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12 Top-Rated Beach Resorts in Spain

Written by Freddy Sherman
Dec 30, 2019

Spain has some of the best beach resorts in Europe. There are a wide array of options, offering very different vacation experiences based on the location.

Spain has various beach resort areas, ranging from tropical palm tree-fronted beaches to rugged, cliff-fronted rocky shores. You can also choose from remote, uncrowded areas with minimal amenities or popular tourist destinations with world-class dining, shopping, and nightlife.

For a unique experience, you might visit some of the lesser-known resort areas along the Costa de la Luz, located on the country's Atlantic Coast. Or you might prefer the energy of extremely developed places like Marbella and Malaga, which are on the country's Mediterranean coastline.

Aside from its continental beach resort options, Spanish islands like the Canary Islands and the Balearics offer you a choice of even more diverse beach environments. Destinations like Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands are world-class beach resort destinations as are Balearic islands like Ibiza and Mallorca.

Many Spanish resorts are seasonal, with June through September being the high season. Although it doesn't get very cold in the winter, some beach resorts shut down completely from December through February.

Find a great place to stay on your next vacation with our list of the best beach resorts in Spain.

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Photo Source: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Tenerife is the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, located off the west coast of Africa, kind of south of Morocco. The island's best beach resort is The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, which sits on 400 acres overlooking the ocean.

The Moroccan-inspired Ritz-Carlton really caters to every kind of guest. There are family suites for guests with children and there are also adults-only villas for a child-free experience. The resort offers the Ritz Kids activities program.

For fun, there's the private beach (accessible via the Ritz-Carlton's own funicular) and a championship golf course, or go for a swim in one of the resort's seven swimming pools. You can take lessons at the tennis academy or learn Spanish in one of the free classes. Of course, you can also get a range of treatments at the large spa.

There are 10 restaurants on the property, including the two-Michelin-star M.B., serving Basque cuisine, and the one-Michelin-star Abama Kabuki (sushi).

The Ritz-Carlton also has some important environmental initiatives. All the water used by the resort is sea water converted to fresh water in an on-site desalination plant. Hot water for the swimming pools and guest rooms is heated by solar panels.

Accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

2. Marriott's Playa Andaluza

Photo Source: Marriott's Playa Andaluza

This Spanish beach resort is on Matas Verdes beach near Malaga on the beautiful Costa del Sol. It's near the historic town of Estepona. As it's also a vacation ownership (timeshare) property, the rooms and suites are large and feel very residential.

All the accommodations have kitchenettes (and washer/dryer units) and the apartments, available with two or three bedrooms, have full kitchens. Try for a room with a sea view, as some look out onto the gardens. The rooms all come with free Wi-Fi and furnished balconies.

The resort has a lot of things to do, including water sports on its private beach. There are three big outdoor pools and one indoor one, along with several hot tubs. You can work out in the fitness center or get a massage or beauty treatment in the small spa.

The Marriott's Solera Mediterranean buffet restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to have a meal on the ocean-view terrace.

Accommodation: Marriott's Playa Andaluza

3. Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel

Photo Source: Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel

This adults-only Playa d'en Bossa resort overlooks Ibiza's main entertainment beach area. EDM (electronic dance music) fans will already know the Ushuaia name. This is the place to come for nightlife.

Ushuaia Club rooms overlook the pool and stages. Ushuaia Tower rooms are more luxurious, and isolate you more (though not completely) from the constant music, All the rooms come with private terraces and include access to the dance club and performances.

There are five differently themed restaurants on the property. Rooms can be booked all-inclusive (food and drinks) or on their own. There are also four swimming pools, a full spa, and water sports on the beach.

Accommodation: Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel

4. Hotel Playa Sol

Photo Source: Hotel Playa Sol

The beaches of the Costa Brava stretch along the Mediterranean from Barcelona to the French border. Cadaques, known as the Spanish Saint-Tropez, is a beautiful fishing village that's also a tourism hot spot. The area has long been popular with artists-Dali had a house here as did Picasso.

The Hotel Playa Sol sits right on a small protected beach, looking out over the bay. You're also in the heart of the village, making it easy to walk outside to shop or eat.

The smoke-free resort has a range of accommodations, including family rooms and connecting rooms for groups. Some have Jacuzzi tubs, and all come with a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Some of the rooms face the ocean; some face the garden; and others have a limited view. Most have large balconies, and the ground level rooms have terraces.

Available activities include basketball, ping pong, tennis, and, of course, having fun on the beach. Kayak and mountain bike rentals are free. You can enjoy the big outdoor pool, the hot tub, or the steam room with a hydrotherapy shower.

The Playa Sol has a free breakfast buffet and a small café. The café is open for dinner only during the winter months, and the hotel itself normally shuts down from December through February.

Accommodation: Hotel Playa Sol

5. Puente Romano Marbella

Photo Source: Puente Romano Marbella

Located on the Costa del Sol, on Spain's Mediterranean coast, Marbella is the country's largest resort city. The Puente Romano Marbella, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers a more luxurious approach to the all-inclusive, beachfront resort.

The large resort is designed to feel more like a village, with buildings done on a more human scale. Rooms are very luxurious, and suites have really cool amenities, like private, outdoor Jacuzzi tubs and private saunas. Villas are like small houses, with private pools and room for entertaining. Amenities with all accommodations include a free round of golf at the nearby Marbella Club Golf Resort.

The Puente Romano also focuses on providing a seemingly endless list of activities. Each day they offer over 100 different things to do, from cooking classes to fencing lessons to Instagram photography safaris. The Six Senses Spa specializes in natural healing, with a range of treatments and holistic experiences.

Foodies will be in heaven with a choice of 12 different restaurants, including Spain's only Nobu.

Accommodation: Puente Romano Marbella

6. Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real

Photo Source: Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real

For a great Canary Island beach getaway, avoid the crowds on Lanzarote and visit Fuerteventura. The Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real beachfront resort is on the island of Fuerteventura, with beautiful views across the water to neighboring islands Isla de Lobos and Lanzarote. This is the perfect place for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Rooms and suites are spacious and luxurious; all have furnished balconies, and most have ocean views. They have tile or marble floors and sumptuous spa-like bathrooms. Speaking of the spa, the resort's Spa Bahia Vital is quite large, with all kinds of pools and a focus on hydrotherapy. They have a large, indoor pool with a hydrotherapy circuit. There's also a cold plunge pool and an ice fountain. The spa puts a focus on wellness, with yoga and pilates classes.

There are six different restaurants to choose from, with varied menus and varied levels of formality. There's also the new Coco Bahia beachfront lounge and restaurant area. A dock extends into the ocean, and you have sun-loungers and Balinese beds to enjoy.

Accommodation: Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real

7. The Level at Melia Alicante

Photo Source: The Level at Melia Alicante

Alicante is a port city on the southeast Mediterranean coast of Spain. It's a large resort city, but mainly appeals to Spanish visitors and allows for a cool, more local resort experience. The Melia Alicante is a large beach resort at Postiguet Beach, but stay at The Level at Melia Alicante, an adults-only hotel within a hotel.

All the Level rooms and suites are outward-facing; some face the ocean, others the marina. They have luxe touches like spa-like bathrooms, free, high-speed Wi-Fi, and furnished terraces.

There's an infinity pool exclusively for Level guests, and you also get access to The Level Lounge, a club lounge with all-day food and beverage service. Terra is the resort's Mediterranean-menu restaurant. Blu is the "urban beach lounge," with a lighter menu of fresh, locally sourced specialties. A lavish buffet breakfast (considered the best in town) is served each morning in the Salon Gran Postiguet.

Accommodation: The Level at Melia Alicante

8. Hotel Arts Barcelona

Photo Source: Hotel Arts Barcelona

This ultra-luxury Ritz-Carlton property is a very cool urban beach resort. It's in one of Barcelona's tallest buildings, and the accommodations all have incredible views of the ocean and the city. It gives you a beach resort experience, with its own beach club, while allowing access to Barcelona's urban culture.

Rooms and suites have amazing views of either the city or the sea. Rooms on higher floors have better views, and the top 10 floors are filled with one-, two-, and three-bedroom penthouse units. Barcelona is a foodie city, and the Ritz-Carlton lives up to that reputation with seven different dining experiences, including the two-Michelin-starred Enoteca Paco Perez.

43 The Spa is the hotel's large urban spa, named for the 43rd floor on which it's located. The views are spectacular. There are separate areas for men and women; each has a dry sauna, a steam room with color therapy lights, a vitality pool, and an ice fountain. The Hotel Arts also has a separate fitness center with personal trainers on staff. Pilates and yoga classes are offered.

Accommodation: Hotel Arts Barcelona

9. Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

Photo Source: Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

Yet another beautiful beach resort in the Canary Islands, the Grand Hotel Residencia is on Gran Canaria in the town of Maspalomas. The town is known for its striking sand dunes, and the resort is next to the beach, nestled in a palm grove. Created to be more like a luxury residence, the Grand Hotel Residencia is known for its personal, five-star service along with its luxurious accommodations.

The luxury resort has one main restaurant and delivers a world-class gastronomic experience with a local menu. You can also dine at the hotel's sister resort, the Seaside Palm Beach, which has three different restaurants. Most guests book their stay as a full- or half-board.

When you want to relax, you can swim in the heated saltwater pool or the even hotter wellness saltwater pool. This has underwater jets, massage seats, and air jet beds. Aqua spinning and aqua aerobics classes are offered daily.

Accommodation: Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

10. Parador de Cadiz

Photo Source: Parador de Cadiz

Cadiz is a historic Andalusian city on Spain's southern Atlantic coast. It's considered the oldest, continuously occupied city in Europe, settled by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago. One of this ancient city's newest hotels is a true architectural statement. The recently rebuilt (2012) Parador de Cadiz is a modern design hotel take on the Spanish parador hotel. Normally paradores are luxury hotels located in castles or historic buildings.

This boutique design hotel has 104 rooms and suites, some with terraces. Some accommodations face the ocean, and some face the city. The rooms and suites are striking, with walls of glass, some of which open to furnished terraces to create indoor/outdoor living space.

The historic town center of Cadiz is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. You can dine at the Parador de Cadiz-the hotel restaurant specializes in locally produced and locally sourced Andalusian cuisine of the region.

La Caleta Beach is a five-minute walk away, or you can also enjoy the sea view from the outdoor pool and beautifully stylish terrace, which has sun loungers and waiter service. There's also an indoor pool (with hydrotherapy stations) that's part of the spa.

Accommodation: Parador de Cadiz

11. Hotel Illa d'Or

Photo Source: Hotel Illa d'Or

Majorca (sometimes spelled Mallorca) is the largest of the Balearic islands, and a neighbor to Ibiza. It's a highly developed, popular tourist destination but that brings with it great shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Hotel Illa d'Or is in the village of Puerto Pollensa and delivers a more classical style and experience than some of the cookie-cutter modern alternatives.

Luxurious, classic rooms and suites are available, as are modern apartments, which are located in a newer building across the street. There are two gourmet restaurants, the Restaurant 1929 bistro and the outdoor Restaurant La Terrasse.

The boutique luxury hotel has its own little beach and dock, along with an outdoor, heated pool with ocean views. There's a well-equipped spa with its own indoor pool. The buffet breakfast is free as is in-room Wi-Fi.

Accommodation: Hotel Illa d'Or

12. Gran Hotel Sardinero

Photo Source: Gran Hotel Sardinero

Santander is a Spanish beach resort on the Atlantic Ocean, located on the northern coast of the country. The aptly named Gran Hotel Sardinero sits steps from the city's main Primera Playa beach.

The ornate, classical exterior is complimented by a stylish, modern interior. Rooms and suites share that modern style. Go for a seafront room with a princess balcony. Marble-filled bathrooms are luxurious. You get free Wi-Fi and satellite TV as well.

The Gran Hotel Sardinero has its own restaurant, serving a locally sourced, regional menu of Spanish specialties. There's also a casual café, where a buffet breakfast is served each morning.

Accommodation: Gran Hotel Sardinero

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