We booked this independently via lastminute.com, and then put 2 weeks Hertz car hire on top. Booking the flights this way was cheaper than the already cheap scheduled flights booked directly with Monarch. The only disadvantage being that there was no on-line check in facility, as there would be if booked direct. We travelled light, with just our 10kg scheduled flight allowance of hand luggage - a first for us, but with careful planning, it worked out well, and no hanging around at the baggage conveyor.
The whole lot came in at £1180 for the both of us for 2 weeks, flights, hotel and car. We were up-graded to a better car with air conditioning on arrival, and then the same at the hotel from the ocean view room we had paid for to a full blown penthouse suite. Lucky! We are not big spenders on holiday, and that side of things only came to 140 euros for the 2 weeks, but that didn't include a surprise night out I arranged in a restaurant for 8 of us at only 100 euros. It is so cheap to live in Spain - buy the meal and they throw in the wine for free! On this occasion that equated to 3 bottles of vino tinto and 2 large bottles of mineral water. It works the same at the bars - buy a beer and they throw in a free tapas. The only other expense was £60 worth of diesel for the near 1000km we travelled in the car. This is the review of the Cabogatagarden Hotel on Trip Advisor I wrote as we left......
'As I write this I am sat in one of the comfy leather sofas in the reception area of the hotel on the last night of our two week stay. We have had an excellent, out of season holiday here.If you are looking for British bars and a vibrant night life you won't find them here as it is set in a quiet residential area, with only a few bars and restaurants a short walk away. That is the main reason we chose it. We had a car for the duration of our stay, and that would benefit getting out and about to the many places of interest in the surrounding areas, such as the Cabo De Gata - Nijar Natural Park. The hotel is immaculately presented, and is situated close to the beach, with just a landscaped area and promenade separating its rear boundary from that. The sand on the beach here is the dark gritty type often found along this coastline, with pebbles at the shoreline. This gets finer as you walk towards Retamar, and a very fine beach can be found a short drive away at Cabo De Gata itself. We chose this hotel because of its quiet, sophisticated location, within a Spanish community, and it has fulfilled our expectations. There were a couple of detail issues associated with our room, such as a loose shower head, and lavatory seat, but when I had to report a more technical equipment failure, this was dealt with very quickly and efficiently, and in a friendly way, with an end result that exceeded our expectations.The restaurant service is buffet, with a huge cold buffet choice, plus at least three hot dishes as well as freshly cooked meats by a chef, and a daily roast. As this was out of season we thought this was excellent, as sometimes midweek the hotel became quiet. However, at weekends the place became vibrant with Spanish guests. The hot buffet was at best tepid, apparently to local taste, so who am I to argue with that. There was however a microwave oven available for self use to give your plate of food a final boost. That proved quite acceptable to me, my wife preferring the cold salads anyway. My biggest issue was that the information on the Garden Hotels website stated free car parking. In reality, this equated to about a dozen spaces at the front, with another six disability bays. These were often full, and all other on site parking was chargeable at 6 euros a day, or 35 euros a week. To me, totally unreasonable at a hotel located well out of the city centre, where space is not at a premium. However, there was plenty of safe street parking as well as a free municipal beach car park next door. We always managed to park, but I could see there may be issues in high season. The pool areas are very well managed by a duty lifeguard who worked until 7pm when the pools were closed. There was daily children's entertainment provided with a nightly bill of entertainment for the adults.Would we visit again? The answer is yes, we had a great stay overall.'
I hope some of that may be of use to others who may be considering an escape from our weather.