MalagaMalaga has always been recognised for its wonderful portrayal of palatial architecture. This has not been recognised more fully than through some of the beautiful hotels to be found within the city and its surroundings.
Some excellent news for tourism has just been announced where it is confirmed that the beautiful edifice of the Hotel Miramar Palace is going to be fully renovated and restored to its previous grandeur. The hotel, built early in the early part of the last century between 1921 and 1926 was formerly called Hotel Príncipe de Asturias.

It was the work of the architect Guerrero Strachan and featured the best of his imaginative talents. In particular, he applied individualisation to the roofs and blended a mix of colours on the facade of the building. Combining ochre coloured walls with the delicate beige of the rusticated pilasters and reinforced quoins. This background of subtle colouring offset the beautiful ceramics on terrace handrails and eaves. He also made sure that other ceramics utilised throughout the building reflected the vibrant colouring of ceramics through plant plots and vases etc.

The front of the hotel facing the sea is a busy scene with its open towers, colourful roofs interspersed with cavities and points of detail. Inside there is a wonderful patio that is square with a surround of round arches on columns in a classical style. This theme is continued in the upper floors. The ballroom, located on the sea side of the building, takes full advantage of the wonderful view with huge windows that look out onto the garden and beyond.

The renovation is due to start later this year with a planned reopening in 2015. All has been approved by Malaga City Council with attendant building licences and has the blessing of the Junta de Andalucia Department for Culture as a protected building. The project cost is estimated at some €40 million and includes restoring all to the original included elements that were removed in the late ‘70s when it was used as a provincial court. The plans include 191 double rooms, nine suites and 14 junior suites. There will be more than 9000 m² of gardens with a heated swimming pool.

A second historical hotel, much smaller but with traditional charm is the Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina. This was originally a fortress built in 1624 by King Philip 1V as part of the defences of the city. By the early part of the 20th century, it had fallen into disrepair until it was decided to restore and adapt it to a palace. This was undertaken by the French architect duo of Levard and Lahalle, who constructed a near-Arabian style creation that made use of its spectacular location overlooking the Bay of Malaga.

Since then, Castillo Santa Catalina was converted into the hotel that is now standing. It retains the luxury and beauty of a stately palace and offers a stay in one of the most prolific historical buildings in the city. It still retains its elegant charm and makes the most of its beautiful gardens covering 3500 m² of undulating landscape. At the other end of the scale to the Hotel Miramar Palace, it only offers 11 spacious bedrooms. Eight of these are luxurious suites that are all exquisitely decorated, reflecting their classic background and retaining style with ambience. All offer stunning views of the sea and have beautiful marble floors and old hydraulic tiles. Its position is in a quieter part of the city in the exclusive residential area of El Limonar but within easy reach of the centre.

The fact that the large Miramar Palace is to be restored can only be good news for tourism on the Costa del Sol and reflects the new positive thinking regarding the expected influx of visitors from the new developing countries.


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