8th-floor pool terrace at the O'Callaghan Eliott; courtesy O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel
The British overseas territory of Gibraltar offers visitors some classy and quirky accommodation. From stylish, modern hotels in the heart of the old town to floating rooms aboard luxury yachts, here are the coolest places to stay when visiting this intriguing destination.
Jasmine Coral Jay, Cəbəllütariq
Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
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Boat living: Jasmine Coral Jay offers quirky accommodation on two small yachts | courtesy Jasmine Coral Jay
For travellers looking for an unforgettable experience as well as a bed for the night, Jasmine Coral Jay is unbeatable. It’s run by British couple Johnny and Tracey and comprises several rooms split over two yachts in fashionable Ocean Village. The accommodation is cosy and comfortable and some rooms come with small bathrooms, although guests are handed a key to the superb Marina Bay facilities as well. Guests can take also one of JCJ’s exhilarating speedboat rides out into the Bay of Algeciras, where dolphins leap and cruise through the dark blue waters. Johnny also likes to race incoming planes along the water as they hit Gibraltar’s runway – a game that the pilots apparently enjoy too. And when it’s time to head out in the evening, the lively bars and restaurants of Ocean Village are about a minute’s walk away.
Boat living: Jasmine Coral Jay offers quirky accommodation on two small yachts; courtesy Jasmine Coral Jay
Looking like a giant cruise liner stranded amongst the greenery of the lower Rock, this vast, whitewashed hotel is where to come if you want smart accommodation with a view. All of its 84 rooms and suites face out over the bay towards the Andalusian town of Algeciras and the vast majority have spacious balconies, too. The Rock‘s facilities include a bright and spacious bar, a highly rated restaurant, a sea-facing terrace and a swimming pool, whilst an extensive buffet breakfast is included in the price of the rooms. The old town is about a ten minute walk away and Gibraltar’s southernmost tip, Europa Point, can be reached by jumping on the number two bus a little further up Europa Road from the hotel.
Bar and lounge area at The Rock Hotel; courtesy The Rock Hotel
Having recently undergone a major refurbishment, the O’Callaghan Eliott now offers guests a sleek set of new “Journey” rooms decorated with award-winning art and installed with “rainforest” showers. This modern and stylish hotel is located in the heart of Gibraltar’s old town, just a couple of minutes off the busy thoroughfare of Main Street, thus offering guests a convenient base from which to explore. But for those who fancy staying in, the Eliott offers a rooftop bistro with spectacular views over the Straits of Gibraltar (the cuisine takes in Mediterranean and international influences), a cosy, pubby Veranda Bar and a spectatcular 8th floor pool and terrace.
One of the new “Journey” rooms at the Eliott; courtesy Hotel O’Callaghan Eliott
Sunborn Gibraltar offers a range of 5* accommodation spread out over six decks, ranging from the “standard” King Double to fabulous suites and two-bedroom apartments boasting views of the Marina and the Bay of Algeciras. Facilities are impressive: there’s a top-deck restaurant where you can enjoy dishes from a north African/Mediterranean menu, whilst the Aqua Bar is the perfect place for a sunset cocktail or for a dip in the plunge pool. An extensive spa and fitness centre and a casino complete Sunborn’s luxury offering. The bars and restaurants of Ocean Village are about 30 seconds from your bedroom whilst the old town is less than a ten minute walk away.
The four-star Caleta is located in the charming former-fishing community of Catalan Bay, on the sparsely populated east side of the Rock. The rooms (which are quirkily kitted out with dental, sewing and shoe-shine kits) offer either views of the Rock itself or of the Mediterranean and many feature balconies from which to better enjoy the perspectives. The range of facilities on offer means Caleta’s guests are spoilt for choice: The Catalan Bar and Lounge is a smart chillout space, whilst the in-house eateries include Nuno’s – a 2* AA-rated Italian restaurant – and the Bay View Bistro, which offers some of the most stunning panoramas in Gibraltar. And if you fancy hitting the beach, just take the steps down from the pool area.