I did the best I could to compare the Classic Costa del Sol trip I took in January 2009 with what I could expect by contracting directly with the Apartamentos Bajondillo for a similar visit in February 2014. I started with what it cost for the GCT trip and what was included. In 2009, for $5,211, we received air transportation for two from Washington Dulles Airport to Malaga Airport and return. We got 20 nights at the A. B. We got 26 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 26 dinners. We got unlimitted coffee, tea, and soft drinks from 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM. We had availability of motor coach transportation for the included tours of Malaga, Mijas, and Salinas, but we tipped the coach driver. We had the availability of a Program Director for all included tours and for the optional tours. We paid additionally for the optionals and we tipped the PD. So, that was what $5,211 bought us in 2009.
So, how does a 2014 plan compare? For air fare from Washington Dulles to Malaga and back, 20 nights at Apartamentos Bajondillo, 26 breakfasts at the A. B., 2 lunches and 26 dinners at either the hotel or neighborhood restaurants, the cost would be about $4,515. What are we missing from the Classic Costa del Sol tour? Well, the soft drink plan, and I have only a vague notion of how much that might be worth. We miss the the presence of a program director and the included tours. I haven't tried to estimate a cost for those items.
My estimation is that the cost of such a trip in 2014 would be only slightly higher than it was in 2009, maybe even cheaper if five years of inflation were to be considered.
But there is one other consideration. In the towns of Torremolinos and Fuengirola there are dozens of apartment hotels in which the rates are nearly the same as the Bajondillo. And a number of them appear to be more appealing. The apartments are roomier and better furnished. The unknown factor is the compatability with the other "snow birds" who are occupying the hotel. That would not be a serious concern since I would be traveling in a four-person group. And, of course, you can gain only so much knowledge from the Internet, and familiarity with the Bajondillo is a factor in its favor.
I will probably not make a final decision on this "independent" trip until some 30 to 45 days before I would actually go. But, since we had discussed it at some length earlier, I decided to share what I have learned.