One of Spain's great attractions is its gastronomy. On its southern coast there is a whole world of spectacular sea and mountain dishes. On the Costa del Sol, in particular, the choice of restaurants is impressive. In fact, there are numerous restaurants that have been awarded the Michelin Star valuable insignia. Of all these delicious options, today we will focus on where to have lunch or dinner in Gualdalmina, a district to the west of Marbella that many have yet to discover.

Let us first explain some of the context of this wonderful residential area.

Guadalmina: the elegant quarter of San Pedro de Alcántara-Marbella

If you are thinking of moving to sunny southern Europe, and Marbella is your target, then Puerto Banús or Puente Romano, Sierra Blanca or La Zagaleta are on your shortlist. Who hasn't heard of these fabulous places? But the truth is that Marbella is so much more. It has marvellous residential areas that are less known to the public, but just as fine. This is the case with Nueva Andalucía or Marbella East, and it is also the case with Guadalmina.

This is a very discreet and elegant neighbourhood. It is located on the western edge of Marbella, bordering Estepona. On the other side, it is adjacent to the district of San Pedro de Alcántara which provides numerous services. It is within easy driving distance from other locations in Marbella, and north of it lies the wonderful town of Benahavis.

It is named after the Guadalmina River and is divided in two by road A7. We have Guadalmina Alta (Upper) and Guadalmina Baja (Lower). The upper one is characterised more by views and modern apartments, and the lower one by the seafront and villas. But both are very green, pleasant and have good hotels, schools and access to the beach.

Guadalmina: a refuge for  discreet celebrities

For those who know the history of Marbella and its glamour, Guadalmina has always been known as a haven for celebrities who do not wish paparazzi in their everyday lives. Ever since back in the 1950s Audrey Hepburn bought a house in this area, many other celebrities have followed her example.

Today, not only actors, but also wealthy families seeking privacy, and even former prime ministers, choose Guadalmina to live a discreet, relaxed, Mediterranean, family lifestyle.

In the past few years, Guadalmina has also become increasingly popular with golf enthusiasts, especially English and Swedes. They all enjoy together Marbella's beautiful microclimate, in absolute tranquillity, without suffering the bustle of tourism. This last point is precisely one of the factors that sets Guadalmina apart as a hallmark of its identity: its magnificent golf course. We are talking about the Real Club de Golf de Guadalmina, a very interesting course, with views of the sea, integrating the two areas of this neighbourhood.

Which are the best restaurants in Guadalmina?

Beach-bar type

Restaurant-Bar Acqua Hotel Guadalmina

It offers a select atmosphere. Mostly hotel residents and regular golfers. They have a closed three-course menu or an open menu with a Spanish profile. It is a great place for Brunch and has beautiful views. Parking is available on request.

Beach Club El Ancla

This is a very special restaurant, Beach-Club and marisquería (seafood restaurant). It is one of the most beautiful in Marbella and allows its visitors to eat literally by the sea, with precious views. It also features a sea-water swimming-pool area  where the guests can rent a sun lounger and enjoy some fun cocktails or a nice day outdoors with the family. We recommend either going for lunch or having dinner very early to enjoy the views and sunsets to the fullest.

Macaao Beach Club

With its more international food and Balinese beds, this is a place to spend a carefree day at the beach. It is located at the end of Guadalmina Beach, past the vaults and Roman baths. Its good rating is due more to the atmosphere than to the gastronomy, but it is a good and refreshing option.

In the surroundings of Guadalmina, in the area known as Cortijo Blanco, the Kala-Kalua beach bar, the popular Nuevo Reino and the exquisite Alabardero Beach Club are of very good quality. A little further to the west we also recommend La Pesquera (Fishery) de San Pedro.

Indoor restaurants

Guadalmina Grill

Grilled meat, chistorra sausage, stews and many skewers (pinchos) at the bar (a form of tapas, but with a northern Spanish format) are some of its specialities. It serves good national wines and good traditional desserts, such as torrijas (French toasts). It is better to focus on the meals and not on the chats with a strong political focus.

The Garden by La Rosa

Argentinian-style food with its special way of preparing grilled meats. The empanadas (pasties) and some of the desserts are also a must. It is a great place for private parties and to enjoy its open-air terrace in summer.

El Cortijo de Ramiro

High-quality food and very classic catering service. An extensive menu with fish, meat, a wide variety of starters and homemade desserts. It is a charming, typical Spanish restaurant and, on occasions, they offer dinners with entertainment included.

In the neighbouring San Pedro de Alcántara, we would like to highlight the following restaurants: Tanino, El Gamonal, Restaurante Alfredo and the indispensable Casa Fernando and El Comercio.

We hope that you will enjoy the flavours of Guadalmina.

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