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Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort

How to construct a 5 ***** Resort?

Marriott Vacation Club International is now renowned throughout the world, with over 50 exclusive resorts worldwide. In 1995 this was a different story and they started with the creation of Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort. Marriott were highly successful in the United States and Caribbean but was unknown in Europe.

Their first move was to acquire the land for development. Shrewdly they purchased a 60.000 square metre plot in a prime beachfront position in Marbella on the Costa del Sol.


Local architects were appointed and plans for a 288 apartment resort were drawn up for Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort.

It became apparent that for their first European flagship resort an experienced project manager was essential. Because of Mark Lawson’s experience of timeshare resort Project Management in Spain he was approached to take on the task.

What are the key components

A complete review of the key components was required. This represented a huge challenge, in more ways than one. Within a short period it became clear that many aspects were needed to be clarified before we could launch into the construction phase.

Review of

  • Sizes and distribution of the resort units
  • Material proposed following American building standards
  • Value engineering
  • Bidding process

How to be proactive

In order to avoid mishaps we used mock-up units as a tool to evaluate and test design, constructability, marketing and operating issues.

These mock-up units need to be budgeted and identified in the Master Planning of the project.

Our mock-up unit at Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort was built and demolished three times – it was the only way to have 100% success meeting all quality requirements.

All the problems, most of which had been anticipated by the team, were overcome and the complete project of 11 blocks of apartments, swimming pools, restaurants and bars was completed, each phase on time and satisfyingly 4 million dollars under budget.

Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort was a huge success for the project management team and for the developers and received 2 ARDA silver awards in recognition for architecture and interior design – both consultants responsible were key members of our development team.

What were the Big Results for Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort?

  • 288 luxury units delivered
  • Delivered on time
  • 5% below budget
  • Flagship project in Europe
  • Two ARDA awards for Quality
  • 2012 TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice favourite family hotel