Best Places To Stay in Costa del Sol Spain (2024)

Looking for the best places to stay in Costa del Sol, Spain, can feel daunting with so many amazing towns and cities.

But they all bring something different and after being based on the coast for the last 10 years living in different places and slow traveling for the last couple of years, I’ve covered most destinations on the coast spending a month or more in each.

It’s safe to say, I’ve uncovered Costa del Sol from A to Z and it’s time I help you out with where to stay.

Costa del Sol covers the Malaga province’s coastal region stretching over 150 kilometers from Manilva in the west to Nerja in the east.

In this post, I’ll highlight where to stay in Costa del Sol for different types of travelers so that you can decide which destination fits you best.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

best places to stay in Costa del Sol Spain

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Puente Romano Beach Resort
a fantastic 5-star hotel on the Golden Mile in Marbella. There, you can lounge in one of their many swimming pools and relax in the spa.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Vincci Selección Aleysa
a fabulous 5-star hotel on the beachfront in Benalmadena, only a short walk into the bustling marina. Enjoy the outdoor swimming pools and relax in the spa.

BUDGET
💰
Hotel Palacete de Alamos
a lovely budget-friendly boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga Old Town within walking distance of all the top attractions, restaurants, and bars.

Best places to stay in Costa del Sol

Malaga

Malaga is the best place to stay in Costa del Sol for culture and art. The bustling city elegantly blends the traditional and old with the modern.

It’s perfect for couples looking for a relaxing weekend in Malaga or solo travelers looking to meet other travelers. With plenty of fun things to do in Malaga, whether browsing the museums or eating your way through all the tapas bars.

Stroll along the Muella Uno Marina. There are boat tours in Malaga taking you up and down the coast, dolphin watching, kayaking, and taking in the splendid sunsets. With Malagueta Beach within walking distance from Malaga Old Town, there’s no doubt you reach some of Malaga’s best beaches from the city itself.

Besides, Malaga boasts a historic heritage like no other. With the Gibralfaro Castle overlooking the Alcazaba of Malaga and the Roman Theater, which is actually one of the free things to see in Malaga, history buffs will have a great time exploring. You can get Malaga Alcazaba tickets at the entrance or book a guided tour in advance (which I highly recommend.)

Malaga Cathedral is also a must-visit as one of the city’s most iconic buildings. You can also enjoy a rooftop tour for epic views. Besides, there are many beautiful parks in Malaga to take a break during days of sightseeing.

I recommend taking this guided tour of the city while you’re there to see all the top highlights. Below are my top picks for where to stay in Malaga.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Gran Hotel
Miramar GL
Malaga’s best 5-star hotel – right on the beachfront. Spend your days in the outdoor pool or take advantage of the excellent spa and wellness center.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel Palacete de Alamos
a lovely budget-friendly boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga Old Town within walking distance of all the top attractions, restaurants, and bars.

BUDGET
💰
Coeo Apart-Hotel Fresca
a fabulous and modern apartment hotel close to the cathedral. Take advantage of their yoga classes to reconnect during your vacation.

accommodation in Costa del Sol - Malaga hotel

Marbella

Marbella hosts some of the best holiday resorts Costa del Sol has on the shelf. As one of the most popular cities in Andalucia for beachgoers and partygoers – known for its glitz and glamour.

Especially Puerto Banus and the Golden Mile are the best places to get a glimpse of the rich and famous who holiday in the city.

But there are many things to do in Marbella other than party and it doesn’t have to be expensive to visit. Whether you go on a day trip to Marbella, spend a weekend with friends, or go on a week’s trip to lounge by the pool, Marbella has something for you.

The quaint Marbella Old Town has a charm like no other with colorful pot plants decorating whitewashed walls, restaurants, bars, and exclusive boutique shops invite you inside.

Marbella’s beaches are some of the best beaches in Costa del Sol, but it’s also fun to go on boat trips in Marbella to explore the coastline from a different perspective whether it’s for a sunset cruise or going snorkeling.

Below, I’ve listed the best places to stay in Marbella for every budget. Take note that Marbella is home to some of the most luxurious and best resorts in Costa del Sol.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Puente Romano Beach Resort
a fantastic 5-star hotel on the Golden Mile in Marbella. There, you can lounge in one of their many swimming pools and relax in the spa.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel Marbella Fusión
located in the old town with a restaurant and bar on-site, this is a lovely hotel with a bright and charming interior and a rhododendron-draped front wall.

BUDGET
💰
La Morada Mas Hermosa
located in the heart of Marbella Old Town, you find restaurants and bars at your doorstep. Bright and comfortable rooms make this a great choice.

best resort on costa del Sol - Marbella

Nerja

Nerja is the best place to stay on Costa del Sol for nature lovers. If you’re looking for a quieter area whether it’s a trip with your partner or with your family, I highly recommend Nerja.

As one of my absolute favorite coastal towns near Malaga, there are so many great things to do in Nerja.

First of all, the old town is absolutely gorgeous with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars open all year round.

The prehistoric Nerja Caves are the biggest tourist attraction by a long shot and right behind them, you find some of the best hikes on the coast, like Pico Cielo or the more challenging Navachica peak.

In summer, kayaking in Nerja from Burriana Beach is amazing along the mesmerizing cliffs of Maro passing by some of the best beaches in Nerja.

Below, I’ve listed the best hotels in Nerja for every budget, the town offers great accommodation in Costa del Sol.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Parador de Nerja
located on the cliff right above Burriana Beach, it boasts exquisite views, an outdoor pool, on-site parking, and a high-end restaurant and bar.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel Paraíso Del Mar
located near Burriana Beach, this is a lovely adults-only hotel. Enjoy the outdoor pool overlooking the coast, and relax in the hot tubs and the sauna.

BUDGET
💰
Hostal Sol y Mar
this 3-star hotel is a great budget option in the Old Town with a lovely rooftop terrace where you can kick back and enjoy the views.

accommodation Costa del Sol

Fuengirola

Fuengirola is the best place to stay in Costa del Sol Spain for late-night parties and long days at the beach. It’s a popular expat town just about 45 minutes west of Malaga by train. This makes it a great base for day trips to the rest of the region.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Fuengirola from visiting Sohail Castle to exploring old Roman ruins. Shopping in Fuengirola is also great with the region’s biggest shopping mall, Miramar.

You can rent paddleboards to spend the day on the water or join one of the Fuengirola boat tours to get further out on the sea.

Check out the best places to stay in Fuengirola below.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Higuerón Hotel Curio
being one of the best Costa del Sol resorts, this fantastic 5-star hotel at El Higuerón on the hill above Fuengirola offers splendid views, pools, and a spa.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel IPV Palace & Spa
a fabulous 4-star hotel on the beachfront near Sohail Castle. Treat yourself at the spa and lounge at the poolside with a drink. It’s within easy walking distance from the center.

BUDGET
💰
Casa Consistorial
located in the center of Fuengirola within walking distance from the beach, this is a great hotel to stay. Don’t miss out on the rooftop pool and try the restaurant.

best town to stay in Costa del Sol - Fuengirola

Estepona

For anyone looking for a relaxing and charming beach town in Andalucia, Estepona is the best place to stay. Costa del Sol is full of beautiful old towns with colorful pot plants – but no place is like Estepona’s Old Town.

There are plenty of things to do in Estepona besides getting lost in the cobbled streets of the historic center and taking pictures.

Head to the Orchidarium of Estepona to walk in a lush and tropical environment, visit the Dolmens, and search for street art.

Hiking enthusiasts will go crazy in the Sierra overlooking Estepona (it’s one of my favorite hiking areas in Costa del Sol besides Nerja.) If you prefer the sea, there are so many boat tours in Estepona to entertain you on a hot summer day.

Besides, you can take a trip to ADANA Dog Shelter to walk the dogs – it’s really energizing to meet all the amazing dogs and see how happy you can make them on a little walk.

And you might just fall in love and bring a dog back home – that’s how we got our newest family member, Baby atlas!

Altogether, Estepona is one of the best areas in Costa del Sol to stay! Check my top recommendations for where to stay in Estepona below.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Kempinski Hotel Bahía Beach Resort & Spa
a fantastic 5-star hotel on the beachfront with a lovely pool area, kids club in the summer, and a spa and wellness center. You can even bring your pet!

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel Estepona Plaza
a fabulous 3-star hotel with sea views. Walk a couple of minutes to the beach or relax in the rooftop pool overlooking the coastline and all of Estepona.

BUDGET
💰
The Old Town Boutique Hotel
a lovely budget option near the beach with bright and clean rooms. On the rooftop, you can sit and enjoy the views with a drink from the bar.

where to stay in Costa del Sol - Estepona

Benalmadena

Benalmadena is home to some excellent Costa del Sol resorts. With an enchanting old town, the fairytale Colomares Castle, and some of the best beaches in Andalucia, Benalmadena is truly among the most popular places to stay in Costa del Sol.

Whether you stroll around the marina and jump on one of the many boat tours in Benalmadena, visit the Bi-Bil Castle, or head up to the cable cars to see the best views of town there are so many things to do in Benalmadena.

There are also some pretty cool hiking trails to uncover, like Minas de La Trinidad. And you might find it interesting that there’s a Buddhist stupa overlooking the coast.

Benalmadena has a great location near Malaga making it one of the best places to stay on Costa del Sol. Check my below recommendations for where to stay in Benalmadena.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Vincci Selección Aleysa
a fabulous 5-star hotel on the beachfront in Benalmadena, only a short walk into the bustling marina. Enjoy the outdoor swimming pools and relax in the spa.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
Hotel Las Arenas
a great 4-star hotel on the beachfront not far from Benalmadena Marina. Take advantage of the rooftop terrace with swimming pools overlooking the coastline.

BUDGET
💰
Hotel Best Siroco
a great, affordable hotel with sea views at a short walk from the beach. Relax at the loungers on the poolside and have lunch at the on-site restaurant.

best hotels Costa del Sol - Benalmadena

Torremolinos

As the next town west of Malaga City, Torremolinos holds several of Costa del Sol’s beach resorts. Torremolinos is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly destinations in Spain and hosts several festivals and music events, especially over the summer months.

Also Torremolinos is home to a large expat community and many seasonal expats spend the winter months there.

There’s a vibrant nightlife, plenty of restaurants catering to every taste, and a colorful shopping scene. There are plenty of things to do in Torremolinos, especially fun boat tours and not to mention epic hikes in the Sierra above the town, like the Cañada del Lobo.

I’ve listed the best places to stay in Torremolinos below.

LUXURY
💰💰💰
Melia Costa del Sol
a fabulous 4-star hotel on the beachfront in Torremolinos where you can lounge in the pool on days you don’t want to go to the beach and take advantage of the spa.

MID-RANGE
💰💰
MS Amaragua
located at Carihuela Beach with a short walk to both Benalmadena Marina and Torremolinos Center. The pools invite for a swim while the spa is perfect for relaxing.

BUDGET
💰
Hotel Isabel
set across the street from the beach in central Torremolinos, it’s a short walk to the center while restaurants and bars are nearby. There’s also a nice pool area.

Costa del Sol where to stay - Torremolinos

Conclusion: Where to stay in Costa del Sol

Summing up the best places to stay in Costa del Sol, Spain, I think it’s safe to say you have plenty of cool places to choose from.

From luxury travelers and budget travelers to culture seekers and beach dwellers, there are beautiful places to stay. Costa del Sol’s accommodation options are endless and I hope you found your spot within my recommendations.

Happy travels!