Located in the South of Spain in the country's popular Andalucia region and on the magnificent Costa del Sol, Marbella is one of Spain's most stylish cities. Frequented by celebrities and sportspeople, Marbella has become the go-to destination for luxury lovers.

With its incredible beaches and lively center filled with designer shops, it's beloved by those seeking luxury beach clubs and relaxation on the Mediterranean Sea.

Wondering where to stay in Marbella for your budget and needs? I've got you covered with a guide to the accommodation options and neighborhoods in this beautiful part of Europe and the world.

The best neighborhoods to stay in Marbella

The Old Town & Downtown Marbella: If you want to stay in Marbella's beating heart, stay in Old Town Marbella or the city center. While still home to the luxury hotels that Marbella is known for, the Old Town retains some of the city's ancient charm. Meanwhile, Downtown Marbella is where you'll find modern hustle and bustle in the form of friendly bars, tasty restaurants, and stylish clubs.

Puerto Banus: In the market for a luxury holiday? You'll simply adore Puerto Banus. This is where things start to get really fancy, with the elegant Puerto Banus Marina, where you can go yacht spotting and a string of designer shops for retail therapy. While it's short on cheap hotels, it's definitely not short on wow factor.

Playa Nagueles: Located on Marbella's super exclusive Golden Mile, Playa Nagueles is a famous beach that's perfect for spending the day tanning, hopping on a boat trip, or enjoying some water sports. If you're looking for a holiday of sun, sea, and sand, stay here.

Playa de la Fontanilla or Funny Beach: If you're coming to Marbella with kids and looking for some good old-fashioned family fun, you'll love these two beaches, with plenty of water sports and kids clubs to keep the whole family entertained.

Cabopino Beach: If you're looking for some peace and quiet, as well as some of the best golf courses in the area, head straight to the Cabopino Beach area, with its attractive harbor and some of the best hotels for adults only in the area.

Divina Pastora: This working residential area is perfect for travelers looking to get off the beaten track. The vibrant streets are filled with no-frills tapas bars and food markets, and it's one of the best places to find budget accommodation in this city, which isn't typically very budget-friendly.

San Pedro de Alcantara: If you're looking to stay just outside of Marbella, where you may find cheaper accommodation options but still be in proximity to the beach and plenty of water sports, head to the nearby San Pedro de Alcantara.

1. Where to stay in Marbella for first-time visitors: The Old Town & Downtown (City Center)

Where to stay in Marbella - Old Town

First-time visitors and tourists wanting to see Marbella's main sights should head straight to Marbella Old Town or the downtown city center.

With plenty to do and see, whether you want to check out historical sites, shopping malls or hit the dancefloor, these areas are ideal for those who want to stay in Marbella where all the action is.

The center offers proximity to beautiful beaches where you can find a beach club for every taste, while the Old Town is home to plenty of friendly tapas bars and charming Andalucian architecture.

Things to do & see in Old Town & Downtown Marbella

  • Explore the small streets and medieval city walls

  • Indulge in some retail therapy

  • Relax in Plaza de Los Naranjos

  • Visit Casa Consistorial De Marbella, housing the Town Hall

  • Photograph the whitewashed and uber-romantic Calle Carmen

  • Visit the church Iglesia Mayor De La Encarnación

Best for:

  • Couples

  • First-time visitors

  • Tourist attractions and sightseeing

Best hotels to stay in Marbella Old Town and downtown

($$$) Hotel Claude Marbella

If you're in the market for stunning terracotta floors, sandstone baths, and a bathroom with exclusive Molton Brown toiletries, this is the best luxury hotel in Marbella for you.

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($$) La Ciudadela Marbella Boutique El Castillo

Situated conveniently in the center of town, this 4-star hotel promises a 24-hour front desk, air-conditioned rooms, and luggage storage.

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($) B&B Boutique Tribeca

With free Wi-Fi, quaint decor, and nearby bars and shops, B&B Boutique Tribeca is a safe, lovely space to spend your time in Marbella.

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2. Where to stay in Marbella for nightlife & luxury: Puerto Banus

Where to stay in Marbella - Puerto Banus

Puerto Banus is known across Europe as the go-to destination for luxury beaches, incredible nightlife, and designer boutiques that will transform your wardrobe (although your wallet might not be quite as happy!).

Its beautiful harbor location allows you to stroll down the marina, checking out the impressive array of yachts, while the world-class nightclubs are perfect for those who love to party into the night.

If you're looking for somewhere to celebrate a honeymoon, anniversary, bachelor party, or milestone birthday, head to the luxe Puerto Banus.

Things to do & see in Puerto Banus

  • Visit one of the beachfront clubs

  • Stroll along the Golden Mile and Puerto Banus Marina

  • Eat out at one of the luxury restaurants

  • Shop at designer boutiques

Best for:

  • Luxury lovers

  • Honeymoons

  • Nightlife lovers

Best hotels to stay in Puerto Banus

($$$) Marbella Club Hotel

Get celebrity treatment at Marbella Club Hotel, a luxurious beachfront golf resort nestled just a short drive outside of Puerto Banús. Complete with lush gardens, direct beach access, 2 pools, 5 restaurants, Thalasso Spa and, of course, shuttle service to the golf course.

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($$$) Boho Club

Experience luxury and comfort at Boho Club, a 5-star hotel in Marbella offering an outdoor pool, fitness center, and garden. Enjoy modern rooms with garden views, private bathrooms, and amenities like free Wi-Fi, while relishing Mediterranean and European cuisine at the on-site restaurant.

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($$) Molo Luxury Suites Puerto Banus

For a real taste of the luxury that Puerto Banus is known for, look no further than these luxury suites, with the promise of air conditioning, a garden room, an outdoor swimming pool, and room service with a range of options.

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($) Hard Rock Hotel Marbella

One of the many incredible Hard Rock Hotels that are found around the globe, this Puerto Banus offering is home to an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, 24-hour front desk, and a restaurant serving international cuisine.

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3. Where to stay in Marbella on the beach: Playa Nagueles

Where to stay in Marbella - Playa Nagueles

Marbella's Golden Mile is a well-known stretch of coastline that's famous for beautiful beaches, one of which is the wonderful Playa Nagueles.

With the breathtaking Sierra Blanca mountains in the background, Playa Nagueles is one of the best places to enjoy a relaxing day in the sunshine while you'll still retain proximity to the main sights of Marbella.

It's great for a beach day for children, too, although the elegant, romantic vibes mean couples will also love this part of the city.

Things to do & see in Playa Nagueles

  • Spend a day at the beach

  • Explore Marbella's Golden Mile

  • Stroll along the small wooden pier going into the water, Embarcadero

  • Visit the incredible steak house, Leña, at Puente Romano Marbella

  • Spend the day at one of the most luxury beach clubs at The Marbella Club Hotel

Best for:

  • Couples

  • Beach lovers

  • Foodies

Best hotels to stay in Playa Nagueles

($$$) Puente Romano Beach Resort

The only thing better than this incredible 5-star hotel with treatment fit for a celebrity is the on-site restaurants, offering avant-garde dishes the likes of which you won't find elsewhere in Andalucia.

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($$) Nobu Hotel Marbella

Promising incredible views, breathtaking decor, and amenities to keep you entertained during your trip, this five-star hotel is a must-stay hotel for luxury seekers.

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($) Alanda Marbella Hotel

Situated in Marbella's Golden Mile, the Alanda Marbella Hotel offers views of the Mediterranean Sea and Sierra Blanca mountains, as well as the Old Town and a popular golf course less than 3km away.

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4. Where to stay in Marbella with family: Near Playa de la Fontanilla or Funny Beach

Where to stay in Marbella - Playa de la Fontanilla or Funny Beach

While at first glance, Marbella might seem more suitable for couples or groups of adults, it's way more child-friendly than you think. In fact, you can find kids' clubs, watersports, and more activities to keep the little ones busy in two of Marbella's best beach areas – Playa de la Fontanilla and Funny Beach (officially known as Playa el Pinillo).

Playa de la Fontanilla is a 4-minute drive west of Marbella city centre, while Playa el Pinillo is an 8-minute drive east of downtown, so they are not next to each other but two separate beach areas that I can recommend when you're traveling with the family.

From go-karting to ping pong, there are tons of things to do in these two areas that the whole family will enjoy, as well as, of course, the beautiful golden sand beaches.

Things to do & see in Playa de la Fontanilla or Funny Beach

  • Try watersports

  • Go jet-skiing

  • Go-karting

  • Enjoy a relaxing day at the beach

Best for:

  • Families

  • Adrenaline junkies

  • Watersports fanatics

Best hotels to stay in Playa de la Fontanilla or Funny Beach

($$$) Hotel Don Pepe Gran Meliá

Located right in front of Playa de la Fontanilla and just a 15-minute walk from Marbella's Old Town with access to the breathtaking coastline, this hotel has a heated indoor pool, gym, spa, free Wi-Fi, and even paddle and tennis courts.

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($$) The Pearl Marbella

This sustainable bed and breakfast is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike, with beautifully decorated rooms, on-site parking, a pool, and sports facilities, plus continental and American breakfast options on offer. Located close to The Pointe and a few minutes drive from Playa el Pinillo.

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($) Aparthotel Monarque Sultán

Offering apartments with their own well-equipped kitchen just 150 metres from Playa de la Fontanilla. You'll have free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning, located in a beautiful setting and just rt shot 5-minute drive from the famous Puerto Banus.

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5. Where to stay in Marbella for golf: Cabopino Beach

Where to stay in Marbella - Cabopino Beach

This small marina is one of Marbella's lesser-known places, but it's almost as luxurious as the famous Puerto Banus.

It's also home to lovely beaches and some of Marbella's best golf courses, so if you're looking to participate in a little golf during your trip, it should be your go-to destination.

Watch out if staying in Cabopino beach with little ones though – there are a couple of nudist beaches in the area!

Things to do & see in Cabopino Beach

  • Play golf at Cabopino Golf Marbella

  • Relax at the beach or have a picnic

  • Hire a sailing boat and go dolphin-watching

  • Visit the Dunas de Artola (sand dunes)

  • Hang out at the nearby Nikki Beach Club with its all-white decor

Best for:

  • Golf lovers

  • Hiring a boat and sailing

  • Nature and quiet

Best hotels to stay in Cabopino Beach

($$$) Macdonald Leila Playa Resort

Enjoy the breathtaking Mediterranean Sea views at Macdonald Leila Playa, a resort offering heated outdoor pools, self-catering apartments with balconies, and a range of amenities including a gym and pickleball court. Just steps away from the beach, this Costa del Sol gem also features a colonial-style Clubhouse for regional cuisine and drinks, along with leisure options like snooker, crazy golf, and a sauna.

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($$) Espectacular Hogar en la playa Marbella

This entire apartment is beautifully decorated with modern amenities and everything you could need for the holiday of a lifetime.

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($) Fascinante Hogar en Cabo Pino en Marbella

With an on-site bar, proximity to golf courses and the beach, and modern, luxurious decor, this is the perfect holiday destination for golf players and water sports lovers alike.

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6. Where to stay in Marbella for local life: Divina Pastora

Where to stay in Marbella - Divina Pastora

Are you one of those travelers that likes to get off the tourist track? If so, you'll simply love Divina Pastora, one of Marbella's most authentic neighborhoods. Here, you'll get a feel for how the locals live while saving money on accommodation compared to more luxurious areas such as Puerto Banus.

Divina Pastora's charm comes in the form of the neighborhood's vibrant and friendly locals, tapas bars where you'll see groups of abuelas (grannies), and the fruit and vegetable stalls that line the streets.

Things to do & see in Divina Pastora

  • Grab a tasty pastry from Obrador Artesana

  • Visit the Parroquia de la Divina Pastora

  • Eat at one of the friendly neighborhood tapas bars

Best for:

  • Exploring local life

  • Fruit and veg stalls

  • Friendly locals

  • The authentic Marbella lifestyle

Best hotels to stay in Divina Pastora

($$$) Las Flores Old Town

This accommodation manages to perfectly blend the luxury that Marbella is known for with the city's old-style charm.

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($$) Apartamento en Marbella

This simple yet stylish Marbella apartment features a TV, washing machine, and fully equipped kitchen, as well as proximity to the city's delightful Old Town.

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($) Casa Alma

Casa Alma is a private villa with proximity, peace and tranquility, as well as right within a neighborhood with authentic vibes, you'll love this charming and affordable accommodation.

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7. Where to stay near Marbella: San Pedro de Alcantara

Where to stay in Marbella - San Pedro de Alcantara

Located slightly outside of Marbella center but near the famously stylish Puerto Banus, San Pedro de Alcantara is great for enjoying the sights of Marbella without the price tag of some of its more popular areas.

Here you can be close to Marbella beaches and cultural attractions and yet find great mid range hotel options.

It's located near the water, so it's also the ideal environment for beach lovers. Plus, it's a great place to try your hand at water sports like windsurfing or surfing.

Things to do & see in San Pedro de Alcantara

  • Visit nearby Puerto Banus for lively nightlife

  • Try water sports

  • Visit the Roman baths Las Bóvedas

  • Relax in Parque Forestal Los Tres Jardines and take in the views of La Concha peak

  • Stop at the family-friendly park Boulevard San Pedro

Best for:

  • Away from the crowds

  • Beach lovers

  • Couples

  • Families

Best hotels to stay in San Pedro de Alcantara

($$) Hotel The Touch

Located 600 meters from San Pedro beach, this stylish hotel boasts a continental breakfast that's available daily, private parking, a shared lounge, and a terrace, with all rooms even having their own balcony.

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($$) Apartment Lorcrisur by Interhome

This sustainable accommodation features a fully-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, access to a balcony, and free Wi-Fi.

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($) Paloma Blanca Boutique Hotel

Every room at this boutique hotel comes with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi, with some rooms boasting a seating area.

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Where to Stay in Marbella – Frequently Asked Questions

🏨 Where's the best part for staying in Marbella?

The best part of Marbella to stay depends on the type of trip you want. If you're looking for a luxury upmarket trip spent spotting your future yacht, head for Puerto Banus. Both the Old Town and Divina Pastora give an insight into the city's authentic charm, which Playa Nagueles or Playa de la Fontanilla are great for coastal holidays. Cabopino Beach should be the go-to neighborhood for golfers, while those looking to stay just outside of Marbella should consider San Pedro de Alcantara.

📍 Where is the main party area in Marbella?

Marbella, like much of Spain, is known for its incredible nightlife. The main party area is Puerto Banus or Downtown Marbella, but you'll also find nightclubs dotted down the beaches, too. TIBU in Puerto Banus is one of the best clubs in Puerto Banus, as is Pangea.

💑 What's the best place in Marbella to stay for couples?

Marbella Old Town's quaint charm makes it the best place in Marbella to stay for couples. As well as being in the proximity of luxury beaches and stylish Marbella hotels, you'll enjoy the old-fashioned but vibrant romance of this part of the city.

🚗 Do I need a car in Marbella or can I walk?

For the most part, the city is walkable because Marbella is not very big. If you want to explore the wider area, though, you'll benefit from a car to visit cities such as Malaga, Benalmadena, or Sevilla. Andalucia, the region where Marbella is situated, is rich with cities, towns, and beaches that are well worth visiting.

❓ Is it better to stay in Marbella or Malaga?

Both of these Spanish cities are stunning and well worth visiting if you have the time – plus, they both offer incredible nightlife. You can even drive from one to the other. If you only have adequate time to stay in one, Marbella is better for luxury, designer shopping, and beaches, while Malaga is better for world-class museums and tapas bars.

Where to Stay in Marbella – Final Words

If you're searching for luxury, world-class beaches and five-star hotels, Marbella should be your go-to destination. Hopefully, my list of neighborhoods and hotels in Marbella has given you some ideas of where to stay in this beautiful city on Spain's Costa del Sol!

Whether you're seeking luxury in the Puerto Banus area or an old-fashioned Andalucian charm in Marbella Old Town, you'll definitely have a wonderful time in this ultra-stylish city.

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