‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – Finca Cortesin, Malaga, Spain

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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! 

You can find all of the other ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.

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, Malaga, Spain hotel review

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.

Overview

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.

Finca Cortesin, Malaga, Spain hotel review

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.

Finca Cortesin, Malaga, Spain hotel review

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.

Dining

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.

Finca Cortesin, Malaga, Spain hotel review

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.

Facilities

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!

Finca Cortesin, Malaga, Spain hotel review

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.

Conclusion

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

You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of Head for Points.

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Comments

  1. FYI for anyone wanting to know the price, looks like roughy 600 – 900 euros a night for a selection of dates in Aug / Sep

  2. This looks amazing. The photos of the hotel show it off. Thanks for the review Emyr. I am not a golfer so that bit doesn’t interest but the location being a short drive outside of Porto Bangs and Marbella sounds good.Malaga itself is a great city often overlooked so am sure easily accessible too. I am a fan of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. They never disappoint. I’m off to look at the hotel website!

    • Just re-read my comment; I meant Porto Banus not Bangs! I F#*%$ng hate auto correct! I have a Chinese friend called Brian and my phone rather politically incorrectly autocorrects his name to Asian so I have to be very careful whenever I send him a WhatsApp message! 🙂

    • Apologies, there was a typo (now fixed) – Finca is NOT in SLH. Emyr gets his deal via their membership of the Virtuoso network. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. It would be really informative to get a guide price on average night Rates for these hotel, possibly high and low season if it’s somewhere like this.

    • Kipto says:

      +1

      • It’s not easy at the moment, for obvious reasons. However even very average five stars are £500-£700 per night in Spain in peak Summer though (Park Hyatt Mallorca is £700 per night in August for a standard room, St Regis was nearer £1000 last time I checked).

        • What’s the expectation on luxury hotel prices after the pandemic? Will there be big discounts to attract customers or will they be afraid of diluting the brand?

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            As in the last recession I’d say the target demographic for £800/night hotels are relatively price insensitive

          • Yup, just booked 5 nights on points at the Westin Grand Cayman for next Easter. Despite their tourist industry being in a catastrophic condition due to Covid lockdown, cash prices are $1k per night!

    • I had a look at the hotel website, the cheapest room, a junior suite is €745 per night for the room for 2 people in mid July. The prices rise rapidly for anything grander, not that the cheapest room isn’t itself grand. So pretty pricey. But I’d rather stay here than the hotel in Switzerland that was reviewed a few days ago. The photos on the hotel website give an even grander impression than the ones in this article, it’s definitely a fabulous hotel. I rather like it.

  4. Kabuki Raw lost its Michelin star in the latest guide unfortunately; Michelin still recognise it but only with a plate.

  5. Peter K says:

    I love it how adding/changing a few words on a menu make something sound much grander 😂

    “red prawns cooked over charcoal with yuzu foam” is really bbq prawn with dip.

    “Belly of tuna with tomato and toasted bread” is tuna, tomato and toast.

    • Sell the sizzle, not the sausage!

    • Tuna belly is substantially different from the Waitrose tinned tuna you may be more familiar with!

      • Peter K says:

        I was thinking more of fresh tuna steaks than tinned tuna 😁
        The point still stands though about adding extra words to make it sound posher. I’m sure it was at the Langley last year on the (breakfast?) menu it had “hen’s egg”, like it was somehow a selling point it had come from a chicken 🙄

        • Michael says:

          Now now. Which airline is guilty for that. And don’t forget, with BA its only one solitary hen’s egg. My favourite is all the free range Hens Egg nonsense while the meat is your crappy battery rubbish.

        • My favourite is “pan-fried”. What are the alternatives for frying something now deep fat fryers are seemed a fire hazard?

        • Bagoly says:

          Perhaps a large proportion of their customers are often dining on gull’s or duck eggs?
          🙂

      • aDifferentSimon says:

        I’ve never found tuna belly in the UK. Shame as it’s not a particularly expensive cut and works brilliantly on a bbq.

    • My dear Peter K, if you believe “Belly of tuna with tomato and toasted bread” is tuna, tomato and toast, you’ve either never visited Spain or never set foot outside the tourist traps.

      Tuna belly (ventresca) has nothing to do with tinned tuna, as others have pointed out. But the delicacy of this tapa isn’t just the tuna belly, it’s how the other ingredients work together – I can only assume the bread will be “pan de cristal” (a special kind of aerated bread, far from the typical ciabatta/chapata, baguette or sourdough) smothered with grated raw tomato and extra virgin olive oil with salt flakes.

      Covid-permitting, I encourage you to widen your perspective by trying things like these and steering clear from patatas bravas with sangría!

  6. Novice says:

    I am persuaded to try this out in about 4/5 years 😂

    Good review.

    I would think a person who has been to a lot of luxury hotels would be hard to please (I have noticed this with myself. The more I travelled, the harder it was for hotels/attractions to impress me) so this must be a special place by logic.

    • Chrish says:

      [email protected] Or by writing this Article Emyr gets a plug as well (skeptic)
      What needs to be asked (Novice) is: Emyr is this the very best Hotel you have visited/stayed in ?
      If the answer is yes ! Then this should be one of your Hotels to visit 1st (3/4 years time when able)
      if not visit by all means or ask Emyr what are the ver best he’s visited (i’m sure he’ii say loads though take your pick of what he advises)

      • Very cynical! Emyr has got a plug on several other articles written by other people in this series, so that wasn’t really a consideration 🙂

        • I promise you, Anika is selecting articles based purely on how interesting the hotel sounds whilst factoring in geographic and price factors. We ask Emyr the day before it goes live if he has a deal, and if he does we add it in. If not it runs as it was written.

          Booking via Emyr is a win-win anyway, as he doesn’t charge any fees and you get all the extra goodies.

          • Harry T says:

            Emyr provides a great service.

          • Chrish says:

            Rob @ Not criticizing Emyr (or yourselves) Just pointing out to Novice (very young)
            That Emyr might have wrote the review as a reasonable review and a (favorite)
            But not necessary the “Best” he has visited or stayed in ? (face value)
            I Myself have a favorite (best) in Sorrento but it only has 3 rooms (Yes only THREE)
            So if it was widely known on here, i wouldn’t get in when i wanted, unless Pamela reserved it for me
            (we always have the same suite)
            Its easy to find without great detective work though near the harbor & not Sorrento spellings
            If you fig it out keep it to yourself lol

          • Novice says:

            @chrish I’m not dumb 😂

            My comment was made to highlight that it definitely must be a great place because well-travelled folk are hard to please (my p.o.v)

            It doesn’t have to be Emyr’s absolute favourite as he may have a few. I have a few and I probably haven’t been to as many places as him.

  7. The golf course is absolutely superb with first class facilities and service.
    Never stayed in the hotel but not really suitable for a bunch of guys on a golf trip at those prices….

  8. Unlikely you will be able to visit Spain from UK until October! Hotels on Costa del Sol are permitted to open from Monday 18th May but many are choosing not to do so. The reason they can only be patronised by people from the same province, in this case Malaga province.
    Many hotel will simply go bust, so I wouldn’t rush to book.

  9. No criticism of this or other reviews in the “series”. I know this property as I have a home in Marbella and frequently visit the beach club for Sunday lunch.
    I am presently in Marbella and my initial reply was based on the facts. It is highly unlikely that the Spanish government will allow tourists anytime soon, that being the case, coupled with a 14 day quarantine for returning residents or Nationals, which will likely be maintained for other travellers once permitted.
    Not to mention the impending UK 14 day quarantine!

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      You think no earlier than Oct?

      Not disagreeing, and I have no plan to take family on a plane this year at all but be interesting to see what the feeling is amongst everyone as to when leisure focussed hotels will open – allowing for lockdown and commercial considerations…

  10. This looks gorgeous! I have a soft spot for this area, though my family is from the north. It’s one of those “something for everyone” destinations, I’ve been there on clubbing holidays in my teens and 20s, on family trips with kids and as a culture-vulture for the museums and archaeology. This hotel is definitely on my list for the future.

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