I did a run to the sun for the weekend to do a shakedown of one of the latest additions to the DoubleTree brand and one of the few Hilton hotels in Spain. Here’s what happened in the beautiful region of Murcia, Spain.
During the Spanish construction boom a developer called Polaris World built huge resorts with villas and apartments surrounding a golf course. Built on agricultural land 20minutes from an airport and 20minutes from beach.
At the heart of each resort was a luxury hotel. Two IHG Intercontinental branded hotels opened at Mar Menor Golf Resort and La Torre Golf Resort. Mar Menor has always remained open, recently rebranding away from IHG and the second La Torre closed and was left in a state of flux. The good news is that the La Torre Golf has now been reopened as a Hilton Doubletree.
The resort is a man made paradise, each building and street architecturally designed to be pleasing on the eye and offer a slice of Spain with all the modern comforts. At the centre is a hotel, town centre square and a golf clubhouse.
You really need a car to get here, with it being a 15min drive from Murcia Airport or 1 hour from Alicante. The nearest beach is around 20mins away by road. There are no bus services other than a coach to the airport. Taxis are available by prebooking.
The hotel is a beautiful hacienda style building. The reception is cool, calm with a restaurant/bar to the left and seating overlooking the man made lake and golf course.
At 11am I was warmly welcomed at reception with a full low down on the resort and the diamond benefits. I had been pre upgraded to a one bedroom suite overlooking the lake. Two balconies took advantage of this view.
Awaiting in the well designed room was a welcome bottle of water with chocolate truffles. The lounge area had a large Samsung TV with a huge range of international channels, a desk and two chaise lounge. A small toilet room is just opposite the well stocked mini bar area.
The bedroom area is separated by large sliding doors and features a comfortable, with good linen, super king bed. Leading through into the main bathroom. Here you’ll find twin sinks, a full range of C&E products in large size, a monsoon shower with separate tub, a walk in closet with safe and a toilet/bidet room with glass door.
Everything was beautifully clean and in working order. The towels were of good quality, with the bath towels a little on the small size.
Throughout the stay the room was efficiently cooled by the air conditioning. The large patio doors also kept any outside noise (which there was very little) out.
The hotel has three F&B outlets currently operating. Breakfast is served in Ginko at ground level from 7am to 11am. This is a well stocked buffet with modern decor. I do feel that some of the produce (such as the cold cuts, sweet bakery items and cheese) could’ve been better quality but it was easy to have a hearty breakfast here.
From 11am to 6pm the pool bar is open for drinks and grill style food. A beautiful location looking over the pool and golf course. I had the club sandwich which was tasty, but did differ in presentation and content each time.
At 6pm the service moves to the lobby bar and restaurant. Food is served in the main hotel restaurant here from 7.30pm. I dined once in the hotel restaurant, and it was definitely worth a visit. A starter of fish croquettes and a sirloin with tempura vegetables, washed down with an excellent bottle of red (cheaper than I could buy in a supermarket in the UK) was beautifully presented and served. The menu is a little fancy for many of the clientele but it is nice to have an upscale option.
During the summer months the outdoor pool is open, complete with comfortable clean loungers and umbrellas. Pool towels are provided from the lifeguard on duty from 11am to 7pm. The lagoon style pool overlooks the lake and the golf course with an infinity side. The pool isn’t heated, so can be a challenge to get in above waist height outside of July/August.
If you’re visiting in winter months there is a beautiful heated indoor pool, which is located in the spa area. Entry to the pool is included with your rate, but spa treatments are an additional cost, but very reasonably priced for a hotel.
Service throughout the resort was excellent, with all staff having fluent English and Spanish. The wait staff all worked very hard with a smilie on their faces, offering to do those little extras for you. A good level of serving etiquette was demonstrated in all restaurants/bars too.
In the town centre building next door to the hotel there is a couple more dining options not part of the hotel. I ate at the Indian (open from 6 till late) which was superb and newly opened. There is also an Italian which was not so great – microwaved food and sloppy service. The tapas restaurant is closed, but the Irish pub is open. There is also a supermarket 5mins walk from the main entrance of the hotel.
The only minor issue was that on day 2 our room wasn’t serviced until 8pm, with two visits reception required for action.
A late checkout was granted until 5pm on our last day, with a great goodbye from reception.
Top Tip: Avoid using attractively cheap car hire companies you’ve never heard of; the queues at the airport were huge, extra charges in abundance and claims for damage or additional mileage at the end huge. We used Avis and breezed through with no issues on collection or drop off.