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Torremolinos: reputation

Where to start? Torremolinos’ name and reputation certainly precedes it. Second only to perhaps Benidorm in the consciousness of Brits, Torremolinos is a well-known resort that suffers from something of an identity crisis. Not within the town itself – the resort is perfectly at peace with what it offers its visitors and residents – but from farther afield.

The ‘Torremolinos’ of the media is where the drunkards go; it is where the underclass head to when their giro gets increased; it is where raucous stag and hen parties flock to when lacking in imagination, morals and deep disposable incomes. The ‘Torremolinos’ we think we know is one of garish hotels, dirty beaches, shabby old bars and a faded grandeur that is forever yearning for the ‘glory days’ of the early 1980s.

How wrong that image is.


Pace-setters eventually tire and get overtaken, this is indisputable. It is why cross country races have a hare who never wins; it is why early-season league leaders in football soon get caught and left in the dust; and it is why innovative architecture of the past (think 1960s concrete-driven brutalist architecture) quickly looks dated as soon as a fresher way of thinking emerges.

Torremolinos was that pace-setter. In the fledgling days of the package holiday, the resort grew from a quaint and simple fishing village into a thriving holiday resort for the first waves of tourists arriving fresh off the planes at the nearby Málaga airport. The town’s immediacy to Málaga, its 7km of beach and its beautiful climate ensured it quickly became something of a favourite among Northern Europeans; less than a three hour flight away for most, Torremolinos offered tangible tropical-ness, almost year-round warmth and an intriguing peek into the Spanish way of life.

By the 1980s, Torremolinos was most certainly one of the liveliest resorts in Europe, but the proliferation of low air fares and more air routes opened up a greater range of choice for the consumer, and Torremolinos soon fell out of favour with the average holidaymaker seeking fun in the sun. So it set about re-inventing itself. Firstly, the infrastructure was modernised, followed soon by bigger and better hotels and a greater choice of attractions. Soon, Torremolinos became a popular gay resort (it still is) and has, in recent years, augmented itself further, adding family-friendly attractions, traditional charm and a wider choice of commercial and investment opportunities than before.

Then there’s the excellent location. Just a couple of kilometres from Málaga airport, Torremolinos is extremely accessible, and boasts arguably the coast’s finest stretch of beach and most certainly one of the busiest and most intriguing promenades in the region

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