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…
The Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Hotel Benahavis 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
Named after the Roman bridge at the centre of the resort, Puente Romano, Marbella is actually a cluster of low white buildings, making you feel like you are amongst an Andalusian village rather than in a hotel resort. Blooming vibrant gardens surround the buildings whilst the mountains provide a dramatic backdrop and it’s only a small walk to the coast. This resort offers everything a contemporary guest could need including incredible fitness and wellbeing facilities. The resort is actually known for its 10 tennis courts on which many tournaments are held. There is also a large fitness centre, Pilates studio, a Six Senses spa, three outdoor pools plus nearby golf course and equestrian centre. The hotel itself is sizeable at 219 suites and 3 villas, and 14 restaurants including the brand new Petit Sea Grill and beach club / restaurant El Chiringuito. Rooms are decorated in warm neutral tones whilst Iranian stone, Egyptian marble and Tunisian mosaic adorn huge bathrooms and if you don’t have a sea view, the room will still be overlooking luscious gardens. With 9 restaurants, this hotel is very much a foodie destination. Not only do they have an amazing beach club serving up fresh seafood, the resort also boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant in the form of Dani Garcia.
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 the 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.