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One of the best known resort towns on the Costa del Sol, there's more to Marbella than sunshine glinting off bling, and the Mediterranean, and a host of glamourous bars, clubs and restaurants ripe for a good time. Once a whitewashed fishing village, the Old Town is a fascinating blend of Andalusian and Moorish cultures - you can see this in the colourful floral displays, narrow streets and unique mansions - now converted into some of the best places to stay in Marbella if you're looking for local charm. In front of the town is the beautiful natural harbour and behind it are the mountains of the Sierra Blanca. And when it comes to history, Marbella sure can tell some colourful tales.
Marketed as Spain's St. Tropez, Marbella has long been a favourite of the rich and famous. And the glitz of the marina and variety of boutiques proves it's still got it.
If you're here for the nightlife, Marbella has plenty of good restaurants, and the famous strip of bars and clubs of Puerto Banus - the bling capital of the Costa del Sol. Marbella also has some of Spain's best golf courses - and that's saying something seeing there are forty golf courses on the Costa del Sol alone!
There's also parasailing, normal sailing, and a number of water sports requiring less practice.
Marbella might not seem like the perfect family holiday destination, but as well as the charm of the Old Town and the excellent beaches, Marbella is a short drive from the monkeys of the Rock of Gibraltar, the old 'white village' of Mijas and the markets of Benahavis.
Marbella's Most Glamorous
- Hotel Puente Romano offers grand Andalusian luxury on the sea front, with creamy colours, private balconies and a choice of restaurants - but only 34 rooms.
- Whitewashed and unfussy, The Town House is close to the Plaza de los Naranjos and the Old Town, so it's the hotel to book if you want to be really central.
- If you want romance and luxury, our pick of the best places to stay in Marbella would be the Hotel Claude. It's a beautifully restored 17th Century townhouse converted into just seven suites with chic, boutique style interiors.
- Casa la Concha is a set of chic, little B&B cottages set on a hilltop, and the perfect location if you want somewhere quiet, relaxed and green. The views of the Mediterranean are lovely, and because you have your own cottage this is one of the best places to stay in Marbella with kids.
Best Marbella Resort Break
- The Marbella Club has its own golf course and spa, and offers tennis and horse riding. It also has its own beach, so this is ideal if you're looking for the perfect resort holiday. And in the summer there's a kid's club. So it's another good choice for families.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Marbella for you?
Best Hotels in Marbella
La Villa Marbella 25 rooms from $112Marbella
A chic boutique hotel in the old town. Beautiful rooms and apartments styled on Asian cities have lots of natural light and attractive furnishings. Stunning views from roof terrace. Set in a quiet location and minutes from the sights and beaches. Ideal for a romantic holiday or group of friends.Romantic Break - Romantic rooms styled on Asian cities, views, miles of beaches and the restaurants and markets of old town to exploreGroups - The larger suites, some with kitchens and sitting rooms, some with jacuzzi terraces, are perfect for groups.Great walks - Through the old town of Marbella, to sights such as the Plaza de los NaranjosSights nearby - Cordoba, Gibraltar, Granada, Malaga, Mijas and Tarifa
Casa la Concha 5 rooms from $143Marbella
A chic boutique B&B with individual cottages sprawling through beautiful flora and fauna gardens. Set on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean and Marbella. An ideal location for a weekend wedding or a group/family holiday.Views - Of the Mediterranean and of Marbella.Groups - The whole house can be rented.Weddings - Tailor made wedding weekends.Private villas - 5 luxury cottages.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Town House, Marbella 9 rooms from $143Marbella
If you're looking for a chic and simple base from which to explore Marbella then this boutique B&B is perfect. White washed walls and wooden beams with a flash of antique decoration. A private and intimate destination.CharmingValue chicLess £TownRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Hotel Puente Romano 266 rooms from $286Marbella
Grand Andalucian luxury on the sea front. Beautiful sunny rooms and suites have white washed walls, parquet floors, creamy furnishings and private balconies. Many restaurants, tennis courts, spa, private beach and kids club. Perfect for beach life.LuxuryFamiliesFoodiesBeach LifeRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Hotel Claude 7 rooms from $286Marbella (Calle Ancha)
Sophisticated and elegantly restored 17th century townhouse, in Marbellas old town. The seven chic and individual rooms feature Moorish-style arched doorways, peaked timbered ceilings and understated contemporary touches. Sunlit interior patio, gourmet dining and rooftop terrace. Totally unique.City Style - Beautiful stucco façade, vaulted archways, and carved wooden doors refreshingly matched with sleek modern design.Local exploring - A discreet Andalusian oasis in a 17th-century mansion at the heart of Marbella's lovely labyrinthine old town.Sights nearby - Visit the enchanting Plaza de los Naranjos, with its lively terrazas, orange trees, and Castilian Renaissance architecture.Great walks - Wander the winding narrow lanes of the old town, pausing for wonderful food under the orange trees.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
Marbella Club 81 rooms from $389Marbella
A golf, spa and beach resort that offers a unique experience. Elegant in its classic style and luxurious with its outstanding facilities. Located in a natural paradise on the shores of the Mediterranean. An oasis of relaxation for families or those seeking something princely.Traditional - A quintessential Marbella resort — established by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe in 195Private villas - Especially suitable for families or absolute privacy.Families - There is a popular children'c club in the summer.Garden - Manicured tropical gardens.Recommended by - Tablet, Fodors