A small ‘pueblo’ terrace house that has been ‘halved’ depth-wise and, looking at the neighbouring properties, built vertically upwards around a metre to create tiny ‘one-up, one-down holiday accommodation. It was hampered by a severe lack of basic equipment, poor maintenance and a challenging ‘fire escape’ type spiral staircase.
We chose this property for its location, above the main street at the rear of the village. It is five minutes easy walk from the main square and unlike most houses in Torrox, easy to find!
The lower floor of the house has a kitchenette with under-counter fridge with ice-box, toaster, mop and brush in a tall cupboard, an inset 2-ring halogen hob, sink and tall wall cupboards placed around 20cm too high - I am 6’4 (1.94m) and could not reach the top shelves. The shelves were also spaced so that no one shelf was tall enough to take taller items such as a wine bottle. There were two parts of a broken ice-cube tray in the icebox and the fridge door could not be opened fully as it hit the outside door when just half-opened. The supplied frying pan was past its best and had lost its non-stick coating.
There was no kettle, only one teaspoon (!), no bread knife and the one kitchen knife was not sharp enough to cut into a tomato. The provided corkscrew was broken - thankfully I had brought my own. There was, however, a coffee percolator. The work top under the percolator had not been cleaned any time recently. The kitchen sink waste leaked into a bucket that had been placed under it. An attempt to fix the leak with gaffer tape had been made unsuccessfully.
There was also a double sofa bed downstairs that takes too much of the limited remaining space and prevented the normal use of the small dining table and two (not three!) chairs - they were squashed into the corner opposite the spiral stairs. The table had an over-sized glass top clearly not made for it.
The central light-fitting was missing one of its three bulbs - no spares - but the other two odd bulbs did not work either suggesting a more serious electrical fault and there were no table lamp or under-cabinet lighting- so there was no electric light at all downstairs. The owners must have known this. We coped by opening the front door and allowing the street light opposite to shine in and then bought candles.
There was a small LCD TV with satellite box receiving Sky News and BBC World News. This unnecessary amenity seemed at odds with the lack of more essential equipment. Wi-fi would have been more useful - I obtained mine from bars of San Roque and the main square..
The upper floor was the bedroom with shower room off. The wardrobe was built-in, a good size and perfectly fine - though equipped only with a random assortments of free ‘store’ hangers. However, twin beds in the available space were just too much - it was a squeeze to access the wardrobe while the other bed is right up against the patio door of the Juliette balcony. In practice we simply slid the beds backwards and forwards as required to gain access to wardrobe and/or balcony doors. The room was really just big enough for a standard double bed.
The shower room had the smallest of shower enclosures (75x75cm), a wash basin and a toilet that had to be turned off at the cock to stop it continuously running. On investigation - I was hoping to fix the problem - the toilet cistern was missing a vital part and so had been like this since installation. A pattern was establishing of obvious defects known to the owners but which not been rectified. The toilet roll holder was also broken - a blob of wood glue would have fixed it.
There was a sign informing men not to urinate standing up - I had never seen such a sign before, and duly took a photo. There was a bit of left-over loo roll when we arrived but no spare and no soap or any other toiletries. There is a small supermarket around 50m further along the road for essentials like this. The towels were an odd assortment but clean and sufficed. No bath mat was provided.
The steel spiral staircase was the greatest weakness of the property - necessary because the space had been made overly-small and the ceilings overly high (around 2.6m) when converted. Conventional stairs would have taken around a third of the entire floor space. The spiral stairs were narrower and steeper than safety permits and probably illegal had they been in the UK. We stayed for a week and my mother remained terrified of using these stairs until the end. Our immediate reaction upon arrival was to find another place to stay but availability was limited and very pricey at zero-notice. The stairs severely affected our enjoyment and utility of the property. Holding on to the hand rail was an absolute must which made carrying anything up or down difficult.
The spiral stairs continued to the roof terrace which was literally the highlight of the property because of the attractive view over Torrox with the sea in the distance. There was a small glass-topped patio table and three plastic chairs but no sun beds nor seat cushions. The table had a central hole for an umbrella and there was an umbrella base but there was no umbrella and consequently no shade affecting the usability of the roof terrace in the central portion of the day.
Decoratively, the house was simply painted in white and yellow on different walls and tobacco-coloured ceramic tiled floors throughout. The yellow had been touched up in multiple places with a different shade.
The house had clearly been professionally converted, sadly removing any character of the original old house. In my view, the conversion had been badly planned with overly-high ceilings necessitating the dangerously steep spiral stairs, with an equally badly-planned kitchen, then poorly furnished, poorly-equipped and badly maintained.
My one request to the owner via TripAdvisor messaging - asking if there was a patio umbrella - went unanswered. We borrowed one from a friend.
1. For a relatively small amount of money spent at the local Chinese emporium, future guests’ stays could be made more bearable by adding:
New ice cube trays
New frying pan
A table lamp for downstairs
Mat for the shower room
Matching coat hangers
Matching towels: one hand towel and one bath towel for each guest
Patio table umbrella
Cushions for the plastic chairs
At least one sun lounger
2. Repairs: downstairs lights, kitchen sink leak, toilet cistern and toilet roll holder
3. Go over the touched up paintwork with the same colour as the walls (or else repaint them).
4. Change the kitchen wall cupboard shelf spacings to permit taller items, such as a wine bottle, on at least one shelf.
5. Ideally lower the kitchen wall cupboards by 20cm - these tall units are not intended to be fitted so high.
6. Narrow the width of the base cupboard under the hob to enable the fridge door to be fully opened. (A spacer should then be fitted between the fridge and the wall)
7. Replaced the sofa bed with something taking less floor space so that the table and chairs to be used by more than one person.
8. Add a third chair for the dining table (as the house is listed for up to 3 guests) and replace or just remove its over-sized glass top.
9. For next season, consider replacing the twin beds with a standard double to enable easy access to both the wardrobe and Juliette balcony.
10. As a very minimum to provide for each guest stay: a new toilet roll, small bar of soap, new pan scrubber and clean dish cloth..
11. Provide a contact telephone number/address so that minor issues may be reported and dealt with.
I have tried to be accurate, honest and constructive in my criticisms. Given that this was the start of the season, it was very disappointing to find the house in disrepair and lacking in basic equipment. In its present state, it is impossible to recommend this property.
If this review has been helpful, please help the wider Trip Adviser community by giving it a helpful vote.
Tim Millea, 26th May 2017.
Torrox Pueblo is a traditional white town with good road and bus links to the A7 and to the coast. It’s great walking country. Free car parking near the house.
The Plaza, bars and small shops are within a 10 minute walk. Well stocked butcher, baker and supermarket at the bottom of the town down slope, about 15 min. Bus stop about 15 min walk. Major supermarkets with parking on Torrox Costa coastal strip.
House is up a flight of steps with a rail. It has a spiral staircase. The roof terrace is a great private space.
Two single beds. Shower room through bedroom. Sofa-bed in kitchen/living room on ground floor. Cooking is on two electric burners. Kitchen is minimally equipped.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|