As is befitting for Spain’s top tourist destination, the Costa del Sol is lined with hotels, holiday apartments and B&Bs offering every style of accommodation, in varying price ranges. But if you want something a little bit different, Malaga coast’s boutique hotels, which all offer something unique, are the places to head for. Here, we’ve collected ten of the best for you to choose from.
Central courtyard of Hotel Palacio Blanco | courtesy of Palacio Blanco
Palacio Blanco offers the height of luxury in the beautiful whitewashed village of Velez-Malaga, situated just a couple of miles out of Malaga capital and overlooking some of the Costa de Sol´s finest beaches. Nine exquisitely decorated rooms surround the elegant central coutryard of a restored 18th century palace, offering a perfectly balanced combination of tradition and modernity. A rooftop spa-pool and sunbathing terrace, with amazing views of the countryside and coast, complete Palacio’s high-class offering.
If you’re looking to holiday in style on the Costa del Sol with a large group of family or friends, Urban Villa‘s offering will take some beating. Situated in the foothills of the Ojen mountains, yet just a fifteen-minute drive to Marbella, groups of up to twelve can have this super-plush five-suite boutique to themselves. Each suite has been lovingly styled and decorated and has its own theme, with an entire floor available as the “Deluxe Urban Suite”. Beautiful terraces – including a pool – combine traditional Mediterranean charm with all the mod-cons and five star service, offering stunning views of the coast and mountains.
High wooden ceilings at Claude Marbella | courtesy of Claude Marbella
Padded headboards in every one of Hotel Claude’s seven rooms tell you that this is a boutique hotel for grown-ups. Each of the bedrooms is individually decorated with a king-size or large double bed, and the “Superior Deluxe” variety even come with their own patios. Claude Marbella represents another effortless marriage of the super-sleek and modern with traditional Andalusian, housed as it is in a converted 17th century palace. Indeed, its intimate, black-and-white themed dining space wouldn’t look out of place in Soho, yet high wooden beams on the bedroom ceilings remind you of the history that surrounds you.
The 28 rooms of La Fonda, situated in the charming old town of Benalmádena away from the city’s raucous nightlife, offer modern luxury in the setting of a traditional whitewashed old building. The interior design is characterised by bold primary colours associated with the three cultures that have influenced the local region – Andalusian, Greek (Mediterranean) and Arabic. The full range of extras are on offer here, including massages, a spa, an outdoor pool on a super-cool (but enclosed) terrace and, quirkily, free apples at reception.
La Luna Blanca´s pool area | courtesy of La Luna Blanca
For a boutique hotel with a difference, the nine-room, Japanese-themed Luna Blanca in the popular resort town of Torremolinos is top of the list. Even the “basic” double has its own small garden, and an in-house Japanese restaurant specialises in traditional dishes such as Domono, Sumashi and Yakimono as well as sushi. Other charming touches include shiatsu massage, which you can receive in the comfort of your own room, your name written in Japanese lettering on old-style parchement paper, and a lovely pool and terrace. What’s more, the excellent beaches of Torremolinos are just a few minutes away.
For golfers heading to the Costa del Sol with a large budget, Finca Cortesin golf and beach resort’s grand 67-suite boutique hotel is a must. The resort’s stunning golf course has recently been named the best in Europe by Leading Courses and, as you would expect, the hotel to which it is attached is one of the best on the Costa del Sol. Its high-ceilinged rooms have a truly palatial feel, and are elegantly decorated in a classic style. The sports and leisure offering is world-class, with three outdoor pools of varying sizes, a heated indoor pool, two tennis and paddle courts, a gym and a luxury spa.
Luxury dining in the countryside at Guadalupe Malaga; courtesy of Hotel Guadalupe, Malaga
If you’re after a luxury retreat in the countryside but still within easy reach of the beach, Villa Guadalupe is the place to book. Situated about a twenty-minute drive away from Malaga city and the beach, Guadalupe squats on top of a hill in the exclusive residential quarter of El Atabal, formerly a Dutch colony. To reflect this cultural heritage, paintings by the Dutch artist Irene van Vlijmen adorn the walls of its 11 bright, spacious rooms and communal spaces. The latter includes a beautifully-decorated restaurant in which you can enjoy the food of well-regarded chef Amador Fernández.
Vincci Selección Aleysa has carved out a reputation for itself as one of the most chic boutique hotels on the Costa del Sol – which is quite an accolade given the quality of the competition. Located in the popular town of Benalmadena, all of its 35 rooms boast sea views, welcoming bottles of cava and, if you’re not absolutely happy with your pillow, there is a “Pillow Menu” from which you can choose another, more to your liking. Two bars, a super-cool pool area, a spa, beach hammocks and a courtesy bicycle service complete the offering at one of Malaga coast’s coolest boutique hotels.
Mandara Suite at Marbella Heights Hotel; Wayne Chasan (courtesy of Marbella Heights Hotel)
Overlooking Marbella’s prestigious Rio Real golf course, Marbella Heights should be one of the top choices for golfers seeking luxury on a stretch of coast that is also known as the “Costa del Golf“. Its exquisite suites all have pan-Asian themes, with names such as Mandara and Khao-Lak, and offer sea views that are said to be some of the best on the Costa del Sol, they are also fully sound-proofed. Marbella Heights is particularly strong on arranging trips and activities for guests, including visits to nearby wineries, private yoga lessons and a cookery class in which you prepare three Andalusian classics with their chefs.