A girls trip to Marbella with a twist. Martha Alexander heads to southern Spain with her best friend and their daughters.
There’s one thing Britney Spears, Brigitte Bardot and me all have in common and it’s not that we’re world-famous blondes with killer abs. It’s that we’ve holidayed at Marbella Club Hotel. Although, I’d imagine not all of us have ventured on a girls trip to Marbella with our kids in-tow.
The hotel is a kingdom of opulence on the Costa del Sol. It smells of Jasmine, looks like a beautifully manicured jungle and is managed by staff who have been to charm school. I stayed here with my best friend Mary, her daughter (my goddaughter) Mika and my daughter (Mary’s goddaughter) Robin.
There was a time before babies that a girls’ weekend of sun and sangria was, if not commonplace, then at least doable. But since motherhood, the idea of going on a girly minibreak was inconceivable. Besides, our daughters are such good friends that we like hanging out as a team. And that’s how we happened upon the Marbella Club, which promises luxury, quality and service for any age in the form of the Tiny Tots Programme designed for those travelling with children below the age of five.
We were given champagne on arrival, before being taken to our private villa with its own swimming pool. The girls received a hamper with cookies, T-shirts, bath bombs and even a hooded towel each with their names embroidered on. Their cots had been set up, a pushchair was on standby and the windows were fitted with blackout blinds.
Before long it was time to check out the kids’ club. The 5,000-square metre mini village is almost obscenely tasteful; there’s no plastic in sight. Instead, children are welcomed into a rustic space cocooned by a variety of rooms, including an art studio, library and kitchen for cookery lessons. Parents have two hours per day complimentary use of the kids’ club, and each day is timetabled. Children under five must be accompanied by parents or a nanny (who can be easily hired) and you might dance to the Moana soundtrack, cook or make pottery. Our nanny, Ana, took the girls off for an afternoon while we basked in the Spanish sun. After a couple of hours, we heard the girls’ chattering getting louder as they approached the villa; they couldn’t wait to tell us about their day.
There are six restaurants, including the Beach Club, where the seafood buffet must be seen to be believed, and the MC Beach, which overlooks the sea. We had sushi, gazpacho, fried calamari and cold rosé. The girls had ice creams the size of their heads and then fell asleep together in a shady spot.
For all its fanciness, the Marbella Club welcomes children everywhere, so we didn’t worry about their noise or the trail of French fries they left under every table we ate at. In late afternoons, a tray of warm milk with cocoa powder would arrive in the villa for the girls. It’s safe to say I’ve reached a hospitality apex, which is a bit depressing, but proof, if I needed it, that we’ll have to come back.
The Tiny Tots Programme at Marbella Club Hotel starts from €2,764. Fore more information visit marbellaclub.com.
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