Looking for pure 5-star luxury near Marbella? Then you need to book yourself a stay at the luxuriously stylish Kempinski Hotel Bahía. With luscious gardens and pools, top restaurants, a beachside spot and an incredible spa, you won’t want to leave!
The lovely Chloe recently sent me on a trip to review this gorgeous hotel in Andalusia on behalf of her awesome travel blog, Wanderlust Chloe – so thank you Chloe! A small group of us got to experience the best of the hotel and the local area.
After a flight at the crack of dawn from a very grey London, it was a delight to be met by a smiling member of the Kempinski Bahía team waiting for me at arrivals in Malaga airport. I was then led to the Kempinski Mercedes people carrier where after stepping inside I instantly felt as ease in the heat of southern Spain. There are chilled water bottles, lots of things to read and some cheery music playing. It’s just a 45 minute drive from Malaga Airport to Estepona, where the hotel is located. And you know if the pickup is this good the hotel is going to be great!
The drive takes you through mountainous landscapes with the sea coming into view alongside you. Pulling into the driveway in front of the hotel, Kempinski Bahía looks extremely grand standing there before you. More lovely staff greet you as you walk through a beautiful outer entrance with giant wicker chairs, lush green plants and the 2 resident hotel parrots who love a chat as you walk past!
But this is only the beginning. Walking into the newly refurbished lobby my eyes almost couldn’t take in the grandeur of this space! It’s beautiful and functional. This is the hub of the hotel and once checked in I made my way to my room, excited about what the next few days would hold.
I explored all corners of this luxury hotel: it’s beautiful pools, the relaxing spa, the beach and of course all the delicious restaurants! I realised how well positioned Kempinski Bahía is for numerous activities including boat trips, golf, water sports, and tours to cities such as Ronda, Córdoba and Granada. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing in the sunshine or you prefer things a little more active the hotel has something for you. Here you’ll find a full review of what you can expect from a stay at Kempinski Hotel Bahía.
What to expect at Kempinski Hotel Bahía
True to its brand, this Kempinski Hotel offers pure 5-star luxury. It’s neighbours Marbella and Puerto Banús may have certain preconceptions, but the hotel is a far cry from these. Situated on a quiet stretch of beach and located by the charming fishing town of Estepona, you can rest assured you will fully relax here.
The hotel is elegant, grand and luxurious and with just 128 rooms nothing ever feels overcrowded. There are three outdoor pools (one is heated) that are surrounded by luscious subtropical gardens. I really loved how green it felt, like I was staying in a botanical garden! There is also the incredible spa and fitness centre which has an indoor pool, a well-equipped gym, a Finnish sauna, steam room and relaxation area.
But if you fancy getting out and about you are only 15 minutes by car to Marbella or Puerto Banús and the Laguna Village shopping complex with its beach club and restaurants is walking distance from the hotel. And don’t forget all the gorgeous Andalusian towns which are perfect for day trips. There is lots on the doorstep of the hotel!
Style and décor at Kempinski Hotel Bahía
I can’t talk about the style and décor of the Kempinski hotel without starting with the newly redesigned lobby. This large, glamorous space is the beating heart of the hotel. You can eat and drink at Black Rose alongside the reception and lovely concierge area. How would I describe this area of the hotel? Big, bold and blue.
The moment I walked in the first thing I noticed was the smell. I know this sounds crazy, but it was the most incredible smell! It reminded me of hotels in Bali. It’s fresh and calming and just utterly lovely. The second thing I notice is the deep blue that covers the walls. I was transported back to The Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech. That’s no surprise seeing as the interior designer took a lot of inspiration from its very close neighbours in north Africa. On a clear day you can see Gibraltar and the northern tip of Morocco from the beach. The blue is to represent the Mediterranean, the skies and the long blue sunny skied days. It was painted 5 times to get the deep blue. There is no pantone that matches it – it really does glow!
The rooms definitely have a different feel to the new lobby area, but they are still stylishly elegant and the colours, fabrics and materials feel luxurious. All the rooms have balconies and the suites have lovely terraces. The views over the gardens and into the sea are beautiful. The rooms are spacious and have all the amenities you could need. And there are daily tasty treats left in your room which I loved coming back to each day!
There is talk of the rooms being updated, but the rooms are so comfortable and feel like a home from home. If you like a more modern aesthetic then definitely take a look at some of the suites.
There are nods to the local culture and history around the hotel too. That’s what makes this luxury hotel feel like home. There is a 16th century Almenara watch tower which was constructed to protect the coast from pirates and invasions. The hotel brought it back to life, and now you can get married there or have private dinners. It’s very magical at night when it’s all lit up.
Dining and drinking at Kempinski Hotel Bahía
Following the extensive redesign earlier this year there are now three very different options to dine in at the hotel: Black Rose The Bar, Spiler Beach Club and Baltazar Bar and Grill. Food is definitely not an afterthought here at the Kempinski Bahía – you can tell that cuisine is an important part of the Kempinski experience.
Spiler Beach Club right on the edge of the beach has those Ibiza beach club vibes which I love. The feeling is bright, clean and fun. As you can expect there is lots of great seafood on offer, including a whole raw bar. The tuna ceviche was incredible!
As the sun goes down people start to come out freshly dressed and enjoy one of the many delicious cocktails on offer from the Black Rose bar. This is a lovely space where people seem to congregate throughout the day and into the night. You can watch the sunset from the terrace whilst sipping on your drinks and enjoy the live music they have on.
Then you can make you way to Baltazar Bar and Grill for dinner. You’ll find it by the top pool and the whole front of the restaurant opens up to let the outside in. The aesthetics in here are wonderful with the deep green tiles on the wall – you feel like you’re completely removed from the hotel. Which I love. It makes you want to get dressed up and come down to dine here. The menu is focused around Spanish ingredients using local and international cooking techniques. There is a focus on meat, but on the night I dined here I ate a beautifully cooked sole and the tapas to share included seabass ceviche, octopus and grilled scallops. This was my favourite place to dine at the hotel.
Breakfast is served in El Mirador where I sat out on the terrace and enjoyed the gardens and view out over the sea every morning. I absolutely love a great hotel breakfast and Kempinski Bahía definitely set the standards high in their breakfast game. There is a whole area just for different fresh juices, fruits and smoothies. There are of course numerous different cheeses and hams to try, cereals, yoghurts, pastries and a wonderfully stocked bread station. The chef can make you eggs and omelettes too. As you can tell, I am very much a breakfast lover!
Oh, and I can’t forget the Haagen Dazs ice cream parlour by the pool. Everyone needs their daily dose of holiday ice cream.
Activities at Kempinski Hotel Bahía and local area
I’m the kind of person who loves to mix up their holiday. I enjoy full-on relaxation days mixed in with fun activities that get me out, moving and exploring! And that’s what I loved about Kempinski Bahía. There are such a range of things for you to do.
The area of Estepona (which has a beautiful old town of white washed walls and pretty squares) is the perfect base for numerous day trips in southern Spain. As well as being so close to Marbella and Puerto Banús, the location of the hotel means you can spend your day exploring Granada, Ronda, Gibraltar and Córdoba. And if you get up a little earlier you can spend the day in Jerez or Seville. You can also organise trips to Tangier in Morocco!
We spent a wonderfully sunny day in the stunning town of Ronda. The roads are very winding to get there, but the views and architecture definitely make up for it! Such a beautiful place and definitely worth taking a day to explore. Especially when its followed by lunch and wine tasting at the family run winery Finca Las Fruitales.
But if you want to stay closer to the hotel, you can use the hotels mountain bikes and ride along the seafront where a new path goes on for miles! There are many different water sports you can have a go at, and don’t forget the top golf courses close by. The hotel has its own Golf Concierge to get you into the more exclusive courses.
Did you know it’s possible to spot dolphins in this part of the Costa del Sol? It’s true, you can! We took a beautiful sailing boat out one day where we ate on board and sailed in the glorious sunshine on the hunt for them. We were a little unlucky and didn’t spot any, but I still enjoyed my hair blowing in the wind as I took every bit of sea air in.
There is the incredible spa at the hotel – and yes, I definitely class the spa as an activity! The spa has six luxurious treatment rooms including the Aqua Spa suite which is ideal for couples. There is an amazing amount of treatments available using high-quality brands NIANCE and Natura Bissé. I came out of my massage feeling completely zen.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the life-size chess board. This would keep my husband entertained for hours!
Why stay at Kempinski Hotel Bahía?
Kempinski Hotel Bahía offers 5-star luxury on a quiet beachside location that also puts you in a great spot to explore the rest of Andalusia. There is something here for everyone: you can enjoy a completely relaxed holiday with the pools, spa and beach or you can take advantage of the great location of the hotel and enjoy one of the many day trips on offer, water sports, golf and more!
A big thank you to Kempinski Hotel Bahía for hosting me for this review stay. As always, all opinions are my own.
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