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“Europe's Best Beach Bargain”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Marbella

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Level Contributor
9 reviews
16 helpful votes
“Europe's Best Beach Bargain”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2010

Marbella has everything I have been looking for in a European beach vacation. It's an area with loads of natural beauty from the beaches to the Andulalucian mountains. We stayed at the Parque Apartments which is within a very short walking distance to the beach, restaurants, shops and bars. No need to get a taxi, but they are readily available and inexpensive. I highly recommend the Parque Apts or the Skol for location and convenience. The team at the Skol, (Tracey, Ann, Paul and Neal), helped us recover our luggage and made us feel like family. They even got a birthday cake for me! I booked our apartment though Des at Homeaway from Home. Highly recommend him and the site.

The Old Town is a short distance from the Parque and you can easily walk the paseo maritime (the prom) to get there. I don't recommend eating in the center square of the Old Town, as it is touristy and overpriced. You can do better elsewhere such as one of the many little restaurants dotting the beach below the promenade. You can have really fresh grilled sardines, turbot, baby squid, sole, etc., for a very reasonble price. La Red is terrific and always crowded. Fish is grilled right on the beach and can't get much better. In the French Riveria, you would pay five times as much. There are also numerous tapas bars on the stroll to the Old Town, which you can sample as you start your evening. We normally at dinner around 10:00 or so. Then maybe gelato and a night cap around 2:00.

As far as the beaches, they are mainly grainy sand and the water is swimmable - the tide won['t kill you and there aren't too many rocks. Two chaise lounges and an umbrella cost about 5 euros, which is not bad. There are beach hawkers selling jewelry, clothes and knockoff purses. They can be a bit persistant, but they do have nice cheapy gifts to take back. I got 2 really cute necklaces for gifts (1 for me) for about $10.00 USD. There are also unlicensed Asian girls offering foot massages, etc. starting at about 15 euros. Beware they will run if the beach cop is nearby, but the girls are just trying to make a living, so I didn[t have problem getting a foot massage.

It would be helpful and courteous to brush up on your Spanish since some shops etc., only speak it. The people are pleasant, fun, upbeat and really energetic. The service is amazing anywhere you go. It can be hectic, but since the Spanish economy is so bad, everyone works as hard as possible.

I can't say enough about Marbella. Let's put it this way, we are going back next year. I will not, nor do I recommend going through Charles de Gaulle, unless you feel like missing your flight or having numerous delays. It's just too big and I have been stranded there consistently, but, I digress.

Helpful?
3 Thank july4baby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottinghamshire
Level Contributor
39 reviews
24 helpful votes
“Villa Monegra near Puerto Banus.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2010

In June 2009 we arrived at a large family villa booked through "Villaplus". The website details of the Villa Monegra seemed to tick all the boxes......But how wrong could we be . The villa was dirty, and smelly with grey thread bare towels, pubic hairs and even crisps in one bed. Hardly any of the light fittings had working lamps in them. In the kitchen, the oven and refrigerator were filthy along with most of the pans and utensils. Most of the windows where screwed shut and one downstairs toilet had the heady aroma of a pub wc. Outside we found soiled underwear in the one of the patio planters, the patio furniture and sun loungers where either broken or too dangerous to sit on. The pool was dirty and had jagged edges from broken or missing tiles. We immediately summoned the "Villaplus" representative who seemed very reluctant to attend. Once she did arrive, she was very dismissive on all the points we raised, even when we stood next to the blood splattered dead mosquittos on filthy bedroom walls and crisp encrusted bed, (She even swept the pubic hairs onto the floor as my son tried to photograph them on his phone for evidence). After much haggling and arguing, she relented and sent for a cleaner and the handy man. The windows where begrudgingly unscrewed, patio furniture eventually replaced and the cleaner gave the place a very quick summary once over (we did the rest ourselves) The staff were rvery rude and arrogant and even confrontational towards us as we pointed out the concerns we had. We would have never unpacked, but for the fact that we couldn't find another property that would accommodate all 14 of us. We have travelled extensively as a family unit each summer, both in Europe and the U.S. and this is the worst accommodation and customer service we have ever received.

The broken pool tiles where eventually "repaired" a few days later fixed by a guy swimming to the bottom of the pool sticking new tiles in place (Underwater tile adhesive ??) . New bed linen and towels also eventually came, but after two days where replaced by the old moth eaten ones. The downstairs shower thermostat was broken rendering it a danger and again after much complaining the shower was fixed.
We were mindful that the villa is in a residential area but during one family evening meal we were asked to go and eat inside to keep the noise down, and this was at 9:00pm ! We kept a lid on the sound levels but as we didn't move indoors, rocks were thrown at the villa gates.........nice.
Apart from all this, the surrounding area is very nice, Marbella old town and Puerto Banus marina, plus the sea front at San Pedro close to the villa, but I would never touch "Villaplus" or any of their properties again, I complained by telephone and email and as yet have not had a single response.

Helpful?
1 Thank RocketRiley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Appleton, WI
1 review
“Marbella, An excellent city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2009

I spent a week in this city and neighboring town and was very impressed by everything they had to offer. Though Marbella is somewhat touristy, I was still able to grasp the culture of the area. There were many little cafe's and shops near the Mediterranean Sea that served many local specialties and many other european dishes. The city was very clean and very easy to get around by just walking or taking the bus. There are mountains to the north of the city that provide excellent hiking. Many hotels and hostels available to stay at. Overall, an excellent place to spend a day or a week. Many things to do and see, including bullfights, cricket and soccer games, and beautiful weather for the beach.

Helpful?
Thank WestDubs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
77 helpful votes
“Nightlife in Marbella (little tips about clubs)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2009

If you opt for night clubbing I would recommend to start with "Olivia Valere" located opposite Marbella Club Hotel. This is a very nice "upmarket" club, nice music and very long trendy bar counter. Visitors are all above 30yo. You won't see here crowds of local & international drunk youngsters like, for instance, in Dreamer's in Puerto Banus, which is however a good place to go after 4-5 o'clock in the morning. If you occasionally dropped in to Nikki beach eat somewhere else before. They have lousy Japanese food, absolutely tasteless (for those who tasted real Japanese stuff). Even Nikki brand won't help. Have fun!

Helpful?
Thank Fomych
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Casblanca
1 review
“Beatiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2009

Once again I will be visiting marbella this summer with my Family.
I love Marbella, is like a partyin island in the Peninsula. Great food, entretainment, beautiful people, luxurious areas, good beaches, and a lot of fun. You can easily get there by car if you live in Spain, or rent one and afterwards visit The Best cities in Spain, Sevilla, Madrid, San Sebastián, Barcelona, etc.

I recommend everyone who wants to enjoy their summer, to visit Marbella.

Helpful?
Thank TalikAgbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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