Finally we were setting foot in Marbella and intending to stay for more than a few hours.
Having visited the town only once before, many years ago, and then for just a couple of hours, we wondered what we could expect.
For decades Marbella has been a mainstay of the Spanish holiday industry, but is it still the place to visit? Are the resorts of the 1970s and 80s still relevant in 2015?
Are the hotels up-to-date for the modern traveller? And as seasoned travellers, would Marbella appeal to us?
We were staying at the Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel which reopened in March 2015 after undergoing a major refurbishment over the winter. The changes have transformed this 1980s-built four-star hotel.
The bright, open lobby created a great sense of space and unlike other hotels it felt like a place to meet and relax rather than just one to check in and out.
Amid that space friendly and attentive staff went out of their way to assist us and other guests. In fact the attentiveness began before we walked in the door – staff meeting us as our car pulled up outside, taking our luggage and assisting us with parking – and continued throughout our stay.
The hotel’s staff were on hand for our every need, and that culture of service and care is the sign of a good hotel.
We really loved the Amàre Marbella Beach’s fresh, modern interiors and it had some pretty cool modern artworks, our favourite being the mirrored elephant on one of the lower floors.
We had a sea view room with a very spacious balcony giving lovely views over the harbour. The mini-bar had plenty of options, and there were coffee and tea making facilities, an in-room safe, and a very nice rain shower in the bathroom. There is also good strong free wifi throughout the hotel. Though comfortable, the hotel’s standout features lie beyond its rooms.
Marbella’s only rooftop bar
Given its location, overlooking the beach, just five minutes from the centre of Marbella, the hotel has an excellent opportunity for sundowners and offers guests a perfect location for a cocktail in its rooftop bar. Each evening we sat here enjoying a Kir Royale and a beer or a glass of wine and taking in panoramic views over the Mediterranean as the sun set on another glorious day.
This is an adults-only hotel and it was nice to enjoy grown up company and conversations.
And after a drink, the Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel is conveniently only a few minutes walk from the historic old town of Marbella where there’s an abundance of places to dine. Alternatively the hotel has three options for guests who don’t want to work too hard on holiday.
One night we dined at the hotel’s buffet restaurant, Mare Nostrum, which had a good choice of food, although we both preferred the tapas on offer in the other restaurant at Amàre Club.
Amàre Club at Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel
Amàre Club is the hotel’s own beach club made up of three exclusive areas – Amàre Beach, Amàre Pool and Amàre Lounge. Here, in the shade of the gently swaying palm trees, beside the hotel’s pool we were able to relax in hammocks and sun loungers. And when we were ready for a drink, we only needed to push a button next to us and waiters would take our order – bliss!
The hotel has a gym and a spa with a thermal circuit with a Jacuzzi, massage jets in the pool, sauna, and steam room. There were also a variety of treatments available.
We booked ourselves a treatment and, wrapped in our fluffy hotel robes, were taken to our treatment rooms. Sarah had a Route of Silk Ritual, a body exfoliation with spice shells and poppy seeds, followed by a silk body wrap and massage. She summed it up in one word – lush.
I choose the Exotic Turkish Massage, which used an Oriental spiced massage oil, plus uniquely, stretching techniques using a smooth silk scarf. Although an unusual combination, it was still very relaxing and the therapist was skilled and knowledgeable. Afterwards I felt like I was gliding away from the spa.
It is also possible to have your massage with the cool of the sea breeze at Amàre Beach. We never tried it, but did see one satisfied customer sleepily making her way back from her beach massage.
Whether you’re seeking the spa, the beach, good food or the relaxation of a adults-only stay, the Amàre Marbella Beach ticks many, many boxes. Overall, our time in Marbella and at the Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel provided a relaxing time in quality accommodation, where access to the beach was very good and the facilities first rate. And being so close to the old town of Marbella there is the opportunity to enjoy two different experiences – Marbella’s history and culture plus the relaxing, modern surrounds of hotel, in one visit.
My visit to Marbella was part of a project with Fuerte Hotels. You can rest assured that all views are entirely my own – else there’s just no point.