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Four of the best boutique hotels in Málaga, Spain for 2022

When it comes to hotels, the southern Spanish city excels at weaving its past with the present.

By Julia Buckley
Published 10 Jan 2022, 15:00 GMT
The food and drink offerings at Hotel Molina Lario are a powerful draw.

The food and drink offerings at Hotel Molina Lario are a powerful draw.

Photograph by Moneo Moneo

1. Palacio Solecio

When Italian aristocrat Félix Solecio came to Málaga in the 18th century, there was no ‘Costa del Sol’. And while package holidays have transformed the area’s tourism offering, Málaga still delivers on history. In time, Solecio’s palace became part of the city’s fabric, and its flamboyantly painted facade is one of the Old Town’s most compelling sights, along with the Roman-era amphitheatre and Picasso Museum. Left derelict for 80 years, it’s been given a new lease of life as a luxury hotel.

The redesign is a masterful example of how Málaga, and its hotel scene, incorporates its past into the present. Step inside and you’re greeted by a Moorish-style internal courtyard, with a double-layered cloister, its arches rippling around what’s now Balausta, the restaurant from chef José Carlos García. Upstairs, the rooms drip five-star glamour without losing their sense of place — there are antique-style rugs and elaborately carved bedside tables, while the Moorish theme continues with zigzagging headboards, curtains and even bathroom tiles. From €169 (£143).

2. El Riad Andaluz

This Moroccan-inspired hotel evokes Málaga’s Moorish past, with bedside lanterns, coloured-glass windows, rich-toned linens and elegant tiling in the pretty courtyard. Set in an 18th-century building, it’s a beguiling mix of centuries past. There’s no breakfast, though there are plenty of good cafes around. From €54 (£46).

3. Hotel Boutique Teatro Romano

You can see the ancient Roman theatre — as well as the Alcazaba fortress — from most rooms at this hotel right in the centre of town. Rooms are slick and Scandi in design, with breakfast served in the reception area. Staying with family? Consider an apartment instead of a regular room. From €99 (£84).

4. Hotel Molina Lario

Bask in the views of the historic Cathedral of Málaga from the rooftop pool at this 103-room hotel. The interiors, meanwhile, are modern — they were fully renovated in 2019: expect white-on-white rooms and huge, egg-shaped baths. From €131 (£111).

Published in the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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