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Abounding with golden beaches, vibrant Andalusian culture (characterized by soulful flamenco) and majestic Moorish architecture and medieval towns, Costa del Sol, or “Coast of Sun,” is nestled where mountains meet the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Spain. The region boasts an impressive 325 days of sunshine, earning it the title of Europe’s sunniest destination. Herein, take your pick of where to lay your beach towel, from Marbella to Sotogrande. No matter where you explore, this sun-kissed coastline is adorned with six of the best luxury hotels ready to welcome every type of traveler.

For Social Butterflies

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella Estepona
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella Estepona

One of the most enduring destinations along Costa del Sol, Marbella has it all: a thriving yacht scene, rosé-all-day beach clubs, designer shops, pristine golf courses, old-school tapas bars and a historic Old Town. No wonder travelers of all types, from backpackers to glamorous celebrities, are drawn to the place.

In the heart of this Spanish Riviera, between Marbella and Estepona, lives METT Hotel & Beach Resort. The newly opened lifestyle resort is home to 253 elegant and delightfully appointed guest accommodations, all positioned around the resort’s Azure Beach pool with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea. Inside, chic Andalusian design elements create a calming ambiance throughout.

Find that extra bit of zen at MOI Spa, where skilled therapists offer a range of treatments to soothe and invigorate the mind and body. Once you’re relaxed, it’s time to dine and play. Grab your travel buddies and head to Azure Beach. Kick back by the infinity pool and groove to a perfectly curated playlist while sampling exotic cocktails and mouth-watering Pan-Asian cuisine. Or, indulge in vibrant Greek fare or comforting Italian pastas at Ammos and Isola respectively.

For Design Aficionados

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - El Fuerte Marbella
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - El Fuerte Marbella

Relax on a poolside sun lounger and soak in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea from El Fuerte Marbella, a beloved fixture of Costa del Sol for over six decades. Despite its age, this beachfront property in Marbella has undergone a lavish renovation, offering a contemporary yet character-filled retreat just steps from the city’s historic Plaza de Los Naranjos and stunning beaches.

Designed by Chilean interior designer Jaime Beriestain, the hotel’s 266 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites seamlessly blend classic elegance with modern aesthetics. Indulge in delectable dining options at three on-site restaurants and unwind by one of the insta-fabulous outdoor pools—one of which is an infinity-edge bordered by the hotel’s signature white and burgundy striped poolside umbrellas. Don’t be surprised if you spot a celebrity—the hotel has a history of hosting notable guests, including filmmaker Walt Disney and his dog, Pluto, in 1958.

For Culinary Connoisseurs

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Nobu Hotel Marbella
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Nobu Hotel Marbella

Overlooking Puente Romano’s energizing gastronomic and nightlife epicenter, La Plaza, Nobu Hotel Marbella puts guests in the heart of Costa del Sol from its prestigious spot along Marbella’s swish Golden Mile.

On warm, sunny days, unwind by the Nobu pool, where refreshing booster shots and electrolyte-enhanced mocktails are made to quench your thirst. Indulge in a workout at the gym, pamper yourself at the Six Senses Spa inspired by Andalusian villages or slip into sleek guest rooms adorned with creamy tones and light wood, evoking a contemporary coastal vibe.

Days are all about relaxed luxury—but evenings are another story. Come nightfall, Nobu’s renowned dining experience awaits at 20 different restaurants, cafés and bars. Delight in Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s icon menu of fusion cuisine, blending Japanese staples with South American at Nobu Marbella. After dinner, dance the night away at La Suite, the hotel’s exclusive on-property nightclub.

For Easygoing Explorers

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

Formerly the private residence of Spain’s Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is fit for royalty.

Whether you opt for one of the 35 luxurious bedrooms, 80 suites or 12 Andalusian-style villas, you’ll be treated to marble-tiled bathrooms, plush beds and private patios or decks boasting views of the lush gardens or sparkling Mediterranean. Head to the meticulously designed 18-hole golf course for picturesque vistas and challenging greens, or the stables to get set-up for horseback riding across hills overlooking Gibraltar and North Africa. Wellness is high on the menu here, with holistic programs focused on nutrition, fitness, spa treatments and overall well-being, complemented by a Thalasso spa featuring an indoor seawater pool, hammam and Finnish saunas. Even little ones are catered to here, with a 5,000-square-meter Kids’ Club offering a range of engaging activities.

Indulge in diverse dining experiences, including traditional Mediterranean fare at the Grill Restaurant, contemporary cuisine at MC Café and fresh seafood at MC Beach. Don’t miss the legendary Beach Club buffet, or the stylish Champagne Bar with its extensive selection of Champagnes, Cavas and caviar making it perfect for pre-dinner drinks or a night out. You’ll inevitably raise your glass and cheers to Sunny Spain.

For Golf Lovers

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Finca Cortesin
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - Finca Cortesin

Just a stone’s throw from the charming village of Casares and a mere mile from La Piedra Paloma beach, Finca Cortesin stands as a beacon of luxury against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

The hotel’s blend of contemporary elegance and traditional Andalusian charm captivates guests from the moment they arrive. Each of the 67 spacious rooms, suites and villas offer a haven of comfort and style, featuring luxurious amenities such as expansive bathrooms and private terraces.

Beyond the luxurious accommodations, guests can explore 23,000 square meters of meticulously landscaped gardens, indulge in rejuvenating Thai spa treatments, take a dip in one of four swimming pools or hit the resort’s spectacular 6,000-square-meter beach club. If you’re a golfer, lucky you—the property is home to one of Europe’s most unforgettable 18-hole championship courses.

For Serenity Seekers

best places to stay on Costa del Sol - SO/ Sotogrande
best places to stay on Costa del Sol - SO/ Sotogrande

Wellness takes center stage in Sotogrande. This tranquil haven on the southernmost tip of Costa del Sol offers a plethora of activities, from scenic hikes in the local hills to tee times at world-renowned golf courses equipped with Mediterranean views, such as Almenara and Real Club Valderrama, both found at SO/ Sotogrande.

Beyond a game on the green, the property’s serene Mediterranean charm can be found throughout. Indoors, swimwear expert Dolores Cortes has brought her design prowess to the rustic cortijo, a traditional rural abode of Costa del Sol, turning it into a chic sanctuary adorned with artisanal Andalusian furnishings and locally commissioned artworks. Elsewhere, amidst lush gardens, the 3,500-square-meter SO/ Spa beckons with eight dedicated treatment rooms offering cryotherapy, floatation treatments and indulgent dips in thermal or hydro pools. It’s no surprise that Condé Nast Traveller crowned this property as the Best Health, Sport & Wellness Resort in Spain.

Wherever you find yourself along this undeniably vibrant stretch of coastline, rest assured, endless sunny skies, Mediterranean warmth and impeccable hotels await. It’s always sunny in Costa del Sol, and all you have to do is soak it up.

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