“Unless you’re looking for it, you might just miss the unassuming entrance to The Town House – and that’s precisely the point. This serene, adults-only boutique spot tastefully incorporates its vintage Andalucian townhouse charm into an elegant design bolthole in the heart of old-town Marbella.”
Location – 8 / 10
The hotel is tucked into a peaceful corner on a bubbly plaza dotted with orange trees, towards the lower end of the tangle of pedestrianised streets that make up Marbella’s old town. A quick stroll leads you through narrow alleys and past designer boutiques, the Moorish-era castle walls and the Plaza de los Naranjos. You’re a five-minute walk from the beach and promenade, and glitzy Puerto Banús is a six-mile (15-minute) drive west. It’s an hour’s drive to Ronda (38 miles inland) and 45 minutes to Málaga (35 miles northeast). Like elsewhere in the old town, parking isn’t possible, though you can drop off bags.
Style & character – 8/10
A sense of calm and quiet elegance seeps through this gorgeously refurbished 150-year-old Andalucian townhouse. You enter through a plush Alhambra-inspired lobby, under an elaborately carved arch that twinkles with neo-Moorish character. The graceful interiors fuse the original home architecture (tiled bathrooms, patterned ceilings) with contemporary Scandinavian and Italian design flair. Enormous gold-framed mirrors peek around corners, whites and neutral tones dominate, and greenery drapes down the twirling marble staircase. Ocean-blue and olive-green velvet armchairs and vanilla-scented candles fill the ground-floor lounge, from which tile-topped tables spill out onto the square.
Service & facilities – 7 / 10
Though you’re in a hushed, peaceful house, there’s always someone on hand to help, and the gracious English-speaking staff are both discreet and attentive. The secluded rooftop terrace, with its colourful patterned cushions and honesty bar, is a delight, especially at sunset when birds swoop around and the sensational views across Marbella’s rooftops to La Concha mountain turn pink-tinged. Grab something to read from the book collection on the ground floor, where there’s also a café-bar. Thoughtful extra touches include fresh fruit and bottled water in the rooms.
Rooms – 8 / 10
There are just 10 vintage-feel rooms, each individually styled with soothing pastels, original tiling, smart antique furniture, muralled walls and/or whitewashed stuccowork. Most have tiny balconies or at least full-length windows, and all have professional hairdryers, beach towels, slippers, air-con and tea/coffee trays. Bathrooms are stocked with Molton Brown toiletries and are mostly completely covered in shimmering, swirly patterned Andalucian tiles.
Room 6 – with its antique four-poster bed, embroidered curtains, wood-beamed ceiling, shell-shaped sink and old India prints – is a fabulous choice and has a small balcony overlooking La Encarnación church just up the street. Also popular is romantic attic-like Room 9, all slanted ceilings and natural light.
Food & drink – 7 / 10
Breakfast is a smartly presented continental buffet with lots of choice and coffee made to order, available from 9am to 11am in the downstairs café-bar, outside on the old-town plaza or even on the sunny rooftop. Expect cheeses, cold meats, chopped fruit with yoghurt, fresh croissants and a choice of breads for topping with crushed tomato and olive oil. If you’re leaving early the team can put together a packed breakfast.
The café is open from breakfast to 11pm and, from the afternoon onwards, it morphs into a low-key bar with mellow beats and candle-lit lounge corners. Though there’s no restaurant, cheese platters and salads are served, and you only have to step outside to find a wealth of local restaurants and tapas bars. Many of the wines come from the owner’s vineyards in Romania.
Value for money – 8 / 10
Double rooms from €128 (£117) in low season and from €167 (£152) in high season. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. Closed January.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There’s lift access to all rooms, though none of the rooms are specifically adapted.
This is very much a romantic adults’ hotel; children over 14 are welcome, though there are no extra beds.
Read more: telegraph.co.uk