“A sociable small hotel at the heart of an authentic Andalucian town, close to the sunny coast’s best beaches”
There are 9 rooms at Hotel Palacio Blanco. #1 and 2 look onto the ground-floor courtyard; a marbled flight of stairs leads to #3-6, which are surrounded by a wide glass-and-chrome walkway scattered with sofas and looking over the plant-filled courtyard below. Another narrow flight of stairs brings you to the roof terrace where 7, 8 and 9 sit beside the pool and honesty bar.
Décor is contemporary and tasteful - creams, silvers and golds or reds, blacks and crimsons. There are tall vases of roses, cushioned wrought-iron chairs, textured bedspreads and glittery cushions. All have comfortable kingsize beds, flatscreen TVs, iPod docks and spacious shower rooms. Note there are no toiletries, so make sure you bring your own.
So which room to choose? If you have young children or don’t like to climb too many stairs, pick rooms 1 and 2, but if you like to be near the action choose 7, 8 and 9 by the rooftop bar (#9 is the Family Room or Suite). If you enjoy looking out on the hustle and bustle of an authentic Andalucian city you’ll love rooms 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8, which have small balconies overlooking the street, but if peace and quiet is more your thing, plump for 2, 5 and 6, which give onto the quieter side and rear of the hotel.
Local jams from a village women’s co-operative, delicious chorizo, manchego cheese and fresh cakes from the nearby pastelería make breakfast out in the courtyard a delight. And with a juicer and a couple of 24-hour honesty fridges that are liberally stocked with drinks, you'll never go thirsty at Palacio Blanco.
As the largest of the region’s towns, Velez-Malaga has a profusion of good restaurants dotted through its cobbled streets. For excellent-value tapas try the bar at Caserio de las Monjas on calle Doctor Laureano Casquero. When we revisited in 2013, we ate in their restaurant out back: an atmospheric, vaulted room with super-friendly staff. Fish croquettes and veggie tortillas made delicious starters, though the swordfish and tuna mains were disappointingly overcooked and covered with sauce; ask for sauce on the side if you want seafood! Or head to La Gamba Dorada, an excellent fresh fish eatery in calle Pintores Clavero. The new French Corner is also good for tapas.
Night owls can take a bus or taxi to the profusion of pubs, clubs and bars in Torre del Mar, just a 10-minute ride away, or hang out in the numerous bars radiating out from the central Plaza San Francisco in Velez-Malaga.
Hotel Palacio Blanco welcomes families and has a Family Room plus baby cots and rollaway beds for children that can be added to other rooms.
Children (4-12 years)
Room 9 is the Family Room on the top floor, with 2 bedrooms (double and single) and a shared bathroom. All other rooms can fit a baby cot or rollaway bed. Parents with younger offspring should ask for a room on the ground floor (1 and 2). Room 8 has a super-kingsize bed and a single bed so is a good choice for older children.