Costa del Sol: Coastal contenders

There is little to separate the kings of Spain's famous coastline, Marbella and Malaga.

MARBELLA

- Hotels

The Gran Melia Don Pepe hotel, sited on the Golden Mile, has 201 rooms and meeting space for up to 350 people. Set to open later this year, the Mandarin Oriental will offer 153 rooms, a hall accommodating 250 people and smaller rooms for private meetings.

- Venues

The Marbella Fairs and Congress Palace can accommodate 1,600 people and can be split into three halls. For an ocean-side gala event, the boutique-style hotel Los Monteros offers attractive beach club La Cabane, situated around ten minutes from Marbella.

- Restaurants

Michelin-starred restaurants include Calima, El Lago and Skina. For a more relaxed eating experience, enjoy an informal dine-around in Marbella's buzzing marina Puerto Banus, which is flush with restaurants and bars.

- Incentives

Marbella's 50-plus golf courses include El Paraiso, San Roque Club and the Marbella Club Golf Resort. The stunning coastline also offers a wealth of water-sports and horse-riding opportunities. Hotel Puente Romano offers golf, tennis and horse riding.

MALAGA

- Hotels

Due to open in March, Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio will be the city's first five-star hotel, with 101 rooms and a meeting space with capacity for 300 guests. Clients who don't want a resort-style hotel could opt for the four-star, 103-room Molina Lario.

- Venues

The Fairs and Congress Palace of Malaga offers capacity for 2,690 delegates. For smaller events, the Estepona Congress and Expositions Palace has space for up to 250. Launching in autumn 2010, the Art Natura Malaga will house numerous venues.

- Restaurants

For high-end dining, pay a visit to Cafe de Paris, or El Chinitas in central Malaga for an authentic experience. Tropical beach restaurant Tikitano can hold 180 guests in the winter and 250 in the summer, and can provide additional space for entertainment.

- Incentives

Groups can join flamenco dance workshops in the gardens or conference rooms of hotels. To sample authentic Spain, consider organising a wine tasting and tapas tour.

For a taste of culture, a private tour of the Picasso Museum can be arranged.

DIRECTORY
Spanish Tourist Office
Contact: Valentina Beteta
Telephone: 020 7317 2029
Email: valentina.beteta@tourspain.es
Web: www.tourspain.co.uk

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