We booked it fairly last minute after seeing affordable flights, so didn’t have much time to research the areas beforehand. So it was a very nice surprise when Marbella turned out to be much better than the TOWIE image I had in my mind, especially the beautiful Marbella Old Town! With white and sunshine yellow houses lined with magenta bouganvillea, it was such a pretty area to stay for a night:
We stayed at La Villa Marbella, a Thailand themed hotel that had rooms stretching all the way down a bouganvillia-lined street in the heart of the old town. After a very warm welcome, we were shown to our room (‘Phuket’) which had a gorgeous balcony bursting with flowers.
La Villa Marbella also has a pool in one of their buildings further down the street in a secluded courtyard which felt so calm and peaceful away from the bustle of Marbella. That is until Marc arrived and started belly flopping.
After we had exhausted ourselves in the pool, it was time to get ready and head out for dinner. Most restaurants in Marbella Old Town lean towards the expensive side but we found an affordable, cool place called the Hacienda Pategonica restaurant just off from the front, about a fifteen minute walk away from the Old Town. The front felt a bit disappointing in the day but came alive at night and the Hacienda Pategonica had a particularly buzzing atmosphere, with every tall table that spilled out onto the streets filled with people sharing red wine and tapas. Their speciality was a steak and jacket potato dish for £8 which was delicious but you could also get smaller tapas including the best freshly grilled chicken I have had on a holiday. Loved it there – do visit for a relaxed, tasty dinner.
Oh and another top tip – don’t bother with Puerto Banus. It is known to be a glam area where the luxury super-yachts dock but I was really disappointed at how dirty and tacky it felt, especially when I have seen Hvar (Croatia) and know it can be so different. You might enjoy it if you are in a group though as there are plenty of clubs and beach bars to party in!
Then it was time to leave Marbella and head up into the mountains to explore the old town of Ronda…