Staying in Málaga
There's just something about staying near the beach when traveling in Spain, and even bustling Málaga—with its large port and glitzy shopping streets—gives you this option. Most of the best boutique hotels in Málaga are in the historic city center, but you'll still find a few next to the beach (or at least just a short walk away).
Our recommendations center around the city's beloved stretch of sand, Malagueta Beach, where you'll find plenty of places to sunbathe and swim, plus enjoy a snack with the locals at the famed chiringuitos (beach bars). Though you won't be in the center of the historic core, some of the best hotels near the beach in Málaga are still within walking distance of sites like the Parque de Málaga, Teatro Romano, Cathedral, Alcazaba, and Castillo de Gibralfaro. So, really, you get the best of both worlds.
Hotel Gran Hotel Miramar
Gran Hotel Miramar—a luxurious property commissioned by King Alfonso XIII—feels like a resort with so many common areas and amenities. But what really gives off those resort vibes is that it's nearly a waterfront property, set across the street from Malagueta Beach. This is the most accessible and popular beach in the city, and you'll always find locals lounging on the sand, swimming in the waves, and picnicking in the shade. Lining this stretch of sand is a beautiful promenade with walking paths, bike lanes, parks, and restrooms, plus several chiringuitos selling drinks, tapas, and fresh-caught seafood.
Although you'll be closer to the beach than to the city's historic core, you can still enjoy all the sites of Málaga. You'll be at the foot of Castillo de Gibralfaro, two blocks from the bullring, and within walking distance of other city attractions, like the Parque de Málaga and Alcazaba, both less than 10 minutes away.
Enjoy the hotel's two outdoor pools, an indoor Moorish spa with a thermal water circuit, a sundeck and lounge area with sea views (for those over 16 years), a private kids' pool and summertime activity center, and valet parking. When hungry, you have four restaurants to choose from, some with luxurious dining rooms or terraces, plus coffee and bar service in the beautiful inner courtyard lounge.
You'll have your choice of seven room types, starting with the hotel's premier rooms. All are incredibly spacious with bright, airy, and refined decor, including pops of Art Deco design and decor. Bathrooms are large, modern, and come with colorful tiling. Some have seating areas or even separate living rooms, and you can always request a unit with sea views. Book the top-floor Crown Suite in the building's fortified towers (complete with a private sundeck and hot tub) to feel like royalty.
Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina
Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina is an adults-only hotel blending two historic hilltop sites, a 17th-century fortress and a building from 1923 designed in the style of the Arab Renaissance. Because of the property's location, you'll be further from Málaga's historic core but closer to the beach. A 15-minute walk gets you to Playa de la Caleta, a bit cleaner and more relaxed than the city's main beach. Likewise, Playa Pedregalejo is next to La Caleta and a good option if you want even more peace and quiet.
When not enjoying the beach, you can explore the hotel's grounds, which Soho Boutique Hotels restored in 2021. By the end of 2022, the company hopes to open a gym, spa, and swimming pool. These modern amenities contrast well with the property's historical elements, including stone archways, drum towers, and mosaic flooring. You'll also find the El Castillo Restaurante onsite, which offers incredible outdoor dining with some of the best sea views in the city. Other highlights include a beautiful garden area, an outdoor terrace bar and lounge, and private parking.
The rooms are bright and modern, though we recommend those with historic Arab architectural elements, including the deluxe double rooms, junior suites with sea views, and the two-bedroom suite. The others are still perfectly comfy but lack the hotel's design appeal. Bathrooms are big and clean, all with rainfall showerheads and some with charming vintage tiling.
Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina calls itself "Málaga's most exclusive hotel," and its private location adds to that allure. You can request personalized services during your stay, including car transfers to any city site. If you feel like walking, the start of the historic city center is about 25 minutes.
Only YOU Hotel Málaga
Enjoy Only YOU Hotel Málaga's prime location next to the port with many rooms offering views overlooking the sea. Though not directly on the coast, a quick 15-minute stroll along the waterfront promenade will get you to the sands of Malagueta Beach. Here you can join local residents in sunbathing, splashing in the waves, and eating lunch at one of the chiringuitos. Stroll along the promenade toward the city's other beaches for a scenic walk and a quieter vibe. Another 10 minutes will get you to La Caleta, another long, sandy stretch perfect for a beach day.
Besides being close to the city's beaches, Only YOU Málaga is just at the start of the city's main shopping street and next to Paseo del Muelle Uno and Málaga Park. You can walk anywhere in the Old Town here, including Calle Marqués de Larios, a popular pedestrian shopping street lined with beautiful buildings, the Alcazaba, the Cathedral, and the Mercado Central de Atarazanas.
The building Only YOU occupies is where the Marquisate of Larios palace once stood, a noble family established by Queen Elizabeth II. The hotel channels its elegant past by offering nine room types, from a classic category to suites with terraces and outdoor lounges. All have a fresh, airy boutique vibe with light wooden features, pops of whites and blacks, king beds, and a selection of pillows. Bathrooms feel luxurious with rainfall showers, robes, and automatic lighting, and some feature soaking tubs.
You'll be spoiled for food choices at the hotel, as there are three eateries, plus a breakfast buffet and room service. The ground floor restaurant is a traditional Spanish-style seafood tavern, and the other two are on the top floors with sea and city views. The rooftop features sun loungers, a bar, and a plunge pool.
Molina Lario Hotel
Named after the city's most famous family, Molina Lario Hotel combines two historic buildings with original facades with a new build, offering a mix of modern and glitzy Art Deco. You can pair this elegance with an easy stroll to the city's main beach Malagueta Beach. This 15-minute walk takes you through the city's leafy Málaga Park and along the waterfront promenade, Paseo del Muelle Uno. Malagueta is where many locals choose to spend their afternoons, so you'll find plenty of things to do and food to eat!
The hotel's style spills into its gourmet restaurant Matiz, which has beautiful courtyard dining and a tasting menu with wine pairings for dinner—an excellent way to end a beach day. Of course, you can also enjoy breakfast here in the morning. The hotel's rooftop terrace is another highlight with a swimming pool and sundeck, plus incredible sea and Cathedral views. You'll also find another terrace on the sixth floor and a small lobby lounge.
Rooms are bright, modern, and comfortable with a refined look and elevated touches like a pillow menu and bathrobes. The standard option is a little small, so choose a superior room or higher for a bit more space. Some feature sea views and desks, while suites add seating areas. Family rooms are the largest option, with the ability to add one or two additional beds.
Enjoy a near-perfect location at the end of the historic street Calle Molina Lario. This places you right between old and new, so you get a little bit of everything, including gourmet restaurants, international shopping, local hangouts, and artisan shops tucked down corners. You'll be within walking distance of all the sites, including the Cathedral, Picasso Museum, Alcazaba, and Castillo de Gibralfaro.
Room Mate Valeria Hotel
Right at the edge of the hip SOHO district, marina, and start of the Old Town, Room Mate Valeria Hotel has a prime location walkable to every city site, including the beach. The hotel is right next to the city's port, so just like Only YOU Hotel, you'll stroll along the waterfront promenade to reach Malagueta Beach, about a 15-minute walk. While you may want to spend your days on the sand, you can enjoy views of the beach and coast from the hotel's rooftop terrace, which also includes a heated pool, sundeck, and bar with incredible vistas of Castillo de Gibralfaro.
Choose from basic rooms, standard rooms, and suites, plus an option for families with connected units. Generally, the rooms are a bit small, so choose a suite if you'd like more space. You can also book units with sea views and Juliette balconies. Keep in mind that all the rooms feature bright blue or green decor, including wallpaper and carpeting, which might not appeal to everyone. Sleep late with a breakfast buffet that lasts until noon, keep your energy up in the gym, and relax in the lobby lounge.
You'll enter the hotel's historical building through restored facades from the 18th and 19th centuries. But once you get inside, you'll enjoy a theme that channels the area's natural environment with a green and blue color scheme and jungle wallpaper. You'll be in the hip and trendy SOHO neighborhood, known for its bars and international restaurants, yet right at the marina with the modern Paseo del Muelle Uno and leafy Málaga Park at your doorstep. Other sites within walking distance include the Cathedral, Alcazaba, Playa la Malagueta, and Castillo de Gibralfaro.
At ICON Malabar, you'll be in the center of the city's hip SOHO district and not far from the marina and beach. A 20-minute walk will take you along the waterfront with its modern Paseo del Muelle Uno and tree-lined Parque de Málaga to the local hot spot, Malagueta Beach. This is the perfect place to relax during the afternoon siesta when the city shuts down for a few hours. You'll find restaurants, cafés, and bars at the beach, plus a beautiful tree-lined walkway and bike path.
Though a relatively new boutique hotel, ICON Malabar sits in a historic building dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The facade features an iconic look with shuttered Juliette balconies, some enclosed with glass. Enjoy a daily breakfast buffet focusing on healthy foods and take your other meals from the onsite restaurant, Café Salsamente. The eatery serves Mediterranean food and honors the city's past as the Roman Empire's first center for Garum production, a flavorful additive that forever influenced the future of cooking.
The hotel offers seven room types with tranquil vibes, neutral tones, and rose-gold accents. Bathrooms are spacious and modern with white marble and gray tiling. Some rooms feature private balconies with street views, and the family rooms sleep four people with bunk beds.
Besides hanging at the beach, you can easily walk to sites like the Cathedral and Alcazaba, and with SOHO as your neighborhood, you'll be spoiled for bars, cafés, and restaurants around the hotel. When not hanging at the beach, you can rest your feet in the common areas, such as the lobby lounge or inner courtyard.