SOMETIMES a day trip to Gibraltar is simply too rushed especially if you want to catch some of the sights or want to attend a concert.
In his regular look at things to do on the Rock, John Smith gives some idea of what accommodation is likely to be available.
Gibraltar has not historically been a great place for short term accommodation other than hotels as the lack of housing was a major problem until about 15 years ago when land reclamation meant that there was more room available on which to build.
Now, the ubiquitous Airbnb has reached the Rock and has more than 60 apartments, rooms or even boats available for rent in some very attractive developments.
Gibraltar has a number of narrow streets, old buildings and steep hills with little parking available in certain areas therefore it is very important to decide whereabouts you want to stay on the Rock and that the area is actually suitable for your age and condition, especially as there are new residents only parking rules in place.
Having said this, if you are fit, much of where you are likely to want to go will be within walking distance although some people prefer to park their cars in the new car park by the border in La Linea and then walk across with their bags to pick up a taxi.
There are six decent hotels in Gibraltar ranging from one to five AA stars with prices dependent upon the facilities.
Actually based close to Main Street is the one star Cannon Hotel with 18 rooms, some with and some without facilities with its own bar and restaurant offering a cheap option for those travelling on a budget.
Also close to Main Street, near to the Convent where the Governor is based, the three-star Bristol Hotel, the oldest in Gibraltar has 60 rooms and offers air conditioning, wifi and some free parking for guests. It is quite accessible by car, has a large lounge, lifts, gardens and a swimming pool.
Finally in the Main Street area although a bit of a nightmare to find and park if you are driving is the four-star O’Callaghan Elliott Hotel, part of a small Irish chain with 123 rooms and all of the facilities you would expect from a good quality hotel. It boasts a rooftop restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and is currently undergoing refurbishment as the building is about 50-years-old.
Probably the most famous hotel in Gibraltar is the Art Deco inspired Rock Hotel which sits at the base of the Rock overlooking Alameda Gardens. Boasting all of the facilities you would expect from a four star hotel it offers private parking as well a separate garden with swimming pool and most of the rooms have been updated.
It is a bit of a walk into the centre of town and quite a steep walk back, so a taxi at least one way would be recommended.
Way out of town but perched above the Caleta Beach which has good facilities for swimming in the sea (don’t forget this is on the Atlantic side, so no matter how hot the sand is, the sea is going to be cold) and quite a few bars and restaurants is the four-star Caleta Hotel.
Like all of the others, it offers every one of the facilities you would expect but be warned, the Barbary Macaques are thieving little nuisances who regularly target the hotel and guests are firmly advised against feeding them or leaving windows open whilst out of the room. Also, be aware that the sound of the sea which can be quite soothing can also be irritating if the wind is up and the sea crashes against the rocks below.
The latest addition to the range of hotels in Gibraltar is the five star luxury Sunborn Yacht Hotel, situated in Ocean Village. The hotel offers a range of bars and restaurants including a franchise run by the trendy La Sala Group which books regular musical guests.
Again the Sunborn offers a great range of services, is totally stable and is situated in a very modern dock surrounded by bars, restaurants and even a casino but is also a short walk away from Main Street.
There is somewhere to stay for everyone in Gibraltar and the choice is getting better all of the time.