Secluded in the charming streets of Marbella’s Old Town, La Fonda Heritage Hotel embodies the essence of Andalusia. The property is made up of historic buildings that date back to the early 16th century, which have been meticulously restored to preserve original features, including some notable 18th-century frescoes.
The style and atmosphere is elegant and sophisticated. The lobby features a classic Andalusian patio with ancient columns and a Moorish-style fountain. The reception was a delight, welcoming and warm, offering a friendly and polished service at check-in, including a welcome glass of bubbles.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, Jane, showcases original dishes created by the kitchen of Chef Pascal Silmann.
Originally from France, Silman wore his kitchen jacket for the first time at only fourteen years old when he began his culinary training and a lifelong love affair with gastronomy. He received his unique tutoring under some of the best chefs in the world, many of whom received Michelin star status for their restaurants. Silmann is also committed to a sustainable kitchen, working with local farmers, fishermen and producers who share the same ethical standards.
During our stay, Head Chef Juan Cruz Escarrá led the kitchen, where the philosophy is to use local Malaga and Spanish produce prepared in international styles.
We began with a delicately flavoured asparagus pre-starter (accompanied with superb bread, together with a fabulous, subtle yet divine roasted garlic paste). The starter of spring artichoke with squid was original, with the added depth of flavour from Josper flame-grilled plum. Pata Negra Ravioli made with pork from Ronda was something very special.
The menu is fairly limited as everything is market fresh and seasonal, so changes frequently. I tried the Pedro Ximenez Lamb Shank – what a great combination.
Despite being offered puddings, I couldn’t resist the cheese board – presented with flair and finesse – quite the gourmet experience!
The international wine and cocktail list references Andalucia too. The whimsical ‘La Feria de Marbella’ cocktail with candy floss is evocative of the towns summer fair, while sommelier Jorge selected a smooth and velvety cream sherry from Jerez, served over ice and orange, that went a treat with the cheese.
The dining space is a former chapel, with a glass roof, so it feels like one is dining under the stars. There are decorative cues, referring to La Fonda’s heritage as one of Marbella’s very first boutique hotels, offering fine dining, during the town’s golden era.
This is classical, indulgent dining in quiet and refined surroundings with an attentive team.
During the day, Los Patios de La Fonda is the place for tapas y copas. There are tables beside the beautifully appointed lobby area and also in the charming courtyard beyond.
Here the hotel also offers a daily breakfast buffet that features a variety of fresh fruits, pastries, and hot dishes to order. Personally, I think for such an intimate setting a table service breakfast would be ideal, but the breakfast bar is laden with such tempting savoury and sweet treats that it’s rewarding to up and down from the breakfast table.
La Fonda Heritage Hotel boasts 20 beautifully appointed rooms, each one uniquely decorated with a blend of striking mid-century style with touches of Andalusian charm, punctuated with modern amenities. No two rooms are the same.
We stayed in the junior suite, over-looking the Santo Cristo square, one of the three suites amongst the unique collection of 20 guest rooms. The bright, monochrome interior design has a mid-century vibe, with contemporary simplicity.
Features include a vintage style Marshall Bluetooth speaker, Loewe smart-screen TV, and a well-presented mini bar with Illy coffee machine, a kettle for making tea, and some expensive, but tempting drinks and snacks in the mini bar like exquisite miniature box of choccies.
The twin terrace windows opened to balconies for a glimpse of the adjacent chapel.
The bathrooms are sleek with monogrammed towels, and amenities by Danish company Meraki.
The other two suites include one occupying the tower, with panoramic views, as well as the Heritage suite that features a salon with restored 18th-century frescoes!
All rooms have a spacious and airy ambience, with high ceilings, crisp white linens, and on-point bathrooms.
Old Town Marbella
Forget any preconceptions you may have of this resort town. Marbella’s casco antiguo or old town is the essence of Andalusia and each year it becomes more interesting with an ever-greater variety of independent boutiques, and charming restaurants.
La Fonda Heritage Hotel is on a peaceful plaza, shaded by palms, and with splashes of Mediterranean colour from bougainvillea and geraniums. From here you can walk to local galleries, museums as well as the seafront and beaches of Marbella.
La Fonda Heritage Hotel Marbella is a very welcome addition to the town’s hotel scene, setting a new standard in accommodation in the historic district, offering genuine boutique luxury.