Monday, November 14, 2011

Spain’s Costa del Sol: Trading Places

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We are ‘at home’ this week in Spain’s trendy, modern tourist mecca, the famously over-built Costa del Sol, that stretches for miles along the southern coastline.

malagamarbella 017 Home is a three-bedroom, three-bath unit with kitchen, dining area, living room and deck (with a to-the-side view of the Mediterranean Sea) at the Marriott Marbella Beach Vacation Club. 

We are here, because we quite literally, traded places.

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Three years ago, after a lifetime of saying, ‘We are not timeshare people!’ we purchased a timeshare in Hawaii – a Marriott property – and this year traded one week of our unit there (the small hotel-room-sized side, known as the 'lockoff' in timeshare lingo) for a week here in our spacious Spanish digs. The only cost involved was for the paperwork and administration fee of $169 – a miniscule amount in comparison to renting the same unit for a week.

The trading option helped us when we planned this trip. We designed the itinerary to give us a taste of the old historic Spain, such as we found in our hotels in Sevilla and Osuna, and this stay to experience the hip, modern tourist area on this over-developed, but strikingly beautiful, bit of the Costa del Sol.

malagamarbella 034 We’re based on Playa Elviria, not far from the coastal town of Marbella.  We’ve spent our time exploring nearby towns as Joel maneuvers our 'delivery van' to nearby cities and sites. We return in time for siesta at the pool, beach or room.  We’ve eaten meals out and at home. Shopping for groceries at municipal markets, super markets and even at a roadside fruit stand has been easy and fun.

Our weather hasn't lived up to the area's name though. Costa del Sol, the Sun Coast, has been cloudy the last couple of days, with occasional bits of blue sky. It has rained a couple of times today, so we've been somewhat housebound but with this much space - that has not been a problem. And sunshine is predicted to return tomorrow!

Photos:  Top:  A view of Marbella’s beach, our living room, our unit (bottom floor) and one of several pools on this Marriott property.

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