The Daily Mail called it 'the new Barcelona' and The New York Times is just one of many major publications that has published big features about the capital of the Coast. Over the past two decades, the city of Málaga achieved a real coup: that of converting itself into a major hub of gastronomy, art, and music.

Events such as the yearly fair (the largest of its kind on the Coast) and Semana Santa, combined with sophisticated culinary offerings and the launch of a number of museums (including the Centro Pompidou in Muelle Uno) have contributed their share to up Málaga’s appeal to discerning tourists.

Data obtained by the Tourism Observatory indicates that from January to July last year, the tourism sector garnered €1.000M and in the entire 2016, the industry made €1.700M. With these impressive stats, the one thing that was missing in the capital of our province was a distinguished five-star hotel. In stepped the Gran Hotel Miramar, a haven of elegance a few steps away from the buzzing beach vibe of the city’s most visited beach, the Playa de La Malagueta.

The Hotel, originally launched in 1926 by King Alfonso XIII as the Hotel Príncipe de Asturias, exudes old world glamour from every pore, its regal architecture and stately columns flanked by joyful palms that lend it an almost Cuban-like feel. The building may be almost a century old but it has been meticulously reformed by Estudio Seguí and Aneta Mijatovic, who sought to protect the original work by renowned architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan while giving new life to the interiors and exteriors and creating spaces for events.

The Gran Miramar vies competently with the array of gastronomic offerings in the City with five restaurants of its own. We recommend the Restaurante Príncipe de Asturias, headed by Chef Diego Nicás. The restaurant is divided into different spaces, arguably the most appealing of which is the terrace, with its sea and boardwalk views.

Rooms at this hotel are as luxurious as its stunning exteriors would suggest. Each is inspired on different themes. The Mudéjar styled rooms bear a combination of Moorish and European influences (with archways, latticework, and beautiful arabesque lamps), while the Mediterranean rooms are dressed in light hues and feature maritime touches. Botanic rooms, meanwhile, are classically inspired and boast their own private garden. Then there are the suites, including ‘la del arquitecto’, which juxtaposes 20th- and 21st-century styles. The Gran Hotel Miramar has played host to Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Orson Welles, Cocteau, Hemingway, and Anthony Quinn and it’s easy to see why. The opulence of its architecture combined with its privileged proximity to the Mediterranean make it a unique offering for those seeking to soak in a little culture and luxury in the city of Málaga.

Words Marisa Cutillas Photography Courtesy of the Gran Hotel Miramar