Decorated table for special Christmas dinners in a Malaga city centre hotel. / SUR

Christmas Eve meal out? Mission almost impossible as many hotels and restaurants on the Costa del Sol are already fully booked

There is a growing demand from families who want to enjoy a celebration at establishments that offer special festive menus

PILAR MARTÍNEZ / JUAN SOTO MALAGA.

A Christmas Eve family dinner at a hotel or restaurant is very popular this year and on the Costa del Sol it is almost impossible to make a reservation now.

Hotel owners in Malaga city say that they have sold out earlier and at a faster pace than for New Year's Eve. The association of hotel owners on the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) said that 47 per cent of establishments in Malaga province are offering a special Christmas Eve menu. This percentage rises to 60 per cent for New Year's Eve.

Also, many families are opting to stay at an inland hotel with everyone enjoying themselves, feeling pampered with a special menu and good service.

Hotel managers said one of the reasons for the rise in the Christmas Eve night out among families is that when a parent dies it is common for relatives to celebrate away from home to avoid the impact of painful memories. Another is that the younger generations are often less willing to organise this type of event or because their homes are not big enough. Also, the pandemic has had an effect for families who want to dine out for their Christmas Eve meal to enjoy the event to the full.

The co-founder of B Bou Hotels, María Herrero, said: "This year, after Covid, there is a desire to get together and, above all, for the whole family to enjoy the night”.

However, Herrero said there were still a few places left at B Bou La Viñuela, with three menu options on offer, ranging in price from 70 to 100 euros.