Forget what you think you know about the Costa del Sol. Málaga is the antidote to the anodyne beach resorts that dot the coast of Spain. It’s a city of rich Moorish, Roman and Medieval history, with a palate-pleasing foodie culture. Abundant museums and clean city beaches mean there’s plenty here to keep families with tiny travellers entertained. These are the best hotels for you and your clan – book your stay now with Culture Trip.
The gorgeous rooftop pool and spiral slide in the lobby show that this swish design hotel understands that all travellers are kids at heart. Within stepping distance of Málaga María Zambrano train station, the hotel has cavernous suites, perfect for family groups, and a tidy, modern New York loft vibe. Grown-ups can make the most of the candy-pink and gold gastro bar and night-time views over downtown from the rooftop.
Places to stay don’t come much more palatial than this stucco-fronted palacio in the heart of Málaga’s historic Jewish quarter. The airy arch-ringed and chequerboard-floored atrium could be plucked straight from a Poirot movie. Every room in the 18th-century palace is luxurious but dignified, and the lone tower room has a private terrace with grandstand views over Málaga Cathedral. For families, the key appeal is abundant space, fine food and the location, within easy reach of everything.
With the Parque de Málaga right on the doorstep and a stunning rooftop pool with eye-popping views, families can’t put a foot wrong at this comfortable, old city hotel. Four stars translate here to smart, pale-toned rooms with clean lines, summer-chic fabrics and city views. The best have multiple balconies, and there are numerous family rooms with space to run free. Staff can arrange all sorts of activities for kids for days when you need more than the cooling balm of the pool.
Chinese guardian statues flank the front door of this fun, family-friendly four-starrer, but, inside, it’s modern European design all the way. Boutique rooms come with imaginative quirks – painted pencil lines around doorways, tailor’s dummies and 1950s-style armchairs – and some truly palatial bathrooms. The allure for families is the abundance of floor space and the location: it’s an easy amble from Parque de Málaga, the port, the cathedral and the museums.
El Riad Andaluz feels like a little piece of Morocco transported to Málaga – and, considering the city’s long Moorish history, that’s not such a leap. Families are lured here by the air of calm seclusion and the fuss-free backstreet location, away from the port bustle. Inside, plants sprawl over a private courtyard overlooked by Moorish arches. Compact, cosy rooms come in vibrant colours, dotted with Moroccan details (the ceramic bowls functioning as sinks are a nice touch).
History tumbles out of the walls at this characterful boutique property, where exposed stonework, carved timbers and 18th-century frescoes are juxtaposed against chic designer bathrooms and free-standing bathtubs right in the bedrooms. Named for a Persian goddess, the hotel is just yards (several metres) from Plaza de la Merced and the Picasso Museum and an easy walk from the open, green grounds of the Alcazaba Palace and Castillo de Gibralfaro.
Soft surfaces abound in this swish boutique hotel, right in the thick of things near Plaza de la Merced. After introducing the kids to Cubism at the Picasso Museum, relax in ice-cool comfort in rooms with star-shaped lanterns, flowing drapes and spa tubs in the swankiest classes. The attitude is firmly modern, but details from the original 19th-century building emerge here and there as a reminder that this is still the Málaga of old.
There are hotels in palaces and hotels that feel like palaces – and Gran Hotel Miramar is definitely in the latter camp. Effortless stylish rooms pay homage to different periods of Málaga’s rich history – some are Moorish, some baroque, some art deco, but all are lavish and refined. For families, though, the draw comes from the vast communal spaces: the covered atrium, the oceanfront terrace and the pool looking over the Med, just across the road from the beach.
Haven’t quite found what you’re looking for? Our local experts have rounded up the best hostels and the best holiday apartments in Málaga so that you can find the perfect place to stay. If relaxation is your top priority, you can always book a stay at one of the best wellness retreats in nearby Marbella. Then, after a busy day exploring the region, there’s no better way to unwind than with a cocktail at one of the best bars in Málaga. Or for a stylish stay, check out our pick of the most chic boutique hotels in Malaga, bookable with Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.