Marbella: Clear blue oceans, luxury beach clubs & stunning food – why you should visit
I arrived at Malaga airport on Friday afternoon after a quick flight from London and jumped into a taxi towards the 5-star Kempinski Hotel Balia in Spain. The journey took around one hour so I relaxed and enjoyed the ocean views.
After a quick check in, it was down to the pool to soak in the last of the afternoon rays.
The hotel offers three pools, a family pool overlooking the beach, an adults-only one and a smaller pool.
I gravitated towards the latter due to the warmer water temperatures (those not brave enough for a cold dip can find the warmest pool at the towel shack).
Feeling refreshed after a quick nap by the pool, I was ready to party at Ocean Club. And what a party it was.
One of the most renowned beach clubs and restaurants, I had high expectations and the sleek performances, glamorous decor and first class services did not disappoint.
I was picked up to attend the Ocean Club launch party around 6.30pm and was swiftly shown to a VIP table on arrival.
The event kicked off the season and had a strict white and silver dress code – something to check before heading to an event at the venue.
Even the decor matched the theme with white tablecloths and a white dance floor.
Our seat had an unobscured view of the stage where we took in the various performances.
The stage was behind a 4,000sqm turquoise saltwater pool, mixing the aesthetic of the club and beach nicely.
I snacked on canapes including sushi and fruit while sipping on Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Internationally renowned mixologist Mario Hofferer was behind the drinks at the party and will continue to guide the resident mixologists throughout the season.
I stayed at the outdoor club for around five hours and there was a constant stream of entertainment for the duration.
From acrobatic acts, to live music, DJ sets and even fireworks, there was plenty to keep you entertained no matter what you’re into.
The show concluded with the headline act – English DJ legend Pete Tong.
I spent my time between the table and the dance floor. Many tables at the club also had amazing 180 degree views across the sea.
The beachside club, based in Marbella’s trendy Puerto Banus, is open daily from 11am – 9pm until September 2022.
The next morning I woke up in the stunning sea view room at the Kempinski hotel.
The room was spacious and had a balcony overlooking the below pools and the clear blue sea.
In the bathroom, there was both a standalone shower and separate bathtub.
My room included breakfast which was served as a buffet and available until 10am, meaning there was no need to get up early.
I sat outside and enjoyed a coffee in the sun with a view of the sea, however indoor seating was available if preferred.
The buffet included various hot and cold options, an omelette station, meat and fish as well as pastries, cereals and fresh fruit.
Guests who were not too fragile from the night before could pick from an array of fresh juices and even Cava.
I spent most of the day relaxing at the warmest pool and enjoying the 25 degree heat.
Towels are available at the pool and the staff were attentive at coming round and taking any drinks orders.
While I mostly enjoyed the facilities, there was plenty to do outside the hotel, which is based in the heart of Andalucia on the Costa del Sol.
It is also a short drive away from Marbella and right next to the town of Estepona.
The hotel also included many options to dine in which I did not try, but was definitely tempted.
If staying there, you have the option of Black Rose The Bar, which serves cocktails and snacks, Baltazar Bar & Grill and the Spiler Beach Club, which offers lighter options such as seafood, great cuts of meat and fresh fruit.
That evening we hopped in a taxi and visited Olivia’s, a restaurant and bar just outside Marbella.
With a stunning location next to the beach, there was also live music and plenty of atmosphere.
I started by sharing a bottle of Cava with my table before sipping on jugs of sangria.
For food, I tucked into a starter of battered prawns served with salad and sweet chilli dipping sauce.
There was a buzzing atmosphere from the moment we arrived as large groups sang along with the live band and got up to dance as the night went on.
Even we headed to the dancefloor by the end of the night and it was clear creating a fun, party atmosphere was a large part of the experience.
It is even mentioned inside the menu by owner Elliot Wright, who penned: “At the end if you want to get up and dance… then do it!”
The following morning, it was time to pack up and leave the luxurious destination.
The hotel had a late checkout of 12pm which gave me time to enjoy another tranquil sunny breakfast before checking out.
I didn’t need to leave for a couple of hours but the staff – who couldn’t have been friendlier throughout my stay – held onto my bags while I enjoyed the facilities for the last time.
While I only visited the area for a couple of days, being back in the sun and enjoying the relaxing Ocean Club was enough to make me feel rejuvenated.
Ocean Club is open open daily from 11am – 9pm until September 2022. Bed packages can be found on the website and start at 145 euros. Find out more at https://oceanclub.es/
Kempinski Hotel Bahia has a range of rooms and rates. Prices for the Gran Mediterranean Room start at 660 euros per night. Find out more at https://www.kempinski.com/
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