Kempinski Bahia Hotel Estepona – Gastronomic Stay, New Executive Chef, Gourmet Beach Club

Kempinski Bahia Hotel Estepona is taking its dining to new heights, thanks to new Executive Chef, Adrian Topan. The beachside luxury resort, close to Andalucia town of Estepona, is the place to visit for its gourmet summer Beach Club, called Spiler, and Baltazár Bar & Grill, part of the El Paseo del Mar culinary concept that brings together a choice of bars and restaurants across the resort.

Followers of my travels will know that Kempinski Bahia Hotel is a favourite. This 5-star grand luxury resort, overlooking a bay with views out across the sea towards Gibraltar and the mountains of north Africa, offers understated Mediterranean elegance, writes Andrew Forbes.

This season I was visiting to experience the summer menu at Spiler, the resort’s sophisticated Beach Club with a dynamic, open kitchen under the expert creative direction of Executive Chef Adrian Topan; as well as a gourmet tasting menu at The Baltazár Bar & Grill, with Chef Alvaro Hermosin.

El Peseo del Mar

The Kempinski Bahia Hotel has emerged as a desirable destination for gastronomic dining in the Estepona area, thanks to the creation of El Paseo del Mar– you can read our original review of the El Paseo del Mar dining options here.

Spiler Beach Club, with Chef Adrian Topan

Spiler is the resort’s chic Costa del Sol Beach Club, right on the beach, with wonderful views across to Gibraltar, the Mediterranean and north Africa. Expect live music and a friendly relaxed vibe.

There is an exclusive luxurious area for beach club day-guests, dedicated to daybeds, sea view sun loungers, and of course, one can also have access to the resort’s multiple swimming pools set amongst sub-tropical gardens.

Our lunch was an international culinary journey, starting with a wonderful tuna taco, superb fried Andalucian style calamari, and the paella of the day, an extravagant rice dish of ‘ventresca’ tuna (the tasty belly of the fish) with a rich teriyaki sauce.

Beachside gastronomy by Chef Adrian Topan

The extensive menu includes refreshing summer dishes from a poke bowl, chilled gazpacho, and ceviche to generous fresh summer salads. In addition to paellas and creamy lobster rice, there is the local catch of fish and seafood prepared as you like, on the grill, fried or baked.

Then the sunbeds call – for a siesta in the shade, calmed by the sound of the sea.

Baltazár Bar & Grill, with Chef Alvaro Hermosin

Since this was a gastronomic break, we also had a notable dinner to look forward to a Chef’s Table experience at the resort’s steakhouse. The curated tasting menu, by Chef Hermosin showcased the quality and diversity of the restaurant’s menu.

The Chef’s table is by the open kitchen, a hub of creative activity. Yet as the sun set, and the tropical gardens became illuminated we could not resist the temptation of a poolside table.

This gourmet experience began with Mango gazpacho with smoked salmon ‘pipirrana’, a refreshing dish that was bursting with flavours.

The starters continued with an exquisite potato and octopus salad, garnished with edible flowers and crispy ink. The Baltazar Steak Tartare with cured egg, boletus dressing was theatrically presented beneath a glass cloche, that as it was lifted, released the smoky aromas – what a dish! Oxtail, a Spanish favourite, was creatively presented in pastry with aioli and green apple gratin with vanilla and apple.

It’s hard to believe but there was more plates! Another starter of meatballs with potato cream and fois gras sauce  fabulous.

This being Baltazar the main course has to be steak, and the 15 days matured Black Angus was a superb cut.

Baltazar dining by Chef Alvaro Hermosin

Baltazár Bar & Grill has a tempting menu with gourmet burgers, seafood & fish prepared on the Josper Grill as well as pasta and rice dishes. It can be a romantic dinner or a lively friendly get-together. The elegant yet informal Spanish bodega design of the restaurant creates a welcoming environment.

You can read about The Luxury Editor profile review of Kempinski Bahia Hotel here

Suite Life

So, after a day of feasting it was time to retire. Rooms and suites are distributed across different levels of The Kempinski Hotel Bahia resort. This architect-designed property, by the award-wining designer, Melvin Villarroel, has his signature style throughout; and the resort’s signature terracotta colour allows it to sit comfortably within its beachside setting. Surrounded by verdant palms and blossoming shrubs of the landscaped gardens, the hotel offers superb views out across the Mediterranean, towards Gibraltar and beyond to the mountains of north Africa, adding an exotic flavour to this beautiful, serene Andalusian setting.

Timeless elegance defines the style of the more than 128 guest rooms, many of which have balconies and terraces with sea views. Our corner suite was spectacular, with a wraparound terrace with alfresco dining area, and two sunbeds. It is a real treat to fall asleep to the gentle waves of the Mediterranean.

Morning after

Breakfast is a leisurely gourmet affair on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. The truffled Eggs Benedict is a treat.

Mercedes Lasarte artworks

Before leaving we browsed the gallery space at the hotel. Mercedes Lasarte is the new star painter exhibiting a collection of her works at Kempinski Hotel Bahia as part of the luxurious hotel’s Art Series 2022.

This remarkable works by Mercedes also form part of Baronesa Thyssen’s private collection as well as being on display at the Carmen Thyssen Muséum in Málaga. The distinctive works by Mercedes Lasarte, using techniques inspired by  Gauguin and Matisse, attracted the attention of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza, who has added many of them to her private collection. In 2021 a portrait of the Baroness was also added to the collection on display at the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga

Each season Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona hosts curated works and collections from international artists in their dedicated Art Gallery and also the spacious Art Foyer.

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