Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Malaga, Spain. This is a ‘special’ one as it is written by our resident luxury hotel booking partner, Emyr Thomas, who has visited more five star hotels than just about anyone else in the UK!
Emyr has chosen Finca Cortesin in Malaga, Spain. I must admit that I have heard many excellent reports about this place over the years but have never yet made the trip, so I was keen to see what Emyr had to say.
Finca Cortesin, located in Casares in Southern Spain, about 20 minutes outside Marbella, is an absolutely gorgeous hotel. I don’t believe that there is anything to match it in Europe.
The remote setting, the grand but subtle entrance and the architecture all combined let you know that you’ve come to a very special place when you arrive at Finca Cortesin.
The reception area leads on to a palatial courtyard that is both Andalucian and Moorish in design, which is a common design theme throughout the hotel.
Hand carved ceilings and floors, marble furniture, antiques and dramatic fountains all add to the design aesthetic.
If you listed out all its facilities, you could easily think that Finca Cortesin was a large resort: it has four beautiful swimming pools (three of them are at the hotel – one next to the lunch restaurant, one in the spa and one that is a 50m Olympic sized pool – and one in the beach club), a tennis court, an amazing spa and a world-class golf course.
But Finca Cortesin is anything but a large resort – it’s small, intimate, personal and tranquil.
Bedrooms at Finca Cortesin
The all-suite hotel only has 67 rooms, with the smallest at 52 sqm and the largest at 200 sqm. Every room comes with a balcony or terrace and with 4m high ceilings. Rooms are filled with daylight and bring the outside inside.
The style of the bedrooms is elegant, spacious and luxurious, designed in pale colours of beige and light grey with traditional and plush furniture.
There are also a number of large villas that are over 400sqm with 4 en-suite bedrooms (that can be booked as 2 bedroom villas) with large gardens and private pools that are ideal for larger families or friends travelling together.
The hotel’s signature restaurant is Kabuki Raw, an excellent Japanese restaurant which had a Michelin star until recently. You can try dishes such as red prawns cooked over charcoal with yuzu foam and belly of tuna with tomato and toasted bread. The menu changes regularly but I have thoroughly enjoyed each time I’ve eaten here – the refinement of the cooking is special.
While Kabuki Raw is a fantastic restaurant, it’s not the kind of restaurant you would want to eat at every night, so thankfully there are a few other restaurants to choose from.
El Jardin de Lutz, with its gorgeous terrace of olive trees and manicured gardens, has a menu of traditional Spanish food in a magical setting.
For a classic Italian restaurant, there’s Don Giovanni with its menu of antipasti, pastas and pizzas.
If you only feel like a burger or a club sandwich, both are available, along with a classic tapas menu, at The Blue Bar, where you can sit on the terrace and listen to the live pianist – very special.
The large spa has several treatment rooms offering a range of face and body treatments, a big gym with excellent equipment, a sauna and steam room, and a 25 metre indoor swimming pool just in case the two outdoor pools weren’t enough for you!
There is also a hair salon, personal training sessions and a yoga centre.
Golfers will absolutely love this hotel – there is a world class golf course right next to the hotel – but you’d barely know it was there unless you were a golfer. I’m not a golfer personally but those I’ve booked in here tell me it’s an excellent course in a beautiful setting.
If you feel like you need to leave the property to experience the beach, the hotel has an impressive beach club only 1 km from the hotel with full scale beach club facilities (large swimming pool, restaurant and bar) right next to the sea but not directly on the beach itself.
With a two hour flight from London to Malaga and then a 40 minute drive from the airport, the hotel is a great choice for a long weekend. That said, you could easily spend a week or two here and never want to leave.
For those who want a bit more life and to leave the hotel for dinner, Marbella and Puerto Banus are both a short drive away.
I have loved every stay I’ve had at Finca Cortesin and it’s at the top of my list to visit again once it’s safe to travel freely again.
If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.
Booking ‘Finca Cortesin’
Rob writes: Emyr can access special rates at Finca Cortesin via the Virtuoso programme, which is exclusively offered to luxury travel agents.
If you book via Emyr and pay Best Flexible Rate, you will also receive:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Full breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom in restaurant (special items will be charged extra according to al la carte breakfast menu)
- A complimentary 50 minute massage per person, once during stay
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi