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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

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

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

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

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Vincci Estrella del Marbella Hotel Bus Stop

Elena wrote to me on Facebook:

Me and my husband are planning to visit Marbella in September. We are arriving at
Malaga Airport and we are staying at Vincci Estrella del Mar Hotel. Please help us to find the best solution for transportation from the airport to the hotel. We would like to take the bus from the airport if there is a bus station near our hotel.

This is my reply to Elena:

Hi Elena, thank you very much for writing in. I have never been to the Vincci Estrella del Mar Hotel so I went out to the hotel this afternoon on my motorbike to check where it is exactly.

When you arrive at Malaga airport your easiest option is to take the
Malaga Airport bus service to Marbella. When you get to Marbella bus station, take the next bus to Fuengirola back along the coast road. There are two buses every hour.

The closest bus stop to the Vincci Estrella del Mar is the La Vibora bus stop. Look at this
list of bus stops between Marbella and Fuengirola and you will see exactly where to get off. You can also use the L7 local bus service to get to La Vibora but the M220 MARBELLA - FUENGIROLA service is quicker and there are less stops.

When you get off at the
La Vibora bus stop, you will see a parking area, walk across this open area and take the first road to the right. The street is called Avda Vibora Baja and on Google Maps it is called Avda. Urb. Real Zaragoza but don't worry because where you turn right there is no signpost anyway! Walk along this road for 400 metres then turn left into Avda José Ribeira for 100 metres. You will see the hotel Vincci Estrella del Mar on your left, parallel to Calle Goya. The total distance is probably about 600metres.

In Reception I spoke to Marina, one of the receptionists. She was very helpful and gave me a map for guests needing transport by bus. The hotel looks really impressive and she explained that it had only been open for two years. I must go back and have a look around.

Elena, if you are arriving after dark I suggest you take a taxi from
Marbella bus station to the hotel. There are no lights along the roads where you will be walking and while I think it is perfectly safe, it will be easier to find your way in daylight. The concierge told me that the cost of a taxi from Marbella bus station to the Hotel Vincci Estrella del Mar during the day is €14 and after 10pm and at weekends it will be €16 approximately.

Here are the contact details and address for the hotel:

Hotel Vincci Marbella Estrella del Mar
Urbanizacion Estrella del Mar
Las Chapas Carretera Nacional 340.
Km, 191
29604 Marbella.
Malaga, Spain

Tel: + 34 951 053 970
Fax: + 34 951 053 980


Thanks again for writing in Elena, I hope this helps you. Please let me know if I can give you any more information. Best wishes to you and your husband for a pleasant stay at the Hotel Vincci Marbella Estrella del Mar.


PS I took the photo standing in Avda José Ribeira. On the left of the hotel where the red car is driving, this is Calle Goya. It is really just a road for the hotel guests to park their cars and does not go anywhere.