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We spent a week in Marbella, Spain spending the majority of our time planted on the beach. Lucky us, my sister and brother-in-law won a free trip there! They were able to get a two bedroom and invited us to come along. We had not seen them for two years, so it was a pretty awesome reunion.
The place we stayed at was not someplace any of us would have picked on our own, but we really enjoyed ourselves and it was free! It was a timeshare resort called Crown Resorts Club Marbella, and the average age was probably over 65. We also had to turn down a 2 hour long sales pitch to buy into the timeshares. The little apartment was nice though, clean, had a kitchenette and 2 bedrooms and bathrooms.
Over the week we tried a few beaches, but our favorite was definitely playa del cable. There was a small restaurant and beach bar there where you could use their lounge chairs and umbrellas as long as you ordered something to eat or drink. I believe during more high season you have to pay 5 Euro. This beach was great, the food and drinks were really good as well. It had more of a local feel than any of the other beaches. There were also no illegal peddlers trying to sell you stuff every few minutes which was a really annoying problem at all of the other beaches we tried. Although, I admit, it was fun to see them all run when they police showed up one day.
To find the beach is very simple. There is a big stone arch over the road that says “Marbella” and the beach is right next to the arch. Parking may be hard to find in high season, but we lucked out both times and got great close spots.
My husband’s birthday passed while we were in Marbella, so we got a few restaurant recommendations from our hotel and ended up choosing La Sala. It was a great choice! The food was amazing. I had some of the best fish that I have ever had. Some of the best sangria we had was at La Sala as well.
A few days later, my husband and I went on a date night to Garnacha, a highly rated tapas restaurant in Marbella. It was a tiny little place, with very interesting food. We felt adventurous eating there. I highly recommend it if you want authentic tapas.
We made a stop at the famous Nikki Beach. I’ll be honest, it was probably one of the weirdest places I have ever been. If you don’t know what Nikki Beach is, it is a chain of beach clubs found all over the world. Very rich and famous people frequent them. They have cabanas around the pool at cost hundreds of Euro for the day, everyone is walking around in designer clothes and bathing suits, all drinks are 10+ euro and they have multiple bottles of wine or champagne that are well over 1,000 euro.
The weirdest part was they were having a “fashion show” with models walking around the pool modeling different outfits and guys with giant cameras and huge flash bulbs following them. It was so bizarre because you’re at the beach, with people fancily just talking, drinking and hanging out and models doing a show right in the midst of it all. I don’t even think anyone was watching. Even if I had boatloads of money, I wouldn’t go there. Definitely not my scene.
Overall this trip was fabulous. It was very relaxing and great to see some of our family again. We took a day trip to Gibraltar which was so awesome it is going to get it’s own post. I loved Spain. As our countdown to moving back to the United States is less than a year now, it makes me sad we are going to leave Europe. I would love to see more of Spain. It’s not in the plans for this year, but who knows, maybe we can squeeze in a quick trip to another part of Spain before we leave.