Marbella Club Hotel
This classy beachfront hotel is an institution in Andalucia's most glamorous beach resort, with a fascinating history and a cachet other establishments would kill for. Marbella is famous for its mild microclimate, enjoying more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Europe.
What is the history of the Marbella Club Hotel?
The Marbella Club was the first hotel to be opened in the (then) tiny fishing hamlet of Marbella, back in 1954, by German Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who invested in land in the Marbella area. With a plum spot on the beach and an owner in the European aristocracy, Prince Alfonso's new hotel - a converted farmhouse - attracted the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, as well as the Rothschilds, Henry Ford and Aristotle Onassis.
This iconic hotel - which triggered Marbella's new life as the jet-set's favourite European resort - has been at the forefront of the town's social scene ever since, continuing to attract international royalty and film stars.
Since those days, the Marbella Club hotel has added many more rooms, restaurants and bars, and a spa to cater for guests at its enviable location on the Golden Mile, which runs between Marbella and Puerto Banus. Still one of the seaside town's most fabulous and desired hotels, the Marbella Club has lush subtropical gardens, two outdoor heated swimming pools (unusually, open all year round), a variety of places to eat, as well as the essential chic factor.
Each of the 135 rooms of the Marbella Club has its own balcony overlooking the sea or gardens, including 37 elegant suites. Villas (two, three or five-bed, some with four-posters) have their own gardens and pools, ideal for privacy and exclusivity but with first-class service. Décor is clean and classic, with marble floors and Mediterranean colour themes - blue, yellow and terracotta; all rooms have WIFI.
With five restaurants to choose from, at the Marbella Club you can dine Euro-Asian, international or traditional Spanish, depending on your mood. The Grill has a candlelit terrace, while the hip beachside MC Cafe offers contemporary fusion cuisine. For a more casual experience at the Marbella Club, MC Beach is the ultimate in beach chic, with salads, fresh grilled seafood and chill-out beds, and the Beach Club Buffet has Asian, Middle Eastern and Spanish dishes. After dinner, the Summer Bar has live piano music till the small hours of the Marbella morning.
What is there to do at the Marbella Club?
Pose on the beach, of course - pop on your Liz Hurley one-piece, or your Diane von Furstenberg bikini, discreetly covered by a filmy Melissa Odabash kaftan, and get yourself down to a sunlounger on the sand. Star spot (discreetly). Show off your tan and No-Carbs hot bod.
If you're feeling more energetic (or you want to get rid of your husband for the morning) there's an 18-hole golf course at the nearby Marbella Club Golf Resort in Benahavis, nestled in the gentle rolling tree-covered landscape at the foot of the Sierra Blanca. Alternatively, you could go horse-riding in the sierra (the club has its own stables), with stunning views down over the sea. Tennis, clay pigeon shooting and polo are available nearby.
|Marbella Club hotel has a gym as well as many other sports facilities|
For some retail therapy, the shops of Marbella and Puerto Banus are close by - you can browse, or max your credit cards, in the likes of Gucci, Prada, Versace, Missoni, Dior, Dolce&Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and Chloe.
Then you can relax in the Thalasso Spa with its seawater pool and osmanic steam baths, or enjoy a high-pressure aquatic jet massage. Treatments (using Vichy products) include seawater shower and algae detox; they also offer various hammam (steam bath) experiences and 11 different types of massage.
If you have children, they'll love the Lion's Club, which runs in the summer offering activities such as kayaking, surfing, shell collecting and pizza and sushi-making, as well as Spanish, tennis and swimming lessons. Babysitting services are also provided at the Marbella Club Hotel - leaving you free to soak up the sun, pamper your body and enjoy Marbella's famous nightlife.
The Marbella Club is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and regularly appears in prestigious lists such as the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List and Travel & Leisure 500 Best Hotels in the World.
How do I get to the Marbella Club?
The Marbella Club is very easy to find: it is conveniently located on the N340 coast road, on the stretch where it is called the Bulevar Alfonso von Hohenlohe, between Marbella and Puerto Banus. Alternatively, leave the A7/E15 motorway at Exit 181 or 182.
Book your door to door transfer direct from Malaga Airport to Marbella Club Hotel. Private transfer, met by driver in Luxury Sedan, Executive or Saloon car.