The Gran Melia Don Pepe Hotel, Marbella, Spain is a five star hotel. Though I am not really sure why.
It is a decent hotel with decent rooms and okay service. But it does not have the style, flair or sense of specialness that a 5 star hotel should have.
This was the 2nd time that I stayed at the hotel. Both times were attending a work conference. It is perfect for out-of-season conferences as the hotel is not in demand and so they offer great rates (our rooms were around 125 euros).
The whole hotel, despite recent investments, has an overall air and look of being a bit old-fashioned and dated. The look and furnishings feel like a cast back to the late 70s or early 80s. They are all in good condition and it is not that the place is run down – it just feels so dated.
On this trip I had a room which faced to the back of the hotel looking towards the mountains (or if you were being unkind, over the entrance and driveway). These rooms do not have balconies or a sea view like the front facing rooms. The sea facing rooms do get very hot though as the sun blazes in and the air-conditioning does not seem to be able to cope.
The food in the hotel is ok, with the breakfast and lunch buffets being varied and good. I suspect if one was staying for a while it would get tiresome. But the few days I was there I found it varied enough and good quality. Room service was fast, with a wide selection of standards.
There is a great pool and loungers and huge day bed things to lie around and the beach is very close. There is also a small indoor pool and so-so gym facility.
One of the examples of being dated is the complicated approach to internet access, which is expensive. There is an erratic wireless option in the downstairs public area or a cable in the room. You have to buy vouchers from reception which generate highly complicated usernames and passwords.
The location of the hotel is also average. It is within walking distance of some tourist style restaurants with pretty good food, especially Italian.
It would not be high on my list to go for a holiday, but for a conference it was perfectly good.