We arrived at the Puente Romano Beach Resort (a member of Leading Hotels of the World) after dark. Having left behind a grey and drizzly Autumnal day in England, it was a delight to step out of our taxi (the ride is about 35 minutes from Malaga Airport) in short sleeves and experience the warm evening breeze that was rustling through the extensive greenery at the Puente Romano Hotel. After a quick checkin I was ushered to a golf cart and driven through extensive gardens, past numerous pools and to my room in an Andalusian style low rise building.
One of the first things that struck me about the resort (beyond the glorious weather) was its immense size. Resembling an Andalusian village, the 266 luxurious Mediterranean style guest rooms are spread in 27 three–storey villas, among 55.000 sq. m. of lush, sub-tropical gardens, cascading from the road right down to the Mediterranean Sea. Over 400 species of plant life have been brought to the gardens from all around the world. Pretty pathways wind through the tropical gardens forming a beautiful but confusing maze between the rooms and the reception. You can literally get lost as you wind your way underneath massive ferns and tunnels of foliage. I almost felt I needed a machete to hack a pathway back to my room! I particularly loved the tropical gardens, at night when they were all lit up, and although there was a mass of foliage, pools and even a small stream running through the grounds, there seemed very few insects which was a huge relief as I am like catnip to mosquitoes! I didn’t get bitten once at the Puente Romano hotel.
You can’t go wrong with the rooms at the Puente Romano as they are all suites (the smallest is a large 55 sq m) with their own terrace, their own front door and reached via alfresco pathways and stairs. Mine was a garden suite on the ground floor which had a large living/dining area extending out onto my own private patio, separate bedroom, and a gloriously huge and snazzy bathroom with some delicately scented Molton Brown Amenities. It was like having my very own apartment on the famous Marbella Golden Mile. My tip would be to select a room to the East of the resort, which means your patio is west facing and retains the evening sunshine.
Having pre-ordered breakfast, I was woken next morning by a knock on the door and the most friendly and generous staff laid out breakfast. Nothing was too much for them and one of the chaps played a lengthy game with my son which involved hiding a kinder egg around the breakfast paraphernalia and which resulted in much joyous laughter. This game continued every morning and was a special touch. In fact, I really couldn’t have wished for a more child-friendly resort in an adult environment. The staff always treated my boy like a much-loved relative, with ruffles on the head and huge smiles, but the resort itself retained a sophisticated adult feel.
Being out of season in October, the weather remained hot, almost 25’C most days, but the resort was quiet so we had all the pools (I think there were four) to ourselves and we spent most of our time in and out of the prime seafront pool, which was decked in an appealing nautical grey-blue and shaped like a figure of eight with a bridge across it.
Bar & Food
The down side to visiting out of season was that the kids club was closed along with some of the restaurants, and the only “happening” restaurant and bar during our stay seemed to be the Sea Grill down by the seafront, but we had an amazing time here and it remained busy every night with both hotel guests and it also appeared to be a favourite of locals. The bar part of the Sea Grill was full of comfy sofas and thick fur rugs strewn across grey decking. The entire building had a glass front, perfect for watching the blue blue sky and looking down upon the pool during the day and at night you could see stars as they pinpricked the sky beyond the swishing palms. It also had a superb band who played great tunes brilliantly all the way through the night. Honestly, this is one of my favourite bars in the world to spend the evening in, it has such a warm atmosphere!
Beyond the Grill/Beach club, the social focus of the Resort is the Roman Bridge (Puente Romano) from which the Resort takes its name. This bridge from the first century is a remaining structure of the ancient road that once linked Cadiz with Rome, the Via Augusta. It is quite something to see such an old structure in the centre of this luxury hotel’s grounds.
The Plaza Village in the centre of the resort and designed around this first-century bridge, is made up from a number of restaurants opening up onto an alfresco courtyard. In fact the hotel has eight restaurants in total, offering a wide range of cuisine from Japanese and Italian to Spanish and Arabic, in addition to the Two Star Michelin Restaurant Dani García.
How to Get There
Fly into Malaga, just 3 hours from the UK. Transfers to/from Marbella, are approximately 60 euros for up to three people by taxi, but are more expensive if arranged through the hotel. There are plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport that you can pick up for this short transfer.
Join Leaders club. In midsummer it may be worth joining unlimited for $1,200 and a guaranteed room upgrade and an amenity. This hotel is generous with upgrades out of season, but in season, unless you are a regular guest, they have every right not to upgrade you at all.
Out of season, joining standard leaders club for $150 will usually suffice and will get you an upgrade and an amenity.
If you are feeling cheeky and energetic, bed hoping does pay with Leading Hotels Club. You could book 3 nights here (= 1 stay credit) then 2 in the Marbella Club (walking distance) which is also Leading hotels (= 1 stay credit) and then another 3 at the Romanos to finish with (= 1 stay credit) earning you 3/4 of a free night from your 8 night stay. If you stay at the Marbella Club all 8 nights you will only earn a single stay credit.
If you intend to book direct, drop me an email as our partner agent offers cash back for all Leading Hotels of the World hotels whilst retaining your Leaders Club perks.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.