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Once a humble fishing village, Marbella is now known as an extravagant destination packed with luxury hotels, yachts and fancy cars. While it’s true that there’s a flashy and expensive side to this Spanish city, there are plenty of more low-key - not to mention budget-friendly - options for a family holiday in Marbs.
A haven for golf-lovers and sun-worshippers alike, Marbella is located on the Costa del Sol, a popular destination for UK holidaymakers thanks to short flight times, guaranteed sunshine and sandy beaches. Whenever you’re travelling with kids, advice from fellow parents is always helpful when choosing where to stay. That’s why we’ve gathered recommendations from well-travelled Mumsnetters to help you choose the perfect hotel for your Marbella holiday.
What are the best family-friendly hotels in Marbella?
1. Best overall hotel: Marbella Club
Marbella Club | Check availability
"Marbella Club is v.nice but not cheap" - recommended by Mumsnet user, squeaver
On the coast between Marbella and Puerto Banus is Marbella Club, a five-star hotel surrounded by lush gardens and with direct access to the beach. Accommodation ranges from spacious family rooms to a 4-bedroom private villa with its own pool. We like the look of the Santa margarita two-bedroom suite, with its tree-top roof terrace and classic Mediterranean-style design. The hotel also has a heated saltwater pool and a kids’ club with its own pool, music room and art studio. As you’d expect, it’s not cheap, but for a blow-out family holiday to remember, it’s an amazing choice.
Nearest airport: Malaga (34 miles)
2. Best budget hotel: Barcelo Marbella
Barcelo Marbella | Check availability
"I stayed at Barcelo Marbella on a hen weekend. It was a lovely hotel, a bit out the main area but not too far. I would stay there with my young children. The food was great, rooms massive and pools very nice" - recommended by Mumsnet user, BuzzLightyearsHoneyBun
This four-star hotel is located in the heart of Marbella’s Guadalmina district, close to the area’s best golf courses and just over a mile from the beach. Family rooms and suites are generously sized, with a bathtub, comfy beds and views across Marbella. The hotel has a kids’ club, so you can enjoy the on-site Turkish bath, sauna and treat yourself to a massage. Mumsnetters love the sense of luxury at the Barcelo Marbella, making it their most-recommended family-friendly hotel in Marbella.
Nearest airport: Malaga (40 miles)
3. Best kids' club: Club Med Marbella
Club Med Marbella | Check availability
"Club Med Marbella has a range of family rooms with a sea view and a baby club - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ricekrispie22
A giant of the family-friendly resort world, Club Med offers holidays built around families, making sure everyone gets to relax and enjoy their time away. There’s a kids' club offering a huge range of activities - from mountainside archery to a flying trapeze. The hotel has a spa, five pools and two restaurants. There are excursions available to authentic Spanish white villages like Ronda and Mijas, or to the Alhambra at Granada.
Nearest airport: Malaga (32 miles)
4. Best for luxury: Hotel Gaudalpin
Hotel Gaudalpin | Check availability
"Hotel Gaudalpin has babysitting available and has family rooms with two bedrooms. Cots are free of charge. There’s also a children’s pool" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ricekrispie22
For a luxury hotel with very child-friendly features, head to Hotel Guadalpin. All rooms have a private balcony, with family rooms available that overlook the Mediterranean sea. There’s a wellness suite, two pools and direct access to the beach. Babysitting is available, and you’ll need to book this in advance. There isn’t a kids’ club or activities, sadly, but there is a playground on-site for little ones.
Nearest airport: Malaga (37 miles)
5. Best for babies and toddlers: Hotel Playa Senator
Hotel Playa Senator | Check availability
"Hotel Playa Senator is also baby friendly. I’ve seen high chairs in the restaurant and pushchairs are available to hire" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ricekrispie22
Come for the rooftop pool, stay for the babysitting service. Marbella’s Playa Senator hotel has plenty of extras to making holidaying with kids a special and relaxing experience. There are pushchairs available for hire, a laundry service, parking and there are plenty of highchairs in the hotel’s restaurant. Playa Senator is right by Casablanca and La Fontanilla beaches and within walking distance of Marbella’s historic city centre.
Nearest airport: Malaga (26 miles)
6. Best aparthotel: Puerto Azul
Puerto Azul | Check availability
"We've stayed here a few times and it's been great - more of an apartotel that a hotel. The rooms consist of a double bedroom with en suite, and a kitchen/living room with sofa/pullout beds for the DCs, and a balcony. It's not super cheap but not overly £££. If you can fork out for a front sea view room you get a lovely bigger terrace which overlooks the beach and is perfect for a glass of wine in the evening. This kitchen is basic but enough for breakfast, picnic preparation and a few simple meals. It's very clean, has a lovely little pool area and the staff are fab!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, ChickyDuck
Opting for an aparthotel like Puerto Azul is a popular choice for UK families. You get all the facilities of a hotel, with the added bonus of a kitchen and more space to yourselves. Looking out over Fontanilla beach, and just five minutes’ walk from Marbella’s marina and old town, the location of the hotel is brilliant. Unfortunately the hotel doesn’t provide cots or extra beds, so it’s not suitable for larger families.
Nearest airport: Malaga (25 miles)
7. Best boutique hotel: Casa la Concha
Casa la Concha | Check availability
A short drive from Marbella’s seafront, this boutique hotel is beautifully decorated in an authentic Spanish style. There’s an outdoor pool and a pretty garden, plus you can make your stay bespoke by adding yoga classes, custom dinners and even photo books to document your stay. Go for a family suite or splash out on a deluxe bungalow, which comes with two private courtyards.
Nearest airport: Malaga (26 miles)
8. Best beachfront hotel: Hotel Don Pepe
Hotel Don Pepe | Check availability
Next door to Marbella’s swish Don Pepe beach, this 5-star hotel is surrounded by immaculately kept gardens, has three pools and a luxury spa. Family rooms are available with a choice of sea, mountain or garden views. Marbella’s picturesque Old Town is just a 15-minute walk away, which is lovely to wander around in the warm evenings after a day on the beach.
Nearest airport: Malaga (26 miles)
Is Marbella good for families?
If you’re looking for spotless beaches, luxury living and temperatures of around 25-30C, Marbella is the perfect location for a family holiday. There’s a pretty old town, lots of traditional markets and mountainous countryside to explore. What’s more, flights to the nearest airport - Malaga - take under three hours from the UK.
What’s the best resort in Marbella for families?
Marbella Club is a lush, sprawling resort with the look of a traditional whitewashed Spanish finca. The grounds stretch all the way down to a picturesque beach and the warm Mediterranean sea.
When’s the best time to travel to Marbella?
Marbella’s climate is good all year round, and the high summer months of June, July and August see temperatures of 25-30C. Not too hot for little or sensitive kids, and still warm well into the evening.
What’s the best hotel in Marbella for families?
The best family-friendly hotel in Marbella is Barcelo Marbella. This compact hotel offer luxurious surroundings and a warm welcome to families. Mumsnetters love the swanky decor, kids’ club and on-site spa.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what family-friendly hotels in Marbella were being recommended.
We then did some online research, looking at which Marbella hotels had won accolades or had been featured in 'best choice' lists, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family-friendly hotels in Marbella.
Why you should trust us
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