After looking online at multiple hotels in the local area we loved the look of the Alanda Hotel Marbella, we didn’t actually realise until we got there that it’s a Muslim focused hotel as it’s next to the local mosque and palace. All food served in the hotel is fully halal and also no alcohol is served. It would have been nice to know this beforehand but for someone like me who doesn’t drink it made no difference to my stay anyway. Everyone is welcome at the hotel and the staff were all really friendly and willing to help. We stayed in a deluxe superior room as we had Charli’s daughter with us, it was a great size room with a pool view and everything felt clean and well presented. The only thing I would say was a let down was the food options in the hotel as you only have breakfast included. You’re about a 5-minute taxi drive outside of the main town itself, so we had to keep going back and forth into town each day for food as the hotel cafe didn’t have a whole variety of choice for 5 days worth of meals and was quite expensive. The pool area also looked a bit outdated but it was still great fun and to be honest as long as your room is nice who cares about the pool area! Although Marbella is known for it’s partying culture our hotel was really quiet even in the evening and in the town in the daytime it was a lovely family-friendly environment which we loved.
On our first day in Spain, we were keen to get out and had been recommended Puerto Banus by multiple friends and colleagues. Puerto Banus was about a 7-minute taxi ride from our hotel and is a luxurious harbour town full of designer shops, supercars and yachts. We went on a Sunday morning which sadly meant not much was open. We did enjoy looking around the harbour, at the cars and having an ice-cream from the Haagen-Dazs shop but with 29 degrees heat and a 5-year-old, there wasn’t much to do to warrant staying all day. We did stumble upon the pirate candy shop which was full of sweet treats so we would highly recommend paying a visit there. There were many rooftop bars with amazing views we wanted to go in but sadly nothing seemed to be open on a Sunday. Puerto Banus is absolutely worth a visit though and if you like your designer shops and have money to spend you’re in for a treat!
As I mentioned earlier on we mainly took a taxi into old town Marbella most days for lunch and dinner and there was a much wider variety of restaurants and cuisines. We had some gorgeous pizza in one pizzeria, incredibly delicious handmade burgers from ‘La Calle burger’. Charli and I’s favourite restaurant was the paella and risotto Italian which was epic! There was such a wide variety of food choices along the town and beachfront you can definitely find something to suit everyone! The cakes in the bakeries were also delicious and absolutely worth a try if you want some local Spanish delicacy’s.
Marbella beach was located right in the town centre and next to all the seafront restaurants. It’s a large stretch which goes on for miles so there is plenty of choice of where to sit. We ended up going down on the beach to sunbathe one morning and were charged 6 euro’s each for a sun lounger which was actually really comfortable with a parasol. It was a lovely, clean beach with lots of activities for the kids also.
One of the day’s when Charli took Imogen out to go and do some fun kids activities when I wanted to chill and relax by the pool, I booked into the hotel’s Hamman spa. It was a great experience but sadly not all of it was open so I didn’t get the full Hamman experience, I first went in a Hamman in Morroco and loved it so I’m glad I got to try one in Spain also. It was a great way to unwind and I also had a relaxing massage afterwards to de-stress.
Places To Visit
Also in the main town of Marbella is some culture, if you head to old town Marbella you can see a lot of beautiful old churches and buildings. There is also a castle up there if you fancy a hike! Overall there weren’t lots of historic attractions as such so we did struggle to find things to do each day if you like a touristy style holiday. We enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town and beachfront but again there wasn’t that much to see in terms of history or culture which was a shame.
The weather whilst we were there was perfect! We went mid-July meaning it was around 29-33 degrees most days. There wasn’t much breeze in terms of being by the sea so it did feel very muggy meaning your hair and make-up was just a no go most days. It’s great if you like chilling by the pool and relaxing but for me, I did struggle walking around the town in these heats so much prefered being back at the hotel. We had glorious sunshine all week so we couldn’t have asked for better weather!
All in all, we had a great time exploring Marbella and I would absolutely go again. I think next time I’d invest in a better hotel but if you’re on a budget it was a great place to stay. If you want to watch my vlog of our trip then it’s live on my YouTube channel now. Thanks for joining us on our trip to Marbella, and I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration and ideas of what to do in Marbella if you’re planning to visit. Spain is such a beautiful part of the world and all the locals were extremely helpful and friendly so I always feel at home when I visit. As always please leave your thoughts in the comments box below – let me know if you’ve visited Marbella and what you’d recommend? I hope you all have a fantastic week whatever you’re up to and I’m sending you all lots of love xx