Where We Stayed

Ah yes, the Costa del Sol, or as we learned to call it “Wee Britain”, was the location for our lodging the first week we stayed in Spain. Our resort was in the coastal city, Benalmadena Costa. We stayed at La Puebla Quinta amongst the different types of British tourists who also called La Puebla Quinta home for a week – retired couples, families with children, and maybe one or two other people actually in our age group.

There is alot of architecture not to like about the Costa del Sol with its towering hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Fortunately, we stayed in a place that tried to look somewhat authentically like the pueblos blancos that are so famous in Andalusia.

We had a one bedroom apartment for the week – nothing too fancy, but it was sufficiently large enough to be very comfortable.

I particularly liked having our own British-style kitchen, complete with the washing machine built in. That washing machine came in pretty handy. The refrigerator was also nice to keep my Coca Cola Light cool enough for those hot Andalusian days.

One of the interesting cultural (non-Spanish) phenomenons was the “clubhouse.” We only went one night, the second night we were there, for the welcome Spanish buffet. What they didn’t tell us was that we would also be privy to hearing a rejected British lounge act singing ridiculously awful show tunes and lounge songs that would have been soundly rejected by the Rat Pack. Watching the stereotypically thin-lipped, “it hurts to smile” old British ladies “enjoy” the entertainment was entertainment in and of itself. The emcee who arranges all of the entertainment for the venue was pretty hilarious in a British sort of way. Most of the time, I had no idea why a joke was funny, but it was so bizarre that I couldn’t stop laughing.

Also, at the “welcome meeting” for the first day we arrived at the resort, they had a raffle and I won a bottle of wine. David actually called it beforehand, because we thought it would be so hilarious that in a room full of British alcoholics (which I self-diagnosed because of the shocking prevelance of beer guts among nearly all the British tourists and also because of the shocking number of people drinking alcohol already at 11:00 am), we would be the ones to win the free booze. I brought it back to the states, because I could always use another bottle of cooking wine.

Our lodging accomodations in Madrid were quite different. We stayed in the historic Westin Palace Hotel.

The lobby was beautiful, and I could see why this hotel is so famous.

This glass atrium is one of the big tourist draws in all of Madrid.

Our room was lovely and comfortable. Thanks to David’s Starwood status, we received an upgrade on the room (nice to know that all of David’s crazy travel schedule is good for something). The main part of the room wasn’t that large, but the details really were lovely.

And the bathroom was enormous which was very welcomed in the land of tiny European bathrooms. I particularly loved the small details of the bathroom like the crown molding.

So, in spite of the terrible neck pain that I couldn’t shake the entire time I was in Spain for some bizarre reason (and that came with me back to the States), I can happily say that we slept in considerable comfort each night.

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