20 May, 2024 @ 14:07
2 mins read

A star is reborn: Princess Diana’s favourite Costa del Sol hotel the Byblos has made a glittering comeback as La Zambra

THE iconic Byblos hotel has been welcoming a new A-list crowd as it approaches its second summer reborn as La Zambra Resort.

The erstwhile holiday hideaway of royalty and rock gods had been closed for years until reopening after a massive multi-million euro refurbishment.

The iconic blue and white tiled palace, which attracted the world’s elite from its 1986 opening, has been refurbished in a way that stays true to its original character.

Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, stayed no less than three times at this leafy enclave set amid the lush fairways of Mijas Golf.

Diana, Princess Of Wales, A Life In Pictures
Escape to Spain: Princess Diana stayed at the Byblos, now La Zambra. Picture: Cordon Press

It was the first place she spent the night during her debut visit to the Costa in 1993, the same year she announced her withdrawal from public life following the revelations of her relationship with playboy James Hewitt.

And Diana wasn’t the only blue-blooded guest. The Saudi royal family repeatedly chose the Byblos as their preferred retreat.

The Rolling Stones, too, found satisfaction in its peace and seclusion.

ROLLING STONES, 1974.
English rock band. From left: Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor. Photographed in 1974. Cordon Press

Massive fans of Spain, the Stones were the first foreign band to perform in the country in 1976, following the fall of Franco.

And on subsequent tours they went on to perform 21 sell-out concerts across the country, choosing to wind down at the Byblos when performing in the south.

The hotel was also a firm favourite with Spanish household names, including Malagueño star Antonio Banderas and singing legend Julio Iglesias.

La Zambra is managed by Marugal – specialists in the conception, launch and operation of distinctive luxury hotels, whose portfolio includes Cap Rocat in Mallorca; Gecko Hotel & Beach Club in Formentera and Torralbenc in Menorca, and is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

Julio Iglesias. Cordon Press.

“We’ve kept the heritage of the old Byblos Hotel – a place where people came together to savour the freedom of enjoying themselves, however they want to, by retreating or by letting loose,” Pablo Carrington, CEO of Marugal explained.

“The difference is that La Zambra has a fresher and slightly rebellious approach. The service, the gastronomy, the décor, the ethos. La Zambra is a new iconic luxury hotel. It is Andalucia – but conceived in a more relaxed and broader way.”

Key to relaxation

THE Michelin Guide has introduced its new distinction, the Michelin Keys, to highlight the top hotels and accommodations globally, elevating the art of hospitality to its highest level and creating unique experiences.

In this first edition, 97 hotel establishments in Spain have been honoured with this distinction. Among the most notable is La Zambra Resort in Mijas, which has received its first Michelin Key.

The resort offers a wide range of wellness and entertainment services for its visitors, including the Mood Spa, one of the largest wellness centres on the Costa del Sol.

Its wellness offerings are complemented with indoor and outdoor sports facilities. For racquet sports enthusiasts, La Zambra has two tennis courts and a paddle tennis court.

And just a short buggy ride from the hotel, you’ll find two world-class golf courses.

More information: Click here.

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