Hotel Lima Marbella – The Vintage Icon Of Downtown Marbella Gets A 21st Century Makeover

Marbella began its transformation from a fishing village to jet set destination in the 1950s and ‘60s. It was during this golden age that in 1965 Francisco Lima, built Hotel Lima, 150 metres from Marbella’s beach, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).

For more than half a century this family hotel has been welcoming guests and recently Hotel Lima has been completely remodelled, transforming it with striking design and plush interiors, into a stylish 4-star city and beach hotel with a roof terrace and pool. The property is still with the Lima family and keeps its friendly, welcoming approach.

This new era for Hotel Lima echoes the renaissance of Marbella as a desirable Mediterranean destination, regaining the prestige and momentum of the 1960s when artists, aristocrats and film stars made Marbella their holiday hideaway.

Contemporary Marbella is an all-year destination, that combine cool beach clubs, the allure of Mediterranean, with the charm of the historic ‘Casco Antiguo’ old town, the style and glamour of world-class restaurants and clubs, with the wild beauty of the Sierra Blanca mountain range.

Beachside Bliss

When staying at Hotel Lima, one feels as if at the nexus of all that Marbella has to offer. In fact, although a city centre hotel, Hotel Lima is also a Marbella beach hotel, as the shores of the Med are just a few hundred metres away at the bottom of a pedestrianised street, lined with some of the next tapas bars in town.

Here on finds the Paseo Marítimo, the coastal promenade that runs all the way to Puerto Banús, home to designer stores, swanky restaurants, and of course  glamorous super yachts. It makes for a lovely early evening walk. Marbella is at the heart of the western Costa del Sol and Hotel Lima has provided an insightful mini-guide to the best beaches in Marbella on their website – so you can choose whether you want to just nip down to Marbella’s beach, or stroll west towards Puerta Banus, or go east a few kilometres to the broad sandy beaches of the natural enclave of Cabo Pino, the cape of pines.

Pool Time

One of the most striking new additions to Hotel Lima is its smart new Roof Terrace Bar and Pool.  Open to guests all day, this sun-drenched urban oasis offers an infinite pool, sun loungers and cabanas as well as the Virazon pool bar that also opens to the public from 8pm each evening, so you can soak up a lively urban vibe after soaking up some rays.

Old Town Charm

Marbella is more than just swanky beach clubs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Visitors can experience the charm of the real Marbella and its history with a visit to Old Town, just 5 minutes’ walk from Hotel Lima. Meander through jasmine and orange blossom-scented squares and lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleyways shaded by bougainvillaea. It’s a delightful area to discover, and great for shopping too, as there is a good choice of independent boutiques.

Guest Rooms & Suites

I was very impressed by the quality of the rooms. The interior design is contemporary, and uncluttered, with retro chic touches like the desk with canary yellow chair.  There are three main room categories. All benefit from terraces, super-comfortable beds, Wi-Fi, complementary mineral water, and sleek ensuite bathrooms. Higher category rooms bring additional benefits like more space, enhanced bathroom amenities by Rituals, and Lavazza coffee machines etc.

Drinking & Eating

The hotel’s Virazon Restaurant on the ground floor has also been completely reimagined with a stylish bar, with plush banquette seating, as well as outside tables.  The restaurant retains its family feel, with a friendly team led Manage Paco.

Breakfast at Hotel Lima is a generous feast, with a choice of three main options, served top the table. Choose a classic cooked breakfast with croissant and toast, or the healthy option with fresh fruit, avocado toast, and yoghurt with seeds.  There is also choose a tasty Spanish breakfast of toasted bread with olive oil, tomato and ham and an indulgent hot chocolate with churros ( a type of doughnut). My advice mix and match for the perfect start to the day – and you can eat as much as you like!

Hotel Lima also offers half- and full-board packages. I opted to enjoy dinner at the hotel, and it was a relaxed and tasty affair. Start the evening off with a cocktail on the terrace and the then enjoy a three course meal under the stars on downstairs in the restaurant. The homemade croquettes are a must.

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