At a Glance
Finca Cortesin is a dream of a hotel—often considered Spain’s best—set in the hills above Marbella and less than a mile from the coastline.
Though located in southern Spain’s heavily-touristed region known as the “Gold Coast”—which has been hopelessly built up since its discovery by holiday-makers in the 1960s—Finca Cortesin feels worlds removed from it all. Instead, the stunning resort set on 530 acres of manicured lawns and golf courses makes for a relaxing conclusion to any trip to Andalusia (especially if the itinerary includes the super social Marbella Club Hotel). While Marbella exudes glitz and glamour, Finca Cortesin is all about peaceful, grown-up serenity amid fragrant orange blossoms.
The 67-room hotel is firmly rooted in its Andalusian traditions, as seen in the rambling and spacious architecture, white-washed walls, red clay-tiled roofs and tranquil Moorish-style courtyards. Though the hotel was built from the ground up by esteemed architects Roger Torras and Ignacio Sierra, many guests confuse the property with a renovated historic finca (or “estate”) house due to its gravitas as well as antique design features, such as salvaged terracotta floor tiles. Finca Cortesin is an all-suite resort, and each suite is extremely spacious, which will likely be a pleasant surprise after being in more crowded beach or city destinations around Spain. The décor is beyond chic, featuring breezy four-poster beds, equestrian-themed printed textiles and overstuffed upholstered furniture.
Each room also has either a private garden or terrace with lounge chairs and some come equipped with a dining table and chairs. (This is the type of romantic place where you’ll want to have at least one dreamy meal delivered via room service.) Bathrooms, too, are oversized and outfitted in cream-colored Italian marble, with extra-large showers, separate bathtubs and adjacent double vanities.
Despite its size, the property’s smart layout keeps it from feeling overwhelming. There are two outdoor swimming pools with lounge areas, plus tennis and paddle tennis courts. There’s an 18-hole golf course designed by Cabell B. Robsinson, as well as a Jack Nicklaus golf school for beginners (and kids). The Finca has actually become well-known as a golfer’s dream destination in Europe, since it was selected to host the Volvo World Matchplay Championships. There are other top golf courses nearby, including Sotogrande’s renowned Valderrama Golf Club, a 20-minute drive away.
The hotel’s three restaurants include the Italian spot Don Giovanni, El Jardín de Lutz for classic Spanish cuisine, and the ultra-contemporary one-Michelin star Japanese Kabuki Raw. Inspired by the traditional theater after which it is named, the latter provides entertainment by way of its open kitchen, dramatically plated dishes and animated chefs. And the Blue Bar, with indoor and outdoor seating, is the perfect location to enjoy a classic G&T and small bites. In the summer, you can catch live music playing outside the bar.
While the lunch and dinner options are delicious, guests truly look forward to breakfast. The meal starts with a parade of small plates, including a basket of homemade pastries; bowls of cheese, honey, chocolate, butter and wild berry jam, local ham and an irresistibly sweet yogurt foam and granola mix. As for the main dish, it can be anything you can dream up, ranging from Scottish smoked salmon and eggs to blueberry pancakes.
Finca’s spa is home to seven state-of-the-art treatment rooms, each with under-floor heating, heated massage beds and technology from Biologique Recherche. There are saunas, Turkish baths, and a stunning and serene indoor pool. The incredible gym boasts a soaring ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows and high-tech equipment that could rival a Manhattan Equinox.
Because the resort is set one mile inland from the sea, it has a beautiful beach club on Bahía de Casares that’s a five-minute shuttle ride away. Featuring teak wood floors, Balinese-style furniture, an infinity pool overlooking the sea and a restaurant serving casual Spanish cuisine, the Finca’s club is one of the best in the region. Note: It is is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except in July and August.
The nearby Reserve at Finca Cortesin is a residential resort that’s home to 25 private villas. There are six villas available to rent, all with stunning Mediterranean Sea views. The Finca’s architects and interior designers created these as well, and beautiful details include Roman Travertine marble and ceramics from Granada and Seville. Each villa has four light-filled bedrooms, a living room, dining room, a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, a private plunge pool and water-facing terraces. The villas are serviced by Finca Cortesin, so Reserve guests get the same amenities and have access to the hotel’s facilities.
Who Should Stay
With beautiful grounds, a relaxed setting and plenty of on-property activities, Finca Cortesin is a playground for couples and families. Golfers are particularly fond of the property. Families with younger children might be happier at the Marbella Club Hotel, which offers a sprawling kids’ club and direct access to the beach.