5 Star Hotels Andalucia Hotel Reviews

Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa, 5-star resort on Spain’s Coast of Light

Andalucía’s Coast of Light has long enchanted travellers, with its wild beaches, pine forests and brilliant sunlight. It is a destination for sports and nature lovers, and if you choose Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa, a place for profound holiday relaxation, and gourmet feasting too. This front-line 5-star resort, set close to the Severiano Ballesteros-designed Novo Sancti Petri golf course, and right on the beautiful Barrosa Beach, is home to a spa, fitness centre, kids club and diverse dining options including the renowned Cataria Restaurant.

I’m always excited to wake up somewhere new, and opening the curtains of our beachfront suite at Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa was a delight! Here on the Costa de la Luz, the magnificent coast has been developed more thoughtfully, with low-rise resorts that are set back from the coast respecting the beach dunes. Our views were of the gently undulating sand, pines and flowers that covered these protected dunes, leading out to the golden Atlantic beach.  Throughout the day, the remarkable light that gives its name to this beautiful coast would change, transforming the panoramic vista. From gentle hues of rose early in the morning to brilliant blue skies, and then the warm, fiery colours of sunset. It was a captivating cinematic experience, simply relaxing on the furnished terrace.

Novo Sancti Petri

There’s undeniably a choice of sun-kissed resorts along this beautiful stretch of Southern Spain’s Atlantic coast, but few are 5-star and fewer still combine the charm of Andalucian architecture with the great choice of guest experiences offered by Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa, emerging as the most coveting place to stay on Barrosa beach.

Suite dreams

My privileged view was from a beachfront suite – one of 11 room and suite categories from which to choose.

You can decide upon with garden or ocean views, as well as two-room suites, ideal for families. Another tempting choice are the pool rooms, offering access to a shared pool, directly from your private terrace!

Rooms and suites have all the expected amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar, etc and spacious bathrooms, with bathtubs. Guests can also enjoy unlimited purified water. This is one of the property’s many sustainability initiatives.  Each guest room has a large glass carafe that you can refill unlimited times with water from fountains close to the rooms. This property has completely irradicated single-use plastic bottles.

As soon as you enter the light-filled lobby (greeted with macaroons and bubbles) you are embraced by the essence of Southern Spain, with nods to architectural styles, with balconies, ironwork, and panoramic views to quintessential Andalusian fountains that lead the eye to the waters of the Atlantic.  The lobby is the heart of the hotel, with seating in punchy shades of orange and gold that leads into the bar, where you’ll find live music each evening, and onto shaded garden terraces, and sea-view cabanas.


Steps from the lobby you can discover the culinary attractions of the resort.  When it comes to food and drink, each day is brimming with possibilities at Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa.

Cataria Restaurant

This is, without doubt, a culinary highlight not only of the Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa resort but also of the Novo Sancti Petri area. Cataria is a destination restaurant, that specialises in dishes prepared with locally sourced premium fish and seafood, for which the region is renowned. This southern Spain outpost of the famous Elkano restaurant in Getaria, retains the emblematic use of cooking over fire and charcoal while keeping the menu firmly grounded in Cadiz.

Our dining experience here was remarkable. From the moment we arrived at the light-filled, minimalist yet imaginatively decorated restaurant, we were wowed. As the sun set, our culinary journey began, navigating the fresh ocean flavours of Andalucía’s Atlantic coast, with executive Chef Pablo Vicari at the helm. We indulged in a painstakingly prepared tasting menu of finely sliced and dressed Sea bass; Atlantic lobster; vegetables from Conil, oysters; white prawns and langoustines and much more.

Fernando, the young and enthusiastic sommelier paired the dishes with a small selection of local wines such as sherry as well as unfortified wines made with Palomino and Pedro Ximénez from winemakers in Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Montilla-Moriles.  It was a wonderful, memorable experience.

Sea Soul beach chiringuito

New for 2023, is Sea Soul where guests can enjoy the unmistakable style and freshness of Cataria Restaurant right on the beach. The freshest flavours are served while you enjoy the best views of the ocean.

Pool bar

Take a few steps down from the charming garden courtyard and you’ll reach the pool bar, with tables in dappled sunlight and shade, overlooking the expansive pools. A menu of international favourites also includes local specialities like Andalusian aubergine with local cane honey, homemade style croquettes, and locally caught tuna dishes.

La Bodega restaurant

Capturing the flavour of the Cadiz province, this quintessential Andalusian a la carte restaurant celebrates not only local produce and recipes but the style of eating in Southern Spain. Choose the finest local and regional cheeses, gourmet cured ham and other classic tapas as well as hearty dishes, light summery flavours like gazpacho, typical fish dishes such as pijotas, fresh sole, and a choice of seafood rice dishes.

D’CAI Cocina de Mercado

A modern twist of the classic resort restaurant, this market restaurant is a feast for the senses, with beautiful presentation and an impressive choice of dishes throughout the day, as well as refined details that elevates the experience.  At breakfast, the attentive team make sure you have your favourite table, whether on the shaded terrace, in the sunshine or by the window, it’s the kind of warm, friendly service that comes naturally here. At dinner, expect a welcome drink, like a local chilled wine, and a generous selection of menus, from local specialities, Mediterranean cuisine, and international favourites.

Guests can book bed & breakfast, half board (breakfast and dinner, without drinks) or all-inclusive, including drinks (but excluding the a la carte restaurants and the impressive room service.)


In addition to the 4 swimming pools, fitness centre and nearby golf course, there is a spa on the property, dedicated to the wellness products of ‘Secretos de Agua’. The is an indoor hydrotherapy circuit with a waterfall pool, a whirlpool bath, and sensations showers, as well as a steam bath and sauna. For wellness warriors looking for professional pampering, there is a comprehensive selection of massages and wellness treatments.

Experiencing Cadiz

Southwest Spain is one of Andalucía’s most compelling destinations, with a rich food and wine culture, beautiful beaches, and some of the country’s most iconic cities, including the historic port of Cadiz, and the wine city of Jerez. It’s worth hiring a car to explore.


Throughout my stay I became familiar with Iberostar’s commitment to making their operations more sustainable, from eliminating single-use plastics (there are no plastic water bottles on the property, no plastic straws etc), to sourcing food and supplies responsibly. Iberostar has been single-use plastic-free since 2020, aims to be waste free by 2025, and carbon neutral by 2030. The hospitality business is also committed to its pioneering Wave of Change programme for responsible tourism and respect for the oceans.

In each guest room, in addition to the normal bathroom bin, is a recycling bin where you can leave bottles, cans, paper, plastic etc and the housekeeping team will ensure that the items are sent for recycling.


Iberostar Selection Andalucia Playa is open from Easter to late autumn. I think it’s perfect for a long weekend or family vacation – either way, you are going to want to stay longer!

Contact Details

Website: www.iberostar.com
Address: Novo Sancti Petri, 11130, Chiclana de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain