Ah.. another getaway, another Spanish one to be exact. I have always wanted to go to Marbella for its reputation of being chic, the Spanish St Tropez as certain people call it. I have also had warnings of too much bling, prostitutes, and a not so great coastline. Eh I didn't care, I wanted a different destination for the Toussaint (All Saints) holidays and finally convinced my husband that it might be a different experience with the kiddos.
We were both pleasantly surprised and disappointed. It was out first vacation as a family of four without the help of grandparents or nannies, so it was difficult to adjust at first but we did. It was great spending time with each other, our hotel Gran Melia Don Pepe, had amazing service and offers spacious family suites. The outdoor pool was way too cold for my Malaysian skin, but thank God they had a heated indoor pool as well. It was hot, up to 29 degrees Celcius during the day time, but not enough to heat up the sea.
The beach (picture above) isn't great. I can safely say that the sand was dirty, lots of cigarette butts and beer bottles lying around. We have pretty high standards for beaches, and if I can't see my feet in transparent water then it isn't a great beach, easy as that. A bit rocky and lots of seaweed, we didn't spend much time here.
We did love walking through old town Marbella however, with its quaint stores and restaurants. Some are rather touristic, so we decided to ask a local policeman where he would eat with his buddies. As usual, people were friendly and cheerful despite the economy, but I guess having sun all year round helps the mood!
|Plaza de los Narajos|
|Old Marbella town city hall|
|Balinese beds at our hotel, great for families|
About 10 mins drive away from our hotel is the port of Puerto Banus. Ah so there is the bling. Megayachts and yachts are parked here, alongside big brand name stores that line the streets. It wasn't too bad because October isn't high season for Marbella, but I can see how it can get nauseating. Bon, not too much time spent here either but I did enjoy our walk.
So If I were to give advice to people who ask for it, I would definitely recommend going to Mallorca instead. The distance from Paris is about the same, but it offers more interesting things to do and places to visit than Marbella. Of course if you're looking to party and show off your newfound friendship with a reality show star, Marbella is the place to go! I must say I had fun anyways, I can have fun anywhere when I'm with my little family, but we will definitely not have a second trip here.
Photos by Me