If you are dreaming of your next summer holiday (and who would blame you when it’s so cold and grey outside), then Puente Romano in the Spanish coastal town of Marbella might just be the right place for you.
I was invited to spend three days in Marbella last October to review the dining options at Puente Romano.
I have travelled to Andalusia many times over the years (most recently to Jerez de la Frontera last April) and I love it. It’s a beautiful region full of culture, stunning beaches, warm weather all year round and fantastic food. I was excited to discover the town of Marbella and spend some time taking photos and eating out with my friends Jacintha, Elena and Milly.
The Costa del Sol is the perfect place to escape to if you are in need of sunshine: it gets more than 320 sunny days per year, more than any other region in Spain.
Marbella is a very popular holiday destination, especially for Britons, but despite that, Marbella old town retains a lot of culture and history. I loved exploring the charming old town with its pretty narrow streets and white walls adorned with colourful flower pots.
Puente Romano Resort
We stayed at Puente Romano Marbella a luxury resort located just 45 minutes by car from Malaga airport and about half way between the old town and the more modern Puerto Banus harbour, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountain range.
If you get tired of sunbathing on the beach, you can spend the day hiking up to the top of La Concha mountain and enjoy the beautiful view of the coast.
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities available at Puente Romano if you like an active holiday. Cycling along the beach promenade to Puerto Banus was my favourite thing to do and so was going for a sunrise run to Marbella old town. Local yoga teachers organise sunrise yoga classes on the beach, which sounds like a great way to start the day.
Guests of Puente Romano can access the nearby Marbella Golf Club or play tennis in the world-class tennis courts of Puente Romano Club. It was opened by Bjorn Borg in 1979 and it had many tennis champions training there.
The resort is also home to mainland Spain’s only Six Senses Spa, which includes a hydrotherapy pool, cold plunge pool, herbal steam room, sauna and Hamman.
More than just a resort, Puente Romano is a small village offering everything you need for an unforgettable holiday.
The resort is built in Andalusian style to blend naturally with the surrounding landscape. The three-storey white buildings are surrounded by lush gardens, palm trees, water fountains, swimming pools, tennis courts and nine restaurants.
La Plaza is Puente Romano’s square and main hub, an open air courtyard with restaurants and bars, with direct access to the main road and open to everyone, not just resort guests.
The buildings overlooking the plaza are currently undergoing renovation in preparation for the launch of the new Nobu Hotel Marbella, expected for this Spring 2018.
Guests of the Nobu Hotel will have access to this gorgeous private swimming pool and bar. It was my favourite place to unwind at Puente Romano.
Puente Romano Suites
There are 259 luxury suites featuring a sleeping area, separate living room, ensuite bathroom decorated with Andalusian ceramics and patio/terrace with garden views.
My suite was beautiful, bright and spacious, with a large wardrobe, flat screen TV and Nespresso coffee machine.
I couldn’t resist ordering room service one morning (using the iPad provided in my suite!) and invited my friends over to eat breakfast together on my terrace. I love that the breakfast menu at Puente Romano features Spanish dishes such as pan con tomate (served with the cutest miniature bottle of extra virgin olive oil), Jamón and churros con chocolate.
Speaking of olive oil, I learnt a lot about this ingredient during a tasting session at DOLIVA in Marbella Old Town. I use extra virgin olive oil at home every single day, but I was surprised to discover many things I didn’t know about. For example, that Spain is the biggest olive oil producer with 55% of the world’s production and that 80% of it comes from Andalusia.
I highly recommend paying a visit to this beautiful store and buying their extra virgin olive oil, either the classic one or the oils infused with fresh ingredients such chilli, garlic, truffle or basil.
Dining at Puente Romano
If you always thought that dining in a holiday resort is boring and bland (I know, I had my share of bad hotel buffets), think again.
Puente Romano is a dream for food lovers with fine dining restaurants such as Nobu and 2-Michelin star tapas restaurant Dani Garcia, the trendy Monkey Club or more casual restaurants such as El Chiringuito and Sea Grill by the beach.
Sea Grill restaurant is located by the beachfront and offers a menu of Spanish and continental dishes prepared with the best quality locally sourced produce.
We attended a paella cooking demo with the chefs at Sea Grill restaurant which was fun, particularly because they did all the cooking while we focused on the eating! Personally, I am a fan of seafood paella, it’s always the best. Sea Grill was also lovely for dinner with great cocktails and well-cooked grilled meats and fish.
I love paella and tapas, but they are not the lightest food.. Sometimes, all you really want is a light meal, especially for lunch on a hot day. Rachel’s, a laid-back pool-side café, is perfect for that. It serves fresh juices and homemade ice cream, delicious meze-style spreads and tasty salads.
For our afternoon treats and my caffeine fix, we went to Celicioso, the second outpost of Madrid’s gluten free bakery. Don’t be put off by the gluten free tag, Celicioso’s cakes are filling and delicious. Don’t miss their raw chocolate cheesecake!
The highlight of my stay at Puente Romano was dinner at Nobu Marbella.
It’s the first Nobu to open in Spain, located in Puente Romano’s La Plaza. It is open to resort guests and to the general public so advance booking is highly recommended, particularly in summer.
We had dinner on the terrace overlooking the plaza and it was a lovely experience.
If you have never tried Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, I highly recommend ordering the Nobu Omakase Tasting Menu, available at all Nobu restaurants around the world.
If you prefer to order à la carte, I recommend the Salmon Tartare, Yellowtail Sashimi, Salmon Tacos, Rock Shrimp and Black Cod Miso.
I was very impressed with the dining options at Puente Romano resort. I never had a dull meal and never ate the same dish twice and I was spoilt for choice with so many nice restaurants to choose from.
Marbella old town is also just ten minutes away by car, if you fancy a ‘night out’ with tapas and sherry. There are also pretty cafés along the promenade to stop at for an ice cream or afternoon treat on the way back from a bicycle ride. Puente Romano in Marbella is a dream destination for food lovers.
Junior Suites at Puente Romano start from €325 in low season and €630 in high season.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the resort. All opinions are my own.