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Spain Marbella vs Playa Andaluza

2189

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I am going to trade a Waiohai for a Spain vacation next year. I would like to trade to either the Marriott Marbella or the Playa Andaluza Resorts. I have heard that the Marbella is a much friendlier resort? Any comments as to which is the best to visit for a first time to spain?
 

MALC9990

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I am going to trade a Waiohai for a Spain vacation next year. I would like to trade to either the Marriott Marbella or the Playa Andaluza Resorts. I have heard that the Marbella is a much friendlier resort? Any comments as to which is the best to visit for a first time to spain?

I don't think there is any difference in the "friendliness" of the staff/resorts. However people do have their preferences. In my case I prefer Marbella Beach Club, yet I own at Playa Andaluza. Confused? Well their are reasons. However we own a 3 bed lock-off Silver week at Playa which we usually lock of and trade for 2 weeks elsewhere and usually the studio side of the lock off gets us a 2 or 3 bed Silver season week at Marbella Beach Club (which has no lock offs). The 2 bed master suite is then used for a pending request 12 to 15 months out at another Marriott in a higher season than we deposited.

Why do I prefer Marbella? Well as in the real estate business, it is all about location. There are some great restaurants close by the Marbella Beach Club and it is closer to Marbella and easier to get to from Malaga airport.

The resorts themselves are very similar in style and quality, both are excellent. The beach at Marbella is better - but that is not saying much since all the beaches on the Costa Del Sol are (IMHO) pretty poor for swimming. Marbella is at least OK for taking a long walk along the sand.

Both Resorts are well located for sightseeing trips, Marbella Beach Club is closer to Malaga which is a great day out. Playa is better located for trips to Ronda, Jerez and Seville.

If it were me, I'd put both resorts in a request for the same time period and take what comes up first.
 

Ann in CA

TUG Review Crew: Elite
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Marriott's Mountainside, Marriott's Waiohai, Marriott's Canyon Villas, Marriott's Marbella, Shell Vacation Club
We had a week at both last April, and although we liked each one, we thought the staff was especially friendly and helpful at Playa Andaluza. We also had a 3 bedroom oceanfront there, which made for spectacular views, while at Marbella, we had an oceanview, nice but not spectacular. Liked the beach better at Playa, but loved the view from the restaurant at Marbella.

They are only about 10 miles apart, so for travel there is not a huge difference.
I have posted reviews for both on TUG with lots more detail, but I think you'd enjoy either one.
 

jerseyfinn

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Sedona AZ
Resorts Owned
MMB MVO
I am going to trade a Waiohai for a Spain vacation next year. I would like to trade to either the Marriott Marbella or the Playa Andaluza Resorts. I have heard that the Marbella is a much friendlier resort? Any comments as to which is the best to visit for a first time to spain?

I assume that you're speaking of an Interval trade since the Spain resorts are not part of the new points program and one would not be able use the new internal trading program to execute a direct trade ( unless Marriott is playing its own tricks with Spain inventory using MR deposited weeks to create inventory in the MVCEC system).

Your Waiohai week is a platinum week giving you II trading power into any season. But be aware that platinum season at both Playa Andaluza & Marbella has extremely high rates of owner occupancy ( platinum season is basically July & August at both resorts, but MMB has a couple other weeks also tagged platinum ). August is an especially tough month to get because Spanish owners come down in numbers from the north in August and resorts will be full ( means that relatively few owners put their August weeks up for trade ). Keep this in mind when you make your requests as one should get their II requests in as early as possible for these weeks < as in make your 2013 request now and not at 12 months to grab a place in the queue with your strong-trading week >.

As to the "best" time to visit. The best weather ( = little or no rain ) is June thru September . . . . include the early part of October as well, with the caution that the weather "usually" begins to change the 2nd or 3rd week in October ( = pleasant temperatures, but chance of occ showers ). June & September are gold season months where your Waiohai week would have strong trading power at either resort. Be aware that Sept/Oct have become highly sought after weeks as both resorts run at nearly full capacity during this time. If you're gonna trade into the platinum season or these rump season months, I'd suggest requesting both resorts to insure you nail down Spain weeks.

As to which resort is "best". It's an aesthetic argument with no true etched in stone answer as both resorts are of high quality across the board. Of course we owners do have our own favorites.

The summer is high season so both resorts will be packed ( operating under capacity control rules which limit expats who live in the area and own at the resorts the ability to bring guests for day visits ). Both resorts function well under any circumstance, but MMB will feel very crowded in the summer as the restaurant will be very busy -- strange that in the Fall rump season when MMB is also full, one does not notice this as much. Playa Andaluza is also at full occupancy, yet one never feels this sense of lots of guests either in the restaurants or at the pools as people tend to spread out more here.

I don't quite agree with the restaurant difference between resorts. Both resorts have several dining opportunities within easy walking distance although the neighborhood walk at MMB can appear more cozy since Playa is near a highway & a pedestrian overpass. Drivable restaurants abound in the areas around both resorts and both resorts are exactly the same distance from Marbella while Playa also sits close to Puerto Banus. The MMB resort does have a seperate sports bar which offers an alternative absent at Playa.

While the associates at both resorts are all working hard for every guest in the "Marriott way", I must honestly say that Playa Andaluza's associates are indeed more personable & they stand out amongst all of the resorts we have visited.

Bottom line is that you can't lose either way. It's nice to priortize one resort, but place requests at both resorts to assure that you get the Spain vacation at the time you wish to visit, especially if you're gonna visit during these high occupancy periods.

Have fun planning your Costa del Sol visit.

Barry
 
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