Marbella Attracts Big Names. Today It’s Four Seasons.

By Salma Hwedi on - 4m. reading time

With an undeniable appeal and high-profile visitors like Michelle Obama, glamorous Marbella is in a class of its own, being one of the most exclusive and sought-after areas of Spain, and the most famous year-round resort. Every year it attracts more tourists of higher quality, elite selection of global luxury brands and great projects with impressive business investment.

What does Marbella have in common with Beverly Hills, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and Ibiza? The worlds’ most recognized Japanese restaurant Nobu, known for innovative new style cuisine paired with a hip celebrity crowd. The world-famous partners, celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood celebrity Robert de Niro have opened it in Marbella in 2018.

But as if it was not wow-enough, in March Marbella enjoyed grand opening of Nobu Hotel Marbella, created with sophisticated sybarites in mind (“ultimate adult playground”). The latest member of ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ is named one of luxury's 25 Most Innovative Brands.

Luxury brands bet on Marbella.


Another tricky question. What do Miami, Paris, Dubai and now Marbella have in common? They were chosen by legendary Four Seasons to be its destination, and not only for a new luxury hotel. It won’t be just one of 111 resorts and 39 residences that the reputable company built in 46 countries. A unique project will deliver a tourist resort complex of a special type, with a luxury hotel for the modern traveller and private luxury residences on the beachfront. The plot of 400,000m2 with allowance to build 100,000m2 and 700 m of beach is located at the entrance of Marbella.

International project.

According to Europa Press, the land is owned by Villa Padierna Hotels & Resorts, belonging to Malaga businessman Ricardo Arranz, who has partnered in the project with North American firm Fort Partners from Miami, Belgian real estate company Inmobel and Canadian-based Four Seasons that will manage the hotel, private residences and villas.

For “Huge Project”, as they call it, Four Seasons has already chosen an American architect.  The luxury hotel will be the brainchild of Richard Meier and it has been described by those involved in the project as a ‘marvel’. A winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Meier has designed several iconic buildings, including Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Getty Center in Los Angeles, Paley Media Center in Beverly Hills. Marbella is in good hands!

New Era Begins.

Marbella begins “a new era” in this type of tourism, as the president of Villa Padierna Ricardo Arranz said. “What happened to Miami? Before it began to have great brands, it did not grow much as destination”.

President of Villa Padierna proclaimed: “Marbella and Madrid (where the first Four Seasons Hotel will be opened in 2019) need the glamour that these types of brands give.”  He added that the residences on the complex “will allow for the very wealthy to stay for up to 2 months at a time2. The different existing lodging systems are used a lot in the United States. This, he said, is “very popular for the Arab and Russian markets, and will help remove seasonality’, something the golfing market hasn’t been able to do fully. We are not a professional golf destination even though we have more than 60 courses”.

Mr. Arranz has also referred to the importance of gastronomy and has set as an example the arrival of Nobu restaurant. What restaurant should we expect from Four Seasons? Remains a mystery for now. But one thing’s for sure, it will exceptional. Another tiny detail, this restaurant will come to Spain solely for this project.

The first brick of the new Four Seasons was laid on October 5. The ceremony was attended by the ‘Who’s Who’ of business and politics in Andalucía and Spain: president of Junta de Andalucía, Susana Diaz, Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Fernández; President of Provincial Tourism Board of the Costa del Sol, Elías Bendodo; president of Andalusian Business Confederation Javier González Lara, president of Villa Padierna Ricardo Arranz, mayor of Marbella, Angeles Munoz. Marbella saw a lot of very respectable guests:  General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, Four Seasons’s CEO Allen Smith, Fort Partners’ founder, Nadim Ashi, executive president of the Belgian Immobel, Marnix Galle, and others.

The first step has been done. The land for the buildings of the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences Marbella is “fully urbanized”, waiting for construction to begin. The numbers are impressive: 650 mln. euros will be invested and more than 2,000 temporary and 750 permanent jobs created.

One of the most luxurious tourist complexes in Spain is scheduled to open its doors in two years.

How lucky we are to have it all at hand in one of the most wonderful places on Earth. Welcome to Marbella!


Collaborator Salma Hwedi