You don't have to blow the budget for when you go on holiday to the Costa del Sol - there are plenty of places to stay which have great locations, stylish décor, and outstanding service, but still offer great value for money. Here we look at some of the best cheap hotels on the Costa del Sol...
Hostal Plaza Cantarero, Nerja
This two-star hostel in the popular coastal town of Nerja is situated in a quiet street close to the Balcon de Europa and within easy reach of Calahonda, Carabeillo and El Salon beaches. It has 10 comfortable, traditionally decorated rooms and apartments, some with balconies looking onto the plaza or mountain; the interior ones looking onto the patio are darker, but quieter than the street-facing ones. Tanya and Pepe, the young owners, are great hosts, full of useful tips and information about the area. A highlight is the lovely shaded roof terrace (pictured), which offers beautiful views over the picturesque white town to the hills behind. The terrace is well equipped for relaxing or having a drink and snack, with sunbeds, sofas, tables and chairs, as well as a fridge and microwave.
Calle Pintada, 117, 29780 Nerja, Malaga; +34 952 52 87 28; Hostalplazacantarero.com.
Dulces Dreams Boutique Hostel, Malaga
If you like quirky places with unusual décor, then you'll love this tiny hostel right in the heart of Malaga's old town. Its eight rooms feature handcrafted furniture made from unusual recycled materials, such as headboards made of wooden planks with phrases painted on them; you can choose from a private or shared bathroom. Some have balconies, and views of the church next door; for groups, there are larger rooms accommodating six. The pretty roof terrace has comfortable sofas strewn with cushions, and delightful flower boxes; there's also a snack bar.
Plaza de los Martires, 6, 29008 Malaga; +34 951 35 78 69.
Hostal La Malagueña, Estepona
In the lively pedestrianised Plaza de Flores area of this characterful seaside town, this cheap and cheerful one-star hostel offers 16 rooms with flat-screen TVs and colourful fabrics; some have private terraces or balconies looking over the wonderfully leafy square - which means exterior rooms can be noisy, as people eat outside late at night. The beach is just minutes away, as are bars and restaurants. Excellent value.
Plaza de las Flores, 29680 Estepona, Malaga; +34 952 80 00 11; Hlmestepona.com.
Hostal Berlin, Marbella
This friendly one-star hostel offers superb value in the glamorous resort of Marbella. It is also extremely well located, in a pedestrianised street just minutes from Venus and La Bajadilla beaches, but also close to the old centre with its artesan shops and tapas bars. The 17 clean, comfortable rooms, some on the compact side, have contemporary décor, using bright, cheerful fabrics; the hostel is ideal for families and groups, as it has triple and quadruple rooms with bunk beds, and a bar café for breakfast and snacks. The owner is very helpful and is happy to answer queries about the area.
Calle San Ramon, 21, 29601 Marbella, Malaga; +34 952 82 13 10; Hostalberlin.com.
Hotel Casa Rosa, Benalmadena
Guests rave about this welcoming family-run hotel just above the charming white village of Benaldamena. Some of the 14 spacious rooms, which are light and airy with cool white interiors and large windows, have balconies or terraces, offering sea views on the higher floors (second and third), and there is a roof terrace with sunbeds looking out over the terracotta rooftops down to the Mediterranean. Excellent buffet breakfast; the pancakes are famed. This one-star hotel provides outstanding value.
Calle Pensamiento, 31, 29639 Benalmadena, Malaga; +34 952 56 80 47; Hostalcasarosa.com.
Hotel PYR Marbella, Puerto Banus
This last pick is the best budget hotel in the traditionally flashy resort town of Puerto Banus. Hotel PYR's been around a long time - and it's easy to see why, too, as its size and layout means it can cater to everyone from golfers (particularly out of season) to stag/hen parties and even families. Rooms are apartment-style, spacious and come with their own balconies, while there's a sizeable pool area (and pool-side bar) for chilling out beside during the day.
Avenida Rotary Internacional s/n, Puerto Banus 29660, Marbella; +34 952 81 73 53; Hotelpyr.com.
Like our pick of the best cheap hotels on the Costa del Sol, but looking for the next step up? Check out a few of our favourite small hotels in the area.
Or, if you're looking for a sensibly priced rental car for your holiday in southern Spain, drop us an email to find out what Espacar have to offer.