Marbella, Spain’s bastion of extravagance, is a great classic of the Andalucian coast. It boasts over 320 days of sunshine every year, drawing in celebrities, holidaymakers, and cultural enthusiasts from across the globe to its sunny shores. Standing centre stage is the ‘Golden Mile’, an eclectic compendium famed for its shiny restaurants and star-studded clubs.
During my visit, I was left in awe by Marbella’s natural scenery. Beyond the glitz and glamour, the landscape is sheltered by the Sierra Blanca mountains and comprises of white villages, flower-filled courtyards, pristine beaches, jaw-dropping sports complexes, and relics of Arab influences.
Marbella’s hotel scene is brimming with heart-stirring gems, ranging from classy hilltop boutiques to palm-fringed, beachfront resorts. Here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels in Marbella, Spain (in no particular order)…
1. Amàre Beach Hotel Marbella – Adults Only – a fun, trendy and very Instagrammable design hotel perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
A luxe design, a beachfront location, and a cool vibe make Amàre beach one of Marbella’s most fun and playful havens. A sleek remodelling of a traditional package-holiday hotel has opened the building to a series of fluid spaces that blur the boundaries between inside and outside.
Bleached wood interiors, turquoise marble, and natural fabrics embellish the contemporary Mediterranean feel. A vertical garden and a wall of water link the ground floor to the restaurant, and the quintessential ‘Marbs’ mood infuses the beach club, rooftop bar, and L-shaped pool area.
The rooms are dressed in pale wood floors, cream paintwork, and white furniture, with exquisite views over the Mediterranean, the town, and the surrounding mountains.
- To book, check prices or availability for Amàre Beach Hotel
2. The Oasis by Don Carlos Resort – a hip, cool and minimalist design hotel located in a private area of the famous Nikki Beach
This gorgeous, unique haven of tranquillity is a work of art in itself. Each room has been carefully decorated with replicas of classic pieces from the early 1900s, and combines natural fabrics with high-quality materials to transcend the typical accommodation experience.
Generous windows allow the beauty of the Mediterranean to flood the rooms, and the plush linens and soothing décor promote a blissful night’s sleep.
At The Oasis, meditation and inner peace are blissfully embodied in the hotel’s 1600 m2 of spa facilities. This unique wellness space is sewn together by expert hands, with the ultimate goal of helping you achieve the highest levels of well-being.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Oasis by Don Carlos Resort
3. Hard Rock Hotel Marbella – Adults Only Recommended – a funky music-themed hotel designed to give you a stay like a touring rock star
The Hard Rock brand has extended its contemporary style to the sunny shores of Marbella, resulting in a scintillating coastal retreat designed to spark your imagination.
A curated collection of music memorabilia, a distinctive set of luxurious décor, and a lush oasis-like garden by the pool set the tone for a unique getaway here. A hint of rebellion infuses the hotel’s modern design, with life-like sculptures enclosed in glass domes and quirky pops of colour designed to add an extravagant twist.
The hotel’s varied culinary offerings will excite even the most seasoned palates, with exceptional classic cuisine served at Sessions, and delicious snacks served alongside premium cocktails at Eden Pool Club.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hard Rock Hotel Marbella
4. Boho Club – a beautiful and unique boutique hotel with a trendy boho vibe located on the famous golden mile
Belying its glitzy Marbella surroundings, Boho Club is an unconventional haven of low-lying white-washed walls and Balinese-style bungalows.
Set within the lush landscape of towering palms and tropical banana leaves, the hotel evokes an alfresco vibe through its many gardens and terraces. Bold flavours, mesmeric music, and captivating art permeate the property, which guided me to feel connected, inspired, and restored during my stay.
As soon as you arrive you can head to the shaded pergola for an outdoor yoga session, or rest on cacti-lined poolside cabanas and embrace the sun-drenched climate. Once you reach your room, you’ll find a handwritten envelope detailing what’s on offer during your stay.
- To book, check prices or availability for Boho Club
5. Nobu Hotel Marbella – a hip, chic and Instaworthy design hotel with the w0w-factor located on the Golden Mile
Nobu is a pleasure paradise set on the Golden Mile, sporting voguish Japanese-inspired interiors and an array of upmarket eateries.
A modern take on ryokan-style detailing and unexpected flourishes of retro Hollywood memorabilia adorn the interiors, while a sense of urban cool is added through the neon-bathed artwork.
Our guestroom, both spacious and elegant, featured natural wood and wicker furnishings, alongside ambient lighting which beautifully illuminates the neutral colour palette. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at the on-site Plaza Village, which invites visitors and locals to sample Marbellan cuisine with a Japanese twist.
A 500-metre walk will take you to a glorious beach, as well as many tennis and paddle courts, a slew of restaurants, and an open-air nightclub.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nobu Hotel
6. Linda Boutique Hotel – a stunning upscale boutique hotel with an eclectic design in the heart of the picturesque old town
Linda Boutique Hotel is a contemporary oasis set in the beating heart of old town Marbella. Enclosed by picturesque scenery, the surrounding narrow streets girdle the property with a bountiful array of restaurants and boutiques.
Eleven tastefully decorated guestrooms feature a wide array of contemporary amenities, while the larger suites welcome larger families and pets. I really enjoyed eating at the lobby café, which serves a delectable breakfast each morning, as well as all day brunches.
In the evening, head to the Gastro Bar, where you can savour carefully crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list along with artisan bites. After an afternoon on the beach, Linda’s alfresco rooftop lounge awaited us with one of Marbella’s most scenic aperitif spots.
- To book, check prices or availability for Linda Boutique Hotel
7. Occidental Puerto Banús – trendy contemporary accommodation located in the most exclusive area of Puerto Banus
Located in one of the most renowned luxury marinas in the world, Occidental Puerto Banús is a completely renovated, avant-garde style retreat consisting of 294 bright and spacious rooms.
A kitchen and gracefully furnished terrace provide each unit with the comforts of home, while the many on-site restaurants bring an international flair to your vacation.
Our favourite hangout spot was the brand-new Breeze Gastro Bar. It invites you to savour healthy snacks, and its 2 surrounding swimming pools are dotted by hammocks and trees, offering a truly unforgettable vacation experience. In addition, within a radius of 20 km, guests can enjoy 22 golf courses!
- To book, check prices or availability for Occidential Puerto Banús
8. The Pearl – Marbella – a chic, unique and romantic boutique hotel located in the entertainment district
This soulful Bed & Breakfast brings a chic vintage vibe to your Marbella vacation. The Pearl, adorned with a shimmering sky-blue pool and a handful of open-air hangout spots, encourages guests to surrender to the rhythms of beach life, while soaring trees provide an essence of nature.
Each individually designed room offers a fresh take on a traditional concept, where traditional patterned curtains and vaulted ceilings stand side by side with modern décor and state-of-the-art amenities.
Each morning, you can treat the palate to a delicious breakfast, before going for a peaceful stroll on the nearby beach.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Pearl Hotel Marbella
9. Molo Luxury Suites Puerto Banus – peaceful and beautiful award-winning boutique accommodation the winner of the Luxury Hotel Awards in Puerto Banus
Resting on the top of a unique Andalucian complex facing the famous mountain La Concha, Molo Luxury Suites reminded me of the true essence of hospitality.
Privacy, comfort, and elegance radiate through the property, and the glorious views are just the icing on the cake. The terracotta floors, ceramics, and ancient design objects evoke an air of tradition, while the scent of jasmine and lemon blossom around the terrace and pool snap you right back into the present moment.
The property offers 8 elegant suites and rooms, each expressing a unique design and style. Surrounding Molo Luxury Suites are some of Marbella’s most favoured golf courses, as well as an eclectic range of restaurants and bars.
- To book, check prices or availability for Molo Luxury Suites
10. Hotel Claude Marbella – unique upscale boutique accommodation set in a 17th-century mansion that was formerly an artists’ club
Once the summer residence of Napoleon III’s wife, this 17th -century home is inspired by both Andalucian culture and Marbella’s lively old town. Bold, urban styling has been beautifully infiltrated into the original architectural roots, skilfully emanating charm and sophistication.
The property is permeated by a sense of understated luxury, and revolves around a light-flooded central patio with marble pillars, an ancient well, red-brick arches, and a suspended wooden-fish sculpture.
I’d recommend you check out the Jaén-inspired rooftop terrace – Its white-and-green tiling complements the works by cubist painter Willy L’Eplattenier. My guestroom was graced by trailblazing amenities, local products, and tile-walled bathrooms.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Claude Marbella
11. Hotel Maison Ardois La Ciudadela Marbella – a chic and elegant upscale boutique hotel located on Calle Ancha in the city
This 1929 stately house lies behind a beautiful sandstone façade, and its Mudejar architectural elements transport you straight to a time of historical opulence.
Exposed quartzite walls and wooden vaults bring character to the 9 guestrooms, which are touched with modern, industrial trends. A memorable moment at Hotel Maison was sipping a crafted cocktail on the panoramic terrace, whilst gazing over the cityscape and embracing a golden sunset. Here, a unique combination of Mediterranean, Peruvian, and Spanish cuisine is served.
Our bohemian-style guestroom came with large windows, offering spectacular views of Calle Ancha – the main street of the old town.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Maison Ardois La Ciudadela Marbella
12. Jardines De La Reina Boutique Bed & Breakfast – a super cute and romantic gem offering bright, individually decorated rooms and suites
Owned and operated by a young and friendly international couple, Jardines De La Reina offers 8 rooms with 8 different themes. In each unit, the vibrant décor and beautiful colour scheme take inspiration from the travels of the owners.
Topped with luxury amenities and a bespoke service, the warm and homely atmosphere brought a soul-soothing tone to my once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Here, guests are invited to embrace a beautiful outdoor environment, courtesy of the property’s majestic gardens, its large patio with palm-fringed pool, and its quaint poolside breakfast room.
Further on-site offerings include a hip trendy bar, a cosy library, a graceful fire pit, and many mountain bikes (which I was able to borrow for free).
- To book, check prices or availability for Jardines De La Reina Boutique Bed & Breakfast
13. HC6 Boutique – a gorgeous centrally located boutique hotel located near Venus Beach and La Bajadilla Beach
HC6 is a traditional hip boutique exuding a spiritual vibe, with Balinese-style sculptures and eccentric tapestries adding an eclectic flair to the interiors.
My stay was filled with inspiration and curiosity, owing to the hotel’s beautiful ceramic utensils, charming array of flowers, and quirky décor with bright pops of colour. In the guestrooms, the graceful wooden elements imbue the atmosphere with an air of tranquillity.
A full English/Irish breakfast is served each morning, providing the fuel for an action-packed day out in the sun-drenched neighbourhoods. The hotel is situated a mere 650 yards from two of Marbella’s most famed beaches, and in the vicinity of many artisan cafés and quaint boutiques.
- To book, check prices or availability for HC6 Boutique
14. Cortijo Boutique Marbella – a playful quirky-chic romantic boutique with eclectic styling 2 km from Río Sequillo Beach
This graceful boutique is perfectly located for you to enjoy golf excursions, theatre events, and blissful beach days. I felt an artsy atmosphere as soon as I entered the lobby, which brims with hip décor produced by local creators.
Wooden vaults, tiled floors, and mosaic tapestries add an air of majesty to the guestrooms, which frame effervescent landscape views through large wooden windows. Each unit features high-end facilities such as a mini-fridge, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a bathroom with a spa bathtub.
A continental breakfast is served each morning, however a short stroll will land you at a charming variety of bakeries and cafés, where you can savour European and International dishes.
- To book, check prices or availability for Cortijo Boutique Marbella
15. Casa Silca – a unique, tranquil and intimate boutique hotel with boho vibes located near Holistic Life Marbella
The perfect place to dream, relax, and capture moments of bliss, Casa Silca offers a pristine location in the midst of nature, in contact with the aromas of the Mediterranean.
I thought the views from the tree-lined, cabana-fringed pool were nothing short of majestic! Inside, a more traditional look is reflected through exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, and trappings of stone and wood.
The guestrooms evoke a boho-chic ambiance, set by quirky décor, patterned furnishings, and beautifully embellished woodwork. As you enter your secluded sanctuary, you will be greeted by an immense work of art produced by a local creator.
- To book, check prices or availability for Casa Silca
16. The Marbella Heights Boutique Hotel – a chic and elegant Asian-styled boutique set on a hill overlooking the sea
This was the perfect getaway under the Spanish sun! At Marbella Heights, we enjoyed the comforts of home alongside the luxuries of a five-star hotel.
The exquisite Asian-inspired design brings a quirky twist to the guestrooms and outdoor terraces, where a wide variety of materials and artwork keep all the senses ignited. Beautiful colour combinations, natural wood furniture, and authentic décor are fuelled together to immerse guests in a Balinese-style atmosphere, in the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.
The unique location of the hotel allowed us to combine a vibrant party-filled vacation with a blissful state of repose, high up in the hills of Marbella.
- To book, check prices or availability for Marbella Heights Boutique Hotel
17. B&B Boutique Tribeca – a quirky-chic boutique guest house perfect for a more authentic Spanish stay
In a small and quiet street in the centre of the old town of Marbella, B&B Boutique Tribeca welcomes guests to a hip retreat where vaulted ceilings and traditional elements meet homely, modern comforts.
Preserving its original charm, this 1940 home has been redecorated wooden accents and modern wall embellishments, offering a relaxed environment to the discerning traveller.
Our room came with a wall-mounted flat-screen TV and high-velocity Wi-Fi, allowing us to stay connected while being blissfully detached from the fast pace of the city.
The hotel is situated a mere 900 yards from Paseo Maritimo and the beach, providing convenient access to places of pure serenity.
- To book, check prices or availability for B&B Boutique Tribeca
18. Kiwidestiny Marbella – Puerto Banús – trendy and contemporary self-catering accommodation perfect for longer stays
A trendy hip concept has fuelled the beautiful design of this idyllic Marbella retreat, which provides each guest with a balcony, city views, a private seating area, and a fully equipped kitchen.
The essence of nature brings an air of tranquillity to every space here, partly through the carefully chosen potted plants, and partly through the wall-sized flowered artwork.
Outside, there is a shimmering pool surrounded by greenery, inviting you to soak up the blissful Mediterranean climate. Quirky patterns, natural elements, and artisan décor beautify the communal spaces and corridors, which welcome lots of light through large windows.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kiwidestiny Marbella – Puerto Banus
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.