Marbella Club – Spain
Hotel Type: 5* boutique beach hotel.
Location: On Marbella’s Golden Mile, just a short stroll from the Old Town – and 35 minutes from Malaga airport.
Style: Andalucian finca meets Californian chic.
Rooms: 130 elegant rooms, suites, bungalows and villas.
Ideal For: Long weekends and lazy days.
Swimming: There are three heated swimming pools at Marbella Club, two are outdoor with the third located in the spa. There is of course the beach nearby to dip your toes in the sea.
Dining: Tuck into Mediterranean cuisine with traditional Andalucian dishes on the menu – fresh seafood plays a big part here. The Garden Pool and MC Beach offer laidback dining settings, while The Grill serves up classic dishes on the outdoor terrace.
Children: One of the best kids clubs around with a programme brimming with activities. There’s everything from paddle surfing and Spanish cookery lessons to flamenco dancing and riding lessons. All restaurants have children’s menus and there’s a babysitting service is also available for an additional cost.
Activities: While away the hours on the beach, trying your hand at watersports – with everything from scuba diving, windsurfing and kayaking – or making a splash in one of the resort’s pools. The spa is the perfect place to unwind and to enjoy a stress-reducing ritual. There’s a gym, pilates classes and aerial yoga to be enjoyed. Marbella Club Golf course is 20 minutes away, while there’s an equestrian centre nearby and tennis courts available at the sister hotel, Puente Romano. Explore Marbella Old Town or spend one day sailing the Med on a fully-crewed yacht.
Spa: The Thalasso Spa offers a wide range of treatments drawing on Ancient Greek and Egyptian practices that use seawater to relieve stress and energise the body. There is everything from stress-reducing rituals, facials, massages and body wraps as well as personalised lifestyle programmes.
Low Season Price From: £390 for a double room including breakfast.
High Season Price From: £540 for a double room including breakfast.
Open From: All year round.
Since it first opened its doors to guests in the heyday of the glitzy 50’s, the Marbella Club with its aristo heritage (established by a prince and with a count as its first general manager) has been attracting the cognoscenti. For years it was the only place with a phone, so became a natural place to flock. It is a chic mix of Andalucian style – whitewash, terracotta and tiles – with contemporary design and a huge dose of glamour. It has a prime beachfront spot on the famous Golden Mile, with the stark Sierra Blanca range behind, and sits in subtropical gardens with orange and olive groves and a long boulevard down to the sea, flanked by pretty villas. Guests are welcomed in true Mediterranean style – with open arms – and the service is seamless. The Marbella Club has a lot of stories, and a stay here will make you feel like royalty.
Simple yet sophisticated sums up the cool Andalucian design of the rooms, suites and villas here. Light filled and opening out onto balconies or terraces, many look out over the tropical gardens, whilst others have views of the mountains behind Marbella, or the glittering Med. Each is styled differently, with a mix of contemporary décor, relaxing earthy tones and unique design touches. Many of the rooms and suites interconnect, making them perfect for families. The Deluxe Rooms are spacious with a seating area and private terrace, looking out over the gardens. If you’d like to wake up looking out over the Med, book a Deluxe Room with Sea Views. The comfortable and understated Junior Suites nestle in the gardens with views of the Upper Garden Pool, whilst the even larger Junior Suites Deluxe with their spacious living areas and terraces, are a haven of peace. The Garden Suites have separate bedrooms and living areas and are tucked away in a quiet part of the grounds. For even more space, the Garden Suites Deluxe feature a very elegant living area and relaxing views over the tropical gardens. The MC Suites are intimate and luxurious, with large terraces and beautifully furnished interiors. Dotted around the grounds are a number of fabulously styled and thoroughly individual suites. Some come with their own Andalucian courtyard, whilst others are decorated in an evocative blend of boho chic and old style flair. Most sleep two, with Piedita and Santa Margarita sleeping four. A selection of Grand Suites look out over the Mediterranean, with sunny terraces and rooms filled with light. For families and more space and privacy, the Two Bedroom Bungalows are perfect. These California condo style design casitas have their own plunge pool and secluded garden. The bright and contemporary duplex Two Bedroom Casa Hubertus – named after Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe who originally designed it – sits amongst the olive and orange groves with a private patio and jacuzzi. Larger families and groups of friends also have the choice of the Three and Four Bedroom Villas, which sleep six and eight respectively. These all feature spacious private gardens and swimming pool, and are fully appointed with kitchens for a self-catering option. All the bedrooms are en suite, and the villas are furnished and decorated to reflect laid back Mediterranean living. For true Andalucian luxury and vibes, the Grand Villas take some beating. Beautifully styled with whitewashed walls and colourful decorative touches, they range from three to six bedrooms, with very private gardens and pools. Villa Anil is our favourite with its fabulous outdoor shower, Turkish bath and cinema room. Although, it’s a tough choice when compared to very seductive Villa del Mar, with its fountained gardens and Andalucian decorative detail throughout.
Food and sharing top the list of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and at the Marbella Club, they are very much celebrated. Breakfasts and all-day dining at El Patio (also frequented by the locals) are a leisurely affair as you soak up the Andalucian atmosphere. And it’s tempting just to saunter from here to the Beach Club for a day of good old-fashioned people watching, sunbathing and a glass of something chilled. Mediterranean specialties are on the menu here. For more laidback beach life, head to MC Beach which takes it cue from the traditional local chiringuitos, with fresh seafood and sangria. This is the place to be as the sun sets. Another lunch favourite is the Garden Pool – tucked away amongst the tropical vegetation, with its menu of fresh Andalucian dishes. For a healthy lunch, head to El Olivar where the menu features no refined sugar or additives and is packed with fresh produce from local producers. The Grill is a typical Andalucian restaurant with a delicious menu of classic dishes and freshly grilled meat and seafood. The Summer Bar comes alive in the evening, with guests enjoying cocktails amongst the scent of the orange groves and with a backdrop of gentle music. For a more boho vibe, then Rudi’s is the place to while away the hours. This atmospheric lounge bar also does a great range of snacks. With its extensive wine list, a visit to the Bodega is not to be missed. Make sure you have a tasting with the sommelier.
Be prepared to lose your children for the entire day – such is the popularity of the Marbella Club kids club. Every activity, both indoor and outdoor, for children between four and 14, is fabulously organized and run by a team of pros. Down on the beach there’s paddle surfing and canoeing, whilst in the club’s own garden, they’ll get the chance to become green fingered. There are Spanish cookery lessons, flamenco dancing and visits from local artists to teach them pottery and painting. Golf and riding lessons can be arranged too. All the restaurants have children’s menus and there’s a babysitting service.
The Marbella Club has drawn sun worshippers to it beach and loungers for decades – the beach club vibe here is legendary. There are also three pools from which to choose – two outdoor heated and an indoor seawater pool. For the more active guest, the tennis courts at Puente Romano, the Club’s sister hotel, are first rate – often used by top ATP players. You’ll find world-class coaches who’ll teach all ages. The region boasts some very impressive golf courses, with the Marbella Club Golf course just a 20 minute shuttle ride away and with a complimentary green fee. Back down on the beach, there’s paddleboarding and kayaking, and scuba diving trips can be arranged. We like the one-day sailing trip on a fully crewed yacht! The Spa here is a little oasis of calm, and as well as offering a range of holistic and therapeutic treatments, there are regular yoga and meditation sessions. We definitely recommend exploring further afield, whether it’s Marbella Old Town or the beaches of Tarifa (especially if you’re a keen wind or kite surfer). Malaga, Granada, Seville and Ronda are a day trip – and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even cross the Straits of Gibraltar for a day in Tangier. Then back to your own stretch of beach for a sundowner.