Malaga’s Botanical Spa by Sisley in the Gran Hotel Miramar

The Gran Hotel Miramar is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and is the first grand luxury hotel in Malaga. The gorgeous historical building had a 65 million euro overhaul last year and is set to place Malaga on the ‘luxury’ map and become one of the Europe’s great hotels.  Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens the 200-room hotel, opened in September 2017, now offers a two-storey Botanical Spa by Sisley.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga

The Botanical Spa is a holistic haven wholly dedicated to create a feeling of well-being, the new spa blends gorgeous natural plant-based products with Moorish traditions to create a calming oasis in Malaga, an ancient sea-faring city.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The  hotel’s gorgeously appointed spa offers an array of services such as:

  • Thermal circuit
  • Six body and aesthetic treatment cabins
  • Finnish sauna
  • Turkish hammam
  • Ice fountain
  • Jacuzzi
  • Sensations shower pool
  • Relaxation area with hot stone loungers
  • VIP treatment room offering  Champagne and fresh fruit juices.

The Botanical Spa’s  menu features  facials and body treatments from international luxury beauty brand, Sisley. The prestigious Sisley brand is the benchmark in Phyto-Cosmetology and uses the most effective natural plant extracts to achieve the best skincare results.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

With signature treatments such as the Expert Phyto-Aromatic Facial and the Phyto-Aromatic Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial  to moisturise, brighten or rejuvenate the skin, as well as multi-sensorial massage rituals from all over the world.  Respecting  local traditions and using power of aromatherapy to reunify body and mind.

Signature wellness experiences include an 80  minutes Happiness Ritual based on
the vitalising properties of fruit to tone and nourish the body combined with essential oils to bring balance, strength and mental clarity.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The Happiness Ritual includes an aromatic body exfoliation, moisturising massage and a personalised facial treatment. The traditional Moorish treatments range from an Alhama Ritual – a Middle Eastern Ritual combining an authentic Hammam to prepare the skin with a body exfoliation using a Kessa glove with Al Andalus aromas. To complete the experience, guests can relax with a moisturizing massage.
Gran Hotel Miramar

Gran Hotel Miramar on Booking dot com.

Miller’s of Frigiliana

Tanya Miller’s recently opened gorgeous ‘Home Away From Home’ hotel is tucked away in the narrow Moorish streets of an equally delightful town, hence its name Miller’s of Frigiliana.

Milller's of Frigiliana

Like Miller’s at the Anchor in Porlock Weir, another charmingly quaint spot and a huge part of my past, Miller’s of Frigiliana is tastefully and comfortably decorated with antiques, charm and style. Miller’s Antique Price Guide books fill gorgeous bookshelves and of course, while there a Miller’s Gin & Tonic is must.

Millers's of Frigiliana

The main door opens to a delightful reception area leading to one of its seven bedrooms, two of which are junior suites and perfect for families or rent out the entire house to sleep a maximum of 18 people.

Miller's of Frigiliana

Decorated throughout in a Spanish/Moorish style and completely in keeping with this pretty, picturesque, white hill town where the sun shines almost every day.

You can breakfast al fresco and chill on the roof terrace while in the hot Jacuzzi and inhaling the calming views. Life slows down in Frigiliana. Relax, wander and enjoy the laid back lifestyle while only a 7 minutes drive from the nearest beach.

Miller's of Frigiliana

It’s also on the edge of the Sierra Tejada and Almijara National Park, a wonderful wilderness for walking or mountain biking or if you fancy skiing then head to the Sierra Nevada only 90 minutes away.

Miller's of Frigiliana

If  being more active is your thing then golf, scuba diving, horse riding, quad biking, jeep tours or even Spanish lessons are all nearby.

Miller’s is also on our sister site Only Spain Boutique Hotels. See Miller’s of Frigiliana on Only Spain.

For more information  visit Miller’s of Frigiliana‘s website.

Small, Luxury Hotel in Rural Spain

There’s Malaga city and Malaga province, so when booking a small, luxury hotel in rural Malaga you can be sure it’s not in the city.  But only 35 minutes or so drive from the airport into rural countryside, mountains and olive groves you’ll find an enchanting small, luxurious, owner- run hotel that you might just want to stay in forever.

Boutique Hotel Cortijo Sabila Malaga

Hubby and I visited on a rather wild and windy February weekend. We loved the location, decor, roaring log fire, dinner and Airedale dogs. Our trip was to check out the lovely-looking Cortijo Sabila for addition to our Only Spain ~ Boutique  Hotel portfolio of gorgeous little places to stay in our adopted homeland of Spain.

How did we find it? After a little detour, I was driving hubby map reading (or phone reading) without glasses and not being able to check signs, follow the map and communicate with me at the same time (know this one ladies?) we missed it the first time around. But no worries, we got there, approached the rather grand entrance rang the bell and open sesame the gates withdrew. We entered the grounds and gardens of Cortijo Sabila and found it very much to our liking.

Boutique Hotel, Malaga

The day, a little dismal, was brightened by our new furry-friend-doormen who ushered us to the gorgeous wooden door (if you read my Andalucia Explorer blog you’ll know I love wood) which was opened, and we were welcomed, by  the friendly owner and our host Yvonne.

Hotel Cortijo Sabila, Malaga

After seeing several of the lovely, uniquely decorated and laid out rooms we chose the upstairs room with cute terrace and windows on two sides. Brimming with lovely furnishings, tons of details and unique antiques we grabbed our cameras and took lots of photos before our bags were unpacked and things generally became less photogenic.

Boutique Hotel Cortijo Sabila, Villanueva del Rosario, Malaga

The plush purple towels and lovely large wet-room bathroom with his n’hers sink and again lots of lovely touches including big refillable toiletries which the recycling-green-me loves to see and avoids the necessity of taking home semi-used small ones.

See small, luxury Cortijo Sabila on Only Spain Boutique Hotels.

Book Cortijo Sabila on Booking.com (and give me a small comission to keep  writing, exploring and checking out great hotels)

Disclaimer: As the weather wasn’t good and our trip was in February some of photos are  ours and some (it’s obvious which)  the courtesy of our hosts Yvonne and Ray and are on their Cortijo Sabila website.

Historic Castle Hotel in Malaga

Overlooking the Mediterranean sea and city of Malaga the Hotel Santa Catalina has the best view of the city and it’s only a brief taxi ride or short walk down the Malaga’s port, shopping and old town.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

Sitting on the hill Santa Catalina in the El Limonar part of town the Santa Catalina castle began life by order of King Felipe IV in 1624 as the ultimate viewpoint to keep watch for invaders.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

For a long time the unused castle fell into disrepair and was abandoned, later an Arab-style gentleman’s residence was built on the spot, retaining the castle ruins which lend a romantic feel to the now hotel grounds with over 3,500 metres of gardens and terraces.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

After being declared a listed building the hotel has without a doubt the best views of Malaga. History, romance, best views and gorgeous well-preserved mansion make this a wonderful setting for a visit to the Costa del Sol and a great location for a wedding.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

My passion is antique Spanish tiles and they were in abundance in this lovely historic castle hotel to which I’d happily return.

I stayed earlier this year with my hubby on an elongated airport pick-up-family trip, which was funded by ourselves. All the photos @Hotel Castillo de Malaga

B bou – Boutique Hotels in Andalucia

 

Hotel Molino del Arco, Ronda

B bou Hotels director and co-founder Maria Herrero is awarded the first woman to be awarded the Premio Andalucia de Turismo, a well-deserved prize for the best business person and a driving force behind  B bou Hotels the new Spanish Boutique Hotel group whose motto is ‘harmony and passion.’

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa, Viñuela, Malaga

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa  the flagship hotel in a lovely  area of inland Malaga, next to a lake of the same name, is now joined by three more beautiful and stylish hotels making up the gorgeous B bou portfolio of four hotels in Andalucia.

Hotel Cortijo Bravo

The B bou hotels – Be boutique – are located in some unique parts of southern Spain, both inland and on the coast and this lovely collection comprises:

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa in Viñuela, inland Malaga

Hotel Cortijo Bravo in Velez-Malaga, Malaga coast

Hotel Molino del Arco in Ronda, inland Malaga

Hotel Casa Romana in  Sevilla city

Hotel Casa Romana, Sevilla

Harmony and passion flows across every aspect of the hotels, decor, sevice and gastronomy . Each hotel has its own identity and in the kitchens locally sourced ingredients are paired with traditional dishes of the area which are then carefully prepared with harmony and passion.

Visit their website to read more about B bou and each of their hotels.

All images in this post are courtesy of  B bou Hotels  and José Salto.

Two Great Castle Hotels in Spain

These two lovely castle hotels are in Malaga province, Andalucia one overlooking Malaga town and port with the Mediterranean Sea as its backdrop. The other in the mountain town of  Monda not far inland from the coast of Marbella.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

Wind up from the coast, through a now residential area, and you’ll discover this old summer palace/mansion built on the site of a castle with some romantic ruins within the grounds.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina, Malaga

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina was built by King Phillip IV in 1624 as part of the city’s defences but it didn’t survive long and by the early 20th century the fortress was in ruins. Manuel Loring, Count of Mieres and local of Malaga  had a summer residence built next to it to catch those cooling sea breezes in the heat of July and August.

Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina, Malaga

French architects Levard and Lahalle designed the neo-Arabian style palace which now sits overlooking the bay of Malaga. It was named Castillo de Santa Catalina and is now a 4* star hotel maintaining many original aspects, now shabby-chic decor and of course those fabulous views from its heyday.

With only eight rooms you really do feel like the king of the castle here, we barely saw another guest on our stay.

Hotel Castillo de Monda

Climb up from the coast into the mountains and you’ll find lots of small towns but the most impressive is the town of Monda with its castle atop and town almost surrounding it. The castle with its origins in the IX century was conquered by the Catholic Kings and ordered to be pulled down in 1485 but it wasn’t until an uprising in 1568 that it was practically raised to the ground.

Hotel Castillo de Monda, Malaga

These days there is very  little of the original structure to be seen but the Castle today was designed in a traditional style. The hotel entrance is accessed by a high entry gate and pretty patio, all 25 rooms have lovely views and the salt pool, bar and restaurant on the top floor even better ones.

Hotel Castillo de Monda, Malaga

This is a privately managed hotel and offers relaxation, spa treatments, we had the salt pool to ourselves and it has a very good restaurant so there’s no need to leave your castle at all.

 

Read my review of Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina

See Hotel Castillo de Monda on my Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotels site

 

 

 

Malaga Cruise Stop – What to Do

If it’s your first or fifth port stop in Malaga there is plenty to see and do in this vibrant, great-for-shopping city. Or if a spot of relaxing is in order then La Malagueta Beach is only a short walk away.

Museo Automovilistivo, Car Museum, Malaga
Car & Fashion Museum, Malaga

My Favourite Visits in Malaga

Calle Larios (opposite the port) for shopping

Car and Fashion Museum

Muelle Uno for shopping

The Alcazaba and Roman Theatre

Mercado Atarazanas great fresh food market

Mercado Atarazanas, Malaga
Mercado Atarazanas, Malaga

Where I like to Eat

Beach Bars on Playa La Malagueta

Balneario – a decent walk along the beaches

Mercado Merced – Gastro Market, usually busy with an incredible chose of tapas and rations

Pimpi – a great traditionally decorated bar

Playa La Malagueta, Beach Bars, Malaga
Playa La Malagueta  Beach Bar

A Bit Different

If you’ve been to Malaga several times and want something different and unique to do why not choose A Cooking Day. A cookery day with a Malaga local, Maite who speaks excellent English. She will collect you from the port and whisk you inland to her family farmhouse and you will gather fresh ingredients from her vegetable garden, cook and eat together.

What about a Hammam Al Andalus experience. A unique, sensual massage and cold, tepid  and hot Arab Baths to cleanse both body and mind right in the heart of old town Malaga.

Hammam Al Andalus, Malaga
Hammam Al Andalus, Malaga