El Fuerte Marbella reopens with subterranean Clarins spa

The newly refurbished five star El Fuerte hotel opened in Spain this summer following €1m investment


By Wendy Golledge

23 August 2023

The El Fuerte hotel has reopened in Marbella, complete with an underground Clarins Spa, following a €1m investment.

The 700sqm Clarins Spa is an understated sanctuary with a low-lit hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room supplied by Freixanet.

With six treatment rooms, the spa is managed by spa manager Estefanía Moreno and is the vision of spa consultant Ana Castellanos, who is now directora corporativo spa and wellness.

“With its spacious and luxurious spaces, our spa is unique,” says Castellanos. “It is a haven of peace and wellbeing where we make relaxation shine.”

The 700sqm Clarins Spa has six underground treatment rooms

Spa facilities and suppliers

Treatment beds are supplied by Nilo, towels and spa linens by Ilunion and uniforms are from Taller del Uniforme.

Fitness equipment is provided by Technogym and the spa software by Treatwell.

The contemporary design was overseen by the renowned Jaime Beriestain Studio, which also designed the One Palacio da Anunciada in Lisbon and Hotel Almanac in Barcelona.

“Along with my team, my goal was a space where guests find serenity in the beauty of their surroundings, whilst respecting the rich cultural heritage of the building.”

Jaime Beriestain

Founder, Jaime Beriestain Studio

Andalusian spirit

The hotel’s interiors have been pared back and Beriestain’s vision retains the Andalusian sense of place and laid-back spirit.

He and his team retained the building’s original structure, fortress pillars and palatial arched doorways, using them to create interesting nooks, including the reception desks and the hotel’s little library.

The rooftop terrace is home to Edge by Paco Perez, a famed Spanish chef with five Michelin stars. It offers panoramic views of the sea, as well as a rooftop pool.

Edge by Paco Perez on the rooptop terrace

El Fuerte Marbella’s origins date back to 1544, when King Charles V ordered a fortress to be built on the Marbella seafront.

In 1957 it became a four-star hotel that would establish itself as a meeting place for celebrities including Walt Disney and his dog Pluto, Timothy Dalton and actresses Diana Dors and Penélope Cruz.


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