La Ciudadela Marbella Hotels – the luxury of living and breathing the history of a destination

La Ciudadela Marbella opens the summer season in the heart of the Costa del Sol with this new concept of exclusive and sophisticated boutique hotels set inside historic buildings in the old town.

Hotel Santo Cristo- exterior

They say that true luxury for any traveller is to be immersed in the real essence of a destination, to escape the more touristy parts and experience authenticity firsthand.  This is what La Ciudadela Marbella Hotels seeks to offer – accommodation, leisure and culinary choices that attract guests who are looking for something more from Marbella than sun and sand.  

La Ciudadela Marbella opens the summer season in the heart of the Costa del Sol with this new concept of exclusive and sophisticated boutique hotels set inside historic buildings in the old town.

Hotel Santo Cristo and Maison Ardois were the first of the La Ciudadela Marbella hotel group to open and these have now been joined by El Castillo hotel; the latter two boast a four-star rating. Each of the three properties has combined the stately Andalusian architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries with modern, sophisticated decoration of the highest quality.

Maison Ardois

Located on central Calle Ancha, in the heart of Marbella’s old town, the hotel is a striking building from 1929 and has nine guest rooms. Each of the rooms at Maison Ardois has been decorated with clean and modern lines.

The property has borne witness to the history of Marbella as it was originally the 19th century mansion house of the Ardois family. One of the most outstanding parts of the hotel is its terrace, a cosy space where ochre colours, wood and the green of small olive trees create an exclusive atmosphere with a panoramic view of the town.

Maison Ardois Suite

Santo Cristo

Set in beautiful Plaza del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz, this boutique hotel has 15 rooms that exude craftsmanship and tradition. Located in a mansion house built in 1920, it is considered one of the finest buildings in the historic centre of Marbella.

The interior of the building seems inspired by a Muslim funduq inn, distributed around a central patio with galleries on quadrangular pillars and beams resting on supports. It is an oasis of peace and quiet that transports guests back in time.

Hotel Santo Cristo- exterior

El Castillo

El Castillo hotel is set within the walls of Marbella’s ancient fortress, the only hotel in an enclave officially protected by BIC heritage-site status.

La Ciudadela Marbella has made a significant commitment to bringing quality tourism back to the historic centre of the town, offering accommodation, leisure and culinary alternatives designed to appeal to visitors who are looking for something more than sun and sand.

Miguel Cerván, CEO of La Ciudadela Marbella: “What is special about Marbella’s old town is that it doesn’t need us to attempt to recreate an Andalusian feel. Here we have all the charm, the culture and, of course, the local residents, of one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa del Sol, without the gimmicks. All that was missing was a quality hotel offer, capable of attracting those who want to get to know our town, our history, our true identity, beyond the typical image seen of Marbella in recent years.”

With a whitewashed façade, the El Castillo hotel consists of 13 rooms, A Fuego restaurant, a lobby bar and the surprising rooftop Café Privé, which is destined to become the place to be in town during the summer season.

Designed throughout by Miguel Cerván, as were the Maison Ardois and Santo Cristo hotels, the El Castillo impresses from the moment you walk through the door. Its airy, two-storey lobby catches guests’ attention thanks to iconic elements such as the elegant lamps, a wall with Qlocktwo clocks that tell the time in several languages or impressive human figures scaling the interior patio, guiding the eye towards the glass roof bathing the space in natural light.

Cerván has left his mark on each of the 13 rooms of El Castillo; painstakingly decorated with real attention to detail and aiming to create a welcoming feel with unique personality that, like the building itself, blends the present with the town’s past.

As with each of the hotels that form part of La Ciudadela Marbella, the El Castillo hotel has its own restaurant. A Fuego is a commitment to quality ingredients and fresh, seasonal produce grown locally. From the hydroponic lettuce, displayed in a beautiful vegetable garden within the restaurant itself and served fresh on the table, to a selection of the best meats and fish off the grill which preserves their strengths and enhances their flavours with the power of its flame.


The rooftop terrace is the jewel in the crown of El Castillo, a space which fuses Saint Tropez, Greece and Marbella.  It is one of the highest points of the old town and from here guests can enjoy a 360º view over the buildings to the Sierra Blanca and the Mediterranean.

The original bar, made of wood, and its colourful furniture are key to creating a relaxed atmosphere at any time of day to enjoy a coffee, cocktail or a choice of dishes specially designed to be appreciated in this area. A dramatic skylight viewing chamber fills the middle of the terrace, surprising guests with its striking view down to the hotel’s inner courtyard through its glass roof. There is also a second level of the rooftop for those who seek an exclusive, reserved area: a hot tub, sun loungers and covered sofas here can offer extra privacy without missing out on the atmosphere on the terrace.

A unique and personalised stay, haute cuisine and rooftop bars with the best views in Marbella are what make La Ciudadela Marbella hotels really special. The guest experience department specialises in offering each guest everything needed to make their visit truly special and there is even the option to hire the entire property for a special event. Whether a guest aims to discover the rich local cuisine, take part in outdoor activities such as golf or soak up the history of this beautiful old town, everything is possible with the hotels’ Bespoke experience.

Guests at any of the boutique properties that form part of La Ciudadela Marbella will find a wide culinary offer in whichever of their restaurants: A Fuego; Thaissence – with its Thai-Peruvian fusion dishes; or La Bouganvilla – with a menu based around the cuisine of Malaga province that brings local flavour to every meal.



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