Óbal Urban Hotel Marbella – Reimagined For The 21st Century

Overlooking Marbella’s emblematic Alameda park and sculpture garden, Óbal Urban Hotel Marbella has been reborn following a multi-million-euro makeover. With its Rooftop 360 Blue Sky Bar, rooftop pool and views to the Mediterranean, the signature Alameda Restaurant, and 110 sparkling new rooms, the Óbal Urban Hotel is once again at the heart of the city’s social and gastronomy scene.

Standing on the sun-kissed roof terrace of the Óbal Urban Hotel, looking out over the rooftops of Marbella, it’s hard to imagine that much of this terrain was countryside. Before the 1950s, much of Marbella was a fishing town, made wealthy from minerals mined in the nearby Sierra Blanca mountains. Beyond the historic town centre were olive groves, vineyards, and agricultural land. Cristóbal Parra Junior, the third generation of the family owns the Óbal Urban Hotel (formerly known as the much-loved San Cristobal Hotel). As Operations Director, he’s telling me the history of the property. As we tour the hotel, we meet his father Cristobal who recounts tales of Marbella’s past and how they were one of the very first families to build a hotel in the town in 1961, writes Andrew Forbes, The Luxury Editor.

That pioneering spirit continues with the reimagined Óbal Urban Hotel. This heralds a new era and the family has appointed Manuel Murga as General Manager.

Heart of Marbella

Located 200 metres from the Mediterranean, and Marbella’s emblematic Paseo Maritimo promenade, Óbal Urban Hotel is at the entrance of the city’s charming old town. Often visitors miss the delight of this historic heart of the city when one can meander through bougainvillea-shaded streets, and browse a myriad of small boutiques and enjoy charming bars and restaurants, conveying an authentic flavour of Marbella. This is the joy of staying in Óbal Urban Hotel, as you feel truly connected with the destination, the local community and culture. There is now needed to have a car, as everything is at your feet, from the parks, and Mediterranean promenades to the restaurants and bars of this cosmopolitan city.

Andalucian dining

Central to this property’s experience is its gastronomic offering, centred around the Alameda restaurant a contemporary light-filled space overlooking Marbella’s main boulevard. The kitchen focuses on Mediterranean cuisine and local products (Km0) sourced from nearby village farmers as well as the local fishermen.

Savour lunches of fresh seafood and mango salad, with fruit from Andalucia’s tropical coast, east of Marbella. Seasonal dishes include creamy mushroom risotto, while contemporary dishes embrace pork loin with Thai vegetable rice.

Dinner is a pleasure, with menus that combine farm-fresh starters like avocado with Andalusian salmorejo, and Moorish skewers, with main dishes like Turbot with coconut sauce.

The Alameda restaurant is emerging as a new urban destination for contemporary Andalucian cuisine.

Óbal Urban Hotel is once again at the heart of Marbella’s social scene, a favourite destination for events, and celebrations. The new Rooftop 360 Blue Sky Bar is set to become the new terrace place to be. The pool is open to guests only during the day, and from 4 pm becomes a public space with a relaxed, Mediterranean vibe for sundowners, cocktails, and light snacks.


Combining 4-star comfort with contemporary design, the 110 rooms include five categories: double Classic, double Premium, Family rooms, spacious Junior Suites and a 55 square metre Suite.

Some rooms have private terraces, while views are of Alameda park, over the old town to the mountains.


There is a gym and wellness area for massages, and the front desk is on hand to arrange excursions and experiences. The hotel also has dedicated parking spaces in a nearby secure car park. For meetings and events Óbal Urban Hotel also offers dedicated function spaces for presentations and get-togethers, a separate dining area for celebrations, including an internal courtyard with a living wall and an opening roof.

New chapter

It’s exciting to see this new chapter in the story of this iconic hotel, originally opened in 1961 as the San Cristobal Residence with 58 rooms. It was later expanded with 44 extra rooms in 1970 and became known as Hotel San Cristobal. The Parra family tradition of hospitality was firmly established and continues to this day, with the opening of Óbal Urban Hotel.

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