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Accommodation

This page will help you decide where to stay on your holiday at Vera Playa.
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1. What type of accommmodation do you want?

There are just 2 sorts of accommodation at Vera Playa -
1. Hotel
2. Self catering apartments

If you decide on hotel accommodation - and you want to be in the naturist zone - your only choice is the Hotel Vera Playa Club. Fortunately, this is an excellent four star hotel which offers a choice of hotel rooms with full or half board, studios which have a mini-kitchen and apartments and VIP rooms. There are about 300 rooms in the hotel. The hotel normally opens from about Easter until the end of October so is not, unfortunately, an option for winter visits. See our hotels page for more information.

Self-catering apartments: There are something like 2000 self-catering apartments within the Vera Playa naturist zone. All the apartments (apart from the few in the Hotel Vera Playa Club) are owned individually by private owners (i.e. they are not "Apart Hotels") and are located in self-governing communities called "urbanizacions" each of which has a range of communal facilities, such as swimming pools and games courts. By no means all apartments are available for rental - . The apartments vary between basic to luxurious - and so do the prices.
For details of some of the apartments available for holiday rentals - click here

(There used to be a third choice: Camping/caravanning: The camping/caravan site was called Camping Almanzora but sadly it has closed and the land is set to be developed as textile apartments, but following the credit crunch this seems unlikely to happen any time soon, so even more of a pity that it closed as a camping and caravanning site and stands unused at present. Especially in the winter there tends to be a few dozen snowbirds around the Vera Playa area in motorhomes who have now to fly park wherever they can. The nearest camping and caravanning site is fairly close by on the way to Palomares but it is textile).


 
 


2. Package holiday or make your own arrangements?

The second decision you will need to make
is whether to put together your own package or whether to buy a ready made package from a specialist tour operator.

What are the pros and cons?

If you use a specialist tour operator it should be hassle free as you only have to deal with them, you don't have to book your own flights or arrange transfers from and to the airport. On the downside, it will probably cost you more and you won't know precisely where you will be staying before you go.

If you make your own arrangements (put together your own package), you may save money and - if you've chosen well - you may find yourself staying in an apartment which is much more like home - privately owned and often the holiday home of the owner. Some apartment owners have multiple photos of their apartments on their websites so you can get a good idea of where you are going before you book. You might also find it useful to look at Google's Street View for Vera Playa before you book so you can see where your proposed accommodation is in relation to the sea and other facilities.

It's probably easier to save money by making your own arrangements for a self-catering apartment holiday - you can book direct with the owner and book your own budget flights and arrange car hire or airport transfers. Most apartment owners are pretty flexible about starting and finishing dates so you are not restricted to Saturday to Saturday as you might be in the UK. This can also give you lower air fares (which can vary a lot from one day to another).

If you wish to stay at the Vera Playa Club Hotel you can book direct on the internet. Peng Travel, which has now ceased trading, used to offer special offer periods which were particularly good value for money. There are some small package holiday companies offering holidays to Vera Playa (mainly to apartments) and maybe one of these will step in and offer what Peng Travel used to do.

Facilities:

What facilities etc should I look for when booking?
Apartments at Vera Playa vary from the very basic to the fairly luxurious. They also vary from tiny to large. Studios are like hotel rooms - the bedroom and living room are combined and you may have to make up a convertible sofa each night before you can go to bed. Studios have a kitchenette (sometimes in the main room) and a shower/bathroom with toilet.
Apartments have separate bedrooms. Some have separate kitchens, but many have the kitchens in the living/dining rooms.
There are some duplex apartments (apartments with rooms on more than one floor) - some have only one toilet whilst others have one on each floor.

The right-hand column has a list of the main facilities etc which are of importance when selecting an apartment.

Before you book an apartment make sure it has all the facilities that are of importance to you. If you book direct with an owner they will obviously be able to tell you precisely what facilities their apartment has or has not got - but you need to ask - owners are not likely to volunteer information which may not help them let it !

If you are booking through an agency be careful to check whether you are booking a particular apartment (and if so get the urbanizacion name and block and apartment numbers), or whether you will just be allocated to whatever apartment happens to be available when you arrive.

 

 

 

Orientation: Probably the most important thing of all is to get an apartment which has good orientation to the sun. In summer it doesn't matter as much because you will often want to escape the sun, but nevertheless it is nice to be able to sunbathe on your own patio/terrace/garden.
In autumn, winter and spring orientation is crucial. North facing apartments are an absolute no-no in winter and will get no sun whatsoever - and, as a result, will also be cold inside. South facing is best in winter - both for sun-bathing and for warming the apartment. East-facing is nice in the morning and west facing in the afternoon - but make sure they have some south aspect to their garden/terrace otherwise you will have to go elsewhere to sunbathe.

Location: The only urbanizacions which are front-line to the beach are Natsun, Marina Natura, Natura World and Vera Natura. Each individual urbanizacion is, of course, quite large, so only a few apartments are actually front-line to the beach.
Front-line (and some other) apartments have nice sea views - but are likely to be more exposed to breezes/wind (fine in high summer, not so good otherwise). They are also likely to be east orientated, so get morning sun and may be in shade in the afternoons/evenings.
Apartments which are far back from the beach (e.g. in Torremar Natura) may get road noise from the main coastal road, and, of course, have a longer walk to the beach (the developed strip in the naturist zone is about half a kilometre deep)

Swimming Pools: Outdoor pools are fine from late April until late October provided you are fairly hardy. If you feel the cold June to September may be closer to the mark. In late autumn, winter and spring a heated/enclosed pool is essential. Some hardy souls swim in the sea in winter (me included) but just about no-one swims in outdoor pools between November and March. The only urbanizacions that have indoor/covered and heated swimming pools are Bahia de Vera, Torremar Natura and Vera Natura.

Upstairs or downstairs? Ground floor apartments are easiest for access and are often more sheltered than apartments on upper floors. They also often have their own private gardens.
Apartments on upper floors have stairs to climb, but some have nice terraces and views of the sea or mountains (Remember that, at Vera Playa, the sea is to the east, Mojacar is to the south, there are mountains to the south, west and north - though some distance away). Upper floor apartments tend to catch more breeze, which can be nice when it is very hot but not so good in autumn, winter and spring, when it isn't.

Terraces, gardens, balconies: The whole point of being at Vera Playa is being out in the sun and warm air. From late Spring to Autumn you'll probably be living and dining outdoors, so you need a reasonably spacious space to do so. Check before you book as to whether your apartment has its own terrace and/or garden or does it just have a balcony? And how big are they? (Anything less than 10 sq.metres is very small, 10 to 30 sq. metres is better, more than 30 sq.metres is spacious).

Beds: Standard size Spanish beds are small compared to their British equivalents - for instance Spanish double beds are often 1.3m wide x 1.8m long - that's about 3 inches narrower and shorter. If you are tall, there's nothing worse than spending a fortnight sleeping on a bed which is too small - especially too short - so check out bed sizes before you book! Some apartments have British size beds or larger Spanish beds - often described as King size or even "Super-King-size". Check with the owner what size the beds actually are (king size & super-king-size should be at least 1.5m wide and 1.8m wide and 1.9 long - either size is going to be comfortable compared with a 1.3m x 1.8m bed!

Air conditioning: Only a very small minority of apartments at Vera Playa have air conditioning. It is of limited benefit - only July, August and early September are hot enough to need air conditioning. It is most useful to have in the bedroom(s). In summer you will be living/dining outside on your terrace so air conditioning in the living room will be of limited value (To get any benefit from the air conditioning you will have to close all the windows, which is not very pleasant to do when the weather is good). Many people find that air conditioning in the bedroom is very drying and affects their throats and breathing. Fresh air is probably more important and some air movement for cooling. Finally, of course, air conditioning is expensive to install and run and you will certainly be paying a substantial amount extra for it - at least £50 a week probably.

Fans/ventilation: Every apartment should have floor or ceiling mounted fans (not all do!). These are essential in the hot months when you are indoors and at night. Make sure that the apartment you book has them in the living/dining rooms and all bedrooms.

Mosquito/insect screens: There does seem to be an increasing mosquito problem at Vera Playa (as there is everywhere on the Mediterranean coasts), though it varies very much from month to month and year to year. Most of the urbanizacions spray regularly to try and control the numbers of mosquitoes, as does the Council.
    If you want to be able to sleep with the windows open, even slightly, mosquito screens are absolutely essential (unfortunately mosquitos can and do easily get in through the louvres in wooden shutters or the air slots in roller shutters). The alternative is to sleep with the windows completely closed which is both hot and claustrophobic in the hotter months. Many apartments at Vera Playa have not yet got mosquito screens fitted - be sure that the one you are booking has!

Cooking facilities: Some apartments (e.g. most at Vera Natura) have only very limited cooking facilities (e.g. 2 ring hobs and no ovens). If you are going to eat out all the time this is no problem but if you want to cook make sure what cooking facilities are available in the apartment you are booking before you book.

Washing machines: The better equipped apartments have automatic washing machines.

Microwave cookers: Some apartments have microwave cookers, but probably only a small minority.

Kettles, teapots, toasters, coffee makers: It is unusual for Spanish owned apartments to have electric kettles and/or teapots. Some English owned ones do have them. Toasters are more common. Filter coffee machines or percolators are probably unusual to find.

Heating: If you are staying at Vera Playa between about November and March you are likely to need some supplemental heating in the evenings at least (more in north facing apartments, less in south-facing). Some apartments with air-conditioning also have combined heating. Otherwise electric heaters (fan or convection or halogen radiant heaters) are commonplace. But a surprising number of apartments have no heating of any sort provided, so make sure before you book! Some rental terms wil require you to pay separately for electricity for heating etc.

Television/radio/hi-fi: Most rental apartments have a television, but most receive only Spanish and other continental channels. BBC World is commonly available on the distribution systems the various urbanizacions use. As with the UK. Spainis converting to digital television and analogue transmissions have already been turned off for the main Spanish channels. So you are likely to find a digital box similar to a freeview box which will give you access to a similar number of channels. Some apartments offer full satellite systems giving you all the normal UK channels, but the rental will reflect this as they are quite expensive to install and maintain. Some apartments have small hi-fi systems incorporating radio, cd and cassette players. Please remember to be considerate of neighbours - noise from TV/radio and hi-fi does travel from apartment to apartment all too easily - partly due to Spanish construction methods.

Noise: A survey carried out a year or two ago concluded that the Spanish are one of the noisiest nations in Europe (closely followed by several other mediterranean countries). This national characteristic has been compounded by building methods which give practically zero noise insulation between dwellings, so people are used to living with the noises of all sorts made by neighbours. Noise in apartment buildings has been said to be one of the main causes of stress for Spanish people. It is only very recently that the Spanish government has introduced any noise insulation standards at all for new buildings and older buildings (and certainly all those built at Vera Playa) have no noise insulation. Spanish people have, out of necessity, learnt to live with this and are probably both less aware of neighbour noise and, maybe, a bit more considerate and tolerant of neighbour noise than are northern Europeans. In the busy summer period (second half of July and all August) life is lived outside and mainly when the sun is not out and it is not quite so hot, so people dine very late and stay outside until well into the early hours (3 or 4 am), sometimes partying, sometimes sitting outside and watching the tv inside. Children and teenagers congregate and run and play and make noise until the early hours. So this is not a good time of year for Brits who like to get to bed before midnight and have a peaceful night's sleep (and it is also seriously hot and everywhere is extremely busy, lots of traffic etc). So plenty of reasons for leaving Vera Playa to the Spanish in the height of summer unless you are really determined to experience and enjoy this medierranean summer lifestyle.

Sun-blinds/sun-umbrellas/shade: Except in the winter, you will sometimes want (and need) some shade. The orientation of the apartment and shadows from neighbouring apartments are likely to give you some shade at particular parts of the day, but you will also want to be able to make your own shade, especially in the summer months. An adjustable sun-blind fixed to the building is probably the best answer (and lots of Vera Playa apartments do have these), but a large sun-umbrella may be nearly as good. Be sure what your apartment offers before you book!

Car parking: Some urbanizacions have plenty of free car parking within their grounds. Others, such as Vera Natura, do not and you will either have to pay for parking or leave your car outside on the road which carries some risk of theft or damage. There is a significant parking problem around the Vera Natura urbanizacion because of lack of on site parking. The later urbanizacions have been required to provide enough parking on site. Free parking is generally not under cover. Arguably, with rental cars, it doesn't matter if it is in the sun because the air conditioning will soon cool it down when you want to use it. Some apartments have covered parking - if this is important to you, check before you book.

Lifts: There are virtually no lifts at Vera Playa. Most apartment blocks are two or three storey walk-up blocks. The Brisamar building at Bahia de Vera has one lift (this is a four storey block). If you find stairs difficult or impossible select a ground floor apartment but make sure before booking as to whether there are any steps - some ground floor apartment do have some steps.

Security: By comparison with most towns and holiday resorts Vera Playa is a pretty safe place to be in terms of personal safety. Recent burglaries and robberies from vehicles/damage to vehicles and one or two muggings have, unfortunately, shown that the real world is catching up with it as the quantity of development increases. Most apartments have limited security, but provided roller shutters are fully dropped and windows closed and locked and doors locked whenever the apartment is left, they are unlikely to be burgled. It is likely that more and more apartments will fit 'rejas' or fixed bars/concertina security gates to windows etc and this will improve night security as well, because many apartments can only have night-time ventilation at the cost of some insecurity. If the apartment has hinged or roller blinds/shutters these should be fully closed at night, but (with roller shutters) leaving the small air gaps between the shutters open to allow ventilation - though this will not keep mosquitoes out if the apartment does not have mosquito screens.

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For more information, and details of apartments which are available for holiday rentals, visit the following pages:

self-catering apartments - click here
hotel accommodation - click here
package tour accommodation - click here

The developments:
Note: If swimming is important to you, please note that only Vera Natura, Bahia de Vera and Torremar Natura have covered and heated pools, which are essential from November to March for all except the most hardy and are popular with many even in April/May and October. The pools are only accessible to owners and guests of the urbanizacion concerned. Some people swim in the sea all year round, but "fair weather swimmers" are only likely to find it warm enough from May until October.

Armoni Natura: Small development of about 34 apartments wedged between Natsun and Natura World. Close to beach. Small outdoor pool. Moorish style. Apartments sold as luxurious "intelligent" apartments. Completed 2003.

Bahia de Vera: Large development (180 apartments and houses). Completed 2001. Second-line to beach, quiet, residential ambience, good outdoor and covered (solar/heatpump heated) pools, adequate free parking within urbanizacion, high standard apartments - most have full kitchens which are also separate from living rooms. Generally open aspect, low rise buildings (two storey) apart from 4 storey Brisamar block of flats. No restaurants on site. Games courts, children's play area. Many apartments have beautiful gardens. Click here to visit Bahia de Vera website.

La Menara: Small development, second-line to beach - next to Bahia de Vera. Completed 2002. Three storey blocks of similar design to Vera Natura but with moorish design theme and painted in deep terracotta red and sand colours. Small outdoor pool (now heated but not covered).

Marina Natura: Small development between Natsun and Vera Natura. First line to beach. Completed 2004.

NatSun: Large development. Natsun was the first holiday accommodation at Vera Playa and is front-line to beach. There are two older (1980s) apartment buildings (El Cano I & II) which have fairly basic accommodation. Some have good sea views but lose the sun by afternoon - others have no sea view but get good afternon and evening sun. Terraces or balconies vary greatly in size. El Cano III is a recently built (2001) building of a much higher standard. El Cano III phase 2 (the last phase) was completed in about 2005. Good sized outdoor pool. There are also some single storey bungalow style apartments with small gardens. Adequate parking. Urbanizacion is not in a secure gated perimeter.

Natura World: Very large development (570 units) between the Vera Playa Club Hotel and Natsun. 2 blocks are first line to beach, another two blocks very close behind and then a series of 3 storey cross shaped blocks. Several pools down a central boulevard space. Substantially completed but only its first phase (the part closest to the beach) has been given a habitation licence by Vera Council. The rest is mired in problems and is a no-go area for purchasers and given its basically empty feeling and increasingly neglected look to its mainly hard paved communal grounds it would probably not be many people's first choice to stay in. Which is a pity as there are some nice apartments there but until all the problems are sorted out it is likely to stay that way.

Parque Vera: Large development with several separate gated developments. First phases are two storey townhouses but later phases are three storey rather monolithic blocks arranged at various angles to one another. Outdoor pools. Completed 2004.

Torremar Natura: Third-line from beach. Around 200 units. Outdoor and covered pools (solar heated). Earlier phases two storey, later phases three storey. The blocks are very close together, like a Spanish village, but apartments on the outside have good outlooks, more sun and more privacy. Some of the blocks are close to and overlook the main coast road and being naturist especially on the upper floors of these might seem a bit strange with considerable volumes of passing traffic.


Vera Luz: Second-line from beach. Small older development arranged in 'L' shape around two sides of a rectangle. Small outdoor pool in gardens. Apartments have individual parking spaces incorporated in building.

Vera Natura: Large development (200 viviendas). Completed 2000. First-line to beach, good outdoor and covered (solar heated) pools, restaurant on site. No free parking within the urbanizacion. Apartments vary in standard - generally, later phases better than earlier. Apartments all in three storey blocks, kitchens in living rooms, many have only two ring hob and no oven. Some apartments have good sea views. Gardens and common areas are exceptionally well kept. Slightly less open ambience than Bahia de Vera and somewhat busier as several package holiday operators use the urbanizacion.

Textile developments: Vera Playa is quite an extensive area and the naturist zone is only a small part of it. Be aware that there are many other developments, some close to and some adjoining the naturist zone, which are not naturist (e.g. Vera Mar 6, Playa de Baria 1, Mirador de Vera and Cala Marques). Quite a lot of naturists do own or rent apartments in these textile urbanizacions, especially people who do not want to live a naturist lifestyle 24/7 but just want to sunbathe on the beach or go swimming naked and others who have friends or family who are not naturists - it is surprising how even in the 21st century many naturists keep their interest in naturism secret from their textile friends and even close family!

See also our Developments page

Latest update - 13 January 2013