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Luxury Living in Marbella

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This was my first visit to Marbella, after hearing so many wonderful things I wasn't disappointed. Our accommodation had been arranged for us at the Marbella Club. Everything you need in an enclosed compound. The perfect holiday hotel if you are visiting with children.

The Marbella Club was established in 1954 by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe. It opened with eighteen bedrooms. The hotel now boasts eighty-four bedrooms and thirty-seven suites and there are fourteen villas with their own gardens and pools. Prince Alfonso was looking for a playground for himself and the young smart jet set he hung out with. The atmosphere in the early days of the Marbella Club has been described as "one long weekend party". The Marbella Club quickly became sought after by aristocrats, pop stars, artists, royalty and politicians, and to this day it still is a true haven from the cares of the world.

The Club has two restaurants, a bar and three swimming pools, a spa and a golf course.

Count Rudi is the first person I encounter as I enter the Club's famous Grill terrace. He very graciously guided me round the most wonderful buffet of the finest food. We enjoyed a sumptuous lunch al fresco. Count Rudi is an absolute treasure and a great character. Count Rudi is a cousin of the late Prince Alfonso. He was employed at the Marbella Club to bring a new era of professionalism to the hotel. And he certainly did that, transforming it from the Prince's playground to its current status as one of the world's most famous hotels.

The spacious rooms are tastefully decorated in an understated manner, in natural colours and fabrics that reflect the landscape and the Mediterranean Sea outside. Everywhere is subtle elegance. The marble tiled bathrooms have separate showers and baths. The furnished balcony affords views of the sumptuous gardens and great sea views.

Marbella Club has to be the most discreet, private hotel in Marbella. It's very glamorous, indulgent and great fun. It still attracts a well-to-do wealthy crowd, plus t he proximity of the beach is perfect.

Prince Alfonso described Marbella Club as "this small paradise on earth", and indeed it is.

Top tip: The staff are excellent, be sure to use their knowledge. Without doubt the service the staff provide is truly outstanding, especially around the pool.

Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, Bulevar Principle Alfonso von Hehenlohe, 29600 Marbella, Espana

www.marbellaclub.com/welcome.html