Spain’s by-the-beach hotels to book now

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Spain’s by-the-beach hotels to book now

Nail your Spanish getaway like it’s de nada with our rundown of the best luxury stays right on the sand

Amy Martin

BY Amy Martin23 May 2024

From the Costa del Sol to the seaswept cliffs of Galicia, Spain‘s shores are awash with big-hitting beaches – and boutique stays to match. We’ve narrowed them down to a lineup of MVPs (most valuable playas, of course).

So whether you’re a badge-holding member of the bucket and spade brigade or prefer to savour your sea views from the comfort of the cocktail bar, find your next seaside stay with our guide to the best beachfront hotels on Spanish shores.

LITTLE BEACH HOUSE

Barcelona

Hotel exterior right on the beach with sun loungers and parasols in the mediterranean sun

Soho House’s bijou Barcelona outpost is as adorable as the name suggests. Little Beach House is actually just south of the city, right next to the golden sands and cutesy beach huts of the Bay of Garraf. Interiors draw heavily on the hotel’s Fifties heritage, with retro rattan, terracotta tiles and plenty of tropical plants, and there’s a pin-up-worthy beach club, too.

Nearest beach

At the beach club down on Platja de Garraf, fringed parasols and candy-striped loungers make the perfect spot to pen your postcards – wish-you-were-here-worthy sea views complete the look.

Dine by the sea

Retro aesthetics might reign supreme, but it’s not all throwbacks here. The beach club restaurant’s tapas and paella has proven a big hit with modern palates. At the bar, slinky beats and signature chilli-laced cocktails keep things thoroughly 21st century – as do the millennials swigging them.

NOBU HOTEL IBIZA BAY

Ibiza

Swimming pool looking out to the ocean with sun loungers and palm trees

Considering it’s something of an A-lister, Ibiza’s Nobu Hotel manages to keep its feet firmly on the ground. Bikini-clad days here are spent slipping unhurriedly from your double day-bed to the seafront pool and back, perhaps taking a pit-stop at the bar along the way. Later browse artisanal goodies in the boutique or charter a boat for an island-scouting spin, and arrange a big date with a certain miso-glazed black cod.

Speaking of big names, holistic hotel group Six Senses have taken charge of the spa, so you expect luxurious rituals – if the gold-leaf facial leaves you feeling a little big for your boots, let a Thai-massage pummelling humble you. Come sundown, swap swimwear for your best LA-set looks. Club tickets can be arranged if it’s Ibiza buzz you’re after, but really, a night at the namesake restaurant ticks all the boxes: breezy beats, decadent drinks and worth-the-hype dining.

Nearest beach

The hotel has a toes-in-the-sand spot on the long, butter-soft curve of Talamanca beach. Calm, shallow waters make it a tempting swim spot, and there’s a promenade leading to the boutiques and bars of the marina.

Dine by the sea

Nobu is naturally the headliner of the hotel’s three restaurants. But after a morning spent sun-worshipping, dust the sand from your shoulders and wander in for a laidback lunch at Chambao, the resort’s relaxed chiringuito where Valencian paella, vibrant salads and the salt-crusted catch of the day are served beachside.

EL VICENÇ DE LA MAR

Mallorca

Sun loungers on the terrace looking out to the mountains and the sea

El Vicenç de la Mar is situated right where the Serra de Tramuntana range sinks into the sea, so naturally nature takes top billing. A stay here means a front-row seat for some of Mallorca’s most dramatic scenery: towering ridges, rolling hills and the vibrant Balearic Sea beyond take centre stage. For intrepid types, cycling has long been the favoured form of sightseeing round these parts. And with wheels to rent and an on-site repair shop, the hotel will have you ready to roll in no time – so get on your bike and ride.

Now let’s get to lazing. First stop, the spa, where a Turkish bath and full roster of treatments await. When you’re all massaged and mud-masked out, mosey on up to the roof terrace. Here, you’ll have everything you need to appreciate the panoramic views in well-rested style – namely, a pool, parasol-shaded loungers and plenty of cocktails courtesy of the bar.

Nearest beach

There’s a trio of bijou beaches within easy walking distance of the hotel. Cala Molins is the closest and busiest, set up with palm-thatched sunloungers and watersports huts. Cala Barques is a good bet for stroll-up restaurants serving just-caught seafood. For something a little quieter, head to Cala Clara, a rocky cove where clear waters make for excellent snorkelling.

Dine by the sea

For a spot of lunchtime sea-gazing, bagsy a table on the terrace at U Mayol, the hotel’s breezy daytime restaurant. Wood-fired seafood and sizzling pans of paella are the staples here, served against cliff-framed views of the cala.

NOA BOUTIQUE HOTEL

A Coruña

Swimming pools over looking the ocean

For centuries, pilgrims passing through Galicia have been ploughing on down to Santiago de Compostela. But those devoted to divine hideaways should peel off further north to Atlantic-lapped A Coruña – or, more specifically, Noa Boutique Hotel. The mission statement here is simple: its name is the Galician word for rest, after all.

The sea-facing rooftop is your R ’n’ R one-stop shop, where you can slide from your sunlounger to the Jacuzzi and infinity pool. That said, every room here is glass-fronted and gazes out over Santa Cruz Bay, so if you don’t even make it out of bed we won’t blame you. But it’s little effort to enjoy seafood feasts in the restaurant and post-prandial stints in the spa.

Nearest beach

A Coruña’s breezy seaside promenade runs right past the hotel, snaking around the headland past golden-sand coves, mediaeval forts and the world’s oldest lighthouse. Praia de Porto Covo is a few minutes’ walk away, a low-key, locally loved beach with a footbridge leading out to the Castle of Santa Cruz.

Dine by the sea

There’s no shortage of places to pull in for a sea-facing pan con tomate along the promenade. For something a little more elevated, though, take to the terrace at Qomo by Noa. Creative, street-food-style dishes like tempura-crab bao buns and braised-beef-cheek tacos are paired with local wines and glittering Atlantic views.

SIX SENSES IBIZA

Ibiza

Sun beds and parasols on the edge of an infinity pool overlooking the ocean

The ultimate antidote to the head-pounding south Ibiza experience, Six Senses sits on the island’s more mellow northern coast, where peace-seeking hippies have been hanging out since the Sixties. Wellness-wise, you’re in the safest possible hands. Spend some serious quality time in the Six Senses spa – all 13,000 square-feet of it.

After, there are four restaurants to nourish you further, where organic, locally sourced menus have been masterminded by ‘the cauliflower king’ chef Eyal Shani. As for your artistic awakening, there’s a photography gallery, a cookery school and a concept boutique curated by former Vogue stylists.

Nearest beach

Six Senses looks out over Xarraca Bay, where piercing blue waters and pockets of sugary sand will have the most steadfast of cynics feeling a little won over by the woo-woo. And if the hotel’s eco-conscious ethos – which made it the first BREEAM-certified resort in the Balearics – is a hangover from the region’s tree-hugging Sixties heyday, so much the better.

Dine by the sea

The Beach Caves are the hotel’s sunset-spying hangout, with plump day-beds, a lounge area set up on the wave-lapped rocks, and speakeasy-style Bar Secreto serving Latin American fare steps from the sea. Like the rest of the resort, everything here is organic and plastic-free, but mezcal-spiked sundowners are soundtracked by live DJs, in case things were in danger of leaning a little holier-than-thou.

HOSPES MARICEL & SPA

Mallorca

Hotel exterior from the sea

The 16th-century mansion that Hospes Maricel & Spa calls home has been honing its rep as a grown-up’s playground for decades – rumour has it, it was the scene of many an R-rated party in the Sixties. These days, things here swing to a less raucous – though just as decadent – rhythm. Rock and roll has been swapped for live jazz in the cocktail bar, and the sleek spa is home to all manner of herb-laced temptations.

A stay here is proof that civilised doesn’t have to mean snooze-inducing. Sure, Maricel’s skinny-dipping days might be in the past, but we have a feeling a Martini-in-hand splash about the pool will always be on the cards here – there must be something in the water.

Nearest beach

Platjas Cas Català Calvià and Buganvilla are both white-sand stretches within walking distance, but you needn’t stray from the hotel. Waves breaking against cobbled walls set a lulling beat on the hotel’s pool terrace, and there’s also a private jetty, which serves as a jumping off point for kayaking, fishing, water-skiing and scuba-diving adventures.

Dine by the sea

Hospes Maricel’s restaurant seduces with sophisticated Mallorquín cuisine and Med views. The declared ‘best breakfast in the world’ here is a firmly fine-dining affair, with eight seasonal courses, ranging from fresh-caught seafood to traditional sweet treats. And come sunset, the bar’s colonnaded terrace is the best spot in town for a bellini.

VILLA FAVORITA

San Sebastián

View of the beach from the lounge

Michelin-starred food, Mediterranean views and a beach made for promenading – if these are a few of your favourite things you’ll be right at home at Villa Favorita. Right on La Concha Bay’s golden sands, the 19th-century villa was originally a summer pad for Queen Maria Christina. These days, there’s still plenty of Belle Époque appeal: the parquet floors, white-panelled walls and picture windows to frame the seaside views see to that.

Nearest beach

La Concha Bay is a picture of old-world seaside charm. A wide golden-sand crescent swoops down towards the Old Town, traced by a promenade with curlicued lamp posts and wrought-iron railings that have been immortalised on practically every postcard ever sent from the city.

Dine by the sea

With chef Paulo Airaudo at the helm, Villa Favorita’s fine-dining restaurant has secured its spot as the crown jewel of San Sebastián’s culinary scene – and, with the city holding the most Michelin stars per capita of anywhere in the world, it wasn’t short of competition.

CAN SIMONETA

Mallorca

Infinity pool on the edge of a cliff over looking the sea with sun loungers and parasols

A time-tested remedy for the stressed out and sun-deprived, Can Simoneta has stood high on a cliff over Canyamel since the 19th century, when an ailing monk’s doctor prescribed a secluded stay by the sea. Now, its found a new calling as a boutique hotel, but the modern restoration has left plenty of meditative spots – if the clifftop Jacuzzi and sea-sprayed pools don’t see you soothed, an alfresco massage under the pines surely will.

Nearest beach

If you’re still not converted, seek out the private stairway carved into the cliffside; it leads straight down to a quiet cove, where a constitution-bolstering dose of clear sea and soft sands await – side effects include drowsiness and a decided reluctance to go home. A short walk across the rocks will take you to Platja de Canyamel, a larger and livelier beach backed by a nature reserve and a bustling beach town.

Dine by the sea

There’s a clutch of cheerful, unfussy beach cafés by Platja de Canyamel, where you can find sangria and fresh-caught seafood a skip from the shoreline. But for a bird’s-eye view of the bay, there’s no beating Can Simoneta’s clifftop restaurant, where local produce is finely spun into a seasonal Med-Mex fusion menu and regional wines slip down with unholy ease.

PUENTE ROMANO BEACH RESORT

Marbella

Puente Romano may be a big name on Marbella’s Golden Mile, but who’s to say you can’t run with the Costa del Sol cool kids? The resort has a homey village vibe – whitewashed buildings, winsome Med views – and 20 luxury restaurants and bars, including Nobu and an NYC-style nightclub.

At the tennis club, don’t be surprised if you catch Djokovic putting the clay courts through their paces. And the wellness-focused Six Senses group are the star spas here. As resorts go, Puente Romano is an it-girl – the secret to its celeb status? It keeps its summer-holiday priorities straight: sun, sea and serious relaxation.

Nearest beach

At the hotel’s El Chiringuito beach club on Playa de Nagüeles, all you need to fit in are your fanciest flip flops and a fruity frozen cocktail.

Dine by the sea

Sandy-soled El Chiringuito serves perfect post-paddle fare: Fine de Claire oysters, zingy gazpacho and the charcoal-grilled catch of the day. Or swap the kaftan for smarter linens at neighbouring Sea Grill, where lingering seafood suppers are set to live music and lapping waves.

ROYAL HIDEAWAY CORALES SUITES

Tenerife

Don’t let its cruise-liner looks fool you; Royal Hideaway Corales Suites is a family-friendly resort with its roots firmly in Tenerife’s soil. The nautical design is the work of homegrown architect Leonardo Omar, and in the four restaurants, local chefs work the island’s native produce into moreish pan-Mediterranean menus.

Ship-shape apartment-style suites, each with private sundecks and shall-we-just-stay-here sea views, have been specially designed to suit families. To fend off cabin fever, roll out as a clan to the heated saltwater pool or park your little poppets in the kids’ club and head across the lawn to the hotel’s sister property, where there’s an adults-only spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.

Nearest beach

The resort’s right on La Enramada beach, so mountain-scaling, surf-conquering guided excursions are offered too, plus volcanic black sand makes for striking sandcastles. How better to wrap up the day’s hijinks than with a home-churned scoop (or several) at the ice-cream parlour?

Dine by the sea

Between Royal Hideaway Corales Suites and its sister hotel, dining options range from a family-friendly trattoria to two-Michelin-starred fine dining. I Bocconcino hits the sweet spot, with an Italian tasting menu served on the sea-facing terrace, and chefs in the open kitchen doing their darndest to pull focus from the view.

Cap Menorca

Menorca

Once an army base on Menorca’s south coast, Cap Menorca marches to a much more laidback beat these days. Its 15 suites each have a private pool and garden – the hotel has planted 15,000 flowers and counting to help rejuvenate the local ecosystem. Cobblestone paths reveal hints at the hotel’s history (bonus points if you find the original cannon), but today, the palm-fringed communal pool makes for the best look-out spot, taking in views of the Tramuntana mountains, olive groves and the glittering Med.

You can charter the hotel’s yacht for a spin, should you fancy a thoroughly relaxed recce of the island’s coastline. Or go MIA at the spa, where alfresco treatments take place by the shore and a natural stone pool, steam room and sauna are set in an ancient cave.

Nearest beach

Just steps from Cap Menorca, Cala de Llucalari is a local-secret cove where striking cliffs rise from glass-clear water.

Dine by the sea

Cala de Llucalari is too tiny to have any eateries, but for dazzling sea views while you dine, take to the rooftop terrace at Cap Menorca’s restaurant. The menu puts a contemporary spin on traditional Balearic dishes such as caldereta de langosta, Menorca’s much-celebrated lobster stew, all using local, seasonal ingredients.

Got the whole team in tow? See our selection of Europe’s best beachside villas


Amy Martin is a writer, actor and travel buff, based between London and Cornwall. When she’s not lurking around a theatre or scribbling in a notebook on the Penzance to Paddington line, you’ll find her at the cinema, on a long coastal walk, or watching Pride and Prejudice (1995 or 2005 is fine).