A Marbella-Style Christmas


Read our latest Christmas blog for 2022.

Below is our 2021 edition.

Marbella might be a little light on mistletoe and seasonal snow, but you can’t beat the coast at Christmas. Maybe it is something to do with our enviable climate and the fact that, rather than shivering in the sleet in Slough, Marbella often basks in winter sunshine, allowing you to enjoy Christmas lunch on the terrace. With a cosmopolitan international community, we enjoy a feeling of goodwill to all men all year round, but you might have to put that down to the wine, mulled or otherwise.

Article by Giles Brown

Father christmas on the beach

Both Marbella and San Pedro are celebrating Christmas in their respective town centres. Santa Claus is certainly coming to town, opening the doors to his house for good girls and boys on Marbella’s Paseo de la Alameda from December 13th until December 24th, while popping into his pied-a-terre on the Church square as well. If you want to hedge your bets, the Royal Postman for the Three Kings takes residence in the same locations from December 27th. Marbella’s Old Town is at its most atmospheric at this time of year, with two giant Christmas angels decorating the Orange Square and the traditional Nativity scene in the Plaza de la Iglesia in Marbella. With the current health protocols in place, this year will see a seasonal yet sanitary Santa, though the Town Hall were unavailable to comment as to whether Rudolph’s red nose counted as an exemption from mask wearing…

Christmas tree and palm trees
Rather than shivering in the sleet, Marbella often basks in winter sunshine, allowing you to enjoy Christmas lunch on the terrace

Santa will also be at La Sala during the festive season. While the big boys and girls may have been more naughty than nice, kids can have breakfast with him on December 18th. Those definitely on the naughty list can console themselves with a hot chocolate or mulled wine at La Sala’s traditional Ski Lodge, complete with snow, cable car and reindeer. Christmas events include a Triple A Christmas Lunch on December 18th, as well as the always popular Christmas Day with live music.

Ski Lodge at La Sala
Pop into the Ski Lodge at La Sala and take the kids for breakfast with Santa!

A little further along the coast, Kempinski Hotel Bahía is marking the festive season with a ‘Roaring 20s’ theme featuring plenty of fun and sparkle. The Christmas Season has already begun with the unveiling of the traditional Christmas Tree in the hotel lobby that this year is ‘The Sweetest Tree’. On December 24th the hotel hosts its annual Christmas Eve Dinner in the Alminar Restaurant. The four-course menu is sure to get you in a festive mood and you can end the evening with a night cap under the twinkling lights of the Christmas Tree in the Black Rose bar. The Christmas Day buffet style lunch includes live music, a visit from Santa and kids’ entertainment, with cooking and carving stations, salads, sushi, and smoked dishes as well as all Christmas favourites with trimmings, desserts, and free flowing cava throughout the day.

poster for roaring twenties at Kempinski Hotel Bahia
Plenty of fun to be had at the Kempinski Hotel Bahia, in Roaring 20s style

Puente Romano Resort and Hotel is also a firm festive favourite, with Sea Grill one of the most outstanding locations whatever the season. Christmas Eve is marked with an exquisitely prepared four-course dinner with elegant dishes for all, from festive pâté with gingerbread toast, to the freshest fish, the finest venison, and the most delectable chocolate. On Christmas Day itself, festive feasting continues with their spectacular brunch buffet. You can expect traditional specialities and seasonal delicacies, from turkey to oysters as well as an assortment of desserts, puddings, and special Christmas pastries. I already have a Christmas lunch booked in here over the festive season, one of my personal season indulgences!

Puente Romano’s Sea Grill
Puente Romano’s Sea Grill one of the most outstanding locations whatever the season

Of course, nobody does old school like the Marbella Club Hotel, and especially at Christmas time. If the stresses and strains, trials and tribulation of 2021 have left you with a need for some seriously luxurious celebrations, then this iconic hotel is the place to do it. You can choose between Christmas Eve dinner complete with live music and Christmas Day lunch, which includes both traditional stuffed turkey and delicacies such as cream of boletus and truffle. A post-dinner walk through the Marbella Club Hotel’s gardens, that have been the playground for royalty and the rich and famous for nearly 70 years, is also highly recommended to get you in the festive mood.

Marbella Club Hotel -
Marbella Club Hotel - the most iconic place in Marbella to celebrate Christmas

If all these festive food leaves you with a desire to burn off some Christmas calories, head east to Málaga. Now firmly established as one of Spain’s chicest cities, the Christmas lights on Calle Larios are massively popular. It’s the perfect excuse to wrap up warm and do a little nocturnal tapas touring, perhaps staying overnight at one of Malaga’s many boutique hotels. And whether you are religious or not, why not pop into the Cathedral and give a little prayer of thanks for Peace on Earth. It is Christmas, after all!

Málaga’s Christmas lights in Calle Larios
Málaga’s Christmas lights are a show in itself. Photo by Pepe Serrano