It may famed for its nightlife, but this popular Spanish resort has plenty to offer if you're looking for a wellness break by the sea
Marbella is only 2 and half hours away and has a staggering 365 days of sunshine a year. So although it’s a great mid summer destination, you’re guaranteed bright sunshine-filled days whenever you go (and less crowds if you avoid July to September). Ok so it might be known for its nightlife and popularity with girl bands and footballers (we spotted Ronaldo during our stay) but for regulars and locals alike the main draw aside from the climate is the clean expansive beaches, fresh sea air and quality spas and sports-focussed resorts. If you’re after a refreshing weekend break to recharge or kickstart a new health regime, then Marbella should be high up on your list of places to go.
Puente Romano. This is the cooler younger sister hotel of the famous Marbella Club hotel, the Grand Dame of the coast, which opened in 1954 and quickly became the playground of the rich, royal and famous back in the day. Puente Romano is a five star hotel and spa that sits directly on the beach on the Golden Mile, between Marbella and Puerto Bonus, just 45 minutes from Malaga airport. It offers a range of trend-driven sport and ‘wellness’ packages for a young international crowd amidst the luxurious surroundings of an authentic Andalusian village-style resort complete with lush subtropical gardens and waterfalls reaching right down to the sea.
Facilities include a six Senses spa – the only one on the coast and activities from boot camps, yoga and even horse riding on the beach. You can also try sound bathing with Tibetan singing bowls, private tennis lessons, and personal training sessions. The spa itself has a range of offerings from one-to-one meditation and mindfulness sessions to deep pore facial treatments and Reiki. Plus of course an excellent massage menu, against the backdrop of natural botanical gardens and breathtaking sea views. And if after all that healthiness you feel like giving yourself a break, you can visit one of the 11 (yes you heard that right!) restaurants on the property or its onsite nightclub The Suite and party till dawn.
One of he hotel’s great range of restaurants. If you’ve only got a long weekend at the property and really want to unwind, the good news is you don’t even have to leave the resort to have an incredible range of gourmet experiences. From authentic local tapas on the beach at El Cheringuito to organic wheat and dairy free salads by the pool at Rachel’s, to award-winning sushi at the new Nobu, every taste is catered for. But hands down the best of the 11 restaurants is the Sea Grill, directly on the beach which serves up the most awesome fresh seafood buffet at lunchtime as well as a range of beautifully cooked locally caught fish each evening. Once you’ve experienced a languid lunch and glass of rose here overlooking the ocean, you’ll be planning your next trip.
You really must
Take one of the hotel’s hire-bikes out for a cycle along the promenade towards Marbella’s famous port – Puerto Banus for a look around the designer shops and gleaming white yachts in the harbour. A comfortable 20-minute ride away, it stretches along the coastal path where you can take in the sea view and stop along the way at one of the traditional local beach café’s for a strong coffee or ice-cream. And don’t leave without trying out the hydrotherapy and cold plunge pools, the rejuvenating herbal steam room, sauna and Hamman in the spa either. In terms of treatments, if you only have time for one, then go for a locally inspired massage that combines herbs, sea salt, olive oil and rich minerals. And if you have the time and energy take advantage of the chance to try your hand at paddle boarding on the hotel’s beach.
EasyJet has flights to Marbella from £39 each way. Rooms start at £200 per night with a range of special offers on spa and wellness packages available on the website.