Interior designer Alejandra Pombo has completely transformed many spaces within Spain – from the spacious offices of Key Capital Partners in Madrid to the graceful Vincci Soho, also in Spain’s capital city.

Her work is contemporary, playful, and always a little eclectic. Each project is dipped in originality without sacrificing an iota of warmth. Marisa Cutillas discovers how the designer has made the most of the location, history, and innate beauty of the Vincci Selección Posada del Patio 5*.

A Hotel with History

The new-look Vincci Selección Posada del Patio 5*, just a three-minute walk from the city centre and El Corte Inglés, is testimony to Pombo’s ability to marry urban influences to the rich historical and cultural heritage of the space being transformed. The land on which the Vincci was built has seen the rise and fall of many ancient civilisations – including the Phoenicians, Arabians, and Christians.

The Hotel is built upon a Roman/Arabian stone wall and the remains of the Puerta del Río (‘door to the Málaga river’). The ancient wall, once hidden beneath the ravages of time, was discovered during renovation work and is now displayed prominently beneath a vertiginous glass walkway. On the day of my visit, a flamenco guitarist delighted our ears with lively music as we tucked into chilled fino and finely cut slices of ham. This underground haven can be hired for events or special evenings and is one of a small list of recommended ancient historical sites by the Málaga Town Hall.

Return to the Vincci’s Essence

The Hotel’s new design celebrates medieval and Arabian cultural influences, with a brand new patio that combines natural light, lush green foliage, and a rejuvenated ambience. The patio is the ideal spot for a cup of coffee while reading your email. Its atmosphere is breezy and its walls embellished with figures of a flock of birds in flight. Delicate skylights lend luminosity to the spot and complement the warmly lit lobby and breakfast areas – also on the ground floor – to perfection.

Common spaces are graced with iron columns and rich ornamentation; the ceilings are dotted with detailed prints of flowers and jungle-like plants while the reception desk is covered by a thatched/wooden construction that is shaped much like a Filipino paypay (a fan made by hand with dried leaves). The ambience in the reception and breakfast areas is youthful, playful, and almost tropical. Diverse influences bounce off each other in a gentle harmony that appeals to the senses.

The First Five-Star Hotel in Málaga

The Vincci Selección Posada del Patio 5* was the first five-star hotel to be built in Málaga. It boasts 106 rooms, as well as a rooftop pool area with fantastic views of the city. Its culinary offerings are top-notch, thanks to different ‘concepts’ served at varying times of the day.

La Posada Food&Living serves traditional Andalusian recipes which are jazzed up with the sophistication of modern cuisine. At lunch time, La Taberna de la Posada provides traditional inn-style platters that are ideal for sharing with others. After sunset, Entremuros invites diners to travel through time, enjoying cuisine prepared in Málaga throughout the ages. For an informal meal or a cup of coffee, it’s got to be La Posada Food&Drinks – where you can order a snack and a chilled glass of wine at any time of the day.

The Vincci hopes to be so much more than a place to rest after a day out in the City. Throughout the year, it will be offering a host of artistic, musical, and cultural events. It is also known among Malagueños as a top venue in which to enjoy a romantic meal. If an evening at the theatre and a day of shopping sounds like fun, why not pack your bags and book a night at this elegant yet lively hotel?