El Fuerte Marbella Hotel: where Spanish luxury meets personal bliss in Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is renowned for its charm, luxury, and allure, with Marbella standing as its crowning jewel. And in this glamorous city, my sanctuary was the unparalleled Hotel El Fuerte Marbella, a five-star haven promising an experience like no other. 

After last year’s experience with neighboring Amàre Beach Hotel Marbella – Spanish luxury gateway by the Mediterranean Sea, I was very curious to see what El Fuerte will be look like for after a months-long global renovation.

From the very moment I stepped into the luxurious embrace of Hotel El Fuerte Marbella, I knew it was going to be an extraordinary journey. The expansive lobby felt like an art gallery, infused with the warmth of Spanish aesthetics. Elegant details, warm colors and modern artwork foreshadow the upcoming experience. As I approached the lavish establishment, its awe-inspiring architecture, with hints of authentic Andalusian influences, left an immediate impression. I was welcomed by the warmest staff, whose attention to detail was evident from the moment they presented a tantalizing welcome drink, capturing the essence of Spanish flavors.

El Fuerte – a legendary hotel with a rich history reborn in a heart of Marbella

Situated on the Costa del Sol, this iconic establishment has been elevated to 5 stars and stands as the epitome of relaxed luxury in Marbella. With its prime beachfront location in the city center, it offers unparalleled sea views stretching across Marbella’s seafront promenade and is just a 5-minute stroll away from the Plaza de los Naranjos in the Old Town.

The interior design of the hotel, led by the renowned Chilean designer Jaime Beriestain, brilliantly melds casual luxury with Andalusian tradition seen through a modern perspective. The revamped El Fuerte Marbella offers inviting, harmonious, and open spaces that evoke the grandeur of magnificent Andalusian palaces and country homes. The design incorporates earthy and terracotta colors blended with spicy tones and natural, plant-based elements, imparting a timeless ambiance to the space.

El Fuerte Marbella – where Walt Disney and Pluto felt in love with Costa del Sol

Tracing its roots back to 1544 when King Charles V commissioned a fortress on Marbella’s shores, it wasn’t until 1957 that El Fuerte emerged as a 4-star hotel, soon to become a favored haunt for luminaries like the famed Walt Disney.

Walt Disney, the legendary animator, was among the early guests of the hotel, checking in during the spring of 1958. He spent several weeks there, accompanied by his loyal dog Pluto. Initially attracted to Costa del Sol for potential film locations, Disney soon fell in love with Marbella’s unique allure, making it both his personal haven and a rich wellspring of creativity. During Disney’s stay, Pedro Guerrero, a long-standing employee of El Fuerte Marbella, took on the role of Pluto’s caretaker, guiding him on morning and evening strolls. This task, initially a simple chore, paved the way for a deep bond, fueled by frequent visits and enriching dialogues at Disney’s Marbella residence.

For over five decades, El Fuerte Marbella has been a focal point of Marbella’s social scene. It has hosted a diverse array of personalities, including Timothy Dalton, Rafael Alberti, Lola Flores, and Penélope Cruz. More than 65 years after opening its doors to its first guest, the hotel aims to become a preferred destination once again for discerning visitors. This is made possible through its prime location, revamped interior design, and outstanding culinary offerings.

I can confirm that it is already achieving this goal with a huge success.

Rooms that resonate luxury

Being accustomed to luxury travels, I’ve witnessed elegance in many forms. But the room I stepped into at El Fuerte Marbella redefined opulence. The expansive suite boasted floor-to-ceiling windows, offering uninterrupted views of the turquoise Mediterranean waters. Every corner of the room whispered luxury, from the soft, cotton bed linens and the Earth colors and the contemporary artwork that adorned the walls. And as night fell, the room transformed into a romantic cocoon, with the ambient lighting casting a golden hue, making the distant city lights seem like stars brought closer to earth.

The rooms at El Fuerte Marbella are not just places to rest, but sanctuaries of unparalleled comfort. My room, a palatial space of modernity, was accentuated with subtle touches of Andalusian charm. Dominated by an impressive window offering panoramic views of the sparkling Mediterranean, I was often torn between exploring Marbella and simply lounging in the inviting aura of my quarters.

The rooms are kitted with all the facilities designed for your maximum rest and convenience and are sure to meet all your needs and each detail, from the cosmetics in the bathroom to the well-curated mini-bar, exuded sophistication.

I was falling in love all over again every morning, while sipping my first coffee and listening the waves from my terrace.

The perfect start of the day

Morning at the hotel brought with it a promise of breakfasts fit for royalty. A lavish buffet spread awaited guests, ensuring that each palate, whether inclined towards traditional Spanish flavors or international favorites, was catered to. Hotel El Fuerte’s gastronomic offerings are nothing short of a culinary voyage. Breakfasts here were an elaborate affair. From the fresh fruits, home-made baked goods, to a dedicated omelette and pancakes station that was my personal highlight, turning the simple act of breakfast into a delightful show.

Not to forget of daily freshy squeezd orange juice and a glass of champagne that made you feel a little fancy. Just because we always should feel like in the movies, am I right?

During the day: a dive into bliss 

While Marbella is renowned for its beaches, the swimming pools at El Fuerte are where I found my serenity. The infinity pool on the rooftop, which seemed to merge with the horizon, or the more intimate garden pool surrounded by lush greenery, each dip was a rejuvenating experience. And the poolside bar, with its refreshing cocktails or Cava served to your beach bed, added a spirited touch to relaxation.

The Costa del Sol’s newest culinary destination

Mealtimes at El Fuerte Marbella were more than just about satiating hunger; they were sensory celebrations. I could choose from three amazing restaurant that offer different, yet fabulous experiences.

Soleo: A gastronomic voyage with a sprinkle of enchantment

Renowned for leaving a mark on both residents and tourists, Soleo, El Fuerte Marbella’s esteemed beach club, promises a culinary experience blending age-old recipes, spanning rice meals, seafood, and fried delights, with contemporary flair.

High-calibre local produce takes the limelight in every dish. The Isabel López Vilalta-designed interior channels the grace of a bygone era, crafting the illusion of dining aboard a luxurious yacht. It’s poised to become the heart of Marbella’s vibrant social scene.

I ate here the most delicate octopus when the sunset colored the sky in sweet pink gradient.

Levante: Embracing the old, celebrating the new

Levante promises a laid-back ambiance where diners can dive deep into a Mediterranean culinary narrative. This narrative effortlessly marries age-old traditions and current trends, with a generous sprinkle of Andalusian essence, while still staying receptive to global influences. Culinary curators, Inés Calle and Vicente Fortea, have masterfully orchestrated a gastronomic odyssey encapsulating the essence of the Costa del Sol. The menu, bursting with vibrancy and diverse flavors, places emphasis on fruits, vegetables, luscious olive oil, prime Iberian pork, a vast assortment of seafood, including the prized almadraba tuna, and a rich medley of grains, nuts, and spices.

I loved that each time I visit it, there was a live music playing making it a very romantic experience.

The cherry on top: restaurant by 4* Michelin star chef Paco Pérez

The launch of El Fuerte Marbella introduces some of the most exclusive culinary offerings, courtesy of the accomplished chef Paco Pérez. In addition to Soleo, the existing restaurant that has been serving top-quality local and traditional Mediterranean cuisine for six years, the hotel welcomes the inspired creations of this remarkable chef in the form of Edge by Paco Pérez. This distinctive space, conceived by the esteemed chef, emphasizes local ingredients and showcases them at the heart of the dining experience. It operates under the theme “Mediterranean travel-inspired food,” and offers diners the chance to enjoy these culinary delights while taking in stunning views of the sea and Marbella’s Old Town.

Evenings to remember in Edge Skybar where the sky has no limites

No review of El Fuerte Marbella would be complete without mentioning its evenings. As the sun set, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, the hotel came alive in a new avatar. Live music, from traditional Spanish guitar to chill beats, echoed through the corridors.

One evening, I found myself at the hotel’s rooftop lounge. Exclusively focusing on the craft of mixology, the Edge Skybar, orchestrated by mixologist Cristian Pineda, graces the hotel’s zenith. Offering unparalleled vistas of the Mediterranean and Marbella’s historic centre, this bar is set to immerse guests in a uniquely crafted cocktail adventure. Drawing inspiration from the sultry winds of the Spanish coast, each drink is a tapestry of diverse cultures, aromatic notes, and distinct tastes.

Sipping on a signature cocktail, with the cool sea breeze playing with my hair, and the rhythmic beats in the background, I realized this wasn’t just a hotel stay. It was an experience, a memory, a story waiting to be told.

This is what I called ‘luxury’ – little moments, so beautiful that you want remember them forever.

El Fuerte Marbella Spa: An ode to relaxation

El Fuerte Marbella Spa isn’t just a facility; it’s a transformative experience. Stepping in, I was enveloped in a serene ambiance, with the scent of essential oils creating an atmosphere of utter tranquility.

I was amazed by indoor swimming  pool with the water circuit and the whole design of the place.

Together with the prestigious cosmetics brand, Clarins, El Fuerte created a center of relaxation, beauty, and well-being.

My choice, a Beauty Sleep, was relaxing face and body treatment to improve the quality of sleep that combines the best of comforting skin care and enhanced with a detoxifying and relaxing massage. Enough to say, that it was exactly what I needed during my perfect Spanish holidays.

Fitness in luxury is possible in El Fuerte Marbella

The gym, often an overlooked aspect in many hotels, stood out in El Fuerte. Not just for its state-of-the-art equipment, but for its setting. Imagine running on a treadmill, with panoramic views of the Mediterranean! Each piece of equipment was top-tier, and the space itself was expansive, ensuring one’s fitness routine was not compromised, but instead enhanced. It was a huge pleasure to workout in this place every day.

Final musings

As I packed my bags, a sense of melancholy set in. Not because the vacation was ending, but because I was saying goodbye to a place that had offered not just luxury but warmth, not just services but experiences. Hotel El Fuerte in Marbella isn’t just a destination; it’s a journey, a tale of Spanish elegance, and a promise of memories that linger long after you’ve left.

Its where world-class amenities meet heartwarming hospitality, making every guest feel special. As the plane took off, carrying me away from Marbella, I made a silent promise: I will return. El Fuerte is not just a hotel; it’s a narrative waiting for its next chapter.

As every year, I make sure to get you discounts at some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. This year I have a special discount for your bookings in El Fuerte Marbella. With my code you will get a 15% discount. You can make your reservations on the dedicated page HERE.  Promo code is valid until 31/12/2023 and for bookings until 31/05/2024, so it’s a good time to think about your perfect Spanish holidays in 2023 or 2024.

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Welcome on my blog about traveling, active lifestyle and chasing all the crazy dreams. I have been on 6 continents and in more than 100 countries so far, but I still have so much to explore :)

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Author picture

Welcome on my blog about traveling, active lifestyle and chasing all the crazy dreams. I have been on 6 continents and in more than 100 countries so far, but I still have so much to explore :)

< read more >