The huge numbers of flights that serve the resorts of nearby Benidorm, Marbella and Torremolinos mean that you can always find a bargain to – and increasingly in – the Andalusian capital. And with beautiful examples of Moorish and fin de siècle architecture and a great range of museums, art galleries and natural attractions to discover, you’d be mad not to make a weekend here a must, especially with our handy guide to the best of the cheapest hotels in Malaga.
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Malaga's best cheap hotels
Fans of Andalusian design will love this little B&B in an eighteenth-century central Malagueno townhouse, where seven individually decorated rooms are filled with pretty traditional touches, including azulejos tiles on floors, walls and bathrooms, wrought iron balconies with lots of plants tumbling over them, wooden beamed roofs and ceramic washbasins. Free wifi, water, minibars and a lovely courtyard add to the appeal, and it all comes in at around £70.
You can get a dorm bed in this elegant and centrally located hostel from £14, or swing for a double at £66; either way you’ll get a spacious and colourful room with AC, free wifi and its own private bathroom, maybe a balcony, and, in the private rooms, flatscreen TVs, sitting areas, safes, and towels. There’s a lively and fun roof terrace with views over the Alcazaba, and original art dots the walls of the hip restaurant and lounge.
With just eight rooms themed around individual cakes or desserts and set over four floors of a refurbished townhouse, the Dulces Dreams is a delight, from its balconies and rooftop terrace to a funky café/gallery showing local art and selling scrumptious cakes and smoothies. An imaginative, lively design aesthetic throughout is very much the right side of hip and arty – all from just £40 a night. The location is dreamy too, in the heart of the old town and right next to Malaga’s fabulous Arabic baths.
Slightly out of town in La Victoria, this pretty townhouse, with rooms from around £45, is as Andalusian as they come, with pastel-painted rooms and spacious shared bathrooms filled with local design features alongside staples like a fan and free wifi. A self service breakfast is available in the sweet kitchen, which has everything needed for cooking a simple meal to eat on the patio. For more elaborate cuisine, the Lodge offers a selection of studios, some with terraces and sun loungers.
You might want earplugs for this boutique hotel if you don’t want to be woken by the early-morning bustle of the Atarazanas Central Market opposite, but then you’d miss the area’s addictive lively vibe. Set over five floors of a restored nineteenth-century building and a new-build annexe are 39 simple but appealing rooms (many with balconies) offering free wifi and minibars; upgraded ones add tea- and coffee-making facilities. A café/bar serves a good range of reasonably priced breakfasts, but venturing to the market cafes is a lot more fun. Rooms start at €76.
This family-run hotel 50 yards from the Playa del la Malagueta has a striking identity that begins with its arresting green antique villa at the foot of Monte de Sancha and continues through 24 colourful, individually decorated rooms that are homey, filled with interesting tidbits, and all come with free wi-fi, TVs and minibars. It’s a pleasant walk or easy bus ride into the town centre, but with a pretty art-filled lounge, a roof terrace with loungers, a 50s-style cafeteria and a varied breakfast selection, you might well be tempted not to leave. Doubles are around £70.
This sweet little mini-chain of two properties – the Terraza and the Casa Al Sur – has lots to offer those on a budget, including fully equipped shared kitchens and super-cute roof terraces with BBQ facilities. The light and airy rooms (around £40) are lovely too, decorated as they are in white, a breezy Mediterranean palette of blues and yellow, and old terrazzo floors; some come with balconies and terraces. In summer a £5 breakfast is served on the terrace of the Terraza, while the Casa Al Sur even has an honesty bar serving wine and beer.
Book early to stay at La Casa Azul, a small beachside B&B that looks like it just blew in from Notting Hill. Five double rooms are spacious, bright and filled with personal and unusual touches; think chandeliers, pastel colours on walls and panels, lovely wrought iron balconies, wooden staircases, and lots of period fittings from the original nineteenth-century building. All rooms have a balcony, AC and free wifi; if they’re full, there are also two deluxe two-bedroom apartments in the building next door.
Patio 19 Hostel Like something out of a Desigual fashion shoot, this mad but delightful B&B/hostel in a 17th-century mansion in central Malaga is filled with all manner of antique knick knacks, textiles and furnishings. The individual and idiosyncratic rooms, a mix of doubles from £40 and dorm beds from £15, come with tea- and coffee-making facilities and free wifi; many also have balconies – don’t be surprised to find yours draped in old Flamenco frocks. Access to a shared kitchen and courtyard, plus free beakfast, complete the appeal.
The rooms may be a tad dull, but four-star services and accommodation for less than £60, right next to the María Zambrano train station (with direct links to the airport), make the Silken Puerta a very appealing option if you’ve an early flight. And there are some fun touches to brighten up the 141 neutrally decorated rooms – a Javier Mariscal façade, funky modern takes on traditional tiling in smart bathrooms – as well as a roof terrace, bar and gym. Minibar and free wifi are standard, upgrades add views and terraces.