Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga
This is Malaga's most luxurious hotel, reopened in 2017 after a massive refurbishment with the top five-star GL rating (Gran Lujo, or Grand Luxury). Formerly known as the Palace of Miramar, it was a government office for many years, and dates from the 1920s. Now it has been returned to its original splendour.
What's it like?
The vast, magnificent building, all in white, is set back from the Malagueta Beach in the eastern Caleta district, and has five restaurants, a spa and wellness centre, and two heated swimming pools.
Inside, the palatial arcaded patio, with its traditional arches, columns and marble floor, is an architectural masterpiece.
The hotel's 200 rooms have spectacular sea, garden or city views, or alternatively interior (each type named appropriately - a good idea, so you know what you're getting). They're decorated in Arabic, Mediterranean or Modernist décor, with cool shades of grey and cream accented by vibrant splashes of colour. Rooms are narrow, although some are long - the suites have a sitting area beyond the bed, by the window or terrace. Imperial Garden Suites are in the hotel's fortified towers, while larger Imperial Boulevard Suites have sofa beds, handy for families.
The garden is an oasis of greenery and calm in the city centre, with palm and pine trees to shade it.
This hotel has excellent facilities for special events, whether a private occasion such as a wedding, or a business meeting or conference - a total of 17 function rooms. For families, there's a children's club, and there's a children's pool which is semi-heated.
What's its history?
The hotel was opened in 1926 as the Hotel Principe de Asturias by the architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan, and inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII. During the Civil War it was used as a field hospital, and after the war reopened as the Miramar Hotel, until 1967 when it closed its doors. From 1987 the hotel functioned as the Palace of Justice, until 2007. You can still see its prison (see below).
What is there to do?
Go to the beach, swim in the pool, visit the spa (thermal circuit, Finnish sauna, hammam, ice fountain, Jacuzzi, sensations pool and relaxation area) or have a beauty treatment. You can also take a guided tour of the wine cellar in the Palace of Justice's former prison.
Outside the hotel, the riches of Malaga city await - visit one of 40-odd museums in the city, from Picasso to the Pompidou, cars to wine, go shopping at Muelle Uno.
How do I get there?
The hotel is in the south-east of Malaga, city between Paseo de Reding and the N340 main coast road.