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“Fantastic Family Escape with a few minor negatives” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott's Playa Andaluza

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Marriott's Playa Andaluza
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Crta de Cadiz, km 168, 29680 Estepona, Spain   |  
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Ranked #1 of 35 Hotels in Estepona
Broxbourne
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Family Escape with a few minor negatives”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

My Family of 4 stayed here during the second week of the Easter Holidays where we were fortunate enough to enjoy a full week of Sunshine following a lot rain that this part of Spain has experienced recently.

The resort is spotlessly clean, well maintained and you wont find better quality accomodation, grounds and facilities anywhere, they really are first class. The service we experienced from the Reception team was also exemplory

The Apartments

There are various sizes and we stayed in a 2 bedroom one. All of them overlook either the sea, pool or lush grounds so there is no views of roads or the back of buildings. The apartments are huge by European standards with two full bathrooms, a well stocked kitchen that had eveything you could want from which to cook eat or drink with. The furnished balconies are quite large as well and there is even a (albeit small) utility room with washing machine and dryer / ironing facilities. A Family of four could quite easily live here.

Facilities

There are three outside pools set in stunning locations and even though the resort was 95% full there seemed to be at least 5 sunloungers per person. Its a mystery of staying at a Marriott Vacation resort, that although they are full, there never seems to be anyone around. There is also a indoor pool with various jacuzzis, sauna and steam rooms and a well stocked Gym.

Set within the beautiful grounds you can also find mini golf, large childrens playground, sports court for football / basketball, a boules area, Paddle tennis court, volleyball court and babmington as well as shufflle board, giant chess and draughts. There is also seperate clubs for smaller children and teenagers as well as various table tennis and pool tables which can be found around the resort. There is also a small and overpriced supermarket on site. That said the freshly baked bread and pastries are well worth it

Although i have given this an excellent rating (anything else would have been an injustice to the apartments / grounds etc) there are a few negatives which many reviews have already cited.

The Location is quite remote and there are no shops within walking distance so you really do need a car here. There is also only one other Restaurant within easy walking distance which is the Vela Azul directly on the beach to the left of the resort. We ate here twice and on both occasions the food was fantastic, reasonably priced with fab views out to sea and across to Africa.

To one side of the resort are a number of very unslighlty 1970's style hotel blocks one of which had been turned into an old peoples home and the others looked very shabby. I should also point out that if you are looking for a resort with a beuatiful beach, this is not the place for you. The sand is very dark, stony and there are a lot of rocks leading into the sea and being honest you will find much much better beaches elseware including the UK. That said there is a small beach that is set back right outside the property and this is well groomed and the very comfy sun beds are available free to Marriott guests.

As other reviews have mentioned the outdoor pools are freezing and as such, were for the most part empty although our two boys and myself did venture in most days. This is obviously a constant source of bimusement to guests and reviewers, why at least one of the pools cannot be heated so that they can be enjoyed, particularly as they are so lovely and inviting. Given that the resort is full from March round to November it surely wouldnt cost much to heat one of the pools for the full enjoyment of the guests even if it meant paying a small premium.

The only other negative is that for such a large resort there is very little choice of where to eat or drink and in fact this is now limited to one place called the Solera since the beach bar was closed down. We ate here at Lunch and the food was overpriced and mediocre in quality and as such we chose not to eat here in the evenings and felt we had much better quality and well priced food in a far nicer location at the Vela Azul bar on the beach.

All in all we had a lovely time here and you do get a sense of escapism in luzury surroundings, which would be very hard to beat, however i would appeal to Marriott directly to upgrade the bar and dining facilities and heat one of the lovely pools that laid empty most of the time.

I would definately recommend this resort and having stayed at the Marriott Marbella just down the coast on two previous occasions the high quality of the resorts is consistant. For me the Marbella resort edges this place ever so slightly as the location, beach and dining options are better but i would say the facilities for children are more extensive here.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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602 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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West Yorkshire, UK
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Our family of 5 stayed here in April 2013. The weather at this time of year was great for us, not so hot to create problems with the little ones but hot enough to know you're on holiday!

The resort is spacious, clean and well laid out with a great area to the rear for games such as Table tennis, mini golf, giant chess and a small BBQ area. Apparently this whole area was due to be another apartment block but when Lehman Bros collapsed the funding went with it and - as it's primarily a timeshare resort - the owners voted not to go ahead and build the block. What this gives you is a resort fitted out for a certain number of customers but with less customers and therefore more space and amenities.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment which was more than big enough for our family. Having a small kitchen was a bonus.

All in all it's a great resort although it has its downsides. The main one is that all the pools are unheated and freezing cold. They are therefore generally empty. The exception to this is the kids pool which is shallower and marginally (very marginally) warmer. My sons were Polar Bears in a previous life so had a great time however I was only brave enough to use the indoor pool.

The second downside is the restaurant Solera. The food is OK but is over-priced. The service is also pretty poor...actually it's very poor. We sat outside one evening and I'd estimate there were probably only about 6 tables occupied in the whole restaurant. Despite this, they seemed to have forgotten about us. We had to chase for everything. In the end the food took so long I had to go to the bar to get some nuts so we could at least have something in our stomachs. This wasn't a one off. Service was pretty bad, the waitresses tend to avoid eye contact so it's easier to sort your own drinks out at the poolside counter. If you do ask for a drink from a waiter it sometimes doesn't arrive and the bill on occasion was also wrong. In the interests of fairness, there was one waiter called Ricardo who was excellent however the rest of the team need to sort themselves out. There is no real excuse for bad service when you have a full team of waiting staff and only 6 tables to serve.

That said, if we visit again we will likely visit the local supermarkets to stock up and prepare our own food to eat on the apartment balcony. There is a small supermarket on site however it's not particularly well stocked and is over-priced. Which is a shame as people would use it more if it didn't rip you off.

Overall it's a good resort but it could do with the pools actually being used and the staff need to raise their game to match their surroundings.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telluride, Colorado
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Stayed here for a week with my family of 4 in April 2013. The resort is fairly difficult to find the first time and the signs tend to route you towards the Marriott sales center instead of the reception desk. Check-in was very friendly and the front desk agent was efficient and informative. Parking is also great as they have one of the largest and cleanest underground parking garages I've seen anywhere. Our 2 bedroom condo is on par with what you would expect at a traditional Marriott time share with above average finishes and cleanliness. The furniture in the living room is a bit dated and the sofa is fairly uncomfortable but overall the room was on par.

There are two downsides to this property for me that will preclude my return. First, the location is simply awful if you want to go off the resort. Absolutely no shopping or retail anywhere close and you have to drive or take a bus to get to any other tourist type activity. They are hampered by their beach as well as it is ugly, rocky and unkempt. Granted, we've spent quite a bit of time in Hawaii and the Caribbean so we are somewhat spoiled but it was apparent to me nonetheless. The second issue we had was with the food and beverage operation (or lack thereof). They know they have a monopoly over all the guests dining needs and as such, have mediocre food, high prices and an indifferent staff. Not awful mind you, but I would not eat there a second time given another choice. This seems to be a common comment by some of the detractors on this site.

If you are looking for a Spanish Mediterranean Resort then keep looking as you can do much better than this. If you are looking for an American Style all-inclusive type of feel then you will love this place.

In short, nothing awful to say about the place but it also didn't create any memories for our family at all.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

As an owner at this resort we know what to expect when we visit. As part of the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio it is of a higher standard than many of their US counterparts (in my opinion). We visited during the Easter break and were provided with a third floor apartment in the Granada building. The balcony is triangular and had a sea view to one side and a mountain view to the other. Being on the top floor means that there is no-one above. The apartments are tiled throughout which means they can be quite noisy with chairs scraping across floors and heavy footsteps, children running etc.

The apartment was well maintained with daily maid service. Fully equipped with cooking utensils and pots, pans etc. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the staff were excellent.

There are two downsides to this resort. The restaurant, Solero, serves mediocre food at expensive prices. It abuses it's monopoly and is best avoided despite being convenient. There are better restaurants within walking distance.

The second downside are the outdoor pools. There are three of them and none are heated. Even the outdoor 'hottub' was not heated! According to the manager, Spanish law prohibits outdoor pools being heated with anything other than solar power. Unfortunately it would appear, so I'm told, that there is no space within the resort to install panels to provide the heating. Consequently you have a ridiculous situation where it is warm enough to sunbathe but no-one can stand the pool, therefore if you want to swim and particularly if you have kids, then you have to use the indoor pool. This becomes incredibly overcrowded and is not enjoyable.

This is the major downfall with this resort and if you want to visit and be able to sunbathe whilst your kids play in the pool do not consider this place unless it is during the months of July, August and September.

Room Tip: All rooms have good views. The higher the better and if you're top floor then there's less...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suttons Bay, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We spent a week at this Marriott at the end of March. The resort is lovely, the condos are well equipped, the beds are wonderfully comfortable but most of all the staff is unbelievable. Roberto checked us in and gave us a wealth of information at that time and through out our stay. Ornello and Tomaso at the concierge desk were the best I have ever worked with - their recommendations and directions were spot on. I felt as if I had my own tourist office working just for me! It was worth staying at the resort just for their expertise. The negatives - the resort feels more American than Spanish, no heated outdoor hot tub and no shops and restaurants within walking distance. It is a great base for doing day trips to old town Marbella and Malaga and to the white villages.

Room Tip: Our room was at the front of the Cadiz building overlooking the sea with an east facing balcony for...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Marriott´s Playa Andaluza is a stunning oceanfront resort near the “Millionaire´s Paradise” of Puerto Banús. The elegantly appointed and spacious apartments accommodate up to 6 or 8 guests. The resort offers an array of amenities on-site inluding fine dining, a prestine beach, relaxing pools, a great fitness center and nearby golf courses.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CORK,IRELAND
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for five nights with my husband and our three teenagers. The check-in was efficient and friendly. Our request for an upper floor apartment with sea view was granted without the slightest of hassle . The apartment was luxurious and equipped with all the necessities and more e.g tea pot and juice squeezers! Even the pullout sofa bed was to an exemplary standard of comfort to the delight of my son. The sports facilities were easily accessible and there was a wide variety of actIvities catering for all ages and interests. Rental car would be recommended as very little shops and restaurant within walking distance. The Italian across the footbridge was pricey compared to surrounding towns such as Benahavis where good food was well priced such as Amigos and Lascalara. Golf galore nearby however do homework on prices and course difficulty before booking

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Playa Andaluza

Address: Crta de Cadiz, km 168, 29680 Estepona, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Malaga > Costa del Sol > Estepona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Estepona
#1 Family Hotel in Estepona
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Estepona
#1 Romantic Hotel in Estepona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Marriott's Playa Andaluza 3*
Number of rooms: 71
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Playa Andaluza Hotel Estepona
Marriott Vacation Club Estepona
Marriotts Hotel Estepona
Marriott Estepona
Estepona Marriott
Marriott Playa Andaluza
Marriott's Playa Andaluza Estepona, Spain - Costa Del Sol

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