As one of the world's top holiday destinations, the coast of southern Spain has an impressive selection of five-star hotels, offering superb accommodation in stunning settings, with excellent food. Here we look at a few of the best luxury hotels on the Costa del Sol.
Finca Cortesin, Casares
Cleverly designed to feel like an old finca, this tasteful new hotel has already established itself as a leader in the area. Located inland from the coast, between Sotogrande and Estepona, the finca has sweeping views down to the Mediterranean and up to mountains behind. Rooms are spacious and elegant with large bathrooms, and food is of the highest standard, with Japanese restaurant Kabuki Raw offering the star gastronomic attraction. The spa has a delightful swimming pool housed in a conservatory, and an impressive range of treatments; there are also two outdoor pools. The hotel boasts its own par-72 golf course which hosts major international tournaments; in summer there's a beach club with restaurant, connected by a shuttle bus.
Bulevar del Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Malaga, Spain; +34 952 82 09 00; Fincacortesin.com.
Puente Romano, Marbella
This beachfront hotel has a prime location on Marbella's Golden Mile and is set in subtropical gardens, which feature a Roman bridge - hence the name. The gastronomic offering is headed by two-Michelin star chef Dani Garcia's eponymous restaurant and Bibo tapas bar; five other restaurants include Asian-fusion and modern Italian. Active guests will love the 10 tennis courts and three swimming pools (one outdoor heated year-round), while those who prefer being pampered can use the next-door Marbella Club's spa with thalassotherapy (seawater) treatments. And, of course, there's a private beach.
Urb. Los Flamingos Golf, Ctra. De Cadiz, Km. 166, 29679, Spain; +34 952 88 91 50; Puenteromano.com.
Villa Padierna Palace, Benahavis
Michelle Obama stayed at this grand Italianate hotel, a few minutes from the coast, when she visited Andalucia in 2010. Modelled on a Tuscan villa, most of its stylishly decorated rooms have a balcony or terrace, as well as amply sized suites and villas. The extensive grounds have formal Italian landscaped gardens and an amphitheatre, as well as three golf courses and an academy. In the hotel spa there's an aromatic thermal circuit, and six restaurants including Le Veranda by three-Michelin star chef Martin Berasategui. A boutique offers pretty kaftans, jewellery and home accessories.
Urb. Los Flamingos Golf, Ctra. De Cadiz, Km. 166, 29679, Spain; +34 952 88 91 50; Villapadiernapalacehotel.com.
Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Estepona
The Kempinski Hotel Bahia, located between Estepona and Marbella, is a modern seafront hotel surrounded by luxurious subtropical gardens on the seafront, complete with three lagoon-type swimming pools. The hotel has elegant, contemporary rooms and suites with a balcony or terrace, and is renowned for its first-class spa, offering hot candle massages (outdoor if you prefer), slimming and anti-stress treatments, and hydrotherapy. For post-pampering, there's a Finnish sauna area with steam room, ice fountain, relaxation area and heated benches. Restaurants include a steak house and beachside cabaña specialising in fish dishes.
Ctra. de Cadiz, Km 159, 29680 Playa El Padron-Estepona, Malaga, Spain; +34 952 80 95 00; Kempinski.com.
Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio, Malaga
This hotel is one of Malaga city's few five-star offerings, located on the edge of the old centre, with a historic façade and contemporary decor accented by splashes of primary colour and avant-garde art. Rooms come in five types with various layouts; superiors and suites are on higher floors - some have balconies or terraces; rear rooms are quieter. The decked rooftop terrace has a good sized pool, along with sunloungers. Breakfast includes a chocolate fountain and cava; under the glass floor of the bar, you can see archaeological remains of the Moorish city wall.
Pasillo de Santa Isabel, 7, 29005 Malaga, Spain; +34 951 00 10 20; Vinccihoteles.com.
Like our pick of the best luxury hotels on the Costa del Sol, but looking for something a bit more affordable? See our selection of small hotels instead.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a car hire this summer, check out Espacar's latest rental deals.
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