As the Costa del Sol’s crown jewel, Marbella is a two-sided coin. Known for its incredible hospitality, carefree, party-loving nature, and an abundance of shiny, star-studded hotels, clubs and restaurants, Marbella can be a lively and vibrant holiday destination. But if luxury yachts and VIP lounges in clubs aren’t your thing, this area is also one of stunning natural beauty. With the beautiful Sierra Blanca Mountains as your backdrop, and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea stretching to the horizon, there is tranquillity to be found amongst the glamour. So whether you are in the market for some restoration and relaxation, or are ready to dive head first into the decadence and revelry, here are some of The Luxury Editor’s favourite hotels in Marbella…
La Fonda Heritage Hotel
La Fonda Heritage Hotel, the elegant Marbella old-town boutique hideaway, is the first and only Relais Châteaux property in Andalucia. This 20-room property is on the charming and tranquil Plaza Santo Cristo square, surrounded by historic buildings. Fine dining is of course a hallmark of any Relais Châteaux experience, and La Fonda Heritage Hotel is no exception. Its signature Jane Restaurant, with Executive Chef Pascal Silman leading the team, offers a refined experience in the unique setting of a former chapel, with a menu inspired by Andalucia, using local and regional ingredients in creative ways. Los Patios de La Fonda is the hotel’s informal bistro space for breakfast, as well as daytime snacks and early evening tapas and cocktails, while the sky bar is a spacious roof terrace with views across the old-town to the Mediterranean.
Hard Rock Hotel Marbella
Marbella’s hotly anticipated Hard Rock Hotel Marbella has opened near the iconic Puerto Banús. This stylish and lively adults-only resort offers unique experiences, reflecting the immersive music environment for which Hard Rock Hotels are known. With 383 rooms, including 64 suites, Hard Rock Hotel Marbella showcases contemporary interior designs that seamlessly blend Hard Rock’s signature musically infused aesthetic with local cultural references from Picasso to Flamenco. The hotel has an impressive VIP rooftop infinity pool and bar, a swimming pool surrounded by a lush and oasis-like garden, musical events and, of course, a curated collection of music Memorabilia featuring Spanish musical icons, as well as international music legends.
A Ciudadela Maison Ardois
Found on an elegant street in the historic old town, La Ciudadela Maison Ardois is a new 9-room luxury, boutique hotel in Marbella’s picturesque centre. Marbella’s old town is an authentic Andalucian treasure, the real heart of the city, with ancient patio-style palatial homes, lining narrow streets, clustered around orange-fragrant, palm-shaded plazas, chapels, and churches. It is in one of these stunning mansion houses that hotel group La Ciudadela has created Maison Ardois, an elegant, upscale hotel. The hotel includes a ground-floor gourmet restaurant, Thaissence, as well as a stylish roof terrace for cocktails and light bites.
Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavís Marbella Resort
The Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Hotel Benahavis Marbella Resort is the group’s new flagship resort in Southern Spain. Sheltered by majestic mountains, this Mediterranean resort is close to some of the country’s most beautiful ‘white villages’, the prestigious town of Marbella, and the sparkling sea. Expect a compelling combination of European elegance with upscale gastronomy across 8 dining venues, as well as exceptional leisure facilities including a super-stylish beach & racquet club, an award-winning spa and championship golf courses.
Inspired by traditional Andalusian architecture, this exclusive and luxurious hotel and resort is the perfect summer getaway. Blending the best of traditional Mediterranean lifestyle with contemporary living, the Finca Cortesin offers incredible cuisine, impeccable service and blissful tranquillity. Built around two sunny courtyards the hotel only has 67 rooms and yet feels palatial in style and space. Rooms are spacious and filled with light – a notable feature is their beautifully high ceilings. Spaces in the hotel manage to be both elegant and luxurious whilst still offering a lot of comfort. We adore the statement printed textiles which stand out against the warmly neutral décor. Surrounding the hotel is 23,000 sqm of landscaped gardens, a luxurious Thai spa, an incredible 4 swimming pools (our favourite is the heated indoor pool with views of the coast), tennis courts, and a spectacular beach club. The hotel is not lacking in dining options either – choose between the relaxed terrace restaurant El Jardin de Lutz, the Michelin-starred Kabuki Raw serving up Japanese-Mediterranean fusions, the traditional Italian brasserie from Sicilian chef Andrea Tumbarello, Don Giovanni, or casual tapas and drinks from The Blue Bar.
Puente Romano, Marbella
Puente Romano Beach Resort, the Andalusian village-style, 5-star destination on Marbella’s legendary Golden Mile. Found directly on one of the finest beaches on the Costa del Sol, Puente Romano, a Leading Hotels of the World property, offers elegant guest rooms, suites and private villas set amongst tropical beachside gardens with swimming pools. The resort, close to Puerto Banús and just 45 minutes transfer from Malaga international airport, invites guests to embrace the active Mediterranean lifestyle. World-class wellness facilities include the summer jungle gym, the acclaimed Puente Romano Tennis Club, the adults-only Health and Fitness centre with live DJ, and the sophisticated tranquillity of mainland Spain’s only Six Senses Spa. Satisfy your appetite for life with more than fifteen iconic restaurants and bars, from renowned Nobu style cuisine to beachside gastronomy at Sea Grill and Chiringuito Puente Romano. Couples will enjoy La Concha, the resort’s new adults-only pool club, while parents will appreciate the three separate kids clubs, including Mini Club, for little ones up to 4 years old; La Casita Club for children aged 5 to 12; and Teen Spirit lounge and gym for youngsters up to 18 years old. Guests are immersed in Mediterranean vibrancy with personalised experiences across the resort, from chef masterclasses to unforgettable water sports, together with a curated collection of private destination experiences across Andalucia.
Nobu Hotel Marbella
Specifically designed for grown-ups, this no kids allowed hotel on Marbella’s ‘Golden Mile’ is perfect for the socialites amongst us. Located just minutes from the beach and the turquoise waters of The Mediterranean, Nobu Hotel Marbella offers the best of luxury beach club life. Public spaces feature a lot of clean dark wood that looks elegant and contemporary, whilst rooms are neutral, calming spaces. They are a modern take on ryokan-style interiors with natural wood and wicker furnishings with flashes of delight coming from jazzy art pieces and interesting lighting fixtures. Many have terraces overlooking La Plaza. The Nobu Hotel Marbella has a ground-sharing partnership with the Puente Romano Beach Resort (see above) and so you can expect the same lush and verdant plants dotted about the place and also an abundance of facilities. It couldn’t be named Nobu Hotel Marbella without the presence of its namesake. Nobu Hotel Marbella offers guests that chance to savour Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature dishes plus special Andalusian-Japanese fusions. Guests at Nobu Hotel Marbella can enjoy 24/7 in-room dining from the restaurant, plus priority access to Nobu and La Suite, Marbella’s most exclusive club. Spend the day relaxing by the pool, whilst the night the volume is turned up and the party really begins.
The Marbella Club
Founded in the 1950s by Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe, this was once the hotspot of various figures of European royalty during the summer but has since had a bit of a revival. Now renowned as an amazing health and well-being retreat as well as retaining some of the old-school glamour which had attracted the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly to return again and again. The 35 guestrooms and 80 suites are set amongst lush subtropical gardens and many include private outdoor terraces. With white timbered roofs and a coastal-inspired pastel palette, Deluxe Beachfront rooms compliment their views of the Strait of Gibraltar; whilst private villas ooze contemporary Andalusian chic dressed nearly all in white and boasting private pools. When you aren’t lazing around in verdant walled courtyards or around one of the three pools, you can learn meditation from a master, work with a naturopath, nutritionist or fitness expert to improve your lifestyle, or enjoy a Thalassotherapy treatment or ritual at the award-winning spa – holistic wellbeing is at the core of the Marbella Club’s ethos. When you get hungry The Grill is an old-school restaurant with knowledgeable sommeliers and French fare presented under silver cloches, whilst The Beach Club has a renowned buffet of vibrant seafood, paella, pasta salads and cold meat for more casual dining. Alternatively, the Chiringuito MC Beach serves up barbequed sacks and smaller bites, perfect for poolside dining.