Archive image of the hotel's beach club and swimming pool. SUR
Iconic Marbella Club Hotel kicks off 70th anniversary celebrations and unveils exciting new expansion plans

Iconic Marbella Club Hotel kicks off 70th anniversary celebrations and unveils exciting new expansion plans

This emblem of luxury and exclusivity has been enjoyed by European aristocracy and Hollywood stars, who exchanged the French Côte d'Azur for the Costa del Sol. Among them Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Julio Iglesias, Kim Novak, Liza Minelli, James Stewart and Sean Connery

Pilar Martínez


Tuesday, 30 April 2024, 11:43


A love affair was the origin of the Marbella Club Hotel, which last Friday 26 April kicked off activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this luxury icon, which already has new expansion plans.

It was in 1946 when Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe fell in love with Finca Margarita on a trip to southern Spain from the palace of his father, Prince Maximilian Egon of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. He arrived here in Marbella in his Rolls-Royce Phantom to discover the good things about life on the shores of the Mediterranean that his cousin Ricardo Soriano Scholtz von Hermensdorff had told him about. This picnic break in a pine forest on the Costa del Sol was the origin of this emblem of exclusivity and glamour that has been enjoyed over the last seven decades by royal houses from all over the world, artists and universal celebrities.

The story goes that Alfonso de Hohenlohe's passion for this place prompted him to return the following year from his first holiday to buy this rural enclave, full of fig and pine trees, which became the family's Mediterranean retreat until 1954 when he converted it into the Marbella Club Hotel, adding new spaces and suites to the original 20 rooms that housed Prince Alfonso's famous friends. After the initial success, and with his experience having studied agricultural engineering in the United States, shortly afterwards he added a tropical garden and small accommodations, the origin of today's villas created like the beachfront motels he knew in California.

Specifically, it was in the spring of 1954 that the Marbella Club Hotel was inaugurated with an unprecedented party after which Prince Alfonso began to travel all over Europe to promote his hotel. He hired his cousin, Count Rudolf von Shönburg, married to Princess Maria Luisa of Prussia and known as Rudi, to take over the management of the hotel, becoming the alma mater of this business and an institution in the tourism sector in Malaga.

European aristocracy and Hollywood stars

"Marbella Club was born from the charm of a man who fell in love with the eternal sunsets by the sea. Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe paved the way for thousands of families from all over the world, celebrities, artists and musicians to spend their holidays enjoying the best picnics by the beach, his famous "burradas" or the traditional theme parties that nobody wanted to miss. Together with his cousin Count Rudi von Schönburg, Alfonso turned Marbella Club into an iconic place: a dream hotel surrounded by botanical gardens and more than 300 varieties of plants, a beach club where you can enjoy the best gastronomy near the sea, and the Mediterranean as a way of life," said the Marbella Club.

Throughout these 70 years this five-star Grand Luxe hotel has been the chosen place to enjoy the rest of a large part of the European aristocracy and Hollywood stars, who exchanged the French Côte d'Azur for Spain's Costa del Sol. Among them Brigitte Bardot, Gunther Sachs, Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Julio Iglesias, Kim Novak, Liza Minelli, James Stewart and Sean Connery.

Kings and princes have also enjoyed these facilities, such as the kings of Sweden or the King Emeritus of Spain himself, Don Juan Carlos, and even his father Don Juan. Even musical artists and great athletes such as Lady Gaga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lenny Kravitz and Valeria Mazza have visited. A long list of celebrities that continues to grow and who always highlight the privacy they enjoy in the 131 rooms, including 17 villas with up to six bedrooms, with prices that can even reach 28,000 euros in high season. They enjoy the two swimming pools or the seven restaurants as well as the large jetty facing the sea, the unique holistic studio and the kids club, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Expansion plans

These attractions will soon be joined by others as it prepares a new expansion in which it will double the current 50 hectares of gardens with the Ana María estate. "This is a new property connected to the resort with an extension of 50,000 square metres and incomparable views of the Mediterranean sea and the Concha Mountain. The estate, the former home of the von Bismarck family, will serve as a place to enjoy wellness in a variety of formats while final expansion plans are being finalised," the hotel said, insisting that "2024 is a pivotal year for the iconic Marbella Club as it celebrates 70 years of being one of the most special and magical places in our country. What was once a small and simple motel founded by the Hohenlohe family, invites guests and locals to live its history, celebrate together and learn about the new expansion plans that will determine the future of the experience for the new generation of clients," they added.

New project

The project to be developed on this estate will last for five years and aims to conserve the original Marbella Club Hotel gardens and build a new natural ecosystem in collaboration with the French institution Deyrolle and its architect, Louis Albert de Broglie. Amongst the actions envisaged are an orchard housing more than 100 varieties of ancestral tomatoes, a natural labyrinth of acacias, an astronomical observatory and birdwatching centre and glamping experiences. "The Finca Ana María becomes an inspiring and educational space that celebrates the freedom and values that are at the forefront of the resort's new phase," they said, adding that "Finca Ana María will be officially unveiled in mid-May, where guests and invited guests can enjoy its unique 'garden games', a weekend of fun and sporting activities for children and adults, including paddle tennis and backgammon tournaments around a new swimming pool, and the inauguration of the Deyrolle headquarters with its Cabinet de Curiosités."

Last weekend kicked off the 70th anniversary celebrations with a big birthday party at the clubhouse with live entertainment, guest DJs, flamenco tablao, gastronomic experiences and the opening of an ephemeral pop-up of the Assouline publishing house, which joins the Marbella Club family with a selection of titles chosen by Prosper and Matine Assouline to celebrate the launch of their new book about the town of Marbella. A calendar of events that has been designed in detail by owner Jennica Arazi. "This 70th anniversary is a turning point for Marbella Club. We have a unique opportunity to continue the true luxury of the hotel, a natural ecosystem to enjoy small pleasures in connection with nature," said Arazi, adding that throughout this year the hotel will also showcase the long history of innovation and creativity in Malaga's art scene with personalised experiences for guests that include special visits to the Picasso Museum, the city's Contemporary Art Centre, the Thyssen Museum, and Antonio Banderas' Soho theatre.

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