Hotel Villa Padierna, Marbella

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Address: Carretera de Cadiz KM 166, Urbanizacion Flamingos Golf, Marbella, 29679, Spain

Star rating:
5 star hotel

4.4

Styled as a large Tuscan country mansion, it was Michelle Obama's hotel of choice last summer

Previously a Ritz-Carlton-owned hotel, the spacious Hotel Villa Padierna is a byword for over-the-top elegance. Many people who’ve stayed here have told me it feels like stepping into a fairytale as the sweeping drive takes you through the landscaped gardens and amphitheatre, to the pastel pink-coloured hotel which looks like it should be painted on a chocolate box. You get the picture.

Location
4.4
90%
Eating/drinking
4.6
90%
Leisure facilities
4.7
90%
Service
4.2
90%
Value for money
4
90%
Bedrooms
4.5
90%
Public areas
4.7
90%

Location

Surrounded by golf courses and mountains, it’s few minutes’ drive to the centre of either Marbella or Estepona, but it’s too far to walk.

Bedrooms

The 129 rooms and 11 private villas are all palatially-decorated and contain old-world art and furniture. If you’re after modern, minimalist spaces this is not for you! Whilst some of the exclusive villas have their own private pools, all the rooms have internet access and king-sized beds. Watching the sky turn from deep blue to a fiery orange at sunset from my grand marble bathtub is not something I’ll easily forget.

Public areas

As opulent as the hotel’s façade and rooms: the lobby and corridors are full of antiques and paintings which give the feeling you’re staying in a private stately house, not a hotel. Eddy’s Bar is a thankfully more relaxed affair and offers the finest wines, beers and high-end spirits.

Eating and drinking

The hotel’s culinary gem is La Veranda, whose chef, Victor Taborda, is the protégé of a three-star Michelin chef. Key elements of Spanish cuisine are given a luxurious twist. Average spend would be in the region of 75 euros per head. Last summer Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria sent an invitation to Mrs Obama to join her for dinner here. Sadly, she had other commitments that night. In my opinion, she missed out on one of the best restaurants in town.

Leisure facilities

The Thermae Spa offers the latest treatments but they don’t come cheap. The gym is well-equipped but small for a hotel of this size, and guests have unlimited access to the tennis and paddle courts.

Last summer, I got to hear some of the finest live jazz I’d ever heard in the hotel’s amphitheatre. Check with the hotel to see what's on.

Service

Generally sleek and efficient. That said, some have a slightly haughty attitude which left me unimpressed.

Who stays there

Well-heeled European golfers. And American First Ladies - Mrs Obama stayed her during her private holiday to Spain in 2010.

Price advice

You need a fat wallet, but if you want real indulgence then this is your palace. You get what you pay for, I guess.

Amenities

  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Foodies
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Sporty types
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Romance
  • Special occasions
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Fabulous restaurant
  • World-class leisure facilities
  • Uniquely styled
  • Impersonal service
  • Costly
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