Marbella becomes a fitting garden for this rosy resort’s art, gastronomy and gracious hospitality
One may easily exclaim, “Fantástico!” upon gazing at the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace—a grand mansion that drips with a bright rose colour, strikingly surrounded by a grand brocade of cypress and pine trees, and the distant views of the Mediterranean Sea. Trimmed with white pillars and lofty stairways, the property is drenched under the kiss of the Southern Spanish sun, exuding all its congenial characteristics and treating wanderlusts into a sensorial fanfare of Andalusian culture, cuisine and glamour.
There is magic in its location; being lodged in the heart of the golden triangle Marbella – Benahavís – Estepona, the resort is a border between different worlds: the hauntingly old Marbella, the vibrant shopping districts of Gibraltar, the isolated beaches of the Atlantic coastline, or the snow-topped skiing adventure at Sierra Nevada–a two-hour drive from the resort.
There are too many things to take in before one takes off. Across the courtyard, man-made ponds set off a mesmerising blue, where solemn places are decked with fountains, busts and statues, each with detailed craftsmanship. Inside, tall ceilings make an airy lobby. Fuchsia upholstered couches add colour to the marble-and-neutral themed palette. The most outstanding hue, without a doubt, are the green doors.
A gallery hotel, Villa Padierna Palace is home to more than a thousand art—a lush mix of paintings, sculptures and historical artefacts. Hallways are endowed with surprises—glass encased relics beckon for a quick, curious stop, each containing an item to ponder upon before one head their way. Just like in the garden, ornate marble busts are set in defined corners, keeping wanderers company.
Rooms are opulent, each one clad with classical drapes and modern conveniences in fresh, muted colours. Living rooms, grand outdoor views and private terraces are incorporated into each suite, gifting staycationists with the picture-perfect backdrops even while indoors. Three private villas come with their own pools; one is an homage to a favoured guest, Michelle Obama, one of the many celebrities that lingered in the resort’s posh corridors. The Obama Villa, a three-floor villa decked with a kitchenette, three terraces, and a private swimming pool, all on top of its ornate furnishing, is slated beside the roman amphitheatre, affording breath-taking views of the Golf Valley.
Now a gastronomic destination, Villa Padierna Palace welcomes two Michelin star chef Paco Roncero and his concept restaurant, 0 by Paco Roncero, set to serenade palettes with Spanish cuisine. World’s 50 Best Mixologist awardee Diego Cabrera presides over the hotel’s Eddy’s Bar for a set of intriguing cocktails. For romantic evenings, experience Dining by Design, an intimate dinner served al fresco in the canopied courtyards, or inside the grand amphitheatre.
There are many ways to revel in this southern sanctuary; a day at a golf course, a dip at the Roman baths, or a gratifying hike at the Sierra Las Nievas mountain range. Indulge in signature treatments in Anantara Spa or stay fit in a session of Pilates on the hotel’s sun-kissed terraces. At Costa del Sol, take a chance to meander and taste the local cuisines. When feeling adventurous, set off in a helicopter ride to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ronda, and inhale the scent of oranges and olives in the offbeat paths. Bueno becomes grandioso. www.anantara.com ◼
© This article was first published online in Aug 2019 – World Travel Magazine.