In the heart of the Marbella Club Hotel, and with a special meaning for being the original villa of Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe, lies one of the most fascinating and magical places of our resort. The Kid’s Club, the space created by and for children, has become one of the jewels of the Marbella Club Hotel and a centre worthy of admiration for all families. Creative, fun, original, exciting and with an exquisite attention to detail we had the opportunity to chat with Marta Arrese, who takes care of the day-to-day running of the Kid’s Club. A charming, cheerful and caring person, Marta explains to us what makes the Kid’s Club at Marbella Club Hotel such a unique concept in children’s entertainment on an international scale in the hotel industry.
What is the Kid’s Club?
In a way, the Kid’s Club is the heart and soul of Marbella Club Hotel, given that it is based in what was the residence of the Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe. But above all, the Kid’s Club is a place where children can spend an unforgettable time, experience new things, play and have fun.
When was the Kid’s Club created and when did it first open to the public?
The Marbella Club has always had a place specially for children at its hotel, which already contained some of the elements which now make up the Kid’s Club. Then, a few years ago, the idea came up of creating a place, like no other in the world, specially dedicated to children. This place would not only make use again of 5,000 m2 of land which was hidden between the centuries-old trees and gardens of the Hotel, but also evoke the spirit of the 60s, when the Prince, who loved having a house full of kids, organized fun parties at his residence. It all finally came to life in summer 2013.
What are the principles and values on which the Kid’s Club is built?
It is a traditional blend of ingredients which always make for a healthy outlook on life. Seeing the world children live in as a place to let them be themselves, explore, discover and experiment while playing. To facilitate this, we created an environment which is relaxed, simple and friendly, so that the children feel comfortable. Another key factor is the team; a group of monitors who are highly motivated and who carry out a vocational role, fulfilling their position as ‘facilitators’, guiding and encouraging the children to discover for themselves while playing. Lastly, the idea behind the philosophy is a true homage to the principle of DIY, or should we say DIT (Do It Together) which is so important to children. We cook, recycle, experiment, make potions…in fact, we have a go at many different things, sometimes they work, other times they don’t, but the important thing is that the process is also seen as a form of playing and above all a fun way of learning.
Since its inception, how has it grown and what changes have been made to the Kid’s Club?
In our constant search for excellence and attention to detail, fundamental characteristics of Marbella Club Hotel, the Kid’s Club has taken on some changes which we hope will make for an even more unique experience for the children and their families, expanding our activities programme, together with our opening times. The main improvement has been to open the Club outside of school holiday time, with a programme of activities for mornings, after-school activities and weekends. It is a constantly evolving project, as we strive to offer the best possible service.
Can we mention some of the areas which make up the Kid’s Club? Of all the activities which take place at the Kid’s Club, which is the most popular among the children?
The main areas which we focus on at the Kid’s Club are art and crafts, the Perfume Laboratory, the experiments, cooking, games and sports. But we also dedicate some time to dance, gardening, costume-making, and story-telling. That’s about all for now, until new inspiration hits us!
Strangely enough, one of the activities which all the kids get excited about is the pottery class, which takes place every week. The children also enjoy the activities connected to aromas; making perfume, candles, soaps and air fresheners for the home. They love it! And of course, we can’t leave out the cooking workshops, where they can practice creating different sweet and savoury dishes, with ingredients which depend on the time of year.
What does it mean to you to be able to work in an environment which, in the past, was the old villa of the Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe?
It is not only a beautiful place in which to work, but it also has a special and vibrant energy which inspires and connects everybody. It’s a real joy!
What is your favourite time of the year at the Kid’s Club?
I have to admit that I absolutely love Christmas. Despite being one of the coldest times of the year, meaning that we can’t enjoy the outside as much as we would like, Christmas is always a magical time and even more so at Marbella Club. At the Club, the children are part and parcel. They make marzipan and other typical Spanish sweets, make presents for their loved ones, wrap them, and decorate them with specially made gift tags. We even organize our own little charity market. In the afternoons, we drink hot chocolate in the Kitchen Garage, and eat some typical polvorones (a type of shortbread). Even some parents can’t resist joining us!
Tell us about the membership programme of the Kid’s Club and the benefits it brings.
There’s no doubt that the Kid’s Club at Marbella Club Hotel is the most prestigious on the Costa del Sol. We have a membership programme with a restricted number of places for residents on the Costa del Sol and for those who regularly visit Marbella.
Among the many benefits on offer to our members is that they can enjoy the different services offered by the Hotel in what is the unrivalled setting of Marbella Club Hotel. This includes access to the gym, free use of the water area of the Spa, chance to participate in the weekly wellness programme, discounts on treatments, free use of the sun loungers at the Beach Club and much more.
What other activities and events can be held at the Kid’s Club?
At the Kid’s Club, we also organize parties and special events for children. Some are organized by ourselves at the Club, such as the Halloween party, the Christmas market or the Easter egg hunt. At these events, the families are welcome.
Regarding organization of private children’s events, the Kid’s Club at Marbella Club Hotel is without doubt one of the most exclusive places on the Costa del Sol. We design specially tailored events, such as birthday parties, baby showers, themed parties, activities, entertainment, decoration, and so on.
What is most rewarding about working with children?
Working with children forces you to never lose sight of the little child inside yourself; a really important part of us which most adults forget about, and whose function is none other than to make our lives a happier place. Enjoy surprises. Get excited about small things. Experiment, make mistakes and see that in the end it doesn’t matter. Smile, and even better, fall about laughing and scream out loud… and above all, keep things simple. It’s just a small lesson from which all of us should learn.