Marbella. There aren't many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes. Sounds tempting?…
From high-class Asian fusion to simple Andalucian classics, we’ve picked out a few of the very best Estepona restaurants.
Baltazar Bar & Grill
Set in the Kempinski Hotel this steakhouse and grill has positioned itself nicely: it’s both a laid-back alternative to the coast’s fine dining restaurants and a step up from the more rustic and lively tapas bars. The spacious dining room is like a breath of fresh air with forest greens, natural materials and a touch of North Africa, while tables spill out onto a terrace next to the hotel pool for alfresco dining during the summer.
Start with one of their signature cocktails – our favourite: Germano Papito. Food-wise, it’s a question of plate after plate of perfectly grilled meats, fish and vegetables. There are tapas to share as well as the main menu and plenty of sauces and sides to compile your perfect plate. The whole seabass cooked in the tandoor oven is an absolute must-order as well as the tuna belly with watermelon, macadamia nuts and mint.
Address: Carretera de Cadiz km 159, Playa El Padron, Estepona. Telephone: 952 80 95 58; Baltazarmarbella.es.
Kabuki RawSimply the best Asian food in Malaga province and the owner of a well-deserved Michelin star. Kabuki Raw is in Finca Cortesin, and as you’d expect from a five-star hotel the service is just sublime. The dining room strikes that perfect balance between welcoming comfort and refined elegance: first and foremost, it’s just a very pleasant place to be – but it’s also, of course, ultra-stylish and smartly formal.
Take the tasting menu and chef Luis Olarra will lead you on a gastronomic journey by skillfully pairing Mediterranean and Japanese cultures – try to reserve the table opposite the kitchen to get the full experience. Balanced, tasteful, never showy and always delicious, this is Asian fusion food at its very best.
Another lovely touch is the valet parking – always a welcome way to start and end any meal.
Address: Hotel Finca Cortesin, Casares. Telephone: 952 93 78 00; Restaurantekabuki.com.
Chef Manuel Camisuli creates Mediterranean food with a firm nod to Asia. You really feel that every little thing has been considered when you dine at Felix: the dining room (within the Healthouse Las Dunas Hotel) is a triumph of peacock blues and greens; the lighting is perfect, and there’s plenty of space and comfortable seats.
On the food front, every dish that comes out of the kitchen is as good to look at as it is to eat. There’s a commitment to local Mediterranean cuisine and an excellent wine list (the hotel’s restaurant conforms to the ethos of the hotel’s wellness regime and no alcohol is served) and attentive service.
Address: Urbanización Boladilla Baja, Crta. Cadiz km 163,500, 29689 Estepona.
La Alcaria de Ramos
On the edge of El Paraíso golf course this traditionally styled townhouse is a real mainstay of the Estepona restaurant scene. Haute it may not be, but if you’re looking for hearty, homely cooking then you’re in the right place.
In terms of standouts on the menu, on our last visit we swooned over the stuffed mussels with cream of mushroom sauce and the turbot in the clam sauce. It feels (and is) a family-owned restaurant where everyone you deal with is fully invested in delivering good food and a great atmosphere.
Address: Calle Vista al Mar Diseminado 1, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 88 61 78; Laalcariaderamos.es.
Restaurante Taberna Miguel
In the centre of Estepona town, Taberna Miguel is a long-standing favourite with locals and visitors. With a huge terrace and courtyard as well as an indoor dining room it’s a good option for a large group at any time of the year.
Traditional Andaluz food – from plates of Jamon Iberico to revuelto (scrambled eggs) – is very much the order of the day here, but it’s done with a fair amount of finesse. During the summer months it gets full to bursting as the cool courtyard and terrace seating are filled with in-the-know regulars.
Address: Calle Caridad 30, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 79 25 38; Restaurantetabernamiguel.com.
La Bulla Gastrobar
Opposite the beach this is less fine dining and more casual eating. The food is good, though, and the service and atmosphere follows suit. The reason La Bulla Gastobar made our Estepona restaurants list is because it’s open all day – an important point if you’re visiting the area in summer.
Inside, plants hang from the ceiling and it has a lovely, healthy breakfast offering as well as a cocktail list for evening drinks. Aside from the breakfasts, it’s ideal for a quick, relaxed bite, with the beef churrasco with BBQ sauce and scallops with spinach pesto the pick of the bunch on our last visit.
Address: Avenida Espana 38, Plazoleta Ortiz, 29680, Estepona. Telephone: 952 80 65 75; Facebook Page.
Claro! Restaurant & Beach Club
Another decent casual place to eat in Estepona is Claro! Leaving aside the superfluous punctuation points in the name, it makes for a very agreeable summer lunch or dinner with its mix of high and low tables and soft and hard seating, all under a Balinese hut-style cover on the beach.
Their traditional Malagueño BBQ cooked fish is the absolute highlight of the menu – particularly the espeto de sardinas (sardines cooked on a BBQ). The ‘beach club’ bit refers to the sunbeds and parasols next to the restaurant on the beach – they’re absolutely perfect for after lunch lazing and there’s a great cocktail list from which to enjoy a sundowner or two, should afternoon wind its way into evening…
Address: Laguna Village, Carret. Cadiz, Km 159, Exit 160 – “Cambio de sentido”, 29680 Estepona. Telephone: 952 800 873; Clarobeachclub.com.
Like our pick of Estepona restaurants and looking for more local dining recommendations? Check out a few of our favourite places to eat in Benahavis.
And if you’d like to stay as close to the action as possible on your next trip, have a look at our collection of nearby luxury villas.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 78708 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-02 11:31:07 [post_content] => Marbella. There aren't many places offering year-round sunshine in Europe that, from beaches and golf to shopping and fine dining, tick as many of the luxury holiday boxes. Sounds tempting? Perhaps the best part of all is just how easy it is to get to...
Where is Marbella?First things first, though. Where is it? Marbella is in southern Spain - in the province of Malaga in the Andalucia region, to be exact - on a stretch of coast called the Costa del Sol. Here's a map of Marbella to help you get your bearings:
Where Do You Fly to?It depends on from where you're flying in. The nearest international airport to Marbella is Malaga. Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (Aena.es) is 51km away and an easy 40-minute car/taxi ride. Virtually all the major airlines fly there direct from the UK and from across northern Europe. The next closest airport to Marbella is Gibraltar (Gibraltarairport.gi), which is just over an hour's drive away. British Airways, Easyjet and Monarch all fly direct from the UK to Gibraltar.
From the USIf you’re flying into Spain from the USA you'll probably have to travel to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (Aena.es). From there you'll have to either fly, take the fast speed AVE train (Renfe.com) or drive to Malaga and transfer from there to Marbella. The most convenient way to get to Marbella from Madrid is by the fast speed train taking just 2.5hrs or by flying taking only 1 hour and 15 mins.
how to get there from malaga airport
By CarThe best way to get from Malaga to Marbella is to drive. And if you're on holiday that probably means you're going to need to hire a car. As with almost all international airports, Malaga has a frankly baffling array of different car hire options to pick through. To avoid the scrum of the departures lounge, jump on the complimentary minibus to the offices of Niza, Helle Hollis or Enterprise situated a mere minute outside of the terminal. Inside the terminal you can find Sixt, Hertz and Europcar. If you're unsure of which company to use, click the following link. For a more luxury car hire service we'd recommend Sixt (Sixt.com). They're friendly, totally professional, trustworthy and have a range of high-end rental options, from BMWs, Audis and Porsches to Mercedes and Range Rovers - and even automatics. If you're travelling in a large group, they also have 8-12 seater self-drive minibuses available for hire. Of course if you're looking for ease, our Concierge can make the reservation for you to be dropped directly off at the villa. A car of your choice can be delivered to your villa. Once you've picked up your car/minibus hire, driving from Malaga airport to Marbella could hardly be easier. Directions from Malaga-Costa del Sol airport are as follows:
- Leave the airport and head southeast onto N-348
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on N-348
- Take the Torremolinos ramp to N-340/Cádiz
- Merge onto Avenida de Velázquez/N-340/MA-21
- Take the ramp to E-15/A-7/Benalmadena/Algeciras. Merge onto AP-7
- Pass Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola
- Take exit 184 towards Marbella/Casco Antiguo/Avenida del Trapiche
By TaxiFor sheer ease, you can’t beat jumping in a taxi. A taxi rank is situated outside the arrivals sidewalk of Terminal T3, level 0. It's best to ask the driver, beforehand, how much a taxi is from Malaga to Marbella to ensure they don’t overcharge you. There are two transfer prices, and these are dependent on both times of the day and the day of the week. Transfer Price Band 1 is weekdays from 06.00 to 22.00 hrs. Transfer Price Band 2 is weekdays from 22.00 to 06.00 hrs, all day Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, the August Feria and Holy Week. Band 2 transfer time is more expensive than Band 1. Alternatively, you can pre-order a taxi at Malaga Airport Taxi (Malagaairporttaxi.net) and get a price when booking. The transfer time from Malaga Airport to Marbella takes around an hour, in a taxi.
Other Ways to Get to Marbella
- By bus: It is possible to take a bus (Alsa.com) from Malaga airport to Marbella. But it's a whole lot less convenient than driving via hire car or private transfer.
- By train: There isn’t a train connection from Malaga airport to Marbella.
Distances - how far is marbella from...
- Malaga (city): 61km away and 46 minutes' drive.
- Granada: 187km and just over 2 hours' drive.
- Seville: 258km and 2 hours 45 minutes' drive.
- Gibraltar: 78km and 1 hour 2 minutes' drive.
- Madrid: 584 km and 5 hours 45 minutes' drive.
A Bit of HistoryThe land previously belonged to the Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, who it is said, used the estate as his party house and hunting grounds. The property and land went up for sale and a group of Spanish property developers bought it and put plans together to create a playground for the rich and famous in Marbella. Each villa is unique, with their own styles depending on the specifications of the owner.
Location & Getting There
So where is La Zagaleta?The large estate sits in Malaga province in the south of Andalucia. It’s in the foothills of the Ronda Mountains just 25 minutes from Marbella, 18 minutes from Nuevo Andalucia and the nearest beach. It's 20 minutes from the village of Benahavis, 40 minutes from Sotogrande port, 50 minutes from Ronda, 55 minutes from Malaga airport and just over an hour from Gibraltar airport. La Zagaleta is very easily accessed by car or helicopter. There's heavy security surrounding the estate and entrance is on prior permission only.
What Else is in La Zagaleta?It’s worth noting that all the facilities in La Zagaleta are for exclusive use to villa owners only; they pay an enormous service charge to be allowed to use the facilities.
Golf CourseLa Zagaleta golf club is only open to villa owners and their guests. They have exclusive access to two of the Costa del Sol's best private golf courses, La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos. La Zagaleta golf course - known as the Old Course - is to championship standard with 18 holes, Par 72 over a distance of 4800 - 6000 yards. Designed by renowned golf architect Brad Benz in 1991 and redesigned by Marc Westenborg in 2016, it’s a rewarding course with fantastic views to the coast and flanked by mountains. The New Course, Los Barrancos, is very different to the Old Course. It’s a challenging 18-hole, Par 70 with lots of obstacles over a distance of 4356 – 5381 yards.
The ClubhousesThe hub of the estate is the spectacular Old Clubhouse, or La Zagaleta country club. Measuring 5,100m² it has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, billiards, bowling alley, tennis courts, gourmet food supermarket, pro-golf shop and restaurants (see below). There's also a nightclub, bars and events space where there’s a full schedule of experiences and parties planned. The New Clubhouse is a thatched lakeside venue. A lot smaller than the Old Clubhouse, it's still just as popular with La Zagaleta residents for events or having a quick drink in the bar.
Horse RidingLa Zagaleta is home to some beautiful stables with indoor and outdoor schooling arenas. Horses can either be kept on a full livery basis, or horses and ponies can be hired for lessons or hacks. ‘The Riding Club’ equestrian centre has a team of instructors and well-schooled horses for all levels of rider including Arab, PRE and, for the children, Farabella horses and Welsh ponies.
RestaurantsWhy leave the comfort of a beautiful villa when you can enjoy a top-quality meal at home? At La Zagaleta there are Michelin starred chefs available for in-house dining throughout the estate. However, for owners the clubhouse has two restaurants: the formal dining Old Course Restaurant; and a terrace bar restaurant that's ideal for light bites and brunches.
Famous ResidentsThere is private security throughout the whole of La Zagaleta - so know one really know who lives or owns houses there. It’s a place where the super-rich and famous go to be away from the limelight. However, it is said that Hugh Grant, Rod Stewart and Vladimir Putin all have house in La Zagaleta.
What to Do NearbyWhen staying in La Zagaleta, the houses are so special that it’s sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from the estate. However, if you do want to see more of the area, here's our pick of easily accessible and great day trips:
- Ronda: historic, boutique wineries and ab-so-lutely beautiful.
- Benahavis village: a great option for restaurants; have a lunch or dinner in this pretty village.
- Granada: a romantic inland city and home to the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Malaga: the birthplace of Picasso with a fort, palace and Roman amphitheatre.
- Cordoba: historic city with a stunning mosque-church at its centre.
- Sevilla: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Sotogrande: a lovely port, wake boarding lake and polo hub.