Marbella’s Puente Romano could convert even the most spa-sceptic – just remember to venture out for some world-class cuisine while you’re there
As I stood performing my first-ever mountain pose with a group of fellow yoga neophytes, focusing my centre of gravity and filling my lungs with salt-spiked morning air while the warm Mediterranean waters churned and bubbled away softly beyond us, I realised I’d caught the bug – I was now and forever a bona-fide spa believer.
My conversion took place at the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile, where lies a haven of serenity and peace. Delivering Instagrammable interiors and idyllic seaside views, Puente Romano resort and spa is an Andalucían village-style resort, with 55,000sqm of impeccably kept subtropical gardens dotted with 27 pristine three-storey houses, 11 on-site restaurants and cafés, a world-class tennis club, golf course and the luxury Six Senses Spa. For someone accustomed to London’s concrete jungle and grey skies Puente Romano is paradise incarnate.
After a hectic few months at work, combined with buying a flat, no amount of comfort food and bed rest could nurse me back to fighting fitness. Desperate times call for desperate measures: I opted instead for the illusive ‘spa break’ – a term mentioned numerous times but one I neither cared for, nor believed in. “How much good can an Indian head massage really do?” you might have heard me scoff only a few days prior to my trip.
As it happens: wonders. Executed by the gentle hands of the Six Senses therapists, it stimulates blood flow, nourishes the scalp and induces an immense sense of calm that continues long after the 50-minute treatment is over. Their signature olive oil and sea salt therapy summons up an even more transcendental state; the herbal scrub is infused with locally sourced ingredients and topped off with a personalised back massage focused on your problem areas.
After a gruelling day at the spa or on the tennis courts, guests can choose from virtually any type of cuisine that takes their fancy in the resort’s Plaza Village. But a favourite is UNI, a Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant that is the perfect setting for an intimate meal for two. A dark, seductive atmosphere, naked lobster ceviche and wagyu beef tataki, and an extensive sake menu… what could be better?
Puente Romano is living proof that Marbella is more than a hotspot for twentysomethings’ boozy breaks; rather it is a culture-rich getaway offering everything from the Picasso Museum to first-century Roman ruins – the resort’s name derives from the ancient Roman bridge at the heart of its complex.
This is not your typical intimidating environment overpopulated with well-versed spa veterans. The Discover Yoga programme is an ideal example – it is designed to introduce novices to the practice of maintaining body and mind balance and to relieve a variety of ailments, not to mention provide the opportunity for a bracing digital detox. For the busy executive, yoga is an underused tool that helps control one’s state of mind. And, if nothing else, it is a welcome, and healthy, alternative to an after-work trip to the pub.
Peunte Romano – getting there
Puente Romano is located in Marbella’s Golden Mile and is 35 minutes from Málaga’s international airport by car.
EasyJet return flights from Gatwick to Málaga start from £104.
Rates at Puente Romano resort and spa start from €453 (£354) including golf – based on a three-night stay for two people sharing a junior suite.