Luckily, the Fonda de Benalmadena is just outside sprawling, smelly Malaga. Hidden away in a corner of Benalmadena Pueblo, a picturesque little town on the outskirts, you may lose heart trying to find it in the maze of little streets: but don't despair - helpful locals will show you the way.
The exterior is nothing special, with a small cafe and parking in front and underneath. Inside, you will be pleasantly surprised. From all corners of the inner courtyard hang fresh flowers, which soften the otherwise stark entrance hall. The balconies, breakfast room and most of the bedrooms have spectacular panoramic views over the beach and ocean, perfect for catching some rays. If you can't be bothered with the beach, there is a generously sized pool surrounded by the bedrooms on different levels and open to the elements so you can make the most of the sun.
The bedrooms are ordinary - a bit chintzy and stark - but comfortable, light and cool in the heat of summer. Downstairs is the charming little restaurant, serving food prepared by the Benalmadena catering school (typical Andalusian dishes) at lunch time only. Reception will advise on where to go for dinner, and outdoor activities: golf, riding and watersports.