As a major resort on Spain’s famous Costa del Sol, there’s a lot to ingratiate Marbella to the hordes of tourists that visit the town every year. Yes, there’s the ubiquitous sun, sea and sand, but there’s also an incredibly interesting archaeological heritage, dating back to Palaeolithic and Neolithic times.
But whatever the reason for loving Marbella, there’s one that almost everyone can agree on: the food! With an increase in tourism over the past few decades, a host of new restaurants and eateries have sprung up alongside the more traditional establishments in the Old Town. Here are two places at either end of the budget spectrum to get your taste buds tempted.
Very Posh Nosh
Chef Dani Garcia is renowned along the Costa del Sol as a magician of traditional Andalusian cuisine – with a twist of course – and is hailed in almost rock star proportions. His restaurant experience takes dining to a new level and his ethos – “A tradition-based sauce, pour opposing and unique flavours, add a tablespoon of intense nuances, a pinch of talent and a spring of innovation. Add a mixture of disconcerting textures and sprinkle it with thrill” – shows just how serious he is about his craft! Whew – and you thought it was just about tasting good! With Restaurant Dani Garcia serving up such creations as Cherry Gazpatcho, with cheese anchovies and pistachios; Iberian Pork, with smoked aubergine, black garlic pesto and soufflé potatoes; and Hazel Nut Soufflé, with papaya goat’s milk, cotton candy and iced guava, it’s sometimes more like theatre than dinner! You can find Restaurant Dani Garcia at Puente Romano Beach Resort, in Marbella – and take your credit card.
If you don’t want to have to take out a mortgage to pay for your dinner, you don’t have to resort to eating takeaway fish and chips on the beach. Restaurante Altamirano, in the historic Old Town of Marbella, is a favourite with locals and tourists who are lucky enough to stumble upon it. An unassuming entrance belies the deliciousness that’s found within and this delightful family-run establishment serves up what is renowned as the best tapas in Marbella. If you want an authentic Spanish foodie experience, Restaurante Altamirano will deliver it along with its bite sized morsels of seafood, meats, cheeses and olives – all prepared in traditional style. (You can actually have either tapas of a dish or a full portion from the extensive menu.) The house speciality, Pescadito Frito, is a must try – the crunchy small fried fish are an absolute delight to the taste buds. Restaurante Altamirano is also fabulous for people watching from the outside tables, as it is situated on the Plaza Altamirano, one of the Old Town’s most vibrant and popular areas.
One thing’s for sure – you won’t ever go hungry in Marbella, whatever your budget!
How to Get to Marbella
If you’re holidaying in Marbella, the easiest way to get there is to fly into Malaga airport, which services flights from the UK and Europe to the Costa del Sol, in the Andalusian region of Spain. Private taxis from Malaga airport can get you quickly and conveniently to Marbella, which is about 50 km away. You can also fly in from Gibraltar airport, which is around 77km from Marbella.
If you’re on a budget, as an alternative to a private taxi you can also book a shared shuttle service from Malaga or Gibraltar airports to your accommodation in Marbella.
Where to Stay
Hostal Berlin – For cosy, clean and central budget accommodation in Marbella, the friendly Hostal Berlin provides an ideal home from home. Just a few steps from the beach and ideally situated to explore the town, Hostal Berlin provides simple rooms with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning and heating facilities. There is an onsite bar/café and free Wi-Fi is available.
La Villa Marbella – In a prime location in Marbella’s historic Old Town, La Villa Marbella features uniquely themed rooms, excellent facilities and a panoramic roof terrace. Just a short walk to the famous Plaza de los Naranjos, La Villa Marbella is ideally placed to explore. The lovely terrace has free Wi-Fi and views over the Sierra Blanca and Arabic Walls.
Gran Meliá Don Pepe – Located on the seafront just a short walk from Marbella’s Old Town, the five star Gran Meliá Don Pepe offers luxurious accommodation, beautiful views and a great location. The elegantly decorated rooms feature plasma satellite TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi. There is an onsite ‘Life and Sun’ clinic offering Turkish baths, hot tubs, massage and spa treatments. As well as two restaurants, the Gran Meliá Don Pepe has a bar, three pools and a private beach club.