Jaime Beriestain Studio has helmed this design project reflecting the island’s laidback Mediterranean lifestyle through the interiors of this grand historic building.
This June, the family-owned El Fuerte Marbella hotel of Marbella town is to reopen following a full renovation. Jaime Beriestain Studio was tasked with taking the design of this legendary hotel in a new direction while retaining its spirit of hedonism and Andalusian sense of place.
The property stands on a historic site where a fortress built in 1554 under the orders of King Charles V once stood before much of it was destroyed during the Napoleonic wars. In the 20th century, the building still standing was turned from a flour factory into a boarding house and it opened as a hotel in 1955, welcoming famous names like Walt Disney and Penelope Cruz over the years.
Through this transformation, the building’s original architectural features have been restored, with its whitewashed Moorish walls, backdropped against Moorish gardens, retaining its Andalusian identity. Elements of nature have been woven throughout and nooks are created by the site’s original structure.
“When faced with an iconic hotel like El Fuerte, my first mission is to connect with the local community to understand the sense of place and soak up the treasure trove of history and beauty,” said Beriestain. “Along with my team, my goal is to create a space where guests find serenity in the beauty of their surroundings, whilst respecting the rich cultural heritage of the building.”
Through its new contemporary design scheme, the interiors of this 266-key hotel have been turned from traditional bold Andalusian colours to a more earthy colour palette of terracotta, golden brown and tones of green. Hand-painted ceramics adorn the walls and the work of local artists and artisans features throughout.
The property has five restaurants and a bar. Dining options at the property include the beachfront Soleo celebrating Marbella’s seafaring tradition, the beachside Levante focusing on Andalusian flavours, laidback Le Marche for breakfast, Quaha Coffee House and the rooftop Edge by Paco Perez.
On reopening, the property will be home to two swimming pools with sea views and direct beach access. Guests can also retreat to the hotel spa, home to whirlpools, saunas, treatment rooms and a gym.