The last time I went to Marbella was to film a sort of “Life of a Playboy” series for my JPR Media Group client Maximillian White.
An 8-day excursion took us last year from Blanco Beach performances of French Montana and Tory Lanez in Portugal’s hot Algarve, through a scenic pit stop at one of my favourite cities which smells of fresh oranges, Seville, onto the nouveau riche and oftentimes hoi polloi-feeling city of Marbella.
But there are secret aspects and hidden pockets of Marbella that are breath taking.
We visited the fun and action-packed performance dinner restaurant, Teatro, and partied till the wee hours of the morning (more on this later).
Marbella is certainly still a playboy’s party haven but we couldn’t wait to get to our hotel.
Marbella Means Luxury
However, this was not just any hotel. Rather, it must be one of the most beautiful hotels in the world, the Villa Padierna Palace Hotel.
This magnificent 130-room and 9-villa family-owned property is situated over a huge sprawling landscape in the Golf Valley which is formed of Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona.
The neo-classica architectural design by Ed Gilbert and owner Ricardo Arranz is inspired by Tuscany and, just arriving from Italy, this was a special visual feat.
The Villa Padierna Palace has Seven Stars
Rated a five star hotel, the Villa Padierna Palace earned their sixth star when it was awarded by Seven Stars and Stripes in 2012.
This gorgeous property consists of three 18-hole golf courses comprising Villa Padierna Club Golf (Flamingos Golf, Alferini Golf, Tramores Golf).
Also on the property is the the Michael Campbell Golf Academy, the Racquet Club, La Loggia restaurant, chef Cristobel Gomez’s La Veranda restaurant, Santoku Japanese restaurant, La Pergola restaurant, Hole 55 restaurant, Villa Padierna Club de Mar (Beach Club), and my favourite space: Villapadierna Medical Wellness Institute and Spa.
Marbella’s Top Luxury Spa
The spa is enormous, covering 21,500 square feet and composing of 12 treatment rooms where one can request a variety of body, face and health treatments.
We sampled the eight steam rooms, all inspired by a different global region from Greece to Bali.
Our particular favourites were the Indian steam room with and eclectic interior and the smaller salt steam room which offers a bowl of salt so one can scrub excess skin from tired muscles.
The indoor pool is themed as a Roman gods sanctuary and the facilities include relaxation rooms, a contrast pool and thermal circuit with hydro-massage jets.
Outside there is a large pool with pockets of decorative fountains surrounded by green trees. It feels secluded and, albeit the property is big, we felt privileged and alone.
As we took a tour of the grounds, we came upon a Roman amphitheatre where many events and weddings take place as well as the villas where Michelle Obama has stayed with her children.
With a full day relaxing in our gorgeous junior suite complete with panoramic mountain views and a bathroom filled with citrusy-smelling Aqua di Parma products, I wore a simple chic white dress to attend dinner at Teatro.
Teatro in Marbella is Cirque du Soleil Meets Crazy Horse
What I love about Teatro is the quality of performances. Think Cirque du Soleil and Crazy Horse melded into one open-air live performance. I loved the couple’s electrifying dance to Indila’s Derniere Danse (which I have now downloaded).
Other performances included opera singers, cabaret dancing girls, Spanish-style drama-infused fights throughout the audience, a Congo line and much more.
The acts are intermittent, and all the talented staff entertained us whilst we nibbled on fresh burrata salad with basil jelly and balsamic caviar, quinoa salad with lobster, papaya and avocado, mushroom risotto with truffle and asparagus, and fried banana fritters with caramel sauce and ice cream.
This is definitely the place to be decadent with Henry VIII’s gout-inspiring dishes such as Alaskan King Crab, Beluga Caviar, Jamun Iberico, Tuna Tataki, Red King Crabs, Oysters, lamb leg, Galican blonde sirloin steak, veal shank.
Villa Padierna Palace Hotel
Carretera de Cádiz, Km 166,
29679 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
+34 952 88 91 50
Camino del Angel, 29660, Marbella