On the sunny Costa del Sol in Spain, Málaga awaits with a honey-hued Medieval old town, a Moorish Alcazaba and an amphitheatre that still hosts concerts. You’ll find an array of white-washed villages and old fishing towns in the greater region, where country hotels house sumptuous suites. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Málaga.
A long silver slide is at the centre of this arty Málaga hotel, so you can practically roll out of bed and down to breakfast. The lobby sets the tone for futurism-meets-mid-century, with velvet chairs in dusky pink and teal running as a theme all the way through to the botanica-dappled dining room. The rooftop pool and terrace is a boon in a city where the sun shines almost constantly, and a swim comes with rooftop views of the sea. This fab hotel is connected to Málaga train station via a sparkling covered walkway, so you can get out and explore the city one day and hop on the train to Andalusian hillside towns the next.
In the heart of Málaga’s historic centre, Palacio Solecio stands like a Moorish palace of days gone by. It dates back to the 18th century and retains beautiful colonnades in the lobby, illuminated by moroccan lamps. Standard doubles are sumptuous enough, but the real show-stealer is the tower suite, with its private terrace looking out to the Cathedral of Málaga. The riad-courtyard-style lobby houses a restaurant and cocktail bar – the kind of place you’d visit even if you weren’t staying at the hotel.
This family-run Málaga hotel spans two palatial buildings, right next to the beautiful gothic Cathedral of Málaga. Gaze across at the Medieval wonder as you swim laps in the rooftop pool, or enjoy an artisan gin at the rooftop bar, a destination in its own right. The late-night tapas and flamenco bars of Málaga’s historic core fill the surrounding streets. Superior rooms have balconies overlooking the street below, and even the standard room comes with a pillow menu so you can rest your head in style after a day of exploring old Málaga.
Hotel Mariposa embraces its position in Málaga’s artistic district with vibrant modern prints, objets d’art and sunflower-yellow or sage-green feature walls adding pops of colour to an otherwise monochrome canvas. Outside the hotel door, the streets of Soho are filled with bold street murals, and even trendy coffee shops and brewpubs showcase local art for sale. The rooms are immaculate, and the breakfast runs until noon – what more could you want?
On the edge of the shambling Old Town, this traditional house has all the intimacy of a Moroccan riad. The bedrooms have bags of character and their own theme, with stone walls painted ochre, sage, aquamarine and lilac. A guesthouse by nature, it’s the perfect choice for those on a budget. There’s no restaurant or cafe, but the plant-filled courtyard is set with bistro seats and makes for a quiet, shady space to decompress after a day in the city.
There’s no denying you’re in the historic heart of Málaga, with a stay at this small boutique hotel. Frescoed corridors lead to 16 individually designed rooms, where azulejo tiles keep the floors cool, and painted wood beams and pastoral murals radiate 18th-century rusticana. The collonaded restaurant serves up local cuisine in historic surroundings, and there are loads of eating options on the winding, cobbled streets right outside the hotel. The Alcazaba, Picasso Museum and Malagueta Beach are all within a five-minute walk, too.
This 19th-century building in the centre of Málaga has been restored to its old-world splendour. Rooms sport stylish touches like velvet headboards and tailor’s dummies; some feature the exposed Medieval wall of the Old City. The deluxe doubles come with a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom if you really want to live it up. Malagueta Beach is just 800m (2,625ft) away, so be sure to pack your beach towel, and the historic sights of the city – the cathedral, Picasso Museum and Alcazaba – are all within a five-minute walk.
As far as hotels go, this is the jewel in Málaga’s crown. A palatial façade flanked by palm trees sits on the promenade overlooking the Bay of Málaga – people gather outside just to take a photograph. Strolling into the grand lobby, with its marble floor, chandeliers and archways reminiscent of Moroccan palaces, it’s no wonder this was the hotel of choice for Elizabeth Taylor and Greta Garbo. Hemingway stayed here, too, and you can picture him perched at the rooftop bar, gazing at the sunset over the sea for inspiration. Don your Hollywood-big shades, and grab a poolside lounger, or make the two-minute meander to the beach. Sumptuous rooms in white and gold come with Moroccan finishes, and the most lavish suites have balustraded terraces with bubbling jacuzzis overlooking the ocean.
Check out a wide range of places to stay in Málaga – from luxury hotels , the most chic boutique hotels in Malaga, to hostels – all bookable now with Culture Trip. To make the most of the city, take advantage of some fantastic day trips, including unlocking Málaga’s hiking potential, before discovering what’s on offer when the sun goes down.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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