Let us begin by saying that this is the best self-catering accommodation we have EVER stayed in - and this part of Both Worlds only accepts bookings if you're aged 50 or over making it nice and peaceful .
We visited Gibraltar last year and stayed in the Elliot, you might like to read my review of that visit too, it’s a great hotel. Anyway, after looking for something different this time around, we fancied the idea of self-catering so booked a week’s stay at Both Worlds commencing 2 August 2011.
We contacted the owners through Trip Advisor and learned that the property is used as their home too, between living in the UK and Gib. This made us feel confident that the level of comfort would be quite high – and we were not disappointed.
Upon our arrival, we were met by their neighbour who showed us to and around the apartment and explained how everything worked. We also introduced ourselves to the lovely receptionist who proved to be very helpful and didn’t mind us badgering her for tips and advice. You reach the apartment either by taking the lift down a level and then walking down one more floor, or - if using the other street level entrance, walking the two levels down. If you continued further down the steps, it would lead to a locked gate for which you have access, leading down some more steps to the beach. The apartment is a lovely property and we could not find ANY fault in it what so ever (and we are picky). It provides everything you need to ensure a very comfortable stay, even down to the ‘little things’ like hairdryer, iron and board, binoculars – the list goes on and on.
It was very hot when we were there – we enjoyed the hottest day of the year at 35C whew! It wasn’t a problem however, because the apartment has a very efficient air con system in both the lounge and bedroom. If we were to say anything negative, it would be that we found it far too hot to sit on the balcony for breakfast outside. The sun rises and sets later there than in the UK, so the sun rose about 7:15 am and was still low in the sky for a few hours making it a bit too bright and very hot until mid-late morning.
As we said before, the apartment comes fully equipped, this includes Satellite TV offering some Sky TV channels and all of the UK terrestrial ones plus some Spanish and local Gib TV. There were two portable radios available, DVD player and a hi-fi. The small kitchen had an eye level oven, microwave, small fridge, ceramic 4 ring hob and a small sink. The back bedroom, leading off from the main one also had a large modern American style fridge/freezer – it was wonderful and provided chilled water and a choice of crushed or cubed ice.
The main bedroom had a chest of drawers and bedside tables and the back room had a spacious built in wardrobe with plenty of coat hangers provided. The bathroom was VERY tastefully decorated in a contemporary style with a shower – it had the WOW factor, wait until you see it!
The balcony (or Terrace) was in two parts, one side set up for formal dining with a large brolley to protect you from the sun’s rays and the other part, as you leave the front door – had an informal table and bench with additional occasional tables. Cushions were available from indoors. The whole frontage had roll out blinds to provide shade from the sun – but not very effective first thing in the morning because the sun was too low. The patio area was dressed with lovely tropical potted plants and ceramic wall decorations. There is also a laundry room if you need to do any washing.
I will now highlight the ONLY problem we found with Both Worlds - which we would strongly suggest you take note of; PARKING is a nightmare – you will find it almost impossible to park. You need a parking permit at Both Worlds, which is only provided to permanent residents of Gibraltar. They are not transferable to guests because the vehicle registration is printed on the permit. The reception can give you a local permit to park at the front door ONLY – it is NOT valid for the other designated areas down the road – we know this because our hire car was towed away on our 1st day – costing £60.00 plus £15.00 per day storage. There are only about 9 spots at the front door and these are permanently used by residents. We found our hire car a burden in the end and returned it early because of this.
On a positive note, the FREE bus service is only about a 5 minute walk down the road and is serviced by the No.4 route which takes you into town, and then out the other side directly to Morrisons for your shopping – hoorah! Very convenient and runs until about 9pm. Note: Beer and Wine in Morrisons cost about 25% more than in the UK. A taxi from town to Both Worlds, after an evening out costs about £5.00 if not pre-booked. The only bus you pay for now is the one going to the Frontier, costing £1.00 single and £1.50 return.
If you like going out, you might find Catalan Bay a bit quiet in the evening, only offering a couple of basic bars/restaurants, and Main Street down town seems to die after 6 pm so we would recommend Ocean Village (opposite the town bus terminus) for lively, sophisticated bars and restaurants.
Finally, our return taxi from Both Worlds to the airport cost about £6.00 but we think the driver forgot to charge the additional £5.00 pre-booking fee.
Here’s a few sundry bits for you not included in our review;
The new air terminal now due to open October 2011.
Cost of cigarettes approx. £1.40 per pack.
Cost of beer approx. £2.20 - £2.50 per pint – Wine 175ml about £3.00+
Smoking permitted almost everywhere – including pubs indoors and restaurants.
Crossing time to La Linea by foot – no delays – by car, approx. 10 minutes to Spain – 15/20 minutes back in (outside peak periods).
BIG TIP !!!!!!!! Look out for bills offering payments accepted in Euros. The exchange rate used is a major rip off, in the region of £1.00 = €1.41 instead of the normal €1.11 this will significantly increase the cost of the service or meal. Always pay in Sterling.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Friends getaway||A romantic getaway|
|Luxury-minded travelers||Rugged travelers|
Just returned from a very relaxing week in this excellent apartment with beautiful sea view from the spacious double balcony.
Very well equipped apartment that is decorated to a very high standard. Just like an upmarket hotel room, all credit to the owners.
Just a few steps lead down to the lovely restored beach at Sandy bay.
The apartment is about a 10 min walk from the free bus service.
That will take you around the rock to join in the hustle and bustle on Main street or see any of the other sights.
Then return to the relaxing sound of the sea lapping on the beach and see the lights of the ships passing by.
Another few mins walk from the bus stop lead you to Catalan bay with a few bars/restaurants.
For a more lively night try Ocean village or the Casino.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Friends getaway||A romantic getaway|