After a long drive from Seville, we will be in Malaga for the next 2 nights. The base for our stay will be at the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio. There aren’t any useful Hilton hotels in the city that suit my needs and the AC best fits our needs. We also need to consider the practical needs since we have a car. The hotel has a fantastic location and it is as good as it gets. You are right in the heart of the city centre but with easy access to the main road as well making it perfect for those like me who is driving. The AC was decently priced as well at least for the period that we were staying and we can still earn some points. So excited to be spending New Year’s Day in Malaga. Let’s check the hotel out! 

Booking Process & Pre Arrival 

I book directly with Marriott for this stay. I will be staying for 2 nights and booked the base level standard room using a mixture of cash and a free night certificate that I had. The certificate is valid at any property up to Category 4. It was a good use especially since the rates are epic on New Year’s Day. I paid 125 Euros for the other night including taxes. The hotel has no issue merging our stay. A couple of days out, I can see from the app that I have been upgraded to the Sea View King room. AC Hotel Malaga Palacio features 214 guest rooms and suites spread across 7 categories. You can find the breakdown below. 

RoomsBathtubRoom Size
Standard InteriorYes24 Sqm
StandardYes24 Sqm
Standard ViewYes24 Sqm
Standard Sea ViewNo40 Sqm
FamilyYes60 Sqm
Junior SuiteMaybe60 Sqm
SuiteYes100 Sqm

Checking In

I arrived at around 5pm and it was super busy. We first pulled up to the hotel where we offload our bags and check in before getting the directions from the staff to the parking that the hotel has a special collaboration with. You can stop for a short while on the curbside to offload your bags. Despite the crowd, the staff still came over to help us with our bags. Navigation was easy but do pay close attention to the roads as the driveway right outside the hotel is a one-way street only. The hotel exterior is rather dated.

The staff that was checking me in was super nice and polite. He went thru all the details regarding the parking and gave me super detailed info on how to get to the parking facility. We were further upgraded to a Junior Suite. This was of excellent value! The Junior Suite wes going for 399 Euros a night during our stay! Check in was smooth and I got my keys in no time. Bags were sent up to the room automatically. AC Hotels certainly surprised me. I was not expecting this. 

The hotel does not have its own parking facility in the building but they have a collaboration one just opposite the hotel. It cost 19.90 Euros a day with the special parking card from the hotel to tap in and out. You will have to head to the hotel to get the special card first before entering the carpark. It includes in and out privileges. The staff gave clear instructions and directions for the parking. There was a slight wait to enter the parking given the crowd over the holiday period. The lots are alright although some may be a little small. It is easy to access the streets and we simply just drag our suitcases straight to the car. You settle all payments with the hotel and simply return the card via a box at the exit. 

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Junior Suite 

I was assigned one of the Junior Suites on the 8th floor. The hotel does seem to be a little aged but still well maintained. It might just be a little gloomy for my liking. I love the suite and it is super spacious. The Junior Suite measures a decent 60 Sqm. The rooms and suites look much better when compared to the rest of the hotel. I love how the view greets you when you entered. The amount of natural light makes the place even more welcoming. The moment you entered the junior suite you have a rather long entryway before it branched out into the bedroom, the living room area and the bathroom. Being a junior suite there isn’t a half bath in the room although with the configuration here I would feel that this can be classified as a full suite in my opinion too. The bathroom was also nicely designed in a way where you do not need a half bath here since it’s located in a separate room that you can enter from the entryway itself. 

The bathroom is spacious and I love the layout of the place. The place only comes with a single sink but all sorts of amenities are provided, from a dental kit to shoe mitts. I appreciate that they even provide a shaver. These are all usually unseen at hotels in Europe. Toiletries are house brands but pretty good. You also have a cosmetic mirror which I greatly appreciate!

Moving in and behind a sliding door, you can find the toilet and a separate bidet. The bathroom comes with a separate bathtub and standing shower. This is my favourite combo. The tub was spacious. I love how amazing the water pressure and temperature control are. It is a joy to take a shower here. I love that you have both a removable shower head and a rainforest one. 

Let me share about the living room next. It is in sort of a semicircle layout with a large seating area which can sit 3 – 4 people comfortably on the sofa and the armchair. It surrounds a coffee table. 

Just by the sofa set area, you can find a Nespresso coffee machine with 4 capsules provided and 3 bottles of water. They are replenished daily during housekeeping.

Opposite, you have a high-quality TV mounted on the wall! Similarly located by the wall, you can find a working desk in the living room. It’s rather small and weirdly enough you can’t find any power plugs here! Instead, I got to use the one behind the TV. Wifi was easy to connect to and doesn’t require any password or anything.  

The view is amazing from the living room and the cursive design gives you a lovely view of the Malaga park as well as the port and the sea view. It’s really gorgeous! Check out the millionaire dollar view. Since we are here during the festive period you have the lovely Christmas lights too. 

I love how cosy the bedroom is and it is a nice space. The bedroom has a rectangular configuration. You have a couch alongside the wall and next to it is the wardrobe. It is always nice to have some additional seating in the room. Towards the far end of the room, you can also find a huge high-definition TV on an individual stand.

It’s funny how the fridge is located by the wardrobe which is quite weird. It should be placed together with the coffee machine in the living room. The fridge was fully stocked. The wardrobe is pretty spacious and should be enough for your stay. Inside you can find an ironing set as well as plenty of hangers.

You can find a comfy huge king size bed in the middle of the room and it’s pretty comfortable, although a tat on the softer side. Both softer and firmer pillows are provided. You can find two nightstands on both sides of the bed and outlets are within reach. Lighting switches can be found by the bed too. 

The most impressive aspect of the suite and the highlight got to be the balcony or terrace! It’s super spacious and there you can find two lazing chairs as well as a side table. The area is perfect for lazing and checking out the city! You have a good view of Malaga with the main street and the cathedral. What a treat this is! 

I was lucky to be here over the festive period and there are performances and light shows just nice on the evening that I arrived including one by the Cathedral which we caught from the comfort of our private terrace! 

Pool

The outdoor pool is open from 11am to 6pm throughout the year. Sadly, the pool is not heated and this might be a concern at certain times of the year. It still gets plenty of sun in the winter season so there might still be some use for the pool. The pool is located by the restaurant and the bar on the rooftop and this is my main concern with it. 

It is quite a nice place and I will assume that this place will be packed in the summer. It kind of gives me a Bali vibe but of course without Bali prices. You are exposed to everyone in the bar and restaurant and I won’t be comfortable using it, especially not with everyone in coats and dresses and you in a bathing suit. With that being said, the view from the rooftop is spectacular and you have a great sight of the city and the cathedral. You should still drop by to get some pictures. 

Fitness Centre

The fitness centre is located on the third floor and is on the basic side. It is just a small space and does not look welcoming at all. You have a facility for getting a workout or a run if you wish but a run by the beach or the city will be a better idea coming from me. It is open from 7am to 9pm. You can find the usual pieces and types of gym equipment.

Restaurant Atico

On our final evening, we had dinner at the rooftop restaurant, Atico. It was a rather impromptu decision as we were lured in by the views. I figure that we could not miss out on dining here after seeing how good it looks. The restaurant is on the rooftop which is 15 stories high. It is open from 12.30pm to 11.30pm in the evening. The Spanish dining hours sure work very well for the tourists given how late dinner goes. You got to make reservations and do secure one of the outdoor seats given how amazing the view is. 

 

Check out the menu here. I will say the prices are alright although definitely more pricey than what you will find in the city. We were welcomed in by the staff and the service is excellent. I love that the waiter gave very good food and wine recommendations. The service started with some bread and we also got a gin tonic as well as a local red wine from the Ronda region. It was delicious! The staff are generous with the pours too! He was like do you want a light or strong pour for the gin? Strong duh! 

We got the fish and the pork ribs. Both were excellent! The portion is slightly on the smaller side but the food was excellent. I have nothing but good things to recommend it. The whole meal comes up to around 50 Euros with drinks. Great option although you do pay slightly more for the view.

Conclusion

I had an excellent stay at the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio and it even exceeded my expectations in a certain way. Everything is well executed during the stay! From the bellboy to the room and the service at the restaurant. Perhaps, I am just not expecting this from an AC hotel. The price is right, even for peak periods and the hotel had a really great location. The staff were great with elite treatment and I love the junior suite that I stayed in. I will recommend everyone to stay here when visiting Malaga, everything is close by with tons of shops and restaurants! If you are a Marriott Bonvoy loyalist, that is a no-brainer! The product might use some refreshing soon but I will be happy to stay here every time I am in Malaga at this pricing.