers, and in consequence has escaped the usual eyesore of concrete high-rise ‘slabbery’ that so often blights the Spanish coast. It’s an area that’s not all that popular with foreign visitors…yet, but Spaniards have been coming here for family holidays for many years.
Novo Sancti Petri is a low-rise, low-density development that lines part of the 6 miles or so of almost virginal, pristine, golden sands backed by dunes which are a designated protected area. A lot of the development is in the form of villas and apartments which surround some golf courses and a series of lakes just slightly inland, whilst the beach front is reserved for mostly hotel complexes.
One of these complexes is a Hiphotel Spa consisting of four, 4 and 5 star hotels: Barrosa park, Palace, Gardens and La Playa.
We booked a room at the Barrosa Park for a couple of nights relaxation by way of taking a break between a hectic, sightseeing schedule.
We arrived at the resort a little early, so decided to have some lunch at a little bar just across the road before checking-in. Suitably fed and watered (or in my case, beered), we made our way to the check-in desk for the hotel. Although all the hotels are part of the same company, and occupy a shared, landscaped area, each one is run independently and has its own reception.
I handed over my confirmation only to be faced with blank stares. “Great”, I thought to myself, “some idiot’s f…fluffed up the reservation (hopefully not me, I added).”
We were informed that we were in fact booked into La Playa Barrosa next door (I assume they were overbooked in the Park).
So, off we jolly-well toddled to what we hoped was the correct hotel.
The reception area could only be described as plush. It was absolutely massive, reaching from the lower ground floor to the roof and covering a huge area afforested with palm trees of all varieties, and more sumptuous sofas than you could plump a cushion at. We crept timidly towards the desk and tentatively handed the clerk our confirmation.
Result! They actually expected us.
After a few formalities, the clerk announced to us that we had a very nice room. I just put this down to the usual customer relations spin and nodded politely. So, without further pleasantries, we jumped in the elevator and proceeded to our room on the top floor…the 3rd (I told you it was all low-rise).
All the corridors of the hotel were glass-roofed with various trees and plants in the central area, and small plazas with tables and chairs. This made for a pleasant walk to our room…which was convenient, because our room was just about as far from the elevator as was possible.
Our room was situated on a corner of the building overlooking the pool area and the beach (if you look at the image at the top of the page, it was the corner, top-floor room adjacent to the pool at the left).
The room was fairly large, bright and airy, with white walls and a pinkish, marble floor. Two large (4ft) and comfortable single beds were equipped with orange-brown comforters and a nice, walnut headboard and the bedside lights were controlled from one of the bedside cabinets, as was the piped music.
The table and chairs, a large desk and chair, and the bedside cabinets were all fashioned from wickerwork and seemed to suit the overall design of the room well. The desk was large enough to function as its intended purpose as well as play host to a large TV with around 30 international channels to choose from. We didn’t find any problem with storage capacity – lots of drawers and oodles of wardrobe space saw to that.
There was a well-stocked and reasonably-priced mini-bar, but NO coffee-maker, Grrr! Small consolation that I was able to drink ice-cold beer at will…with a pretty decent A/C unit, this meant that I was in very little danger of overheating.
The bathroom was a little on the dark side, although the large vanity area was well-lit. As you would expect in a room of this type, it was equipped with a WC, bath and shower (the glass screen for the shower was immovable and made access a little tricky) and twin basins with ample storage area surrounding them for all the necessities of personal grooming. The toiletries supplied were decent enough, but nothing special, and there was a hair-dryer. There were plenty of big and fluffy, white towels, with an extra supply in the wardrobe, just in case. We even had one of those foot-bath thingies…y’know, a bidet.
Both the room and bathroom were in immaculate condition and totally spotless, as was the whole hotel.
So far, although it would have been nitpicky in the extreme to disagree with the clerk’s assertion that we had a very nice room, it wasn’t particularly out-of-the-ordinary. Not until we pulled back the curtains, that is. The view was not bad, not bad at all.
Our balcony was a kinda wraparound affair, taking up the width, and the length of the room. With the comfortable loungers and table and chairs, not to mention the breathtaking beauty of the dunes and shoreline, we were well pleased. The balcony was not overlooked by any of the other rooms and very little noise travelled up from the pool area, so it felt completely private. In fact, the only sound was the crash of Atlantic rollers breaking on the shore. And did I mention the sunsets to die for?
The clerk was right.
As for facilities, the outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by terraces where there’s a bar and a restaurant, and a large garden area which leads down to the dunes. the hotel also has an indoor pool (heated in winter) and a whirlpool and sauna. For those hardy souls, a the fitness room will help burn off some excess energy.
There is a wellness centre in the Barrosa Palace and guests of this hotel can use the facilities. This is true of all the hotels on the complex and there are various bars, restaurants, nightclubs and shops scattered throughout.
We didn’t use any of the facilities (apart from the pool), so I can’t really comment on them. We didn’t use the rather expensive restaurant either – there are scores of restaurants and bars within a few hundred metres of the complex.
Rack rate for this hotel varies wildly depending on season, but you could expect to pay around 100 in early June, the time we were there.
We paid 50 plus tax per night (room only) by booking it through bancotel.com (I really must review that site!)
In conclusion: We were absolutely delighted with this hotel. We wanted a quiet couple of days with nothing much to do but listen to the waves and watching the sun go down. We got that. We also got a very nice room in a lovely hotel in an unspoilt corner of Spain. And we got it all for 35 quid! Nice.
It was lovely sitting on the balcony holding a cold beer with one hand, and a gorgeous woman with the other, watching the dying embers of a blood-red sun sink slowly into the ocean. It sets the mood wonderfully for a romantic stroll along the shore in the moonlight.