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Press release from the Costa Press Club

The Costa Press Club chose Marbella as the venue for its April meeting, and the theme was appropriately “Marbella moves with the times” - illustrated by a talk in the Hotel El Fuerte Marbella, which recently reopened as a stunning five-star establishment following a 31 million euro refurbishment.

Photo by Karl Smallman

José Luque (centre) with Louise Cook-Edwards and Neil Hesketh

The speaker, José Luque, President of the Costa del Sol Hoteliers’ Association (AEHCOS) and CEO of Fuerte Hotels, was introduced by Louise Cook-Edwards, who had coordinated the event, and Club President Neil Hesketh. He illustrated the changes that have taken place in Marbella over the past decades through the history of the hotel, which was established after his father, a former chocolate factory owner from Estepa, bought the site in 1954. When he died, his widow successfully adapted from being a housewife to running a hotel while their five children completed their studies. All then joined the business.

As the Costa del Sol has grown and flourished, Marbella has won the reputation of being the grand dame of luxury tourism, and this year was awarded the title of Best European Destination. The family have continued to lead the way, opening more luxury and innovative lifestyle hotels, with the flagship El Fuerte Marbella waterside hotel always at the forefront.

After a tour of the hotel, club members moved on to another recently upgraded establishment, Óbal Urban Hotel, which was formerly known as the San Cristóbal. Owned by the Parra family,  this hotel has been an iconic part of Marbella life for many decades and has now had a total upgrade to four stars and a new, vibrant, urban concept. After cocktails on the terrace and a tour, members sat down to an excellent meal served in the hotel’s Restaurante Alameda.