For a slice of opulence on Spain’s southern coast, look no further!
With its pristine beaches, beautiful architecture and Mediterranean climate, Marbella is considered to be the most popular destination in Spain. While it might be known for its trendy bars and lively nightlife, the resort town also offers exquisite seafood, gorgeous boutiques and a stunning coastline, making it the jewel of the Costa Del Sol and the perfect destination for a sun-drenched getaway.
Where to stay
We spent four nights in Amare Marbella Beach Hotel, an adults-only oasis tucked away in Marbella’s old town. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing break with friends or a romantic trip. The four-star hotel gives instant access to the beach front, with golden sand to sink your feet into, while also sitting right across the promenade, meaning you can sunbathe while watching the world go by. The hotel has a stylish pool, outdoor hot tub and dozens of sun-loungers, plus a poolside bar serving drinks and light bites. We stayed in the “Oh Là Là The One” room, which has a spacious balcony to enjoy uninterrupted views over the sparkling coast.
Taste of the Med
When it comes to dining, you won’t be disappointed with the options at Amare. There’s no better way to start your day than tucking into breakfast on the Mare Nostrum roof terrace. You’ll find a live omelette cooking station, made-to-order eggs, waffles and churros, and excellent free-from options for vegans and dairy-free diets. For lunch, head to the oceanside Beach Club to sample sushi, fresh salads and grilled vegetables. In the evenings, we enjoyed dinners at the indoor Amare Lounge, which offers stone-baked pizzas, meats, and stir-fries – you could easily eat here all week without having the same meal twice. If you fancy a nightcap, head up to the Belvue rooftop bar for cocktails, a live DJ and 360 degree views that take in Marbella’s old town, La Concha mountain, and the sea – all against the backdrop of the dazzling sunset.
Focus on you
There are plenty of options to unwind and recharge. The hotel offers a complimentary beachfront yoga class where you can hear the waves crashing together while stretching out your worries. For the ultimate indulgence, head to the Germaine De Capuccini spa, which boasts a hydrotherapy water circuit with massage jets and a jacuzzi, relaxation zones, plus a wide range of treatments. We opted for the Aromas D’Andalucia Massage, where hot oil from a candle made of lavender, olive and citrus fruits was worked into our skin –simply sublime! And if you want to feel invigorated, you can work up a sweat in the fitness studio, or enlist the help of a personal trainer.
Soak up the culture
Just a five-minute stroll uphill from the hotel lies Marbella’s old town. Full of whitewashed houses and geranium lined walkways, this charming areais the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon. Lining the cobbled streets, you’ll find historic architecture, cafés and tapas eateries, plus numerous shops selling souvenirs, olive oil, pottery and clothes. On your way up there, you’ll also pass Alameda Park, with its gorgeous botanical gardens and beautiful ceramic tiled benches to perch on for a sit-down.
Glitz and glamour
Of course, no trip to Marbella would be complete without seeing the glamorous town of Puerto Banus, which was once dubbed the Monte Carlo of Spain. Hire a bike from the hotel and ride down the “Golden Mile” along the sea or travel by water taxi for 10 euros. The world-famous port has an abundance of beach clubs, super yachts and both high-end shops and mainstream stores. After all the glamour, sit back and watch the sun go down in the Sky Lounge terrace, where you can enjoy views of the marina, the town, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Need to know
Rooms at Amare Marbella start from €146 (£126) per room, per night on a bed and breakfast basis and €200 (£173) per room, per night on a half board basis. Based on two people sharing an “I Was Here” room.
For an “Oh Là Là The One” room, prices start from €300 (£260) per room, per night on a bed and breakfast basis and €355 (£308) per room, per night on a half board basis, based on two sharing. The price includes access to The One lounge, with snacks and drinks from 11am to 9pm, one relaxing water circuit per day at the spa and a 10% discount at some local businesses.
For more information, go to Amarehotels.com or call 0800 084 3493.
Flights to Malaga, from £95 with Ryanair.com.
Words: Neeru Sharma