Here's why if you're looking for a bit of winter sun in a gay-friendly resort, the Costa Del Sol should be high on your list

If you have never visited the Costa Del Sol might it of been because you are not ready to retire, don’t need a tan, don’t want to socialise with Brits abroad or don’t care for an English breakfast or perhaps that was just me.

I had to add some gay travel glam to this trip so booked a direct flight from London City Airport to Malaga and with a flight time of 2hrs 40mins and the welcoming temperature of 20°C (Feb ’18) this was a great start.

A 20-minute drive from Malaga airport is Torremolinos a beach town obsessed by the Brits wanting to escape the grey’s of the UK to catch some of the 300 days a year sunshine in the comfortable climate of this Mediterranean resort town. Sol House Costa Del Sol by Melia occupies the edge on one of the sandy beaches that is La Carihuela.

Waking up to views of the ocean and the seafront promenade in one of the hotels main attraction (stayed in House Suite). Its cosy modern loft style design can be divided into two private independent spaces by a sliding door.

The Sol House Costa Del Sol Hotel is in a very desirable location with easy access to Benalmádena which hosts one of the best marinas in the world. Having explored a few of the beachfronts in the nearby areas you will notice that La Carihuela has a more compact feel with a nice bustling energy of locals and visitors exploring this stretch.

There are numerous activities, trips and excursions that the Sol House offers which easily places this hotel in the family and pet-friendly category. The hotel’s resort approach will have a few surprising beach gifts waiting for you in your room which offers a considerate welcome.

Breakfast time can be quite stressful at this hotel as if you are lucky enough to get a vacant table right away you will still end up with warm toast and cold tortilla (omelette) or vice versa – I just don’t know how to mathematically work my way around those buffet breakfast’s especially when hot food should be hot…so cereals and fruit it is.

After the commotion of breakfast, it was wonderful to discover this serene water culture haven in Malaga – Hammam Al Andalus. The Hammam experience at these Arab baths allows you to enjoy the water journey, massages and rituals without any overcrowding since they have a strict capacity for each session which adds to the exclusivity of your visit. This gem has some wonderful touches that will make the feeling of being wrapped in clouds a possibility. Hammam Al Andalus is so peaceful I almost felt as though the elegant staff can sense when you need assistance and then serenely appear.

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I always find it a turn off when restaurants try to lure diners from the promenade with staff or advertising – I don’t want pizza, all day English breakfasts, kebabs or generic tapas. I wanted somewhere where the food speaks for itself and not dependent on advertising or location – I won the food lottery with finding the discreet, humble and enticing Lime and Lemon. Every dish was like a visual theatrical experience. Their tapas menu raised the bar for combined flattering tastes and creativity all without the hefty price tag. It was no surprise that this quaint passion joint was fully booked. The snug atmosphere that the owners create all match the pleasing dishes they produce.

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The Sol House Costa Del Sol Hotel arranges themed nightly performances however; leave yourself plenty of time to order a beverage as like me, you may go unnoticed at the bar (and I’m very tall).

I would definitely return to the Costa Del Sol – unless Lime and Lemon open up and take a squeeze out of The Big Apple or London.

Written By: Ray Si – Proud Member of IGLTA