Finca Cortesin

near Estepona, Malaga & Cordoba, Spain Book from

A palatial spa and golf hotel, close to the Med with sumptuous suites and superb cuisine
Just a kilometre away from the madding crowds of the western Costa del Sol, swing in through the gates to Finca Cortesin's 500-hectare estate and discover a very different world. If indulgent luxury coupled with genuine Andaluz allure are high on your holiday checklist, this is the hotel for you. Cortesin numbers amongst southern Europe's finest golf hotels and has hosted several international tournaments whilst being home to a Jack Nicklaus academy. The 18-hole course is a tour de force, but the hotel's design and décor, gardens and suites, spa and pools are every bit as seductive, as is the cuisine of its remarkable Kabuki Raw restaurant.

Architecture commingles monastic cloisters and patios, Alhambra-like fountains, terraces and gardens with Eastern decorative elements. It feels airy, uplifting and surprisingly intimate for a hotel of this size: there are 67 suites and 2 villas, yet you're still left with the impression that it all belongs to you. Even if you've never hit a golf ball, or aren't big on spa and wellness treatments, you'll thrill to the sheer indulgence of staying here. Finca Cortesin completely merits its 5-star status and is writing a new chapter in the Costa's grande luxe hotel history.

Highs

  • The stunning Kabuki Raw is one of the best restaurants in southern Spain, plus there are 2 other restaurants and several bars for great food and romantic, alfresco dining
  • Beautifully designed and decorated suites with masses of staff; you'll be looked after like royalty. There are also a couple of private villas with pools, sleeping up to 8; flexible set ups for families
  • Soaring views across immaculate gardens towards the Sierra Bermeja, the Mediterranean and the North African coast
  • A fiendishly difficult golf course which has twice played host to the Volvo Master's championship: any golfer will relish this challenge
  • A state-of-the-art spa with a huge range of body and facial treatments as well as massages and personal training

Lows

  • Finca Cortesin's golf course will be closed periodically during June, July and September 2017 for improvements - see 'Best time to go' section for scheduling details
  • A dress code applies to various elements of the hotel (e.g. short trousers and sports shoes are non grata in the evening). But these small formalities heighten the sense of occasion
  • Expensive and rates don't include 10% tax, but you get what you pay for; past guests rave
  • Not great for toddlers though a real treat for older kids and teenagers

Best time to go

The hotel is open all year. Spring and autumn are the nicest months as high summer can get extremely hot. However, there are numerous pools to jump in and shady areas to hide away.

During 2017, Finca Cortesin Golf Course will be undertaking significant improvements to the quality of the playing conditions. The team apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding. The schedule of maintenance works will be as follows.

26th June to 2nd July: 9 holes will be closed.
3rd-16th July: the entire golf course will be closed.
17th-23rd July: 9 holes will be closed.
4th-6th September: the entire golf course will be closed.

Our top tips

North Africa is tantalisingly close. If you're here for a couple of days, hop on a fast ferry across the Strait from Tarifa (you might see dolphins) and spend a day in Tangier. This fascinating city's medina and kasbah offer a narcotic first taste of Morocco. Haggle in the souk, wind your way through the kasbah and sip mint tea in the Petit Soco...

Great for...

Spa
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Beach
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Resort
  • 67 rooms + 2 villas
  • Restaurants and bars (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 8 Jan 2017 - 11 Feb 2017
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Paddle courts
Room:

Rooms

Cortesin's rooms are suites in the most royal sense of the word. Even Junior Suites measure in at a generous 50 sq.m., their sense of space heightened by soaring ceilings and 3m-high doors, and all but 4 have terraces where high box hedges ensure maximum privacy. Travertine marble floors are topped with handmade Portuguese rugs, and in the Junior Suites with Views, heavy curtains frame sweeping mountain vistas. Lighting has been masterfully orchestrated whilst every suite's furnishings and muted colour schemes are subtly different. Lacquered bedside tables, elegant writing desks along with stylish lamps and armchairs complete a very plush-and-pretty picture.

Pampering begins on arrival - you'll find cut flowers, a bowl of fruit, handmade chocolates and a note of welcome. Further treats await in every corner: wardrobes are huge, bathrooms cavernous with his-and-hers sinks along with a separate tub and rain shower. Taps and shower fittings are all by Lefroy Brooks whilst your soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotions are by Penhaligon. Expect the finest Egyptian cotton sheets to be adorning your kingsize bed: it will have been turned back by the time you return from dinner. Ask at reception if you'd like a dock for your iPod or a DVD player.

Executive Suites share the same design, but are much bigger, with a separate sitting room where you can dine à deux should this take your fancy. Some of these also have a sea view. If you're really pushing the boat out, book a Pool Suite and spend your days lounging by a private lap pool. These can join to Executive Suites for a family. Groups also love the majestic Cortesin Suite, which has 2 double bedrooms (though no terrace).

Finally, there are 2 beautiful Private Villas, which overlook the golf course, and allow a more independent stay. Both are 4 bedroomed (double/twins), with gardens, parking and a private pool, and you can self-cater or eat in Cortesin's restaurants.

Features include:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • IPod dock and DVD player (on request)
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Seasonal fresh fruit bowl
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is taken at El Jardin, where you're served at a table dressed in crisp linen looking out across luxuriant gardens. Freshly squeezed juices, cold cuts and a tempting selection of hotel-baked breads are laid out before you: much more of a treat than hovering around a buffet. An order is then taken for a cooked breakfast: eggs Benedict, a full English, whatever you fancy.

Head to the Club House or Beach Club restaurant for simple lunches: salads, burgers, sandwiches and tapas. If you're heading for the golf course you can have a mid-round snack delivered to your buggy. Later, gravitate to Bar Azul for an aperitif before your evening meal - its hand-painted wallpaper and delicate chinoiserie has more than a hint of Raffles. Top-name champagnes, dozens of vodkas, gins and malt whiskies plus all the classic cocktails.

Cortesin's Kabuki Raw restaurant will be first choice for dinner. It is managed by the Kabuki Group, world leaders in Japanese cooking with 3 Michelin stars. Flavours and presentation are immaculate whilst an open-fronted kitchen allows you to watch the chefs constructing dishes: dine at the counter-side chef's table to really become part of the action. You can choose between tasting menus of 4, 6 or 9 dishes, or an à la carte menu. Turbot with miso, wok-tossed crab, tempura of langoustine or perhaps crispy roast duck with soba noodles or a barbequed fillet of Wagyu beef. A sommelier will guide you through the encyclopedic wine list.

El Jardin is also open for fine dining in the evenings. Its cuisine is rather less elaborate, sticking to a 3-course formula of traditional Spanish and European cuisine. Here, too, presentation is picture-perfect. Our meal began with a scrummy cold almond soup with shaved truffle, caviar and slices of apple. After this innovative entrée we chose the beef chateaubriand with béarnaise sauce: it was superb. If you prefer Italian, head to Don Giovanni.

For a change of scene, you're close to one of Andalucia's prettiest hilltop villages, Casares, where there are several tapas bars. Venta Garcia is charming, an old favourite of every ex-pat for miles around and remarkably kind on your wallet.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Play a round on Cortesin's award-winning 18-hole golf course or improve your stroke with analysis and game tuition at the Jack Nicklaus Academy
  • Laze by one of the pools, doze on your terrace or spend the day lounging on Balinese daybeds at the gorgeous Beach Club (open Easter to September inclusive)
  • Try your hand at paddle tennis: it's great fun and you don't need to be a super-athlete to have a really good knock about. There are also 2 tennis courts and racquets to borrow
  • Head for the spa for an indulgent session of beauty treatments using Aura Chaké products or a range of massages, including four-hand Oriental, shiatsu, reiki, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and craneo-facial. There's also a heated pool, double-cushioned massage beds, an amazing snow cave, and Yoga and Pilates instruction
  • The nearby Soto Grande marina is worth a visit; settle in one of its many quayside bars and restaurants to watch the comings and goings of the swishest of yachts
  • Day trip to Bolonia's stunning arc of beach on the Atlantic coast, putting time aside to visit the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudio and maybe Tarifa on the way back
  • Or head to the sandy beach at Estepona
  • Explore the stunning karst formations of the Torcal de Manilva and take a bath in it sulphurous springs that were first documented in Roman times

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Museums / galleries
  • Paddle
  • Pilates
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Families are welcome and there's heaps for them to do but note that Cortesin's spa and golf course are very grown-up focused, so it's not ideal for the little'uns. Teenagers, on the other hand, are made much more welcome and Finca Cortesin would be a great special treat for older kids. Baby cots and extra beds are available (for a fairly hefty supplement) in all rooms.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can fit 1 rollaway bed and 1 baby cot except the Junior Suites, which just have rooom for a baby cot. The Family Suites and Cortesin Suite have 2 bedrooms and space for an additional rollaway bed. Pool Suites and Executive Suites can interconnect to sleep up to 5. The Private Villas are probably best for larger families, each sleeps up to 8 and has a private pool plus extensive gardens and self-catering facilities.

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • High chairs
  • Booster seats
  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

During high season a supervised kids club operates daily for 4-12 year olds - and is complimentary for up to 4 hours a day including refreshments (it's an additional charge for a full day). They get to do arts and crafts, face painting, board games, Playstation, Wii, video game library and movies

Children's meals:

Children of all ages are welcome in all the restaurants and eateries, including the Beach Club, on site, with the exception of Kabuki Raw which only permits children over 10 for dinner

Kids Activities on site:

  • Over 5s can swim in the 35m outdoor pool, the Beach Club pool and the Indoor Spa pool (the latter between 1100-1500 only)
  • Beach Club with pool, complimentary shuttle bus service (open Wednesdays-Sundays during April, May, June and September, 7 days a week during July and August)
  • Two tennis courts
  • Two paddle courts
  • Nicklaus Golf Academy

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Horse riding
  • Watersports

Families Should Know:

The Olympic-sized outdoor pool is out of bounds to children. Kids are not allowed in Bar Azul. Children under 14 are not permitted in the Gym. No kids under 5 in the Spa.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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