Malaga, known as Costa del Sol, is an incredible city you can’t miss during your time in Southern Spain. The city has many things to offer – from stunning beaches and historical monuments and castles to great events, food and nightlife.
The city is a popular destination for holidaymakers during the summer months of July and August, however, you can also experience another side of Malaga when you travel off-season.
Once you visit Malaga, you’ll want to go back again and again! As a local, I can tell you that you’ll always discover something new.
If this is your first time visiting Malaga and Costa del Sol, it can be tricky to know what’s the best area to stay in Malaga, what hotel is most suitable for you, etc.
However, in this guide, you’ll discover the best hotels in Malaga and its surroundings so you can make the most of your time in the city.
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Where To Stay in Malaga – Best Hotels and Areas in the City
Best neighbourhoods in Malaga
Downtown Malaga, the Old City
The perfect stay in Malaga for first-timers
Malaga’s Old City is the most charming area to stay in Malaga as you’re surrounded by historical buildings such as La Alcazaba, the Roman ruins, and the impressive 19th-century buildings among other beautiful monuments.
By staying in this area, you’ll have access to a wide selection of bars, restaurants and boutiques. You won’t have to go far as everything is in your footsteps.
This isn’t the sort of place to book a hotel if you like tranquillity, especially during the summer months.
The best hotels in Downtown Malaga
📍Luxury hotel: Gran Hotel Miramar
📍Mid-range hotel: Molina Lario
📍Budget: Urban Jungle Hostel
The coolest place to stay in Malaga
Soho is a lively art district located in the city centre of Malaga. It’s the perfect place for bohemian and hipster travellers. It’s a creative spot where you’ll find graffiti and wall art paintings in each corner.
This is also a very popular spot for skateboarding. Skateboarders tend to hang around the district and the nearby dry river basin.
The best hotels in Soho
📍Luxury hotel: Soho Boutique La Equitativa
📍Mid-range hotel: Room Mate Valeria
📍Budget: Feel Hostels Soho Malaga
Pedregalejo and El Palo
The perfect area in Malaga for families
If you’re looking to stay somewhere that has a laid-back atmosphere, you want to check Pedregalejo and El Palo. This is the best neighbourhood in Malaga for families.
The best thing about this area is the beach and, if you love seafood and fish, you’ll be happy to know that there are many good chiringuitos (beach bars) offering traditional fresh dishes such as grilled sardines or fried anchovies.
The best hotels in Pedregalejo and El Palo
📍Luxury hotel: Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina
📍Mid-range hotel: Hotel La Chancla
📍Budget: La Moraga de Poniente
The best place to stay in Malaga for adventurers
Away from the city centre, Ciudad Jardín is a quiet residential district in the north of Malaga which leads to Montes de Malaga National Park, well-known for its hiking and biking trails, incredible river beds and streams.
Nearby you’ll also find the 19th century La Concepción Botanical Garden which includes tranquil ponds and amazing tropical plants, not to forget about the incredible views of the city you get!
This is also a great area for you if you’re travelling on a budget.
Best hotels in Malaga and Costa del Sol
Best Hotels near Malaga Airport
If you’re in Malaga for a quick visit or for business reasons, staying near the airport is a great option. Not only will it be convenient, but you will be very close to the city (12 minutes by train) and other beach areas such as Torremolinos or Malaga.
There are many hotels near Malaga airport, so you’ll definitely find the one that meets your needs. Here is a list of the best hotels near Malaga:
Holiday Inn Express Malaga Airport
The hotel is only a 5 minutes drive from the airport. When you book your hotel room, your stay includes free WiFi and breakfast!
Hotel Málaga Nostrum
Hotel Málaga Nostrum is situated between the airport and Malaga which makes it a convenient location away from the buzzing crowds.
This is a very modern hotel that offers great rooms, free parking and a swimming pool.
The highlight of this hotel is the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a solarium on the top floor.
Parador de Málaga Golf
Located next to Plaza Mayor shopping centre and next to the beach, this hotel is great for those who want to be close to the airport and attractions.
The hotel has a great pool, free parking, great rooms, a good breakfast, and last but not least, a golf course.
Hilton Garden Inn Málaga
Hilton Garden Inn Malaga is 15 minutes from Malaga Airport (AGP), and a walking distance of local beaches and restaurants.
The hotel is popular for business travellers and it includes an outdoor pool, an all-day restaurant and bar, room service, and a fitness centre.
Best Hotels in Malaga on the Beach
Hotel La Chancla
This cosy hotel is located a couple of metres from the beach in the tranquil fishing neighbourhood of Pedregalejo.
The rooms are beautifully decorated, and it has a great restaurant and plenty of sunbeds to chill on the beach.
Hotel Soho Boutique Las Vegas
Hotel Soho Boutique Las Vegas is a hotel located next to La Malagueta beach and a walk from Malaga city centre.
The hotel is ideal for any type of traveller: families, couples or a group of friends. It has a variety of services and facilities that will make you feel comfortable during your stay – terraces with a sea overview, an outdoor pool and delicious food in their restaurant and cafe.
Hotel Vincci Malaga
Hotel Vincci Malaga is one of the most modern and elegant hotels in the city. The hotel is located in Carretera Cadiz, next to Parque del Oeste and Misericordia beach. Although it isn’t in the city centre, you can easily walk or take a bus.
The hotel has modernly decorated rooms, including some with sea views, internet connection, and air conditioning among other amenities. Apart from this, it also has a great restaurant where you can enjoy traditional dishes as well as international ones.
Best Boutique Hotels in Malaga
Room Mate Valeria
Room Mate Valeria is the coolest and most stylish hotel located between the Soho art district and the port. Not only the location is perfect, but the decoration of the hotel is unique – inspired by the sea and vegetation of Malaga.
Room Mate Valeria rooms offer free Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, safe among other amenities. In addition to this, the hotel has common areas perfect to meet new people, a gym, meeting rooms, and last but not least a great rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and bar.
This is by far my favourite rooftop bar in Malaga – outstanding views of the city, delicious cocktails and a good atmosphere.
AC Hotel by Marriott
AC Hotel by Marriot has a very good reputation and it isn’t a surprise to know that many celebrities and footballers stay in the hotel.
Its location is outstanding as it’s just a minute walk from Malaga Cathedral and Malaga’s top attractions.
The hotel includes free high-speed internet, a fitness centre, a great restaurant based on regional cuisine and a 15th-floor terrace where you can enjoy a view while sipping a cocktail.
This is the most luxurious and beautiful hotel in Malaga. Its 190 rooms that are decorated with attention to detail and stunning views will amaze you.
The hotel includes two outdoor pools for children and adults, parking, a gym, free WiFi, a sun terrace, a chill-out area with outstanding sea views (only available for guests who are over 16), childcare service and much more.
If you’re after a unique experience, Hotel Miramar is your place!
Hotel NH Malaga
The hotel is located a short walk from Calle Larios, restaurants and tourist attractions. After being completely renewed in 2019, it’s now the largest hotel in the city with 245 rooms.
The hotel includes spacious rooms with stylish decoration as well as soundproof windows, free Wi-Fi and views of the river, city and Esperanza Church.
In addition to this, you also have access to a gym, outdoor pool and their restaurant, Tablafina Málaga, which serves traditional Andalusian dishes.
Other 4-star hotels you may want to check out are:
Best beach resorts in Costa del Sol
Best hotels in Torremolinos
Torremolinos is a good option if you prefer a beach centred location, but still close and easy to travel to the airport, Malaga city centre and other nearby attractions.
The town is known for having plenty of family-friendly beach resorts and apartments.
If you stay in Torremolinos, you must wander around the lively old town and streets, visit Punta Gatuna to watch the sunset, go to Parque de la Batería park and have a full day of fun at Aqualand waterpark.
Costa del Sol Luxury boutique Torremolinos
This sustainable hotel is located five minutes’ walk from Playamar beach. The hotel has 36 rooms with modern decoration and is equipped with comfortable beds, air conditioning, TV, safe and other amenities.
In addition to this, you can enjoy free parking, an outdoor swimming pool which is also available during the winter months, a gym, two restaurants and a cafe.
Sol Timor Apartamentos
These apartments are well equipped, including a lovely kitchen. This is your best option if you travel on a budget, you prefer the cosy feeling of “being at home” rather than in a hotel room, and you’re staying with a group of friends or family.
That’s not all, the hotel includes great leisure facilities like an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the sea, two tennis courts, a games room, a restaurant and pool bar, and even a supermarket!
Meliá Costa del Sol
Meliá Costa del Sol is one of my favourite hotels in Torremolinos. Its location is great as it’s on the beach and next to the Punta Gatuna viewpoint, the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset in Torremolinos.
The hotel includes modern spacious rooms with a terrace where you can enjoy incredible sea views.
But one of the best things about staying at Meliá Costa del Sol is all the facilities they have – rooftop pool and terrace, gym, two restaurants and a bar, and their incredible Thalasso Marine Spa.
El Tiburón Hotel Boutique & Spa
El Tiburón is for you if you want a special time during your stay in Torremolinos.
It’s located on La Carihuela beach, and it offers beautiful rooms that have been decorated individually so each one has something special. All the rooms include free high-speed WiFi, high-resolution televisions with international channels and luxury amenities.
Some of the hotel general services are 24-hour reception, solarium and pool, room service, car rental and luggage storage.
The highlight of staying in this hotel is the numerous unique experiences you can book – from a 2-hour spa service to a bottle of cava and flowers in your room to surprise a loved one.
Best hotels in Benalmadena
Another popular beach resort town is Benalmadena. The town is located only 20 minute drive from the capital.
This coastal town has plenty of things to do, from visiting the popular Puerto Marina and going on the cable car to discovering the beautiful old town and Colomares castle.
If you’re looking for hotels in Benalmadena, the options are endless which makes the process of booking a room a bit difficult if you don’t know the place. For this reason, I’ve compiled here some of the best hotels.
Sahara Sunset by Diamond Resorts
Sahara Sunset is a complex with apartments and studios that are a 3-minute walk from the beach. Its laid back atmosphere makes it perfect for couples, families or groups of friends.
Each apartment and studio include all the things you need as well as a fully equipped kitchen (oven or microwave, hob, toaster, kettle and refrigerator).
The hotel facilities are two swimming pools (one for adults and one for kids), a poolside bar, a grocery store, and The Casbah Restaurant which serves international dishes and Andalusian favourite dishes too.
Hotel Best Tritón
The hotel is located in front of the Benalmadena promenade and a 7-minute walk from the well-known Puerto Marina Shopping.
Their rooms have been renovated and they include comfortable beds, air conditioning, TV, safe and a lovely terrace.
It’s a great place for families as there are swimming pools for kids and adults, live entertainment and rooms that can be adapted for families.
Palladium Hotel Costa del Sol
Palladium Hotel, situated on the beach of Benalmadena, offers excellent and friendly service during your stay.
The hotel has beautifully decorated rooms with comfortable beds, a TV, a mini bar, and a terrace. Some of the terraces include outstanding sea views to fall in love with!
It also includes a big outdoor swimming pool, 3 rooftop hot tubs, a kids club, a spa and the chance to do other activities such as horse-riding, golf and tennis available in the area.
Best hotels in Marbella
Marbella is the best-known town resort on the Costa del Sol – its beaches, famous nightclubs, concerts and luxury venues make it a great place for many people.
However, there are also other activities in Marbella like visiting the beautiful Old Town, museums and churches or taking a food tour to try Malaga’s traditional dishes and tapas.
Staying in Marbella isn’t a budget-friendly option, however, if you’re after a luxurious experience, it’s the place you want to be.
THE PEARL – Luxury B&B, Marbella
The Pearl is a luxury Bed and Breakfast located a few minutes from Marbella’s historic centre and beaches.
If you want an authentic Andalusian experience, The Pearl is your best option. The villa is decorated with unique pieces and contemporary work from around the world, beautiful trees surround it, and it has a lovely swimming pool with a terrace as well as patios.
There are four types of rooms and each one has a unique decoration, but all of them include comfortable beds, TV and WiFi.
Nobu Hotel Marbella
This is an adults-only hotel that offers a luxurious experience during your time in Costa del Sol. It’s located next to La Plaza, a buzzy square with bars and restaurants, but also very close to the beach.
The rooms have been decorated to perfection and include everything you need. You also get access to an outdoor pool, spa and a fine dining minimalist Japanese restaurant.
Hotel Don Pepe Gran Melia
A few minutes walk from the centre of Marbella, you’ll find Hotel Don Pepe Gran Melia.
This 5-star hotel is ideal for couples as well as families. The hotel has excellent rooms and penthouse suites, a variety of dining spaces, outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court, a spa and much more.
Although there are plenty of hotels in Malaga to choose from, make your decision by location and price.
It’s sometimes worth paying a bit more for the location, especially if you aren’t staying for long at the destination as this will save you time and money on transport.
If you have any questions or want any local advice on Malaga and Costa del Sol, reach me on my email at email@example.com or on Instagram at @creina.diary. I’m always happy to help.
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Top things to check before visiting Malaga and Costa del Sol
- Check cheap flights to Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport with Skyscanner.
- Discover all the amazing things you can do in Malaga for free in this guide.
- Have a look at this Malaga food guide to indulge yourself in eating the best typical food and sipping cocktails on the best rooftops.
- Are you planning to visit other Andalusian cities and towns? Check out my blog on the best day trips from Malaga.
- Book travel insurance for your trip, this is a must for any trip!
Frequently asked questions about where to stay in Malaga
What are the best hotels to stay in Málaga?
Where should couples stay in Malaga?
Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro is perfect for couples. Its beautiful decorated rooms and its views make it a very romantic hotel. It’s definitely the best place to stay in Malaga with your loved one!
Where should I stay in Malaga for the nightlife?
If you want amazing nightlife, you should stay close to the city centre, in the Old Town or Soho neighbourhood.
What are the best hotels in Malaga for families?
La Chancla is one of the best accommodations for families in Malaga. Otherwise, I’d also check Torremolinos and Benalmadena beach resorts. They have plenty of fun family activities and they’re still close to Malaga and other great attractions.
Where to stay in Malaga for cheap holidays?
You can find hostels in Malaga city centre, such as Feel Hostels Soho Malaga or The Lights Hostel, which are perfect for travellers on a budget. But if you don’t like the hostel style, I’d recommend staying in hotels a bit further than the city centre like the airport area.
Where to stay in Malaga for luxury holidays?
For a luxurious experience, you can stay in Hotel Miramar or many other hotels in Marbella, the luxury spot in Costa del Sol.
Is Malaga a walkable city?
It’s very easy to walk around Malaga, especially to all the tourist attractions as most of them are located in the city centre. However, if you want to go to other areas, you can still safely walk.
Is Malaga dangerous?
Not at all. Malaga is considered a very safe destination, so you don’t have to worry much about your safety. However, I would avoid visiting the “La Palmilla” neighbourhood, located next to the police station, as it has a bad reputation and it’s a bit rough.