The hotel of choice for royalty and movie stars alike for the past 60 years, the Marbella Club is the grande old dame of the Costa del Sol. Now, the enormous Villa del Mar, once the venue for legendary parties, is available to rent.

As the biggest villa within a hotel anywhere in Europe, it's a haven for families. There are four huge entertaining rooms, three suites (one with two double bedrooms) plus two more double bedrooms, protected from prying eyes by acres of lush garden.

The sleek, contemporary kids' club is the daddy here, and there's also a fully supervised pool. Younger ones can fly kites, make bracelets, go on a treasure hunt, learn how to cook, create a perfume, and paint and throw pots, while older kids can practise flamenco or salsa, and play in a band.


WOW FACTOR: The villa itself is built around one of Spain's most beautiful,  tiled courtyards, with fountains, scented jasmine, flowers and ancient cypress trees.

GO: A double room costs from £340 per night, B&B, while Villa del Mar starts at £17,375 per night;

FLIGHT TIME: 2 hours, 45 minutes.