lunes, 31 de marzo de 2008

Child Friendly Weddings

My Grandmother´s generation always used to say that children were to be seen and not heard. How, exactly, do you do that to the littlest ones when they are the only ones that are more excited about the wedding than you?!
They are so enthusiastic about the beautiful dress and about having an important role that it wouldn´t be fair to leave them out when it comes toorganizing the finer details of a memorable event. Some places have a strict no children policy, others will not cater specially for them.
This is not the case with a Spanish Wedding at Hotel Albayzin del Mar where children are just as important as any other guest. For a start, children under the age of 12 stay at the hotel for free with their own bedroom in one of our spacious suites. Then the Chefs have come up with a wedding menu just for them with various options to choose from.
If there are a few families bringing their children along then don´t worry about a thing, let our Mini Club take care of them while you enjoy the celebrations. They will be in good hands and will have all sorts of activities to keep them occupied. The Mini Club also projects Disney movies and offers a computer area complete with broadband connection.
They will definitely remember the hotel as a place to have great fun either within the installations or out and about visiting all the wonderful sights that Almunecar and its surrounding area have to offer.

jueves, 27 de marzo de 2008

Food Glorious Food

When looking for the perfect spot to have your Spanish Wedding it has to tick the right boxes with you and when it comes to making the difference so many people underestimate just how much the food can sway the balance at an event. Food can make the difference from just ok to absolutely amazing!

Unless you can draw directly from you memory, imagine this: the day finally arrives and the venue looks fantastic, eveything is in place and running smoothly, the guests arrive for the cocktail reception and little bits of coloured cardboard and other unidentifiable objects begin to sail past you looking like they have been doing the same circuit for at least a couple of hours. No one seems to know what any of it is but you are feeling peckish and decide to be brave. Just in case you drink some more wine to kill anything nasty that you may have ingested and proceed to the banquet with a feeling of apprehension in your stomach, unsure whether it was caused by the last canapé or the fear of what else is to come out of the kitchen.
You sit down to eat and out rolls the predictable mass produced cold cut starter, fish and meat maincourses smothered in sauces with different names but the same flavour accompanied by overstewed vegetables. You find some respite in the lemon and champagne sorbet that divides the fish and meat dish but alas it is short lived, your champagne flute is whisked away before you even get a chance to make loud noises with the straw. To finish you off, sorry I meant to finish off, you are served a slab of rather boring wedding cake. Noooooo!!

Think that I am making it up? If only...

Here at Albayzin del Mar we are passionate about making a difference, this spreads throughout the entire event and the food is most definitely not an exception. All our dishes have been created by our International Executive Chef, Javier Rocca and you couldn´t be in safer hands. Hailed from early on in his career as someone who would reach great culinary heights, he has more than lived up to expectations having worked all over the world in some of the most distinguished places accumulating precious experience and awards along the way.

We are proud to be able to offer guests the benefit of his expertise and encouraged him to create a selection of delicious Canapés, Fish dishes, Meat dishes and yummy desserts for you to choose from.
The wedding banquet is tailor made to suit your needs. It can be as short or as long as you want and we love to hear your thoughts. If there are vegetarians or guests with food allergies we can cater especially for them and have also elaborated special menus for the little ones.
Your guests can be greeted with an aperitif reception by the fountains, with staff serving stunning canapés that delight all five senses and cater for everyones tastes. The banquet can be held outside in the private tropical gardens to make the most of the balmy subtropical climate. If the weather refuses to collaborate (a rare occurence indeed) there is no need to worry, we always take into account numbers and weather factors and make sure there is an alternative space for the party should the need arise.

If you are interested in learning more about all the wonderful things Albayzin del Mar can do for you, contact their Events Department where friendly staff are always ready to help.

Bon Appetit!

martes, 25 de marzo de 2008

Destination Proposals

When people ask how you met it is always great to have an amazing story. Even though they say that you only get one chance to create a first impression you have forever to make lots of special memories together and the proposal is one such moment.

I have always loved the idea of a romantic destination proposal and am not surprised that it is becoming more and more popular. The idea of making your proposal truly memorable by taking advantage of the relaxed atmosphere of a holiday in Spain that you planned together and are both looking forward to or,even more romantic and special, by whisking them away on a surprise trip to a romantic location is a great idea. Hotel Albayzin del Mar is an ideal location for such a trip and provides not only a stunning back drop for your proposal but an ideal venue for you to celebrate the perfect wedding and come back to visit in years to come. Stroll around the beautiful and historic white washed town of Almunecar. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and scenery and explore everything this stunning area of the Costa Tropical del Sol has to offer.
Our friendly staff and events planners can help you get it all into place before you arrive making sure that it all runs smoothly. Flowers and Fresh fruit on arrival? A romantic dinner for two made by our talented chef? A private spot in the tropical gardens of our Leisure Island? No problem! We will do our best to make it a moment for you both to remember.

viernes, 21 de marzo de 2008


Football finals and important holidays are not the best dates to fix a wedding and Easter holiday in Spain definitely falls into the important holiday category, have you ever experienced Easter in Spain? If the answer is no, what are you waiting for? The Hotel Albayzin del Mar offers an excellent place for tourists to stay as it is literally two minutes away from the main procession route and yet offers guests the chance to escape into a haven of peace and tranquility within its walls. Sunbathe by the private pool in the tropical gardens, go down to the beach or join in the celebrations, the choice is yours.

As I write this our Easter celebrations are in full swing. So far the weather has been fantastic except for a little thunder storm yesterday that slowed the processions down but the sun is out today in force and everything feels clean and fresh ready for the spring!

Semana Santa, as it is called here in Spain, is a big event and declared of Cultural Interest. Candelit processions organised by the various Catholic brotherhoods carry heavy ornate throwns bearing the image of Christ or the Virgin Mary from the church, through the crowds. As they sway hypnotically along the narrow streets, members of the general public sing "Saetas" to show their devotion. Each procession is followed by the "Penitentes" dressed in long gowns, the colours of which vary depending on the brotherhood. Their faces are always covered to hide their identity, only their eyes show through glinting in the candlelight that illuminates their way.

Some of the processions are very loud, fire work rockets constantly go off to let people know where abouts they are and a big brass band walks through ahead announcing their arrival accompanied by loud drums which can be heard from a mile away. However there is one procession in particular which takes place late at night and in complete silence. The Penitentes, dressed in black, carry white candles and as they pass slowly by a stillness falls on everything. It is an awe inspiring sight to behold and eery as the only thing that can be heard is the shuffling feet of the Penitentes, the whispered orders of the leader and the laboured breathing of the Thrown bearers as they struggle under the heavy glass and gold transparent coffin containing the image of Jesus Christ.

Whether you are a believer or not it is hard to live Semana Santa in Spain and not be moved by at least some if not all of the beautiful moments it offers tourists.

martes, 18 de marzo de 2008

Traditional Spanish Wedding

Whilst investigating everything weddings on internet I came across an article written by an English journalist who attended a Spanish wedding. Their account of how they perceived the customs and habits of the hosts amused me and made me realize that seen from the outside some of it can seem “different”. Lots of articles cover destination weddings in Spain and all the benefits of choosing this sunny country, yet hardly any talk about its own traditions. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the typical Spanish weddings of old, Granada style. Some of the customs still hold true today, some don´t and they all vary from town to town. So let´s start at the very beginning, well nearly…

Traditionally couples would be engaged for many years whilst they saved up for a home of their own. This was done so that after the wedding they had everything they needed to start their life together. It is not uncommon for offspring to live with their parents well into adult life and by that I mean late 30´s and on! Maybe this is because the family unit is very important in Spain, maybe because it is the easiest option but in some smaller villages the only way out of the family home was by marriage (it wasn´t unusual for the girl to become pregnant resulting in a “shotgun wedding” and stern catholic upbringing meant that divorce was out of the question). Once they had everything they needed to start a family of their own they would set the date and the families of the bride and groom would put together the guest list.

When the big day arrived, all of the guests would get seriously dressed up regardless of the time of day, it was an opportunity to show off all their finery. They would either go to the church to wait for the bride and groom or they would go to the house of the family who had invited them and accompany them to the church. In Spain they do not have the custom of a best man and the groom enters the church with his mother followed by guests. Traditionally the groom’s guests sit behind him to the right of the church and the bride's guests are seated on the left. The bride leaves her house on her father´s arm followed by her guests and they walk to the church in a procession, the guests enter first and are seated then the bride makes her entrance. It is not uncommon for guests to remain outside the church during the ceremony and once it is over they are joined by everybody else, ready to throw copious amounts of rice “missile style” at the couple! Lots of kissing goes on as each guest wishes the couple all the best for their future as they battle through the crowd to the rice free safety of their car.

Traditionally the banquet was set for a later hour giving guests time to drive around in a procession loudly sounding out their horns and waving at all and sundry letting everyone know that there had been a wedding and keeping them occupied. In the meantime the couple would be having their wedding photos taken and not a drink would be served until they arrived at the banquet, at which point everyone would raise a glass to toast their future happiness and health. Nowadays most couples have made provisions for their guests and they can relax in the surroundings of the venue whilst enjoying drinks and canapés until the celebrations start.
A traditional Spanish banquet will begin with cold cuts and snacks whilst everyone gets settled. The meal itself consists of a starter, a fish dish, a refreshing champagne sorbet, a meat dish and a dessert. The cake would be cut a little later and the bride and groom would take this time to go around the tables and chat with each of their guests.

It is tradition to give an envelope with money to the bride and groom unless they have specifically stated otherwise. The amount should never be less than the price of a cover and although it is not unheard of for an empty envelope to appear, it is extremely bad practice and very rude.

After the cake the bride and her bridesmaids hand out a little gift to the ladies, usually a delicate pin with an ornate material flower which by custom is to be worn upside down if you are single (if the pin gets lost it means that you will be married soon). The groom usually hands out cigars to the male guests with the date of their wedding on the label.
Then comes the music. They do not have the custom of a disco playing all their favourite tracks, instead it is usually a live band and once father and daughter have taken to the dance floor and enjoyed their first dance it is time for everyone to join in the dancing, make their way to the free bar or make their way home.

Another method of getting more money which I have only ever seen in the small rural villages, would involve the groom taking a pair of scissors to his tie and auctioning off the pieces which would be placed on a tray and shown to all the guests as they haggled, the Bride would also auction her garter and the money would go towards their honeymoon and the expenses of the wedding.

But the couple´s long day’s not over yet, oh no! Tradition dictates that close friends of the newlyweds enter the future home without their knowledge and prepare practical jokes such as hiding things in the bed sheets, filling it with balloons, hanging banners announcing the marriage off the balcony and lots more. It is with great apprehension that they go home on their first night as husband and wife!
Customarily the Honeymoon didn´t start straight away, but in the following week or so, giving them time to settle into their new home.

And that is more or less a traditional Spanish wedding. As I began writing I realized that there were so many details I could explain to help people understand this beautiful culture better but some things are just best left for you to discover on your own, otherwise where would the magic be?

viernes, 7 de marzo de 2008


Spring is in the air at Hotel Albayzin del Mar. Our stunning gardens are such a hive of activity these days! Armies of gardeners and maintenance staff are busy trimming, painting and adding all the finishing touches that make this Hotel one of the top spots to celebrate any type of event. We love a wedding, and the effortless elegance of the venue means that it is bound to be a success.
More than just another place to hold your wedding reception it is a beautiful oasis that offers peace and tranquility to all who come here. Long marble halls with striking black and white décor, mirrors, luscious plants and modern artwork immediately make you realise that this place is different. Keep an eye on this blog as we will continue to bring you little pieces of paradise in Almuñecar!

domingo, 20 de enero de 2008

Weddings in Almuñecar, Spain