Jessica Harrison heads to Southern Spain for a sun-drenched mini break with views to die for.
The Kempinski Hotel Bahia is an elegant beachfront resort boasting unrestricted (and pretty incredible) views of the Mediterranean Sea and African coastline. This large terracotta hued hotel is set in lush tropical gardens, with 3 intertwining pools and even a little slice of private beach. Impeccable service, superb facilities and that view are what sets this hotel apart. With a beautiful on-site spa and a choice of three excellent and recently revamped restaurants, you won’t want to leave. Plenty of sun loungers can be found throughout the gardens, plus dreamy Balinese day beds are available should you desire a more luxurious sun bathing session. This established, contemporary and very welcoming hotel has all the ingredients needed for a stylish, relaxing and luxurious stay on the Costa Del Sol. And being a quick 45 minutes taxi ride from Malaga airport, the Kempinski Hotel Bahia really is an easy escape to Andalusian heaven.
Plenty to chose from with 128 rooms and 17 suites. All rooms have terraces or balconies enjoying views of the sea and gardens. The main rooms are very comfortable and classic in style. WIFI is included and all rooms have elegant marble bathrooms with separate bath/ shower. Rooms come with amenities such as bottled water, tea and coffee stations, mini bar, robes, slippers and toiletries.
The fabulous suites are divided into categories, from junior suites to the lavish Presidential and Royal Suites. Those of which come with living and dining rooms, multiple bathrooms and access to a private roof terrace.
If you can, definitely opt for a sea-facing room and soak up the breathtaking sea view from your balcony. The lapping waves and blue hues will have you switched into holiday mode in no time.
Situated in a quiet corner of the hotel, you will find the tranquil hotel spa. The friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect treatments, such as Vitamin C facials, pedicures and signature massages, plus a unique Quartz Bed Massage and a private couples massage suite. The complex also has a Swedish sauna, steam room, relaxation area, indoor pool, modern fitness area and a yoga studio, available to all guests.
Start the day off right with the sumptuous hotel breakfast at El Mirador. Fresh coffee and juice of the day is brought to your table on a sun-dappled terrace. Breakfast is buffet style and the choice is extensive. Options include freshly made eggs, British and Spanish hot breakfast favourites, a variety of local meats and cheeses, fresh pastries, yogurts, fresh fruit and smoothies. I could go on. Younger guests can help themselves to mini doughnuts, pancakes, cereals and more. Oh, and if you’re really in the holiday spirit then bottles of Cava sit waiting on ice for you to help yourself.
For the rest of the day, you have three on-site restaurants to choose from. Let’s start with Spilers Beach Club, a newly opened stylish beachside restaurant. It’s beach chic here, as the white gauzy curtains blow gently in the breeze and chill-out tunes are played, you can easily drift into a relaxing long lunch. The best tables are on the terrace over looking the sea. There is also a private sun-bed area, where guests can relax and enjoy exclusive beach club vibes. The excellent menu includes a raw bar with oysters and ceviche, small plates such as grilled octopus salad and squid ink croquettes and a variety of delicious mains such as seared tuna loin, daily catch specials, artisanal pizzas, burgers and Spanish classics. Once the sun sets, the restaurant becomes a stylish evening hangout with live music and a dressed up crowd.
For a more romantic mood, head to Balthazar Bar and Grill. Here the menu offers Spanish classics, a variety of steaks and seafood mains, plus daily specials. We enjoyed chilled gazpacho soup, prawn pil-pil, t-bone steak and a lobster paella. You can cosy-up at the tables inside the restaurant (and even watch the chefs cook) or dine al-fresco looking out across the pools towards the sea.
Black Rose The Bar, is the spot for lighter bites and cocktails. Located between the newly renovated airy lobby and on a pretty terrace overlooking the pools. Super comfy sofas encourage lounging and the gentle sound of bird song will have you in a relaxed state of mind (the excellent and interesting cocktail menu might help with that too). The food menu is smaller here but perfectly crafted with dishes such as mushroom croquettes and a heavenly burrata salad.
For younger guests, there is one menu that applies throughout hotel. It offers the usual kids favourites but with no compromise on quality. Plus a poolside ice cream stand is on hand should they need cooling off (or bribing).
Drinks and light bites are available to order pool-side. The menu is small but the dishes hit the spot. We devoured the fresh tuna tacos!
The landscaped gardens are beautiful. Meander through the lush grounds and head down to the hotel’s organic produce garden, gloriously filled with olive, lemon and avocado trees.
Many on-site sport activities are available at the hotel, including tennis and complimentary yoga lessons. Down on the beach you can do a spot of paddle boarding, jet skiing and more or just enjoy a simple saltwater swim. Golf and horse riding can be also be arranged.
The hotel has a stylish and useful boutique shop, selling swimwear, beach cover-ups, cute baskets and more. Plus beach shoes and toys for the kids.
Children are welcomed and well catered for here. So while you are relaxing by the pool, they can enjoy the fabulous kids club. Different daily activities are on offer such as painting, baking, football, tennis and exploring the gardens. And should you need a night off, babysitting can also be arranged by the hotel.
It would be easy to never leave this hotel during your stay, but if you do want to venture afield you have great options close by. Just a five-minute drive away is the cute fishing town of Estepona. Twenty-minutes in the opposite direction you will find the glitzier resorts of Puerto Banus and Marbella. The beautiful and historic town of Rhonda is just a 40-minute drive away, high up into the nearby mountains and well worth the trip.
THE NEED TO KNOW
ROOMS – 128 rooms and 17 suites
PRICE – Starting from €240 in low season
CHECK IN – 15:00
CHECK OUT – 12:00
NEAREST AIRPORTS – Malaga and Gibralter