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“Beautiful Hotel for exploring southern Spain, but avoid Africa tour!” 4 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 34 Hotels in Estepona
Certificate of Excellence 2014
new orleans
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel for exploring southern Spain, but avoid Africa tour!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2008

I stayed at Marriott Estepona resort during easter week in 2008. The resort has beautiful grounds right on the costa del sol with views of the mountains & beach. The rooms are spacious, fully equiped, very clean and new looking. We had 4 adults in our room with a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment. There is a gift shop that makes fresh croissants & bagettes daily. You can also get some grocery products in the shop. We went to a paella & sangria presentation at the hotel that was well done.
The only down fall was the recommendation for a day trip to Tangier from the concierge. This was the most miserable day that we spent on our 3 week trip to spain. We left for the trip at 6am and did not return to the hotel until 7:30 pm. We caught the ferry to Africa and began the tour of Tangier at around 10:00am on a narrated bus tour that lasted about 45 minutes. The bus drove us through the outskirts of town & droped us off at a filthy site to sit on camels that looked mistreated & miserable, for a price of course. When we completed the bus trip they took us to eat lunch at a Moraccan restaurant. We were forced to go to a rug market for an hour & then a spice market for another hour, where people tied to sell you overpriced junk. A haggler form the rug market followed us to the spice market where he was allowed to touch people in the guided tour, even a child that was with the group (3 years old at most). He tried to pressure us for sales. You could not leave the stores due to the numerous hagglers in the streets. They walked us back to the port after the sales pitch at approximately 2:30 where we stood in the parking lot, like a heard of sheep, in the cold and rain with no shelter with our guide no where in site, for 3 hours, while others in the group commented about how horrible and frightning the trip was and how the group from marriott payed alot more money for the tour that others in the group. I am spending so much time on this story because I don't wan't others to spend 95 euros a person for a miserable day. It isn't even about the money. I have been to many places, but I have never feared for my safety like on this tour. I was upset with the concierge & hotel for promoting this trip through this tour company.
I would recommend southern spain to anyone. Places that I would recommend would be the town of Ronda (so beautiful) & the rock of gibraltar (be sure to see the native monkies that are so tame that you could sit next to them) both cities about 45 to 1hour away. I would also recommend a day trip to the alhambra.
I would stay at the Marriott Estepona again, but would be critical of the concierge & the hotels tours.

  • Liked — beautiful grounds
  • Disliked — concierge tour recomendations
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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662 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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UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

The apartments are wonderful, as are the grounds. 3 Great pools and the whole place felt very safe and extremly clean!
However the service in the restaurant, bar and shop was soooo slow!!! Only 1 member of staff on at one time! Food was very over priced and all mexican or american food! Not one spanish dish in sight! Plus no where to get food or drink after midnight which is not good if just arrived from long flight!
Such a shame as the rest of the resort was wonderful! Very quite resort but good position if you want to chill during the day then hit the town in the evening! Though you will need to get taxis everywhere or drive, as hotel is on its own!
All in all though we did enjoy ourselves.

  • Liked — The size of the 2 bedroom apartment
  • Disliked — Service in restaurant and bar
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
3,113 helpful votes 3,113 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

It was our first trip to the Costa del Sol and the flight from Dublin wasn't great as it was full of screaming kids whose parents conveniently pretended they didn't own them, plus a load of package holidaymakers on their way to Horremelenous.

The resort is situated on a pretty unpleasenet stretch of coastline, between the main road and a dodgy section of beach - don't come here if you like swimming in the sea.

The view from our room was primarily of an abandoned building site (owned by Marriott), a derelict long-abandoned, half finished apartment block, and a new mothballed Marriott apartment block.

The apartments are spacious enough, but considering they were only finished five years ago, it is incredible that they look like refugees from the seventies, decor-wise, e.g. 3 ancient 25" TVs that you would have thrown out years ago.

Absolutely zero wow-factor.

Having said that, the kitchen was well fitted-out, the beds were reasonably comfy, the balcony was a good size and the showers and air con all worked well.

The restaurants were OK - nothing special, but not too expensive, unlike the on-site supermarket, which was a rip-off, as was the spa.

The pools were good, but zero night life.

The resort, I guess, is best suited to families with very young families.

  • Liked — The pools
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2008

This hotel is extremely beautiful, beautiful grounds, beautiful rooms, but is definitely lacking in some areas. We were extremely disappointed in the beach. The beach was extremely rocky and looked terrible. I did get some great pictures of the sunset coming down over the mountains however. There isn't a restaurant on site (I think they are building it) so we had to go out and eat or cook in our rooms every night. One night the lights even went out but it was fixed in less than an hour. We got a good laugh about it. The rooms were beautiful. We had a 2 bedroom suite and it was extremely nice. The beds were not that comfortable. I think I would have rather stayed on the couch. The king sized bed was 2 twins pushed together. So at one point in the middle of the night, my fiance woke up because he felt the beds coming apart. Overall, I think this hotel was nice very pretty but very average right now. I think it has the opportunity to one day be a great hotel. There's quite a bit of construction so obviously they are trying to make improvements.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indianapolis, in
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2008

Typical Marriott timeshare set up with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen. beautiful Spanish decor, all rooms have balcony overlooking ocean. Felt totally safe, locked gate to private beach, underground parking (very tight get a small car). Personal very helpful, concierge to plan excursions. Restuarant on site- so-so and expensive. Flamenco show on Thursday expensive but worth it, Supermarket 5 minute drive-small more expensive shop on site that does make wonderful breads every morning. car a must to drive to nearby towns. You are 10 minutes outside village of Estepona, 10 minute drive to Puerto Banus, 1 hour to Gilbratar and Malaga.
Trip to Morocco was fantastic- do NOT ask price on anything or you will be hounded unmercifully by salesmen. Walk in market overwhelming by merchants. If you buy barter, T-shirt started at 15 Euros and finally came down to ONE. Don't change your money they take anything over there. Fast ferry from Tariffa was pleasant, you definately want to book a tour- would get lost or miss too much. We booked bus tour from hotel because of tanker strike and no gas, but others drove and said easy to find and park at ferry.
Took toll road from airport in malaga-well maintained and easy drive. Driving in Spain is an adventure. Need to get used to turn arounds (you can only turn right onto roads so must pass your destination get off and use roundabout to get on in opposite direction- these are well marked centrio de cambio). Driving thru town and in large cities -look out. Spanish drivers zip in and out, honk and yell a lot. Parking very tight.
All in all a wonderful vacation- many options for day trips, but plan on a few down days so can enjoy the beautiful setting at playa andaluza. Don't miss trip to Granada/Alhambra- highlight of our trip, but a very long day if you do bus tour-add 2 hours just for picking up and dropping off people!

  • Liked — apartment setting with washer/dryer
  • Disliked — no beach activities
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Enniscorthy, Ireland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2008

I stayed here for three nights in mid-April with my partner. We were on a Delta Airlines-sponsored presentation package that cost us €300 in total for the accommodation and also included basic car rental for the three days – fantastic value. The extremely unattractive location of this (and most) hotels and resorts between Malaga and Sotogrande has been already noted by other contributors, but this is probably not relevant for the sun-seekers who populate this coast that rarely fails to deliver great weather. We had a two-bed apartment that really was superb, comfortable beds, crisp linen, spotless bathrooms and a well-equipped lounge/kitchen separating the bedrooms. The place was about half-full so it was easy to enjoy the many amenities throughout the resort (principally, the various pools, beach beds, gaming areas, etc). However, I’d say this would dramatically change in high season. Like many Marriott resorts, the eating opportunities are extremely limited, but, again, it being low season, we were easily accommodated in the somewhat drab-looking restaurant where the food, by contrast, was great and not unreasonably-priced - €77 for two steak dinners. To avail of our deal, of course, we had to present ourselves at the Marrriott Preview Centre which is located a few hundred yards away from the Resort proper. It is a slick operation, operated by well-trained salespeople who, like dedicated cult members, seem to genuinely believe that a Timeshare is something everyone should have before they die and that a Marriott Timeshare in the only true timeshare that will get you into heaven. Because if you sign up with Marriott not only do you annually get a bundle of Marriott Award Points (MAPs) but you get an extra bonus bundle of points (150,000 of them) for signing up that day. And, on top of all that, as a Marriott Owner, you’ll also qualify for endless week-long Getaways through an agency called Interval International. (Quick…where do I sign?!) For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing 90 minutes of this non-stop blather, allow me to highlight a few clarifications: 1) Don’t believe that the bonus points package won’t be available the next day (or the next week) because it will, so take your time. 2) You only receive your annual bonus points if you don’t use your Timeshare week in any particular year, and in most Marriott Resorts you can only trade your week for MAPs (usually 100,000) every second year (and always remember that you have to pay an annual maintenance charge at your resort which, surprise, surprise, roughly equals the bundle of points you are then “awarded”. 3) MAPs do have a real value (approx.1 cent per point), but rather than trying to accumulate them over years in order to cash them in for alleged freebies offered in the Preview Centre (like business-class tickets and free stays in other Marriott hotels), you can usually buy a Marriott timeshare on line (check Ebay) for significantly less than Marriott will charge you, and from the saving buy your business-class tickets straight away! You won’t qualify for MAPs but, as a property owner, you’ll still be able to join Interval International for the seriously-discounted Getaways (probably to some other sucker’s Timeshare!). A Timeshare week in the Marriott Andaluz would cost you just over €31,000, and close to €1,000 a year maintenance. If you have lots of young kids and lots of money and must holiday on a particular week each year, you could make a good case for going through the hoops to get one. But if you don’t, forget it. Just wait for the promotional offer to come through your letterbox, and when you get to the Preview Centre try to keep a straight face!

  • Liked — Five star bedroom accommodation and bathroom facilities,
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach , Ca
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2008

We have just returned from an excellent stay at the Marriot Andaluza and had a great time. The hotel is part of the Marriot vacation club so all rooms are ethier 2 or 3 bedrooms. I do think they have a few lockout units but I have read from other tripadvisors that they are very small. We stayed in the two bedroom. The condo was great. Everything you need is there encluding a glass pitcher to make Sangera (which we did everynight). The bathrooms are large. They are doing construction on there last aset of rooms but it is all inside decorating so you do not hear a thing. All the pools are great. They have a great pool for the kids and a very relaxing pool for Adults. If you are looking to find a great beach this is not the place for you. Although they had nice lounge chairs, the sand is a bit rocky. The do have a greatplace to dine and also a market.
I suggest renting a car. It is quiet far from nightlife and sightseeing. Driving inthe area is not bad at all. At first its hard to get used to the around abouts. After a few drives you will be fine. Thdy do have alot of excursions and tours but we did it on our own. Ask at the desk and they will give you great directions for any where you want to go. Make sure to go there when it is not raining. Not much to do there when the weather is bad(our first two days we had down pours of rain).

  • Liked — The veiws
  • Disliked — The beach
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
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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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Estepona
#1 Family Hotel in Estepona
#2 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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