Our Clickstay apartment getaway started the moment we hit that ‘request booking‘ button and got the email confirmation that the owner had accepted it. What followed was emails from the owner with all the details we would need for our stay as well as including all the vital information about how we get into our apartment. Included was everything we would need to know to make our trip more comfortable, from how to set the air conditioning to a Spanish food guide which was a handy file to look at on my phone during a restaurant visit when we were trying to translate what was on the menu.
So before we had even reached the door to our apartment, we were already impressed by what we had received communication-wise from the owner and we had no worries at all surrounding our accommodation, which was great because we really needed this Winter Sun getaway for some much needed R&R and didn’t want to be stressed out about anything.
When we got into our pre-booked taxi at Malaga airport, I sent a message to our point of contact Paola who would be letting us in and showing us around the apartment. She met us at the front gate, and from there we walked along a path adorned with some stunning flowers and trees to our apartment which was only a few minutes away from the entrance to the complex.
We were then shown from room to room, from gadget to gadget and then leaving the rest of the family to explore and pick out their beds, Paola gave me a tour of the grounds and showed me how the keys also let us through the gates to the swimming pool and for the gated access to the beach. By this point I thought what a fantastic secure location we had landed in for our holiday, the fact there are locked gates to the swimming pool meant I didn’t need to worry about Dylan running off and getting himself into trouble, his autism means he has no danger awareness whatsoever. I was comfortable with the fact my family were secure in the complex knowing that there was a 24-hour guard at the front desk and anyone coming off the beach needed key access to get through.
The apartment starts with the hallway with a kitchen to the side with access to an outroom which has the washing machine and some cleaning equipment as well as a sink. This room is ideal for cleaning off after a trip to the beach with the kids and storing your inflatables for the pool. As it was a winter getaway and we were travelling light we didn’t take anything for the beach so was chuffed to find a cupboard full of buckets and spades which we thought was an excellent touch for those staying in the apartment with kids. The kitchen has everything you need to cook as well as a spacious fridge and freezer; we only needed one trip to the supermarket to stock up on the essentials for the week.
You then have the living room with a dining area; the whole area had plenty of adequate seating for the 5 of us. In these rooms you’ll find the information pack complete with the wi-fi password, we were impressed with the speed of the internet and how it handled the several devices we had connected to it by the end of our stay. The TV comes with a few English channels including a kids channel, under the tv you’ll find a stereo and a DVD player and some books.
Straight ahead off the living room, you have the main veranda with a view of the swimming pool to the right. The fact we’re on the lower ground meant no worrying about the little ones close to the edge, again handy for a family like us who has a child unaware of dangers. There’s a large enough table along with chairs to host a feast outside on a warm night; we found the children on the warmer days during our winter escape enjoying their lunch here.
Towards the bedrooms area, you have what I would call the main bathroom, both the apartment bathrooms look the same with a toilet, bidet, sink and bath with overhead shower. The twin bedroom is just next door and knowing that we had three children coming with us, they had kindly put up a camp bed for us, this was easy to move around which was handy as on the second night our middle child wanted to sleep in our room. There’s also a balcony coming off the twin bedroom room as well as plenty of wardrobe and drawer space for all the children’s clothes and accessories. The kids were quite happy with their beds and had no complaints about their sleeping area.
The main bedroom had the comfiest of beds, and we looked forward to climbing into that bed at the end of each day, it was one of the best mattresses we’ve experienced so far in an apartment stay. The interior had a calming and relaxing effect which continued throughout the whole property; the paintings were a nice touch without being too in your face. There was plenty of space in the wardrobe for mine and the man’s items; there was also the room under the bed to pop our suitcases out the way. This room comes with the en-suite which has the same features as the other bathroom.
Coming out of the front door and walking around the corner you have the gate to the swimming pool; once through this, you’re greeted by a couple of stunning swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens. We sadly didn’t get round to having a dip in the pool during our stay, but it’s one of the reasons why I would love to return.
Leaving the complex and going just across the road, you have the tennis courts and playground. If you haven’t got the key to hand for this, ask the person in the security room who will let you into the area. We didn’t know about this until we arrived and Paola mentioned to us that there was a park across the way. It was so much more than what we expected; there were swings, climbing frames and plenty of slides for my slide loving children to have fun on, the kids could have easily spent all day in that park. Perfect spot for a picnic one afternoon, don’t you think so? There were bins provided as well as a couple of benches for us to sit on and soak up the sun while the kids entertained themselves.
It is a beachside apartment, but with added privacy, you just head towards the locked door which once through will give you a path to follow for about 5 minutes that will bring you out on to the beautiful sandy beach. You’ll find this path lit up in the evening if using it in the dark, so no worries about spending the evening in one of the beach restaurants nearby.
I think my favourite thing about the apartment was when I opened up that cupboard in the outroom and found buckets, spades and a ball, the kids were over the moon to discover these. On our last day, we grabbed these sand accessories and enjoyed a fun afternoon at the beach building sandcastles and creating forts, before returning them to the cupboard for the next small guests to enjoy.
When you come off the path to the beach, immediately to your left is Los Cano, an authentic Spanish restaurant. We were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves as we settled at a table looking over the beach and out to the sea, it was a picturesque setting as we tucked into our chosen dishes. The kids had gone for a lasagne each with side orders of garlic bread; we may have had to order more of this garlic bread due to the fact it was just too tasty. The man said his steak was the best he’s ever tastest! A high accolade from a man who’s been eating steak half his life. For me, I’m still crushing over the Gambas Pil-Pil (garlic prawns) that I enjoyed with some warm bread. The staff was incredibly friendly; the kids got given some lollypops which was a nice touch. The drinks continued to flow as we watched the sun set over what had been another fantastic day in Marbella.
I was slightly nervous about our stay in Marbella mainly because we were choosing not to hire a car for this trip. But I shouldn’t have been, everything we needed was right on our doorstep. The supermarket was around a 15-minute walk from the apartment complex, and it sold everything a family could need, especially important if like us you’re travelling with a child who has a restrictive diet. Just a few minutes along from the supermarket is a bus stop where we grabbed a bus to Old Town Marbella and back again for just a couple of euros each.
I have never stayed in such a convenient holiday spot before, a self-catering apartment near both a beach and supermarket with excellent transport links is rare to find. It only took us 45 minutes after jumping in our pre-booked taxi at the airport to get to Alicate Playa. The apartment was clean, tidy and there was not a single occasion during our stay where we needed something that wasn’t there, we found extra plug adapters and plenty of towels. The shower pressure was spot on, never good to have one that just dribbles the water through especially when you’re trying to get sand off the children. Air conditioning was easy enough to use and was appreciated on the slightly warmer mornings and colder nights. There was a washing machine with simple instructions which we would have used if we were staying longer in the apartment.
It was genuinely an enjoyable stay, and we have no hesitation in recommending Alicate Playa to parents/special needs parents or even as a couples getaway; I know without the children we would be spending much more time by that pool and in one of the beach restaurants. We think it is reasonably priced for a two bedroom apartment with swimming pools in a location which puts you right near those essential amenities and that stunning Marbella beach.