Nobu Hotel Marbella brings the group's tried-and-tested trinity – calm, contemporary design, soulful service and sense-teasing fusion food – to the buzziest strip of beachfront in Andalucia. Minutes from Golden Mile sands, the hotel borrows its look from Mediterranean villages, with simple, whitewashed buildings leading to a central square. Shared with sister hotel Puente Romano, this buzzing courtyard is the hotel’s social heart, as popular with sun-seeking lunchers as whisky-sipping night owls. Nobu’s world-renowned restaurants need little introduction (yes, the black cod miso is on the menu), and Puente Romano has nearly a dozen other places to wine and dine. Days often start with a slow burn – massages at the Six Senses Spa; fresh juices by the pool – before building to sake-spiked dinners and after-dark drinks in the square.
Double rooms from £343.11 (€407), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include buffet breakfast, but you can also order à la carte dishes like green-tea waffles topped with berries and maple syrup, soba pancakes with yuzu whipped cream, and eggs with spinach, yuzu and miso.
Certain spa treatments can be carried out in the privacy of your own room.
At the hotel
Gardens, tennis courts, gym, free WiFi, laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, tea and coffee kit, free bottled water, Natura Bissé bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All of the rooms are finished to the same standard, so it really comes down to how much space you think you'll need. If you’re a light sleeper, it’ll be worth requesting one overlooking the gardens rather than La Plaza, the hotel’s lively courtyard.
There’s a heated, adults-only pool on a raised terrace. Its loungers and day-beds are the place to be after a late night at La Plaza – order ginger shots and electrolyte-enhanced mocktails to supercharge your recovery. Guests can also use the family-friendly pools at sister hotel Puente Romano, which is right next-door.
The Six Senses Spa brings the brand’s expert therapists and holistic philosophy to Golden Mile. The treatment rooms have oak floors, traditional Andalucian furnishings and walls of local stone, giving the spa a soothingly rustic feel. The therapists make liberal use of products that are indigenous to southern Spain, including mountain herbs, sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. There’s also a herbal steam room, sauna, hammam and a circuit of plunge pools.
Bring your dancing shoes. The hotel has a private entrance to nightclub La Suite.
Except for La Plaza, most of the common areas are accessible for wheelchair users, and one Junior Suite has been adapted.
Welcome, although the hotel is better suited to adults. Children can stay in all room categories, but can't use the hotel pool or be in La Plaza after midnight. They can, however, use the pool at sister hotel Puente Romano.
Dine at the counter to see the chefs at work; otherwise, request a table on the terrace.
There are no strict rules, but guests often slip into something dressier for dinner.
Nobu needs little in the way of introduction. Co-founder and celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa has tantalised the taste buds of diners on five continents, creating Japanese-Peruvian fusion food that’s as popular in London as it is in Kuala Lumpur. At Nobu Marbella, the kitchen is helmed by Greek-born chef Eleni Manousou, the first woman to take the reins of a Nobu restaurant. If it's your first time, be sure to order the black cod miso, the most coveted dish. You can also eat at La Plaza, the hotel’s buzzing courtyard, or one of the many restaurants at sister hotel Puente Romano. The line-up includes Michelin-starred Dani Garcia, seafood specialist El Chiringuito, tapas bar Bibo and Italian trattoria Serafina.
Nobu’s bar is helmed by mixologist Rodrigo Tartaglia, ensuring the cocktails are as good as the food. As you’d expect, there’s also an impressive sake selection and a judicious list of wines. Connecting Nobu and Puente Romano, La Plaza is a favourite spot for drinks.
Breakfast is served from 8am to noon. Dinner is available from 7.30pm to 12.30am.
Nobu Hotel is on the Golden Mile, the most in-demand stretch of beachfront in Marbella.
It’s a 35-minute drive to Málaga’s Costa del Sol Airport, which can be reached from destinations throughout Europe, including London, Birmingham and Manchester.
A car will make it easier for you to explore the Andalucian coast and countryside; you can rent one at Málaga Airport and park for free at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
This hotel was designed with bon vivants in mind. For many guests, the days start at a slow burn – sun yourself on the beach, sip juices by the pool or treat mind and body at the Six Senses Spa. After dark, energy levels tend to kick up a gear: evenings begin with sundowners at La Plaza, followed by long, sake-soaked meals at Nobu. If you’re in no mood to retire after dinner, head next door to La Suite, where DJs and musicians keep things going into the early hours.
Beyond the Andalucian villas and hotels on the Golden Mile, there are the winding streets of Marbella’s Old Town, overlooked by the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación. Pause for a languid coffee break in Plaza de los Naranjos, then head slightly further north of the town centre to hop on a dolphin-watching tour at Puerto Cabopino marina. Málaga – where Moorish Alcazaba fort commands the best of the sea views – is a 50-minute drive away. Art buffs should explore the extensive collections in the Carmen Thyssen Museum and Picasso Museum Málaga. Ronda, an hour’s drive away, has 13th- and 14th-century relics scattered throughout, and natural splendour can be sought in nearby reserves like Los Alcornocales and Montes de Málaga.
Franco-Belgian bistro Casanis is in the Old Town, occupying a handsome house that’s wreathed in ferns and flowers. Snails, beef Wellington and duck confit are among the classics, paired with fresh vegetables that are grown in an organic garden 10 minutes away. For steak and Spanish-style seafood, try Santiago, which is a short stroll from the Dalí bronzes on Avenida del Mar. In the centre of town, Takumi is the place for sashimi, teppanyaki and melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu beef. Classic Andalucian dishes are on the menu at Buenaventura, a cosy and traditional tavern overlooking an 18th-century church; go for the chef’s tasting menu for the full experience. Pint-size Skina is one of the most famous restaurants in town, lauded for the quality of its ingredients, the creativity of the cooking and its vast wine list, which is filled with bottles sourced from some of the world’s best small-scale producers (don’t forget to book).
There's little reason to leave the grounds for cocktail o’clock – you’ve got the Nobu Lounge, La Plaza and Puente Romano’s beachfront bars to explore.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this foodie hotel in Marbella and unpacked their swimwear and sandals, a full account of their Andalucian break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Nobu Hotel Marbella…
Nobu Hotel Marbella is a feast for all the senses. On the outside, the hotel looks like a village, with buildings sporting terracotta-tiled roofs, whitewashed walls and balconies overlooking a central square. The rooms are styled with Nobu’s signature minimalism, an Asian-inspired medley of pale woods and eye-soothing neutrals – all bathed in light thanks to vast windows overlooking the fig- and jasmine-scented courtyard. It’s all designed for a seamless transition to out-of-office mindset, but any lingering worries will soon be shed at the sleek Six Senses Spa or the hotel’s strip of Golden Mile beach.
Then, of course, there’s the food. Nobu’s signature classics are as good as ever, but joined by local flavours added by Greek-born executive chef Eleni Manousou, who works Andalucian ingredients into the Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. And, thanks to an arrangement with next-door sister hotel Puente Romano, you'll have a dozen other options to drink and dine at, from classic tapas to fragrant Thai. Buen provecho!