Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort: excellence in service and a unique experience for every guest

Interview with Jorge Manzur, Director of Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort

Jorge Manzur- Anantara Villapadierna

Staying at Anantara Villa Padierna Palace is not just about sleeping, but the hotel offers travellers a series of experiences that will remain in their memories beyond the days of their stay. This is what lies behind the Anantara brand and its philosophy of making guests feel not like tourists, but like locals.

Located between the towns of Marbella and Benahavís on the Costa del Sol, this pink Tuscan-style palace, surrounded by spectacular gardens, is just the beginning of a stay where excellence in service becomes a unique experience for each guest.

We spoke to Jorge Manzur, the hotel’s director, about what he sees as the true luxury of the hotel and the philosophy behind the Anantara brand and how it is reflected in the guest experience at Villapadierna.

You came to the management of Anantara Villapadierna in 2019 after leading one of Marbella’s most iconic hotels, Puente Romano. What were your objectives when taking on this position?

The first thing was to create a strong team and a hotel where people would want to come. I have to say that the hotel had been living with its back to Marbella for quite some time and when I arrived my first objective was to make it known that the hotel was open to everyone.

The hotel is housed in a palatial building set in exquisite gardens and filled with works of art. Tell us a little more about the Ananatara Villapadierna Hotel.

To begin with, and just talking about the property, I will say that the building is a magnificent construction and the owner’s dream and everything here is real, there is nothing made of papier-mâché. But the real luxury of staying at Anantara Villapadierna, and what keeps people coming back, is the staff. For me, at the end of the day, the building, the gardens, etc., is money and can be copied, but what cannot be replicated is the level of commitment and passion of our team to take care of the smallest detail in serving our guests.


What customer profile does the hotel choose, and has this profile changed over the last few years?

Our profile is a guest of a high economic level and we receive more and more young people and couples with children for whom we have created a very interactive kids club. However, the most significant change that we have really noticed is the client who comes to be with his family or couple and enjoy the hotel and the relaxation it offers.

The hotel is surrounded by 3 golf courses, is the golf client significant for the hotel?

Of course, especially in the high golf season, which coincides with the low season of the more holiday client, which means a constant trickle for us. In addition, on longer stays the client comes not only to play our courses, but also wants to try other courses in the area.

What is the philosophy behind the Anantara brand and how is it reflected in the customer experience at Villapadierna?

Ananatara is a collection of hotels always located in emblematic buildings, but above all it is a humane treatment to the guest and a close staff that knows and understands the customer to make them feel like locals and not tourists. Nowadays, clients no longer want a ride in a helicopter or a Ferrari, for example, today what they want is to live the experience of really getting to know the place where they are travelling. This is what really sets Anantara apart from other hotels.

What is Anantara Villapadierna’s distinctive approach in terms of delivering an exceptional dining experience to its guests?

Here’s a bit of history. When we arrived, the food was good, but the dining was not a real highlight of the hotel, which resulted in guests staying at Villapadierna going out for lunch and dinner every day. We were convinced that the gastronomic offer of the hotel had to be extraordinary and that has been our goal, which I think we have achieved.

We now have eight restaurants in which every piece of equipment and every culinary offer is extremely well cared for. In four and a half years we have gone from two restaurants to the eight we have now, and we are a benchmark in terms of gastronomy and variety. In fact, the Michelin Guide has approached us for its recommendations, as well as gastronomic critics.

This variety means that people come here and, above all, that those who do come don’t leave to look for other restaurants. We have noticed this because car hire has dropped significantly over the last four years.

But I don’t just want to talk about the guests, I also want to talk about the local public, which is important to us. All our restaurants are open to welcome the local public. La Veranda is our most iconic restaurant open every day; Olà Beirut is the Lebanese gastronomy proposal; La Pérgola is a fun food restaurant for light and healthy lunches; La Loggia, which at lunchtime serves traditional Malaga cuisine, in which old recipes from many of the villages of the Malaga mountains have been rescued, at night it is an authentic Italian restaurant; we also have a vegetable garden where you can choose your vegetables and which I think is one of the most photographed parts of the hotel by our guests. Also, right here, in Eddy’s Bar, we have a great variety of sandwiches and vegan dishes and the beach club is another of our spaces where we have created an authentic chiringuito menu with fish of the day and paellas.

Another of the most important areas of the hotel is its Spa, awarded in 2022 as Best Hotel Spa in the Condé Nast awards. How is the offer of this area of the hotel?

We have great professionals from all over the world who attend to guests and local clients with all the attention that characterises our hotel and that I explained before. In our commitment to wellness we try to offer new things, for example, we bring in therapists who come to visit, just for a while, and who are world-renowned in their disciplines and in the field of wellness.

In terms of facilities, our spa has 2,000 square metres of water and 13 treatment rooms, which I think sets us apart.

Finally, what are the new challenges facing Anantara Villapadierna in 2024?

Our next goals are, on the one hand, to achieve higher average rate and occupancy quotas, although we have improved them by almost 40% and on the other hand, to consolidate our gastronomic offer, we want people to know that we are working on improving the concepts we already have and on new ones.

If you had to recommend someone to come to the Anantara Villapdierna Palace Hotel, what would you tell them?

I would say that it is a place to relax, rest, play sports and eat excellent food. That in itself is a luxury, but the hotel is also a 125-room paradise on three hectares, which gives you an idea of the privacy guests enjoy.


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