This is our review of the Melia Marbella Banus hotel, operated by Melia hotels international. This 4* hotel is hotel located in the upmarket area of Puerto Banus in Marbella.
On arrival at the hotel we were welcomed by a bell boy who took our luggage and led us into the lobby which is bright and modern.
Checking in was fast and efficient, the receptionist as very welcoming and explained our dining arrangements and where our rooms were located.
The was a children’s check in area where they get a special check in and gift but our children did not get this which was very disappointing as the hotel seems to segregate children based on the room booking, I will cover this in more detail later in the review.
Our two rooms were on the 2nd floor, we booked this rooms as we didn’t want a ground floor room which is where the Kids and Co rooms are located, that Melia have created for families.
In their Kids and Co room bookings children get to check in at their own check in desk and receive their own amenity kid, passport, baseball hat, children’s towels and milk and cookies each day at 4pm.
However as our room was on the second floor our two children aged 5 and 7 did not receive any of these gifts which upset them especially when they could see other children at the pool with these complimentary extras. Given that the cost to Melia would be minimal not giving the gifts to all young children at the resort is a mistake and that’s what sets good hotels and great hotel’s apart.
The rooms were a very good size with plenty of space with 2 double beds and were very clean and well maintained. However some of the interior furnishings could do with modernisation.
Our room had a lovely balcony with a great view overlooking the gardens and free form pool and waterfalls. This was the view from our room.
The bathroom was spotlessly clean and a good size with 2 sinks, a shower over the bath a toilet and bidet. It would have been nice if there was a separate shower and bath but this is just a small criticism.
Toiletries for the first 2 days were standard Melia toiletries, however we did get luxury Lowe toiletries for the rest of our stay which were fantastic and smelt amazing.
On our second day we had bathrobes and slippers left in our 2 rooms which was a nice touch.
The mini bar in the room was well stocked but as in all hotels you would be paying a premium for the convenience, however it could also be used to store any drinks and snacks we purchased for the girls from a nearby supermarket. What was lacking from the room was tea or coffee making facilities that you would have come to expect from a 4* hotel.
The room has a large wardrobe with a good amount of hangers, and also 4 shelves so we had plenty of space to store our clothes. Within the wardrobe the safe was also located, the only downside of the safe was that to use it you had to use your credit card to lock it and open it, which resulted in us having to hide the credit card we used in the room which really should have been in the safe! The safe was large enough to store ipads but not a laptop. If you do intend to do any work in your rooms then this can be a problem as there are no desks in the room and very few electrical sockets
Soundproofing of the rooms is also very poor. The hotel should where possible keep the party guests and those with families apart as it is not great when you are awoken during the night by drunk guests arriving back in their rooms, especially for a hotel that is aiming at the family market.
Wifi was complementary and speeds were great during our stay, the coverage of the wifi was also excellent with no blackspots across the hotel, so if you wanted to go online by the pool the Wifi was up to the task.
The hotel had a decent size TV that had lots of channels with the majority of them Spanish, however the girls loved watching the Disney channel in Spanish! The only English channels were BBC and a range of English news channels such as CNN, SKY News International etc.
During our stay was my parents anniversary and daughter’s birthday and the hotel surprised us with a bottle of cava and chocolate dipped fruit for their anniversary.
The hotel management also sent us a chocolate cake and sweets for my daughter’s birthday. All lovely touches from the hotel staff.
For adults only there was a section called the level which offered upgraded rooms and an executive lounge offering complimentary drinks and snacks. This is where the hotel could do better. We have been to lots of hotels around the world which offers upgraded rooms for families and access to an executive lounge and this is where I think the hotel has a tendency to aim its primary focus for the adults only market over families.
The hotel has 3 tennis courts, one full size and 2 smaller courts. As our children are keen tennis players we made good use of the courts. If you brought your own rackets the courts are free to use otherwise there is a charge of 4 euros per hour. These are pictures of the tennis facilities.
The hotel has 3 pools. One is for infants, and another fantastic freeform pool with waterfalls which is where we spent most of our time.
Our girls loved the free form pool and spent hours there each day improving their swimming in the process.
They also loved going under the waterfalls in their inflatable lounger, however after 5 days of using this every day our daughter’s were pulled put of the pool on their lounger as we were told that these are not allowed in the pool.
The other problem and perhaps why the pool was so quiet was because it was not heated. We visited at the end of May/beginning of June with temperatures of around 28-29 degrees each day and the pool was very cold initially although it did start to warm later in the afternoon but was still very cold.
This could by why the indoor pool was so popular as this was the only heated pool at the hotel.
Pool cleanliness was also an issue we have stayed at hotels previously and each night the pool would have a thorough clean, at the Melia Banus this did not happen and the pool was dirty in some areas which is a shame.
However these are very over critical points and overall the pool and the grounds are fantastic.
The adult’s only pool is a good size and around this pool you could hire a private cabana for 90 euros a day which came with snacks and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne, so for the Puerto Banus area this seemed like good value.
There is a small children’s pool and small children’s playpark but overall the hotel needs more facilities for children and the family market.
There were lots of padded sun loungers around the pool and we never had any problems getting any loungers.
In the beach hut by the free form pool which opened at 10am you would get your complimentary towels for the pool for the day.
There was no pool service at the hotel for drinks so you had to walk to the beach bar to get your drinks.
These were reasonably priced for a 4* hotel, glass of beer was 4 euros and a glass of cava was 4 euros 50. The girls liked what the bar staff did with the soft drinks where they create a cocktail style drink in a bag with ice and straws.
If you are feeling energetic during your stay there is a small gym at the hotel.
Food and drink
We were on a half board basis and the breakfast buffet in the morning had a wide selection of hot and cold options, from pastries and cereals to fresh fruit. There was also a station where you could order eggs and omelettes cooked to your requirements. A picture of the breakfast is below.
In the evening there is an evening buffet for guests on a half board basis, although the selection of food on offer is limited the quality is very good. You can choose steaks, chicken, lamb, pork and fresh fish cooked to order but the downside for us was the lack of choice of side options to go with the mains which was disappointing for a good 4* hotel.
For children there is no children’s counter and the selection from the buffet is very very limited, however the chef will cook fresh to order any dish for your children, so our girls had pizza, noodles and chicken, chicken nuggets, burger during their stay.
What the Melia Banus could do better is promoting to families that this is an option as they do not do this very well when this offering should be one of their main selling points for the family market.
Evening entertainment needs some rethinking by Melia as there is no entertainment, which is a shame especially for parents trying to entertain children.
I know the hotel is close to Puerto Banus but not all guests want to go into Puerto Banus harbour or Marbella and party. If the hotel did offer entertainment in the evening this would be a welcome addition.
The Melia Marbella Banus is located on the eastern side of Puerto Banus which is the quieter end of the resort, and the hotel is close to the Playa Verde beach and just a pleasant 5-10 minute walk along the promenade into the centre of Puerto Banus, with it’s luxury yachts, great restaurants and designer shopping (you can read our review of Puerto Banus here).
There is also a fantastic Corte De Ingles in Puerto Banus which puts our department stores in the UK to shame. It’s what a great department store should be like and the only rivals in the UK to it would be the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.
The Melia Marbella Banus is a very well accomplished hotel in a fantastic part of Spain but needs to do more for the family audience to make it a great hotel, namely treating all children the same, having evening entertainment and day time activities. On our last evening the hotel provided us with the Melia soft toy from Kids and Co which the girls thought was fantastic, it’s just a shame that they didn’t get this on check-in.
We would definitely recommend this hotel for families but in the off season there is no children’s activities or entertainment.
Despite these issues we liked the Melia Marbella Banus and the area of Puerto Banus and would like to return in the future with a hope that some of the small issues that we identified had been addressed.