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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Beach Restaurants near Marriott's Marbella

Sherry's visiting Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort and asked about nearby restaurants and so I've dedicated this page to her. Always looking for an excuse to take my motorbike out for a spin, I popped out to Elviria to check out the beachside restaurants closest to Marriott's Marbella.

In Andalucia beach restaurants are called chiringuitos and all of them used to be right on the sand. They were like little desert island shacks made of wood and palm leaves and often got washed away by high tides. Eventually urban planning caught up and moved them off the beach. I really recommend eating at least once at a beach bar or chiringuito somewhere along the coastline during your holiday.

Late Sunday afternoon I rode down Avda Hacienda Playa, the long road down to the beach next to Marriott's: The resort looked magnificent with lush green, well cared for gardens under towering palm trees. Residents in Marriott's Marbella at the bottom end of the resort can practically walk out onto the beach. At the end of Avda Hacienda Playa on the beach to the left is:

Restaurante Merendero Cristina
Urb Rancho Park Km 192 N340/A7
Marbella

Tel: + 34 952 832 725 Merendero Cristina specialise in fish and shellfish.

A hundred metres further along the beach to the left is:

Carlos and Paula Chiringuito
Calle Mar de la Tranquilidad s/nElviria
Marbella

Tel: + 34 952 113 986 Carlos and Paula offer seafood paella, fish, meat barbecues and pasta. The waiter explained that Paula is the mum and Carlos is the son.

Both restaurants were well populated and most diners were sitting outside on the wooden decks. The beach is slightly wider next to Carlos and Paula and could be easier for families with young children. As I left one of the waiters was lighting the barbecue outside. You must try sardinas al espeto when you are next in a chiringuito, that's sardines on skewers cooked next to the flames, lots of Omega 3 oils and healthy salads and chilled white wine followed by a siesta on the beach....

You can get to these two beach bars by bus getting off at the Pino Golf bus stop and walking about 10minutes over the hill and down the road past Marriott's Marbella. Back at the small parking area where Avda Hacienda Playa meets the beach, looking west towards Marbella in the distance I could see the famous Nikki Beach about 500 metres along the beach. The chiringuito right next to it is:

Chiringuito Los Tonys
Bajada Hotel Don Carlos
29604 Marbella

Tel: + 34 952 113 142 Los Tonys offer paella, shellfish, fish baked in salt and skewered meats and fish.

It's just too far to walk comfortably to Los Tonys and Nikki's Beach so I would recommend driving or taking a taxi. At the to end of Avda. Hacienda Playa, turn left and you'll see the Don Carlos hotel loom up in front of you. Skirt it to the right following the road and then look for Nikki Beach signs on the fork to the right. Drop down, curve to the left, under a road bridge and you are on
the Bajada Hotel Don Carlos. At the end is Los Tonys and just before you get to the end on the left is the Nikki Beach entrance and parking place. Every summer they email me an exclusive invitation to the opening but when I look more carefully at my screen, I can just make out a price, usually upwards of €50.

It's a different scene down here, Los Tonys is fairly upmarket and you'll see lots of folk in white beach gear and bronzed girls in bikinis and wispy tops on the beach below Nikki's. It's the beach part of Nikki Beach in the blog photo. On the terraces above the beautiful people are drinking chilled cava by the bottle.

The other beach restaurant I checked out for Sherry is The Beach House where we have often eaten and I would recommend having a meal here. You'll need a car to get here from Marriott's Marbella. You'll pick up a sign for The Beach House at the second roundabout above the exit from the A7. Keep on down this road until you see signs to the left indicating Restaurante Playa Blanca and Restaurante Las Banderas. (No second Beach House sign yet but go down left) until you see Carril del Relojero and then a Beach House sign. Check out driving directions on their website.

The Beach House is very popular and I suggest you make a reservation if you would like a beach side table in the evening or at lunch during summer.

The Beach House Restaurant
Urb. Coto de los Dolores
Carril del Relojero Elviria
29604 Marbella
Tel: + 34952 839 459

www.marbellabeachhouse.com

Of course just over the A7 road bridge in the Elviria Commercial Centre, within comfortable walking distance of Marriott's Marbella, there are a host of good and interesting restaurants where we have also eaten. I'll do a separate page on these restaurants which include: Restaurant Orient Palace, Pizza Real, Dragon del Mar II, and round the back of the complex, almost hidden away is the Taj Mahal Indian food restaurant. If you just feel like staying in and have a glass of wine on your terrace then give the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant a ring. They do takeaways at really good prices and will also deliver locally. Tel: + 34 952 836 153.

Sherry I hope you get this in time. Have a great stay and enjoy the local cuisine, thanks again for writing in.

Best wishes from Marbella Mike

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike its Michele again. Have been on and off your site over the last week or so looking for the information you very kindly offered to give me regarding travelling by bus with a family but I cant find it. Just to refresh your memory I will copy and paste my original post below. I would be grateful for your advice as we travel next week. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me. In addition to the questions below can you also advise the best way back to our hotel from Selwo Marina in Benalmadena. We plan to take the ferry there but they dont return in the evenings so we will need a bus or a train. Thank you.

Hi Mike - I would really appreciate your advice on travelling by bus during our forthcoming trip to Spain.
We are staying in Los Amigos Beach Club, El Faro with our 3 children including a 6 month old baby. Our bus stop will be Playa Marina.

The 5 main places we would love to visit during our stay are Fuengirola Waterpark, Fuengirola Zoo, the beach and market at La Cala de Mijas, Tivoli World and El Ranchito in Torremolinos.

Will it be easy enough to get to each of these places using the buses? We are on a tight budget and cant afford to rent a car.

For the latter 2 places how much travelling time should we allow?

I have been trying to find bus timetables but have not had much luck. With 3 children we wont be able to just hop in a taxi if we miss the last bus so I would be grateful if you have a link to timetables.

Also are the buses baby friendly? Will it be easy enough to bring a stroller on and off and store it on the bus?

And finally do you pay on the bus or do you have to go to a ticket office?

I know I have asked a lot of questions here and really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Kind regards,
Michele

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, its Michele again. Just following up on the information you very kindly offered to give me regarding my queries on travelling by bus with a young family. Just to refresh your memory I will copy my original post below. In addition I would be grateful if you could suggest the best way back to our hotel from Benalmadena (Selwo Marina). We plan to take the ferry there but they do not return in the evenings so we will need to take a bus or train. Thanks again for taking the time to help me out. Michele

Hi Mike - I would really appreciate your advice on travelling by bus during our forthcoming trip to Spain.
We are staying in Los Amigos Beach Club, El Faro with our 3 children including a 6 month old baby. Our bus stop will be Playa Marina.

The 5 main places we would love to visit during our stay are Fuengirola Waterpark, Fuengirola Zoo, the beach and market at La Cala de Mijas, Tivoli World and El Ranchito in Torremolinos.

Will it be easy enough to get to each of these places using the buses? We are on a tight budget and cant afford to rent a car.

For the latter 2 places how much travelling time should we allow?

I have been trying to find bus timetables but have not had much luck. With 3 children we wont be able to just hop in a taxi if we miss the last bus so I would be grateful if you have a link to timetables.

Also are the buses baby friendly? Will it be easy enough to bring a stroller on and off and store it on the bus?

And finally do you pay on the bus or do you have to go to a ticket office?

I know I have asked a lot of questions here and really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Kind regards,
Michele

Mike Drury said...

Hi Michele, thank you very much for writing back. Two Mondays ago on way to pick up my wife from the airport I actually drove to the Fuengirola Aquapark to get the bus timetable but ran out of time and abandoned the trip when I was almost at the Park and raced to the airport so as not to be late!

Since then your reply has been at the back of my mind. Sorry for not doing it much earlier. I'll reply to you in bits on this same page.

To move up and down the coast you'll find all the bus timetables you need here: www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/index.htm

Let's do the market at La Cala de Mijas first: From the Playa Marina bus stop on the Los Amigos Beach Club side of the road, take the bus which is travelling to Marbella. There are two every hour. Look for departure times from Fuengirola to Marbella and add on 10 minutes for the Playa Marina bus stop. (It could take another 10 or 15 minutes depending on the traffic.)

Here is a list of bus stops between Fuengirola and La Cala de Mijas and you will find links from the La Cala bus stop about the La Cala market: www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/bus-stops-between-marbella-fuengirola.htm.

There are lots of bars, restaurants and a safe beach at La Cala and so after the market, you could have a couple of hours on the beach before bussing back to Los Amigos. It'll be hot so take lots of sun cream and make sure the children have water bottles to sip from. Look after your bags and possessions when you are at the market. Leave things like passports and credit cards at home!

Let me get this off to you Michele then you will know that I haven't forgotten you and I'll carry on answering your questions on this page.

Best wishes from a warm Costa del Sol. Mike

Mike Drury said...

Hi Michele, to get to Fuengirola Zoo which is now called the Bioparc, pick up the bus coming from Marbella at your Playa Marina stop opposite Los Amigos Beach Club and bus into the centre, getting off at the Fuengirola Bus Terminus.

Walk one block away from the sea up to the big roundabout next to the Fuengirola Train Station (Are passing through here when you arrive?) and then turn left into Avda. Camilo Jose Cela. Walk along about 800 metres, crossing the road as you go because the zoo or Bioparc is on the right. I have heard that it gets quite busy in the afternoons in the summer so I sugges doing this visit in the morning. The Bioparc opens at 10am.


The contact details and address are:

Fuengirola Bioparc
Avda. Camilo Jose Cela 8 - 10,
29640 Fuengirola Tel: + 34 952 66 63 01

The Mijas Aqua Park is just another 10 minutes walk away from the Fuengirola Zoo / Bioparc. You could carry on to the Aqua Park and spend the rest of the day there if everyone is feeling fine. There's a dedicated bus service every 30 minutes between the bus terminus in Fuengirola and the water park so you could bus back.

In summary at the Fuengirola bus station pick up a street map, walk to the Bioparc, then after the zoo visit, follow your map and walk to the Aqua Park. It's not far but you will need a map. Have a fun time at the water park, take the bus back to the Fuengirola bus station and then the bus to Marbella, getting off at Playa Marina.

Michele I'll write to you again with suggestions about your next two destinations which are further up the train line towards Malaga.

Please let me know if you have received my replies so far. Best wishes from Marbella. Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike thank you so much! Yes I have received your responses and I am delighted with the detail. I have been stressing a little bit about not having a car on this holiday with the kids but with such detailed information we cant really go wrong. Really looking forward to the rest of your advice. Thanks again, Michele

Mike Drury said...

Hi Michelle

I'm sure you have your bags packed and are ready to go. About getting to Tivoli, take the train from Fuengirola train station, you know this one by now, to the Benalmadena / Arroyo de la Miel train station. The trains leave on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour, you'll get to Benalmadena / Arroyo de la Miel just under fourteen minutes later.

I checked with the girl at Tivoli and she said it's a 5 minutes walk from the station, slightly uphill and there are signs all the way. It's a fantastic outing for children and adults alike. Go for as long as the children can hold out for.

About El Ranchito in Torremolinos, the nearest train stop is La Colina. From Fuengirola train station it is 24 minutes up the line towards Malaga. From La Colina train stop it is 10 minutes walk away from the sea towards the mountain. The girl asked me what you would be coming to see. If you were wanting to ride, you would need to reserve your slot beforehand. If you are coming to see a show, the shows are only on Wednesdays at 5.45pm. You could email them on info@ranchito.com

From your Playa Marina stop you will pay on the bus. From Fuengirola bus station back to Playa Marina you will pay at the little window before you get on the bus. For a list of all Costa del Sol bus timetables just Google www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/index.htm. Public transport is not expensive in Spain compared to the UK for example.

I hope this helps you Marina, if you have any questions, feel free to write back!

Best wishes from Marbella Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike thanks again, this advice is invaluable! Yes we would be going to see the show on a Wednesday at El Ranchito as my older girls are horse mad!
We fly on Friday and are very excited. If at all possible could I trouble you with 2 more questions:

Can you advise the best way back to our hotel from Selwo Marina in Benalmadena? We plan to take the ferry there but they dont return in the evenings so we will need a bus or a train.

Will we need to fold our stroller when the bus comes and carry the baby on board, or can we wheel it on?

Thank you so much again. I will check in here again before we leave for your reply if you have time, and will let you know how we got on when we get back.

Regards,
Michele

Mike Drury said...

Hi Michele

From Selwo Marina you'll want to get back up to the Arroyo de la Miel / Benalmadena train station. It's just too far too walk comfortably. At the entrance they'll tell you if the local bus which passes very close to Selwo Marina, stops at the station, if not, take a taxi from outside the entrance, it'll be a minimum fare. Less than €6.

The trains back to Fuengirola leave Arroyo de la Miel / Benalmadena train station at 5 and 35 minutes past the hour. The last train is at 23.05. It's a 35 minute journey.

The local buses are lower and easier to get onto and you don't need to fold the stroller to get on. The coastal buses such as the one from Fuengirola bus station to Playa Marina bus stop are higher and it would be a good idea to fold it up and carry it on. My daughter can kick hers shut and fold it away in seconds. I still struggle with it.

The girl at El Ranchito told me yesterday it was a 10 minute walk from La Colina train station. You walk away from the sea, cross the main road using the pedestrian bridge, you'll come to a gas station and there you'll find a sign showing the way to El Ranchito. Next to the gas station there's a children's park, maybe you could all have a swing on the way back. I'd try to allow at least 30 minutes before the show starts to get there and take your seats. I hope the girls really enjoy the show!

It's hot here right now so keep a six pack of water under the stroller for everyone to keep drinking. Have a fantastic time and it would be great to hear back from you Michele, any suggestions you can pass on to other travellers would be appreciated.

Best wishes from the Costa del Sol

Mike

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Mike, we have to travel to a wedding for a few days the week we get back so it will probably be the end of August before I come back to you. Thanks so much for all of your help and advice. Only 2 more sleeps now!

Mike Drury said...

What a great month it's going to be! Just one last small thing... I was listening to a radio ad this morning and Tivoli is open from 6pm till 2 in the morning. There'll be flamenco and other shows on during the evening, check the board as you go in for times. Have loads of fun and thanks for all the contact. Saludos Mike

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike, When coming by bus from Fuengirola to Marbella, what would be the bus stop nearest to Hotel Fuerte Miramar Spa?
Thank you in advance,
Jeff

Mike Drury said...

Hi Jeff, if you look at this list of bus stops, http://www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/bus-stops-between-marbella-fuengirola.htm it will be the Sanamientos Puya bus stop. The name comes from a bathroom fittings shop that used to be there many years ago by the same name. The shop is long gone.

After you get off the bus you will cross the road at the pedestrian crossing right there and then walk along the sea side of the road in the same direction as your bus was travelling for a block until you see the big Hotel El Fuerte Miramar on your left stretching down to the sea from the pavement.

The trick is not to get off too early! Wait until you have passed what I call the "Three Sinking Ships Fountain," a big rusty structure that looks like ships' hulls in the middle of the road next to a big blue glass building on your left. This is the Marbella fishing port.

Your bus stop is the first one after those fountains. You can't miss it. If you do go too far,then the following bus stops are still not more than five or ten minutes walk from the hotel.

Thanks very much for writing in Jeff and best wishes from Marbella. Have a great trip. Mike