You only need to take a drive along the coast to realise that tourism is back in a big way. A new breed of chic luxury hotels are opening this summer to cater for discerning visitors.
Giles Brown, BRIGHT’s man in the rather fetching bellhop uniform, checks in and checks out the swishest suites on the coast.
La Zambra by Hyatt in Mijas
The name may be new, but La Zambra by Hyatt has an illustrious history. In the 90s the former Hotel Byblos was a favourite of the jet set, including Diana, Princess of Wales and Julio Iglesias, (though not at the same time we hope), Antonio Banderas and The Rolling Stones.
Set between the golf courses on the road to Mijas, La Zambra, which is due to open this summer, has 197 rooms and suites. Recently renovated with subtle nods to Andalusian culture, the rooms feature high-end furniture, warm textures, and natural earthy tones and all have private terraces that overlook the gardens or adjacent golf courses.
The hotel’s four different dining areas combine tradition with innovation. These include tapas-style cuisine pairing with the world’s finest wines at Picador; healthy and plant-based options, mixing international and Mediterranean flavours with live cooking demonstrations at Palmito, a selection classics reinterpreted with bespoke cocktails at Bamboleo; or a true ‘Chiringuito’ experience for a light snack by the pool during the day or a chilled family lunch at La Bartola.
If you have come to the coast to relax body and soul, La Zambra has an extensive spa area that offers five “wellness journeys”, based on your mood or ailment. After your treatment, enjoy the Turkish baths, Jacuzzis, and swimming pool, or just take a quiet moment on the spa patio. La Zambra’s wellness area also includes yoga and Pilates classes, in a large 500 sq. m studio full of natural light.
For those feeling more energetic, the hotel has excellent sports facilities with Technogym equipment, as well as tennis and paddle courts. As you would expect, La Zambra also enjoys privileged access to world-class golf courses – Los Olivos and Los Lagos, designed by renowned Robert Trent Jones, who built more than 400 courses around the world.
Club Med Magna Marbella
This summer Club Med made a triumphant return to Spain after a 20-year absence with the opening of Club Med Magna Marbella. An ambitious project that refurbished and revitalised the old Don Miguel Hotel, Club Med Magna Marbella opened with considerable fanfare in May.
Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med, was on hand to announce that he was ‘…proud to return to Andalusia, one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe, with a new Premium Resort, Club Med Magna Marbella, which perfectly showcases what Club Med has become today after major changes in the last 20 years. A premium, global, happy, digital “brand” aiming to develop a more sustainable tourism.”
In addition to its 485 rooms and suites, the resort offers 14 hectares of lush garden, five swimming pools including a family waterpark and adult-only Zen Zone. Club Med is well known for being family oriented and there are several professionally supervised children’s areas and activities that allow parents a well-deserved break. Sport is also important and activities include golf, circus and trapeze school, tennis, archery, mini-football and beach volleyball…
Club Med Magna Marbella also has two restaurants – “Sueños”, that offers local specialities and international cuisine prepared in front of customers, and the “Tierra Gourmet Lounge” with its wine cellar and a more intimate atmosphere offering live music.
Hard Rock Hotel Marbella
One of the most anticipated launches of the summer is Hard Rock Hotel Marbella, just across from Puerto Banús. The Andalucía Plaza Hotel, one of Marbella’s oldest and best-known establishments, has undergone a complete transformation to change into a Hard Rock Hotel with 384 rooms, including 50 suites.
Art and memorabilia throughout the hotel’s guest rooms and public spaces will reflect Hard Rock’s distinctive design aesthetic as well as highlight Spain’s vibrant artistic culture. Hard Rock has obtained bespoke items from celebrated Spanish artists across music, dance, and art to create an authentic experience for guests that reflects both the hotel’s location and Hard Rock’s renowned memorabilia collection of more than 86,000 items.
The hotel will have six onsite dining establishments, as well as a rooftop terrace with a VIP bar and infinity pool. There will also be an onsite spa and wellness facility with an indoor heated pool, gym, and a Rock Spa® with six treatment rooms, a sauna and relaxation room.
In true Hard Rock style, the hotel will entice guests with a wide range of signature brand amenities. These include Rock Royalty service in select guest rooms and The Sound of Your Stay® program, a three-part offering that gets guests in the groove with an in-room Crosley vinyl player delivered to their door, a Fender guitar delivery upon request or a choice of carefully curated playlists available for guests to stream or download.
Safe to say that Marbella has never seen anything like this before!
METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella
Dubai-based Sunset Hospitality Group plans to open its first Marbella hotel this summer with METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella. Described as ‘curated for those travellers of today who are looking for a place to simply have fun and celebrate life in incredible locations’, the five-star METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella will feature 254 rooms and is located on the beach between Marbella and Estepona.
The Marbella opening comes following the successful launch last year of METT Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum, which was awarded Favourite New Hotel (International) by Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards.
Antonio Gonzalez, CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group, said: “After the phenomenal success of METT Bodrum, we are excited to spread the brand values and experiences and look forward to welcoming the residents and visitors of Costa del Sol to discover our unique offering through the upcoming METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella.”
“The hotel sits directly on a beach stretch, complemented by a bespoke swimming pool and a few private pools and cabanas. A perfect destination for fitness and wellness enthusiasts, the resort also provides a state-of-the-art gym and studio for group classes, along with a modern spa”.
H10 Croma Malaga
Now widely recognised as one of the hippest cities in Spain, the H10 Croma Málaga is the latest addition to the hotel scene and is due to open its doors in late July.
The architectural project, designed by renowned architect Rafael Moneo, features a hotel facade that stands out for its use of geometric shapes and chromatic colours, although the modern design has not been to everyone’s tastes. The 138 rooms, most with private terrace and modern furnishing, aim to create a peaceful environment and provide maximum comfort. Other highlights include a rooftop bar on the top floor with a plunge pool and magnificent views of the city.