For decades Marbella been one of our hot favourite Spanish destinations - and with good reason, too. Oasis Travel dispatched Eimear Lenaghan from our Lisburn Road branch in Belfast and Melanie Tomlinson from Holywood to check out and recommend some great places to stay.
Marbella has it all. The sunshine magnet of Spain’s celebrated Costa del Sol, prettily nestled at the base of the Sierra Blanca mountains, has true Andalusian flavour, with whitewashed houses and orange trees adorning the streets and squares, alongside elegantly modern hotels, shops, pubs, clubs and restaurants. This is a resort of contrasts: a celebrity getaway, yet a family destination: a paradise for golfers and watersports enthusiasts yet the perfect spot to kick back and relax; amazing for clubbers, yet perfect for an idyllic getaway.
West of Marbella town, the ‘Golden Mile’ of prestigious nightclubs, chic boutiques and eateries link to Puerto Banús marina, filled with luxury yachts, and a magnet for the rich and famous and to Estepona the Costa del Sol's most westerly resort which boasts a more traditional, family oriented style.
The well-known, attraction-packed resort of Torremolinos is around thirty minutes’ drive from Marbella, while a further forty minutes’ driving will reward you with the sight of the lovely resort of Nerja, a seaside town of sandy coves sheltered by the impressive Sierra de Almijara mountains and often referred to as 'The Jewel of the Costa del Sol'.
Eimear and Melanie travelled as guests of Aer Lingus and Classic Collection Holidays and came up with their own insight into EIGHT GREAT places to stay.
The Gran Melia Don Pepe, Marbella
“This is a lovely hotel with beachfront gardens, just a short walk from the centre of Marbella. Super indoor and outdoor pools and private access to the beach promenade. It’s great for foodies, with its Steak and Sushi Restaurants, the Cappuccino Restaurant (part of a Spanish chain), a Champagne Bar, Whisky Bar and Chocolatiers. Most suited to adult holiday-makers, I think.”
Don Carlos Hotel Leisure Resort & Spa, Marbella
“A high rise hotel, but don’t be put off by that – for standards are high too! A wide variety of room types in three separate areas: the Don Carlos Rooms (main building), Oasis Rooms (brand new – adults only) and Deluxe Villas (self- catering). The hotel has gorgeous lush gardens and is situated around 5 minutes’ taxi drive from Marbella town.”
Puento Romano Hotel, Marbella
“Situated on Marbella’s Golden Mile, this hotel is in a class of its own: 11 acres of tropical gardens laid out in Andalusian village style and with a replica town square around which you’ll find some quirky little restaurants. The hotel is ideal for golfers and boasts a fabulous tennis club and great recreational facilities including a good gym. There’s a 25 minute walk to Marbella or Puerto Banús which may be an issue for people with walking difficulties. The hotel shares facilities with the Marbella Club and vice versa.”
Marbella Club, Marbella
“This hotel is located beside the Puento Romano on the Golden Mile, about 25 minutes’ walk from Marbella or Puerto Banús. Think Country Club rather than conventional hotel. The Marbella Club has its own golf course and riding stables and a fantastic children’s club. It’s also very popular with celebrities so be prepared to look cool when you see someone you know from TV!”
Melia Melia Banus Hotel Hotel, Puerto Banús
“A brilliant hotel for families in a good central location, just 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre, offering modern luxury and – if the kids get too much for you – there’s an exclusive adults-only area at The Level.”
Kempinski Hotel, Estepona
“Large and interesting building with a Mediterranean feel, surrounded by beautifully maintained grounds - restaurants on site have similarly authentic feel, with a choice of Spanish or Italian cuisine. 5 minutes’ taxi journey to centre of Estepona and a 45 min walk to local commercial centre at Laguna Beach.”
Balcon De Europa, Nerja
“Charming classical hotel built into the cliff in idyllic location overlooking a small beach and right in the pedestrianised area of this attractive little town, right beside the town square. The hotel pool is small, catering for around ten people but the proximity of the lovely beach means that many guests head towards the sand and sea breezes. My tip is to go for the sea view rooms.”
"Perfect for anyone on a short break and definitely geared towards catering for adults, the Melia has a great convenient location, just across the road from the beach. The hotel also has its own small and unsheltered, but always popular, pool. The town centre is a 10 minute walk away, but it’s uphill … although that’s just a good excuse to stop halfway for a refreshing drink or an ice cream!”
If you fancy an escape to the Costa del Sol, feel free to contact either Eimear on tel. no. 028 9066 6606 (Lisburn Road branch) or call Melanie on 028 9042 6969 (Holywood branch).