This weekend has been a real eye-opener for me – with regards to the Puente Romano Beach Resort, Marbella. This hotel, one of the defining properties of Marbella, is really embracing change.
It’s great to see that significant investment in refurbishment is backing up the evolution of the brand from Puente Romano Hotel to ‘Puente Romano Beach Resort’. Change is more than skin deep.
The rooms, distributed amongst standalone buildings clustered together in the style of an Andalusian village set amongst sub-tropical gardens, are being completely remodelled, (and not before time). The new suites feature stylish furnishings, comfy beds with good linens, huge smart TVs, tablet PCs preloaded with hotel info, plenty of luxury touches – oh and in the bathroom one of these Japanese loo seats with a remote control! (We had a few snagging issues with our new room, like a leaking shower and a loose towel rail, but I imagine that within a few weeks most of the snagging issues with the newly build rooms will be completed).
Thankfully many of the friendly staff remain the same – some have been working there for 30 years or more, creating a style and ambience that is special. It’s great to see that they are supporting the changes.
The Sea Grill restaurant was one of the first of the new enhancements of the hotel. We had Friday lunch there and it was splendid. Being able to eat out on the terrace in te warm autumn sun certainly made it more memorable too – and the staff was friendly and professional.
The Plaza Village, the gastronomic hub of the property, was buzzing this weekend – even off season. There was a really good atmosphere. Dani Garcia was at the helm at his Michelin starred restaurant, ‘Cocina ContraTradicion’, so lots of guests were taking pictures with him.
We had our evening meal at ‘BIBO’ his informal brasserie next door. I have to admit to not really being a fan of his restaurants – there sometimes is a lack of attention to detail which detracts from the overall experience. I appreciate that this BIBO restaurant is informal, but corners were being cut and it was noticeable (for example not-quite-fresh crudités and ‘store-bought’ ‘Doritos’ with my homemade guaca-peas dip). Yet the team were super friendly and we had a really fun night – very enjoyable, which at the end of the day is what it is all about.
So, if you haven’t revisited the Puente Romano, maybe head back for a meal, or enjoy late night drinks in the Plaza or better still enjoy a short break. The works will be finished before long and we’ll have a shiny new 5 star hotel in Marbella…but with plenty of old school heritage.
More to follow, including a full review and more photography.