Looking for luxury and some winter sunshine? Then you should visit Marbella

The villa in all its glory.
The villa in all its glory.
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So what does the word luxury mean to you? When looking for a holiday, a break from the everyday toil and routine, you want to spoil yourself.

Well, to me luxury, would be peace and quiet in a calm and tranquil environment. I don’t want to be governed by a chef telling me my meal times. I don’t want to panic about getting the best sun lounger around the pool. And I don’t want to worry about the cleanliness of the accomodation. I want a comfy bed, tasteful decor and high-end amenities, away from it all and away from routine.

The beautiful Marbella old town.

The beautiful Marbella old town.

What if I could tell you you could have your own landscaped garden to relax in with palm trees, and pick-your-own lemons and oranges straight from the tree. An outdoor pool that’s bigger than my own back garden. A choice of somewhere to lounge, either in the sun, or in the shade. A living room with a wall of glass doors leading into the garden, and a huge sofa that engulfs you when you sit down. Plenty of room for you and all your friends or family.

At maximum capacity, Marbella’s Villa Anja can sleep 16 people. Even with this number of people, you would never feel like you were living on top of each other because the layout allows separate wings off the main central area of living room, dining room and kitchen. In fact, there is a further living room with a giant TV in the basement, which has even more bedrooms leading off, and also a gym, sauna and indoor pool, although you would struggle to swim lengths in there. It has a hot tub and more indoor loungers so, whatever the weather, you can still enjoy the peace and tranquility that this villa has to offer.

So, if 19 people all shared the bill this luxury becomes more affordable and you can save up with your friends for that special occasion.
If you don’t like the idea of having to cook your own meals on your luxury holiday, then panic not. The concierge service has a range of benefits, from catering or personal chefs, to your food shop there ready for when you arrive. They can also ensure you have transport from the airport, either using a shuttle service or with car hire, and they can book you on local trips and group activities.

We had car hire via the Golf Service booked by the concierge direct from the airport, which was a swift process from collecting our cases to a man arriving with our car ready for us to drive away. We had a supply of food in the villa ready for our late arrival, but there is a supermarket within a three minute walk from the villa. There are also several restaurants nearby if you prefer to dine out.

A bedroom at the villa.

A bedroom at the villa.

The concierge recommended we took a tour of the mountains at the other side of Marbella in a new off-road buggy.

This two-hour tour was great fun, but even though you think you are having an off-road experience, these dust tracks were actual roads, which we only realised when we saw a white van on the track behind us. The tour was with Marbella Buggys and went through the mountains of Estepona. It was a picturesque road trip, taking in breathtaking views over to the coast, with plenty of breaks to stop and take some photographs. Visit http://www.marbellabuggys.com to book.

Marbella is about 10km away from Villa Anja, so we made best use of the car hire and drove into the town. We explored the old town’s chic boutiques found along narrow cobbled streets that lead you into plazas full of cafes with tables outside, ideal for relaxing with a coffee or a refreshing beer.

We took a stroll to the bustling seafront via an avenue of Salvador Dali sculptures. The palm tree-lined promenade is full of shops and bars, and goes on for well over a mile.

A catamaran can take you on a stunning trip to Puerto Banus, where there is a full marina of luxury yachts, and the streets are used as a circuit for drivers showing off their supercars. I was more impressed that it had a plaza named after Antonio Banderas, though.

After wandering around all day in the sun I was relieved to get back to the luxury of my villa and take a dip in the outdoor pool, followed by a gin and tonic freshened up by a hand- picked lemon from the garden.

The villa is also well-located to visit the picture-postcard mountain town of Mijas Pueblo, with its whitewashed houses and cobbled shopping streets. It is also famed for its donkey trips – but I didn’t feel comfortable putting the poor creatures through their paces carrying me.

Villa Anja can be booked through the Luxury Villa Collection http://www.theluxuryvillacollection.com where there are many more high end properties within the region, and across Spain.

Villa prices:

- A week in July or August at Villa Anja is priced at £11,500, with a mid-season week in May priced at £8,050 and a week in low season priced £6,325. Visit http://www.theluxuryvillacollection.com/villas/villa-anja/

Travel facts:

- Marisa flew from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Malaga, but there are daily flights from most UK airports. Prices from £90 with Flybe. It’s easy with very little hold-ups, and the lounge has been refurbished ahead of new direct flights to Florida with TUI from next September, as well as four other new routes – Pula (Croatia), Hurghada (Egypt), Kos (Greece) and Bodrum (Turkey). Visit http://www.flydsa.co.uk for more.