El Castillo's rooftop terrace / sur

La Ciudadela opens Marbella old town’s first four-star hotel

El Castillo is located inside the walls of the old fortress and has thirteen rooms. The boutique hotel's mantra is "quality over quantity"

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

"Quality over quantity" is the mantra of Miguel Cerván, CEO of the La Ciudadela group, which has opened its third establishment in Marbella's old town.

El Castillo is a boutique hotel located in the Plaza San Bernabé, within the walls of Marbella's old fortress, which is a site of cultural interest (BIC). It has just 13 rooms, in line with all the comapny's establishments and is the first hotel to achieve the four-star category in the old town.

The doors opened without ceremony during Easter week "to start the ball rolling", says Cerván, who points out that it is "a new building where all the staff are also new and we want to maintain the level of quality that we give in all our hotels".

He goes on to say that after the first two weeks of opening the company is “satisfied because the guests value being inside a site of cultural interest. The wall is a great unknown and with this we are also helping people to get closer to the history of the city", he explains.

Charm, culture and the locals

Cerván stresses that the idea behind this hotel is to "recover quality tourism in the old town, offering accommodation, leisure and gastronomic alternatives that can attract tourists looking for something more than just parties and excesses". He goes on to say, "The special thing about the centre of Marbella is that it doesn't need us to try to recreate an Andalusian village. Here we have all the charm, the culture and, of course, the locals, of one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa del Sol. All that was needed was a quality hotel proposal, able to attract those who want to get to know our town, our history, our true identity, beyond the image that Marbella has had in recent years."

Cerván explains that the guest profile can be ascertained not by their wealth or status, but "by their cultural level. They are of a high cultural level and recognise the added value of being in a BIC and surrounded by the history of the city". So far, most of the clients have come from central and northern Europe and America; a market that has grown in recent years.

Great expectations

Looking ahead to next summer, the CEO of La Ciudadela is optimistic. "It's an exciting year with great expectations. The important thing is to know how to manage the large influx of tourists that we are expecting."

The hotel has been designed by Miguel Cerván and has iconic elements such as a wall with clocks from the firm ‘qlocktwo’ that tell the time in several languages, or human figures that climb up the inner courtyard. These modern elements contrast with the historic parts recovered during the building's restoration process, which date back to the fourteenth century.

Like all of the hotels that form part of La Ciudadela Marbella group El Castillo has its own restaurant. "At AFuego, we source quality raw materials, opting for fresh, seasonal and local produce. From the lettuces, grown in a vegetable garden in the restaurant itself, to a selection of the best meats and the best fish," Cerván explains.

The rooftop combines elements of Saint Tropez, Greece and Marbella and as one of the highest points in the old town, it offers a panoramic view of the town and its surroundings.