G and Grimble experience all inclusive…almost

In many ways, an all inclusive deal was an anathema to Grimble.

It was a surprise to travel 45 minutes from Granada, through the stunning Sierra Nevada, to the coast near Almuñécar for an all inclusive experience.

We have no cossies!

Grimble has checked the facilities at the resort and the pool seemed to be quite a draw. Having planned for a one night city break, G and Grimble had not packed their swimwear.

G didn’t really see the issue. Grimble was adamant. Without swimwear, their all inclusive experience would be incomplete. She suggested a detour to the Nevada shopping mall. G suspected that the extra night was a ruse to get him to call off at the shopping mall.

Heading to Nevada

They arrived early at Nevada with only the cafes open. This had been the plan. She knew that a fed G would have shopping mall stamina.

They made a pledge not to be diverted but to focus on the need for swimwear. A one stop shop: Primark, Spain. Given all inclusive check in was 2pm, with a bit of wiggle room, this gave them 3 hours there.

G had a love:hate relationship with the big P. He accepted it was the cheapest place to purchase decent shorts and disposable T shirts. He refused to carry their bags though, meaning Grimble trailed behind him with a large, self destruct paper bag in tow. It was a small price to pay in Grimble’s opinion.

Grimble knew Primark hangers rarely displayed the correct product or size.

Labelling meant nothing. Extra large could be anywhere from size 20 to 6. The trick was to look at the item and to brave the changing room queue.

After 2 hours, they were done. They were well within schedule and battling with a large paper bag, they departed the store and mall.

Not quite all inclusive

They pulled up outside the massive Bahia Palace Resort which overshadowed the tiny cove. The parking garage was not part of the all inclusive deal, so Grimble checked them in and agreed to the extra 9€.

At reception, there was a number of additions to the all inclusive deal: drinks packages, WiFi charges, spa access. Perhaps this wasn’t going to be quite the bargain. They had their lunch included but service ended at 3pm. Check in was from 2pm which left them an hour to park, find their room and freshen up.

The room was not quite what Grimble believed she had booked. It was minus a balcony. She insisted that they lug all their possessions back to reception so she could argue. This made their lunch time challenge more dramatic. Reception suddenly turned Andalusian ignoring any attempt at dispute. The receptionist encouraged them to go for lunch as they were against the ticking clock.

They agreed. The food was adequate and, at 2.20pm, still plentiful. Drinks were costly: 2€ for a 30c bottle of water and 2.50€ for the smallest shandy ever. Over lunch, they decided that room protest was futile. It would waste time for no result. They had to accept that as overnighters they were not worthy of a balcony or terrace.

All inclusive plus

Grimble tried to purchase a drinks package. 7.50€ for a bottle of wine and 2 waters but these drinks were for the room only. She decided that buying a cheap red to drink in a balcony less room was too sad to contemplate. Instead she placed the 20€ deposit for 2 beach towels which, given their tatty state, she should have been paid to dispose of.

Returning to the room, G was already in the depth of siesta. This negated his need to purchase swimwear. Leaving his towel behind, she set off to locate the adult only sun terrace. This tiny terrace was packed with people trying to avoid, like the plague, anything under the age of 14. Given that the only guests they’d seen arrive were 2 Saga coach parties this seemed quite futile.

Grimble looked longingly from the noisy adult terrace to the deserted beach and the Chirunguito were the sea lapped the tables. Her need to escape was overwhelming. She decided G and her would avail themselves of a sunset by the beach. She was financially savvy enough to know they’d need to be back in time for their inclusive dinner buffet.

Let the evening entertainment begin

With a nice wine buzz of 2 glasses of decent red at a palatable 2€ and a stunning view, they again entered the all inclusive world. The food, whilst different, was very much the same. Grimble wondered how anyone coped with this level of predictability for more than a couple of nights.

Attracted to a glitter ball in the aptly named Ingles Bar, they decided to chance entertainment. They didn’t expect it to be banging given the age profile of the guests. But they hoped for something half decent.

On stage, a solitary man was playing a key board which made every tune sound like 1970s europop. By his side were 2 saxophones. He interspersed his painful singing key board set with instrumentals. These were marginally less offensive as he couldn’t sing and play sax. G and Grimble usually played guess that tune but these renditions were indecipherable.

There was shuffling from the seats. A few elderly folk occupied the floor. The scene was a mix between a zombie invasion, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and an OAP home. They decided it was all too much and departed. Their good night’s sleep was only disturbed by snoring. For once it wasn’t their own, but the room next door.

A hasty retreat

The plan had been to poolside until the 12pm departure but, after their third buffet in 24 hours, they just wanted to leave. Grimble hesitantly suggested Almuñécar weekly market and G was so relieved to escape the rigidity of the all inclusive he readily agreed. They settled their additional bill and drove off, leaving their time warped all inclusive to memory.