Sunday, 23 August 2009

Last Tango in La Reserva

“Where’s the child?” The receptionist was puzzled with the absence of a toddler tugging on my shorts or running around the hotel lounge like a headless chicken. Instead what she were my two my carrier bags filled with alcohol, packets of cigarettes and an assortment of junk food.

“No child”.

“Your reservation is for two adults and a child”

“No, the reservation says the room can fit two adults and a child”.

“Ahhh, yes, we have big rooms you see”.

“Okay, may we have the key now please!”

“ Claro, que si.”

I gasped; it was going to be a long day.

Determined to stay away to the horde of tourists flocking the beach like birds on migration, a friend and I decided to spend the weekend somewhere where we can actually hear ourselves talk. Little did we know that we will end up in a hotel albeit fabulous, is a haven for vacationing families—nuclear and extended families that is.

VIME hotel in La Reserva de Marbella is like an oasis in the lonely n340 Cadiz highway. The resort is fantastic with its gigantic pool, towering trees, green lawns and duplex apartments painted in white and blue which reminded me of houses in some idyllic Greek islands. Our room, despite what the receptionist said, was good for two adults only. There was a giant closet though, a spacious bathroom and two single beds.

Where did she expect us to put the child anyway? Chuck it in the closet or make it a bed in the bath? And oh, there was no bath either, Just shower. So definitely, it was not suited for a child, thank you very much.

Soon enough, we were faced with the crowd of happy families: screaming kids and parents desperate to shut them out, in vain. Some adults were in a bar celebrating parenthood (or lost of freedom?) with cocktails while the kids run around like little animals freed from their cages.

We sought salvation from the television but even that was cursed. There was a smorgasbord of French, Dutch and German programs so CNN was the best bet. A beam of hope in the form of Dolly Parton appeared followed by a mini documentary on British designer, Ozwald Boateng (this man is smoking hot, I would love to get in his suit anytime! Lol) but that didn’t last long either. Soon enough, it was time to join the crowd (and the babies) again in a buffet dinner. The food was passable although you have to be quick as the food vanishes in a heartbeat. I saw the blackberry fruitcake disappeared before my very eyes as I was just about to fork it out of its tray.

Like clockwork, everyone gathered around the mini stage at 10:30 pm. The hotel provided an afterhours entertainment for the guests. A one-man-band called his minions of children to dance on stage and the next two hours was the longest I had in my life. He treated everyone with sugary melodies, lollipop tunes and Latin pop remixed in caramelized fashion. If I were diabetic I would have been stretchered out to the emergency room by then. He tried some flamenco number but even that would summon the Tellytubbies or Barney on stage. A Spanish family requested for a Tango. “Tango it is then” said the presenter with his thick accent, from where, only the angels in heaven know. He then filled the air with his most emotional rendition of Tom Jones’s “It’s not Unusual”. The crowd went silent. You could almost read WTF! written all over their faces—in any the language you can imagine.

There was no other way but to get more intoxicated, I thought. After four glasses of Rioja, I was in a frenzy mood and ready for a good old Macarena.


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