The architectural and design world seems to be almost obsessed with minimalism these days, yet iconic hotels like the Los Monteros Spa & Golf Resort 5*GL know that when a company boasts a history so rich, nothing pleases a discerning client so much, as the honest celebration of tradition and old world style.
This hotel is classic and new all at once; welcoming warmth is provided by the proliferation of shiny noble wood and the elegant gold writing emblazoned above the reception desks. A few steps ahead, and visible practically from the entrance door, is the stunning Andalusian Patio, graced with flowers of all colours imaginable and bearing an air of romance and life that seem to celebrate this hotel’s biggest milestones.
Few hotels can lay claim to having once played home to the King of Pop himself, the great Michael Jackson, who gave his only concert on the Coast in 1988. Los Monteros continues to be the choice for celebrities and dignitaries alike and it celebrates this feat with a video screen in the reception area paying homage to a bevy of clients – everyone from Rocío Jurado to Tom Jones and of course, award-winning actor, Antonio Banderas, a regular client of the Hotel and owner of a home just a few metres away.
Los Monteros was one of the first five-star grand luxe hotels in Marbella. The brainchild of entrepreneur, Ignacio Coca, it opened its doors in 1962 with just 35 rooms. The success it enjoyed lead to further expansion and today, its initial structure is part of a graceful, circular set of low-rise buildings which look to the sea and overlook beautiful gardens and ponds where, I am told, flamingos once used to roam about freely.
The Hotel has 178 rooms, of which over half are Junior Suites. The General Manager, Fernando Al-Farkh, a stalwart of the Hotel who is able to recall fascinating anecdotes that reveal the depth and breadth of its history, shows me a few of the most stunning rooms.
The Royal Suite, which measures 350m2, is a true thing of beauty to behold. The latter boasts two double bedrooms (with four-poster beds), bathrooms large enough to merit at least a few hours of primping and pampering and boasting heavenly hydromassage tubs, a stunning dining lounge and six large terraces.
The Princess Suite is another excellent choice for families with its spacious living room, completely separated from the bedroom to ensure privacy, as well as a large corner terrace and a modern bedroom, coloured in powder blue and beige hues.
The two-Bedroom Deluxe Suites wield a certain kind of magic. Divided into two floors, it is almost English in inspiration, with narrow passageways and a slight colonial touch to the furniture. It is the perfect choice for families with young children. Parents can sip on Champagne in the room upstairs while the kids are safely tucked in bed below.
These rooms boast a comfy terrace from which to catch the sun’s rays, as well as a little garden area which kids will love to romp around; if they need extra diversion, sign them up for a full day’s entertainment at the Kid’s Club, located in the gardens by the pool.
For a room with tradition, meanwhile, it’s got to be number Seven, known as the Consul Suite, located in the original building and boasting décor with a touch of the exotic, including paisley wallpaper and rich purple fabrics on the furniture.
As one would expect from a Grand Luxe Hotel, Los Monteros is ready to help you unwind and make the most of the Andalusian lifestyle. The SPA is second to none, with a naturally lit circuit pool, as well as hammams, saunas, relaxation beds, a crushed ice fountain and a list of treatments which includes relaxing as well as invigorating massages and facials.
The gastronomic offer is diverse, and includes the cosy Flamingo Restaurant (perfect for a hearty breakfast or lunch), El Corzo Restaurant (open for dinner, it is the first ever Hotel restaurant in Spain to receive a Michelin star) and La Cabane Beach Club – without a doubt one of the most elegant beach clubs in the South of Spain, with a gorgeous bejewelled pool, just steps away from the beach.
The Hotel also boasts over 1,000m2 of space for corporate or social events. The main events hall, called Salón Real, can be divided into three, or joined for larger gatherings.
Finally, the verdant gardens by the pool, and La Cabane Beach Club itself, are just two of many romantic nooks that make the perfect setting for a wedding or party.
Los Monteros has meant so many things to so many people – famous and unknown, and it awaits you with open arms, to give you a taste of the glamour that has taken decades to perfect.
Words Marisa Cutillas / Photography courtesy of Los Monteros Spa & Golf Resort
CN340, km 187, Marbella (Málaga, Spain). Tel: 952 771 700.