When the Italian aristocrat Félix Solecio came to Malaga in the 18th century, there was no “Costa del Sol”. And while package holidays have transformed the region’s tourist offer, Málaga is still steeped in history. Over time, the Solecio Palace has become part of the fabric of the city, and its flamboyant painted facade is one of the most fascinating sites in the old town, along with the Roman-era amphitheater and museum. Picasso. Abandoned for 80 years, it finds a new lease of life as a luxury hotel.
The redesign is a masterful example of how Malaga and its hotel scene integrates its past into the present. Enter and you are greeted by a Moorish-style interior courtyard, with a double-layered cloister, its arcades waving around what is today Balausta, the restaurant of chef José Carlos García. Upstairs, bedrooms are dripping with five-star glamor without losing their sense of place – there are old-style rugs and richly carved bedside tables, while the Moorish theme continues with zigzag headboards, curtains and even bathroom tiles. From € 169 (£ 143).
This Moroccan-inspired hotel evokes Malaga’s Moorish past, with bedside lanterns, stained glass windows, rich-toned linens, and elegant tiling in the pretty courtyard. Housed in an 18th century building, it is an alluring blend of past centuries. There is no breakfast, although there are plenty of good cafes around. From € 54 (£ 46).
You can see the ancient Roman theater – as well as the Alcazaba fortress – from most rooms at this hotel right in the city center. The rooms are elegant and Scandinavian in design, breakfast is served at the reception. Family stay? Consider an apartment instead of a regular bedroom. From € 99 (£ 84).
Admire views of historic Malaga Cathedral from the rooftop swimming pool of this 103-room hotel. Interiors, meanwhile, are modern – they got a full makeover in 2019: expect white-on-white rooms and huge egg-shaped soaking tubs. From € 131 (£ 111).
Posted in the January / February 2022 problem of National Geographic traveler (UK)
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