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Which Marriott in Spain do you recommend?

patrickg

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I am looking to trade into one of the Spanish Marriot's in July or August next year. We are a family with 2 daughters aged 8 & 10. Which of the 2 Marriott's would you recommend? Would one be easier to trade into than the other? We will be trading a Ko Olina

Thanks,
 

jimf41

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I stayed at Marbella in SEP 06 and toured Playa. Both are great but I think Playa would be more appealing to the 8 & 10 year olds. There seemed to be more activities for youngsters at Playa. You'll be happy at either IMO. BTW there are 3 Marriott's in Spain. The third is in the Balearic Islands. Playa and Marbella are on the Costa del Sol about 10 minutes apart. Don't miss a day trip to the little town of Rhonda.
 

patrickg

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I stayed at Marbella in SEP 06 and toured Playa. Both are great but I think Playa would be more appealing to the 8 & 10 year olds. There seemed to be more activities for youngsters at Playa. You'll be happy at either IMO. BTW there are 3 Marriott's in Spain. The third is in the Balearic Islands. Playa and Marbella are on the Costa del Sol about 10 minutes apart. Don't miss a day trip to the little town of Rhonda.
Thanks Jim
 

jerseyfinn

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I agree with Jim. Either resort would suit your needs, but Playa has a fantastic kids pool and sport pool set aside in their own area as well as a whole bunch of kid-related activities ( Marbella also has organized kids activities ). While I don't consider the difference between the resorts in terms of kids to be huge, I think that you might find Playa to work slightly better for the kids. My only caveat is that if you folks are a "beach family" who absolutely loves swimming in the sea, then Marbella might be the better choice as their beach is more swimmable than Playa's.

I have some Marbella Photos and some Playa Photos which should give you a good idea about how fantastic both resorts are while also showing their differences.

Enjoy your Spain journey, it's a wonderful destination.

Barry
 

Smooth Air

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Hi, Barry: Thanks for the pix. Very nice. We are trying to decide b/t the 2 resorts (Marbella or Playa) for the end of April 2009 & wld now choose Marbella b/c we are "beach people". Thanks again for the pix & your comments. Wld it be warm enough at the end of April to go to the beach? What is the name of the nearest major airport? Malaga?

Smooth Air:cool:
 

heatherw

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Hi SmoothAir
here is a quote for you from a Marbella website.....

Only the foolhardy or truly seasoned bather would venture into the sea off Marbella during April. A morning of sunshine and temperatures touching 21 Celsius tempt many people to the beach, but around midday the inevitable sea breeze arrives and temperatures fall to a less than comfortable 17 Celsius. In most Aprils there are 1 or 2 days when the breeze does not blow from the sea and in the absence of the sea breeze the temperature can rise to 25 Celsius, or more. Once or twice during the month a short unsettled spell will probably occur, and an occasional day may be marred by rain.


Yes malaga is the nearest airport, although if you are hiring a car Granada is another option - a bit further in the car (about an extra 30-40minutes) but you can take the opportunity to visit the Alhambra Palace - truly amazing but I have to say not appreciated by my daughter when we last went (too much walking!)
 

jerseyfinn

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Micro climate weather

This Weather in Marbella site speaks to what to expect -- you'll find a month by month chart of temperature/water temp/ rainfall. As noted, don't expect much in terms of April water temperature as the Med will run below 60F. But as you can see from the chart, Costa del Sol remains a year round destination depending upon what your travel goal is.

One unusual attribute about Costa del Sol is it's micro climate which is created by the high mountains which create sort of a protective or moderating crescent around Malaga to Estepona. These mountains subdue the wet weather & chilly air which moves with the seasons to render Costa del Sol a nice winter destination. The other side of the coin is that proximity to the Straits means that the Mediterranean in this region is often affected by the colder Atlantic waters which can funnel through the Straits as well as local winds and systems from north Africa. This means the winter feels sort of like San Diego, pleasant but with cold water while the summer will certainly be consistently hot, and the Med will be either warm and inviting or a bit chilly depending upon whether the winds are levante or poniente ( east or west ). Malaga is the approximate dividing line for these waters.

Just a qualification as to what I mean when I say "beach people". If your main goal is to sit on the beach beneath an umbrella or to stroll about taking in the ambiance of water and sand, then either Marbella or Playa resorts will fit that bill as both beaches are well-suited for this. If however you're a real water maven who must absolutely go into the sea to splash aboout, then Marbella affords easier access to the water as Playa's beach has roundish stones which make the first 10 meters a bit of an adventure. The rocks don't deter people from going into the water, it makes them work at it and definitely makes watching them gingerly wade into the water fun to watch. My wife and I don't go into the waters in front of Playa, but we do walk up the beach a ways and go in there where there's less rocks. At Marbella, we go straight in if the water is warm enough for our liking. Otherwise, we rely upon the wonderful pools at both resorts.

Barry
 

Smooth Air

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Barry: Thanks again! Well, if it is too cold to go into the water @ the Marbella beach, I guess we will spend most of our time around the pool. But, we can still go for nice long walks on the beach @ Marbella! How long does it take o drive from the Malaga airport to the Marbella Marriott? Should we rent a car? I always do @ Ocean Pointe to go & get groceries, etc. I like to have the flexibility of having a car. Is there a major grocery store close to Marriott Marbella? By "close" I mean within a 10 minute drive!

Smooth Air:cool:
 

dougef

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Barry: Thanks again! Well, if it is too cold to go into the water @ the Marbella beach, I guess we will spend most of our time around the pool. But, we can still go for nice long walks on the beach @ Marbella! How long does it take o drive from the Malaga airport to the Marbella Marriott? Should we rent a car? I always do @ Ocean Pointe to go & get groceries, etc. I like to have the flexibility of having a car. Is there a major grocery store close to Marriott Marbella? By "close" I mean within a 10 minute drive!

Smooth Air:cool:
A rental car will give you a lot of flexibility. Malaga to Marbella is less than an hour - maybe 45 minutes I think. Yes there is a grocery - pretty well equipped - about a 10 minute drive away. Also, the Marbella's marketplace was excellent. One of the best of the Marriott Vacation Clubs we have been to, They have wonderful fresh baked bread every morning. If you have a car, drive to Ronda - very interesting ride and scenic town to visit.
 

Smooth Air

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Thanks, Doug! I see that you also own @ OP. So do I!! What time of year were you @ Marriott Marbella? Did you deposit your OP week(s) w/ II in exchange for Marbella?

I am thinking of renting a car @ the Malaga airport. But, I hate driving...especially in a place where I have never been before...i.e., Spain! So, is the drive from Malaga airport to the Marriott resort an "easy" drive?

Smooth Air:cool:
 

davewasbaloo

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Ohhhhh this is getting me sooooo excited. We are going to Playa for February half term and cannot wait! I think we will do day trips to Ronda, Granada and maybe either Seville or Gib.

Are the outdoor pools heated, or will we just be making use of the indoor facilities?
 

dougef

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Thanks, Doug! I see that you also own @ OP. So do I!! What time of year were you @ Marriott Marbella? Did you deposit your OP week(s) w/ II in exchange for Marbella?

I am thinking of renting a car @ the Malaga airport. But, I hate driving...especially in a place where I have never been before...i.e., Spain! So, is the drive from Malaga airport to the Marriott resort an "easy" drive?

Smooth Air:cool:
We were there in July 07 exchanged from 2 BR OP to 2 BR Marbella. We are going again in July 09, this time excanging 2 BR OP to a 1 BR in marbella. I guess we got lucky last time and got 2 BR, but we really only need 1 BR. It was hot then so I don't know if pools are heated - in answer to another question. The drive was fairly easy just followed the directions from II or Marriott web site - I don't remember which. We reserved our car through http://www.carjet.com/ which worked out fine. Most cars are stick shifts and based on other suggestions, we took the smallest car that I thought would hold our luggage. Streets and parking spaces are quite small and narrow.
 

jerseyfinn

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Are the outdoor pools heated, or will we just be making use of the indoor facilities?

If you drink enough sangria you might muster the courage to jump in the outdoor pool, but you'll find the indoor pool warm and pleasant ;) .

. . . I think we will do day trips to Ronda, Granada and maybe either Seville or Gib . . .

Just a suggestion. If you do Granada, leave Seville for another trip as both of those sights are all day journeys & may drain your energy a bit. Ronda is a must-see simply because it puts you into the mountains with all of those white villages. You could venture into the mountains on a couple of different day itineraries and have a great time doing the villages without the long all-day drive.

Barry
 

jerseyfinn

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. . . How long does it take to drive from the Malaga airport to the Marbella Marriott? Should we rent a car? I always do @ Ocean Pointe to go & get groceries, etc. I like to have the flexibility of having a car. Is there a major grocery store close to Marriott Marbella? . . .

Renting a car is probably the best alternative ( Like Doug, I definitely suggest carjet ). I hear what you're saying about driving in strange places. Be aware that there is construction at Malaga airport which will make your first 5 minutes of driving a bit confusing -- and make you wish you did not rent. But I absolutely promise it gets better and the road signage is good. You need only follow the directions the resort gives you. I'd suggest avoiding the toll road and taking the coast road (N340) to MMB. Traffic should not be too bad at that time of year & the coast road is actually a nice drive, especially when you're hugging the coastline and pass the lighthouse.

The tricky part for a first-timer to Spain is figuring out the highway interchanges. You exit via ramps like here in the States but you immediately flow into a traffic circle. To get to the other side of the road, you first go around the circle and then cross over the highway where you flow around another circle. Makes sense once you've experienced it, but totally confusing the first time you see it ( you'll get that part out of the way when you exit N340 at Elviria and must cross the highway to get to MMB ). You'll be fine there after. Cheapest car rentals are for stick shifts and get a smaller car to make parking easier. There is a grocery store nearby & the desk can direct you.

We ourselves are heading out to Marbella and Playa in a couple of weeks. We trade one of our Ocean Pointe weeks for Playa & we own a gold week at MMB. Can't wait to get there. Lots of great dining that the concierge at either resort can direct you to, but one of our favorites is La Capannina which is a 10 minute walk from Playa, but also an easy drive ( or taxi ride ) from Marbella. We're already mapping out what we're eating there.

Barry
 

Zac495

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It takes about 30 minutes at most from the airport - IF you don't get lost. Very tricky round abouts. You have to get off at Elvira - do the round about - get back on going back towards Malega, and then get off at the next exit for Marbella. Go slowly!

If you go to my picture trail, you'll see our activities in Marbella including going to Morocco. I think your girls would enjoy that - really fun, good shopping ,and ride a camel.
 

Zac495

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If you're thinking of Seville and Gibralter - here's what we did - We rented a hotel for 2 nights in Seville. We drove from Marbella to Gibralter - stayed for 2 hours (that was plenty) and then drove to Seville.
 

stevens397

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WE had a van in order to carry my wife and me, our son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Yes, Ronda was loving but the drive there was nothing short of harrowing! Tight curves around the mountain. Lots of trucks and times where you had no choice but to pass or to drive at 5 mph for 20 minutes.

I was exhausted when I got back to Marbella! Worth it? Not sure. But the Alhambra was extraordinary.
 

Smooth Air

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I can't handle those roads!:eek: ...and the stick shift!!!:hysterical: Never! OMG... When I drive from West Palm Beach Airport (PBI) to Ocean Pointe I take the "back roads"....no highways. I pick up my rental car @ National & then just meander along Congress to Blue Heron to OP...get the picture? So...there is no way that I cld negotiate those roads in Spain. No way. My palms sweat just thinking about it!( Stop laughing....:p ) Can I take a cab form Malaga airport to the Marriott in Marbella & then rent a car @ Marriott or nearby????

Smooth Air:cool:
 

sml2181

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I can't handle those roads!:eek: ...and the stick shift!!!:hysterical: Never! OMG... When I drive from West Palm Beach Airport (PBI) to Ocean Pointe I take the "back roads"....no highways. I pick up my rental car @ National & then just meander along Congress to Blue Heron to OP...get the picture? So...there is no way that I cld negotiate those roads in Spain. No way. My palms sweat just thinking about it!( Stop laughing....:p ) Can I take a cab form Malaga airport to the Marriott in Marbella & then rent a car @ Marriott or nearby????

Smooth Air:cool:
For airport transfers I would choose www.a-t-s.net and although we have not used them from Malaga Airport, (we always use them from Geneva Airport for our ski vacations and have used them from Alicante and Faro Airport), we have never had any problems with them. They are very reliable, and, most of their drivers are from the UK which you may find easy...
When you go to the website and click "Spain" you will be directed to the following page with information about Alicante Airport, but on that page you will be able to choose different airports.

Having said that - I am like you. I am scared and I drive in foreign countries only when I really have to. (We spent 3 weeks at the Reunion Resort in Florida and I did NOT drive the 15 minutes to Disney...and going to the Publix alone (less than 5 minutes) was "an event".) Spain is really not that hard. Make sure you have a gps though.
 

mickeypops

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There's a bus service from Malaga airport to Marbella town centre. A taxi from Marbella to the MBR would be fairly inexpensive.

Details here:

http://www.malaga-airport-guide.com/Airport-Bus.html

BTW, we did preview holidays at both Playa Andaluza and MBR before chosing to purchase at MBR. We loved both places, but MBR just seems to have the edge for us. We particulalry enjoy the location, because the precinct at Elviria is perfectly walkable and there's a decent choice of 7 or 8 restaurants to chose from there, as well as bars (especally if you stop off at the Don Carlos for a quick drink on the way - highly recommended! Great service and what a view from the terrace bar!) and there's always taxis there to take you back to the resort for 3 or 4 euros. Without a car, at Playa you are pretty well stuck to the resort and a couple of beach bar/restaurants
 
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dougef

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Anyone ever do the trips to Morocco from the Spanish Marriotts?
Yes. There are a variety of escorted tours available through the concierge at Marbella. We did the Morocco tour and the Granada tour. They were well done and we felt worth the money. The bus picks you up at the resort early in the morning and brings you back in the evening.
 

Smooth Air

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Thanks, sml2181, for the airport shuttle suggestion.

I guess I cld also take ataxi from Malaga Airport to Marriott Marbella. Then can I rent a car at/near Marriott for trips to the grocery store & things like that?

Smooth Air:cool:
 

Garry

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We're at Marbella right now, through next Saturday. It's about a 45 minute drive from the Malaga airport to MMB. There's a grocery store just across the bridge - a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute drive. The resort is pretty upscale and you should get a car. Watch which rental company you book with - the lines at Easyjet and Goldcar were huge - never seen anything like them. You may want to stick with the majors.
 
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