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I simply could not resist the promise of an excellent buffet dinner for just ten euro. The promise was too much. What a pity that the reality doesn't live up to it.
The Gran Hotel Guadalpin's Aralia restaurant, which hosts the Buffet Mania, is a beautiful restaurant with attentive and pleasant staff. Unfortunately I think that it is not suited to buffet and if it were to be successful in the buffet arena then it needs to provide a lot more food, and a greater variety.
At present the buffet consists of a selection of salads, cold meats, and various fish carpaccio as a salad/starter course. Generally there are three bowls of pre-prepared salads in addition to the standard salad fare (e.g. olives, shredded carrot, pickles, boiled eggs etc).
There is one soup each evening and only once in two weeks did I find it wonderful (that was one night when they served a really good seafood chowder).
Following this is a selection of hot meals as follows - one pasta with sauce, one paella, one fish dish, one meat dish, vegetable selections. One could also order "from the grill" - the usual choice was veal steak, chicken, or fish.
There simply wasn't sufficient choice. I had booked the buffet for two weeks but ate there only 6 nights and even at that found it way too boring.
The desserts were ok, nothing to write home about - a selection of pretty cakes that did not vary in any real respect.
At €10 per guest when booked with your holiday it represents great value for money if you can handle the monotony. However, it jumps to €25 a guest outside of the special package deal.
Updated Jun 13, 2009
Address: Boulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, 29600 Mar
Phone: +34 952 89 94 03
Hestia is a delightful little tapas bar right on the seafront in central Marbella. It looks a bit like a very comfortable outdoor conservatory, furnished as it is with luxurious white painted furniture.
Inside it's equally as pretty, whitewashed and with electric blue cushions.
Outside, blackboards advertise the specials of the day, the time of the next soccer match, and the cocktail offers.
We were out for a walk around 6pm and the heat was still searing, so we stopped for a cool drink. The tapas appearing at adjoining tables was too tempting to resist, so we ordered two little platters. First came a dish of four big juicy grilled prawns with a lime dressing and wedges of lime. Then came two giant mushroom caps stuffed with ham and chorizo and veg. Both left a longing for more. The tapas list was vast and I was only sorry I was heading out to dinner later.
The price for the two tapas, one large bottle of sparkling water, and one beer, was just €7.00. I was pleasantly amazed.
Service was very pleasant and prompt.
Written Jun 12, 2009
I've been trying to get to stay in the Marbella Club for years, but for one reason or other I've always been thwarted at the last minute.
This time I decided to settle for dinner in the grill and it was a worthy alternative.
Marbella Club is a magical place in general, and the grill restaurant is even more fairytale in nature than the hotel itself. Tables are pristinely set and situated under the trees by trickling streams in the gardens. Medieval looking candles flicker and wane in elaborate multi branched candelabras under the trees. waiters are altogether pleasant and susprisingly unofficious. I encountered snobbery among waiters in far lesser establishments in Marbella!
Dry Martinis were served with a smile and the sommelier appeared at my side to assist with the wine. he didn't mind that I wanted a white with my rare steak and recommended a fine Torres private collection at €84 a bottle. Yes, it was very pricy, but fabulous. I had a similar Spanish wine about 15 or more years ago and had been searching for it ever since.
My bill totalled a tiny bit short of €300 for two people, but remember where you are and that €84 bottle of wine and you'll know it was worth every penny.
It's generally a great place for star spotting, though we saw none that we recognised.Mar
Favorite Dish: I started with the foie gras - pan fried, perfectly caremalised on the outside and melt in the mouth inside. It was served on a bed of pureed lentils but I would have preferred it without, as I don't really like lentils. However, overall I loved the dish.
This was followed by a rare steak, which wasn't as rare as I would have liked though I think the chef knew what he was doing as I just loved it.
The dessert, a grand marnier souffle, was the piece de resistance and served with the grand marnier sauce on the side. It was so heady with liquor that I might have been drunk on the dessert alone:-)
Written Jun 10, 2009
Address: Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, 29600 Marb
Phone: +34 95 282 2211
It's almost impossible to believe that this truly divine combination of restaurant/bar/club has been open for just six weeks now (as at 1st June, 2009). Everything about this place is so sublime that one would think it was the most established, most in demand restaurant in Marbella.
I came across it quite by accident when taking my usual after dinner evening stroll. It's about 200 metres from the hotel we stayed in, the Guadalpin Marbella, and I had seen it when driving past or walking on other occasions. It always appeared to be bubbling over with an effervescent clientele who emerged from Bentleys and Porches, so being a Glamour-seeker I just had to explore and see what it was all about.
I took a chance on turning up without a reservation. I was lucky - it was a Monday, they weren't booked out, and the liveried doorman took a shine to us.
We were quickly seated at a lovely table just back from the window. There were outside tables but I preferred to be in away from the street noise.
The decor and atmosphere are definitely exhuding a theme of ultimate luxury with lots or royal blue, gold, strong dark woods, and polo pictures everywhere. The ceiling is set with stars and the music is live but unintrusive.
Groups sat in comfortable sink-inito lounge chairs and sipped gin, laughing and talking and clearly having fun. Others were seated, like us, for dinner. There was an array of ages but all were well dressed and elegant.
Favorite Dish: If I was transported by the atmosphere and the decor, then I believed I must truly be in heaven when I read the menu. Having then ordered, and eaten the food, I wished I had discovered this place on the first day of my holiday, not the penultimate.
A tiny cornet of creamed cheese and garnish preceded my starter of Cornish crab ravioli - a wonderful warm and generous plate of delectable home made crab ravioli in a bisque like sauce that was perfect from start to finish and burst with seafood flavour.
My main course was even nicer, if that can be believed. From a great choice, I opted for the John Dory which was presented with an open morel mushroom ravioli and scallops - such a combination of flavours, each complimenting the other. It was served with a tiny casserole of spinach, one of my favourite vegetables.
We were quite full at this stage, but could not pass on dessert for fear of missing out. We shared the souffle of banana and cognac served with home made vanilla pod ice cream.
Just let me get back there really soon. If they maintain these standards then they will soon start clocking up awards and michelin stars - then you may forget about a reservation, even on a quiet Monday night:-)
One more thing - they serve the best pan fried foie gras in all of Marbella (that is, from what I have tasted!!).
Updated Jun 7, 2009
Address: Boulevar Principe Alfonso Von Hohenlohe, 29600, Ma
Phone: 952 900380
I was lucky to visit Tai Pan in marbella (puerto banus area). never tasted anything like their food. food and service was outstanding. the restaurant is situated underneath the Puente Romano hotel overlooking the tranquill swimming pool that was surounded by palm trees. simply beautiful. early booking is recommended.
Favorite Dish: special fried rice wrapped in lotus leaves and the roast duck.
Written Jul 30, 2006
Address: Puente Roamano, fase 2, 29600 marbella
Phone: 0034 952 777 893
This restaurant also serves superb food, not only spanish dishes but also international ones. The food is homemade style, very well done and presented.
It has a nice romantic ambiance, with a patio with tables outside , surrounded by bouganvilias. It's advised to book in advance as it usually gets full.
Favorite Dish: The duck and the roasted pig.
Updated Jul 27, 2006
Address: Carretera de Cádiz, Km 176, Urbanización Villapar
Phone: +34 95 2867599
The " Chiringuitos" are small restaurnats on the beach, serving tapas and food. This Chiringuito is an incredible place, family owned , with an open air setting under a tached roof.
They serve calamari, shrimp al ajillo, and other fish an seafood, very well prepared and always very fresh. Their sangria is excellent and the homemade french fries are the best I ever had!
Favorite Dish: Love everything here!
Written Jul 27, 2006
The Antonio Restaurant is situated in Puerto Banus, the marina. It serves excellent fish and seafood dishes and it's one of the favourites of the people who regularly go to Marbella, or live there.
It has a very nice atmosphere at night, with candle light and the seafood paella is the best I ever had. Everything is very fresh, with a good variety of excellent wines and has also a great service.
Favorite Dish: The seafood paella and the seafood fried mix.
Written Jul 27, 2006
Address: Puerto Jose Banus 29660, Marbella, Malaga.
Phone: 952 81 35 36
This restaurant at the Puente Romano Hotel, besides its fabulous location, in an open air setting, surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees and facing the beach, has delicious food. They serve a large buffet at lunch time. There is a table of salads and cold appetizers, lobster, shrimps, calamari and there is also a barbecue, where you choose the fresh different fish , squid and meats ( filet mignon, veal, lamb chops, etc) which the two chefs grill for you at the moment.
The table of desserts and different kinds of cheese is also a real temptation and a feast to the eyes! It's a bit expensive but well worth the money !
Written Jul 27, 2006
Address: Puente Romano Hotel, Marbella
I ended up eating here twice, Wednesday dinner with Hansi (waalewiener), Lori (loripori) and Kat (keida84) and Thursday lunch with Chris (balfor) and his friend Michelle, joined later by Kay (haldane) and her lovely daughter Keziah.
A few things annoyed me about this place, the 1.5E service charge per person (just another way to rip tourists off!), the price of the drinks and the manager, who looked at awful lot like Andy Garcia, was pretty rude on both visits as were the servers.
Favorite Dish: The food was better than the service (and the company was, of course, superb!) but I imagine there are better places to get Italian food if you get off the touristy boardwalk. Wednesday night I wasn't very hungry so I ordered a fried calamari appetizer which was pretty good but overpriced. Thursday I ordered a seafood pizza which was good and more than I could finish.
Updated May 24, 2006
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