International Experience – Marbella – Don Carlos Resort & Spa FAM Trip

Venues and Events International Joint Venture Partners
November 5, 2018
Spotlight on…Alex Shipman
November 9, 2018

Earlier this year, Phoebe Scott-Browne had the opportunity to experience the delights of Marbella and what this beautiful city had to offer for potential international events.

Courtesy of Don Carlos Resort, Selenta Group and Experience Box, take a read of Phoebe’s trip and her top tips for event planners considering Marbella as a destination for their next event…

Day 1
After a safe and comfortable flight to Malaga airport from London Heathrow and a comfortable transfer to Marbella we were greeted by the team at the Don Carlos Resort and Spa with welcome drinks in the hotel lobby and introductions to further hosts for the weekend.

We were then shown to our rooms, luggage delivered and waiting, to be greeted with chocolate treats and a lovely sea view from the balcony.

After a short time to freshen up it was time to experience old town Marbella. We enjoyed a typical tapas walking tour in the old town where the whole group explored together from one bar to another, experiencing different types of restaurants, bars and gastronomic specialties – dining like a true local. We also had a stop at an olive oil store for a lesson on what true olive oil tastes like, plenty of bread and extra virgin olive oil here!

Day 2
The second morning, to prepare ourselves for the busy day ahead, we took part in a wake-up activity of yoga before having breakfast in one of the hotels restaurants, Los Naranjos.

We then took a tour of the Don Carlos Resort including Towers, the Meeting and Event spaces (of which there are plenty!), The Oasis Spa and hotel, The Villas, The Gardens, Beach Club, Tennis Court and Gym.

Stopping mid tour for a sangria lesson in the sun we then finished with a beautiful poolside paella lunch at another of the restaurants, Sol y Sombra

That afternoon we headed out to Estepona, with stops to visit some potential off-site venues for group functions: – Finca Amalur, Cortijo de Cortes & Purobeach

Venue overview – key highlights

Don Carlos Resort and Spa

  • 13 multi-purpose rooms where up to 1,000 delegates can meet simultaneously.
  • Open air theme dinners for up to 2,000 delegates.
  • 40,000 m2 of tropical garden.
  • A hydraulic stage for spectacular presentations.
  • All the halls have natural light and some with views of the pool, gardens and the main room with beautiful views of the sea.


Finca Amalur

  • 1 large multi-purpose space ideal for offsite dinners and mind-blowing receptions for up to 450 delegates
  • Open air dinners with breath taking views of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Personal bar
  • More than 40 years’ experience in hosting events
  • Plenty of natural daylight and all in house catering and furnishings



Day 2 (continued)

Once we’d finished the tour of the various function spaces had to offer we boarded our Private charter of “Sea Experience” from Estepona harbour.

The Sea Experience corporate boat offers a capacity of up to 50 passengers with 3 distinct areas and offering experiences such as stand up paddle, kayak, golf at sea, massages, motor water sports and much more

After an afternoon on the water we enjoyed a sunset cocktail at the Orange Beach Club followed by a special tasting dinner at the Orange Beach Club – with a secret surprise of a private flamenco dance group and our very own gin mixologist!

Day 3

On our final morning Experience Box led our team build activity “Hotel Mystery Challenge” –
an intriguing activity for groups, consisting of a combination of a Treasure Hunt, interactive challenges and much more… And all this without having to leave the beautiful grounds of the Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

It was then time for our farewell lunch on the Ombu terrace within the resort.
Before our flight we did manage to sneak a quick trip to the beautiful village of Mijas – one of the jewels of the Costa del Sol. Nestled comfortably in the mountainside at 400 meters above sea level about 10km from the coast.

Many artists and writers have made it their home and you can see why with quaint white washed streets with bursts of flowers displayed everywhere and the incredible views over the country itself. Despite its popularity with tourists Mijas has managed to retain much of its traditional Andalucian way of life, the locals displaying their unabashed passion for all things festive and an unmistakable relaxed outlook. We of course stopped mid tour with some wine tasting within a local wine bar to top the trip off!


The final verdict

Any words to summarise the trip would be an understatement. It really is a location and venue you need to see for yourself and your delegates. I can guarantee everyone will be blown away and talking about it for a long time to come.

There is nothing the venue and staff that work there can’t and won’t do for you, the definition of nothing is too much trouble.

For spectacular scenery, lovely weather, delicious food and the perfect facilities I couldn’t recommend the Don Carlos Resort and Spa enough and Marbella should definitely be a location you consider.