Travel & Culture

¡Àndale Àndale!

November 29, 2022

The Costa del Sol region in southern Spain typically gets more than 320 days of sunshine each year, with pleasant weather year-round. In the heart of the area you’ll find Marbella, a longtime holiday hot spot where the average annual temperature hovers around 18.5 C. Earlier this fall, we headed to the beautiful coastal city to experience Club Med’s newest European resort—and discover the surrounding region’s stunning landscapes and many historic sites. —Truc Nguyen

Stay & Play

The very first Club Med resort in Spain welcomed guests in 1950, and the opening of the all-inclusive Club Med Magna Marbella last May marks the company’s return to the country after a two-decade hiatus. The verdant 35-acre property offers 485 guestrooms of varying sizes—including a number of family suites—with scenic views of the Mediterranean sea and the Sierra Blanca mountains. It’s an eco-minded resort that’s working on its Green Globe certification: there are paper cups and straws and minimal single-use plastics, solar panels for water heating, and plans to collect rainwater for the garden. The closest beach is a 10-minute drive from the property, but we were happy to spend our afternoons swimming and sunbathing at the resort’s multiple freshwater pools—a favourite was the heated indoor-outdoor pool located next to the spa, although the Zen infinity pool is a must if you’re looking for an adults-only dip. In addition, as with all Club Med resorts, there is a plethora of athletic and fun activities for all ages, from group fitness classes to archery and flying trapeze lessons.  

See & Do

There’s a lot to do onsite. Set aside some time for a spa visit—we had a relaxing back massage followed by a visit to the hammam and sauna—and check the Club Med app for special activities taking place during your stay. We indulged in a tie-dyeing workshop, and there were wine-tasting and face-painting events that same week. When you’re ready to explore off property, a trip to Marbella’s charming old town is a must. A 20-minute walk from the resort, you’ll find winding cobblestone roads, historic buildings, lively cafés and a host of small boutiques. Near the city centre there are multiple waterfront beach clubs, and weekly handicraft and street markets to explore.  Another nearby must-see is Ronda, a nearby historic town and Andalusian Natural Monument. Take in the spectacular vistas, tour the oldest bullring in the country and shop for local souvenirs on the main street, Carrera Espinel.

Eat & Drink

The two restaurants at Magna Marbella, Suenos and Tierra Gourmet Lounge, offer buffet and à la carte dining options, respectively. The menus feature regional specialities like paella and tapas, and plenty of local ingredients including fresh seafood and Spanish ham. There are three bars at the resort, each offering a range of classic mixed drinks and some tasty alcohol-free cocktails. At the main Rouge Bar, you can listen to live music and enjoy tapas in the early evening before heading to dinner—it’s the perfect spot to chat and relax with your travel companions, or make new friends.

Shop & Talk

Beyond the shops in old town Marbella—highlights include well-priced accessories at Chic Vintage and gourmet gifts at D·Oliva—you’ll find boutiques from luxury fashion houses like Hermès, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton at the nearby port and marina of Puerto Banús. Slightly further afield, fashion lovers might want to make the trip to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Málaga for some retail therapy at Prada, Moncler and Roberto Cavalli—though a new suitcase may be required to haul your bounty home.

clubmed.ca

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