The Marbella Club Introduces El Patio
Opening its doors on 1st July 2021, El Patio restaurant is the latest addition to the Marbella Club and the final piece of its newly unveiled Clubhouse – a vibrant social hub that pays homage to the resort’s spontaneous beginnings in the Fifties. Set to become the atmospheric beating heart of the resort, El Patio promises guests a much-desired, laidback rendezvous in its verdant courtyard, celebrating that quintessential holiday feeling of taking a culinary journey through the Mediterranean.
Hidden amongst blooming agapanthus, fragrant jasmine and draping vines, El Patio embodies the inimitable welcoming spirit from which the Marbella Club was born. Taking up residence in some of the hotel’s very first motel-style guest rooms from the 1950’s, El Patio is a space buzzing with locals and guests alike that embraces traditional Andalusian indoor-outdoor living. Its central courtyard offers a zestful oasis for rich coffees and delicate smoothies, leisurely lunches and lip-smacking Tardeo cocktails, whilst at night it comes alive under hundreds of twinkling lights. A bustling outdoor kitchen and under-the-stars live music performances make it the perfect space for catching up with friends over a sharing dinner or tempting tipple.
El Patio is overseen by Calabrian-born head chef Armando Codispoti. Working alongside former Ottolenghi and Soho House Istanbul chef, Esra Muslu, an offering full of vigour and honesty has been born. Borrowing as much inspiration from Codispoti’s Italian mama’s homemade dishes as from Muslu’s Turkish roots, hearty dishes are packed full of herbs, spices and citrus from the Mediterranean Rivieras and Barbary coastal regions. Seasonal Andalusian produce is sourced from trusted local suppliers, supporting small business dedicated to making first-class ingredients.
El Patio gives guests a chance to eat in many different ways. A bountiful breakfast affair includes everything from toasted granola with poached peaches to a twist on the smashed avocado with organic poached eggs and Aleppo chilli, whilst lunch brings watermelon with lime and chilli jam, seasonal salads and hand-tossed pizzas with names like ‘El Boss’ or ‘La Simo’, made in the lion-shaped fire oven. Later in the day, guests can indulge in the Tardeo, a chance to stretch out the afternoon with friends over a sage-infused cocktail pitcher; and finally, the action culminates during dinner with inventive dishes chargrilled by the chef in the open outdoor kitchen, decorated with hanging antique copper pots, Andalusian tiles and dried herbs. Dinner staples include wild sea bass carpaccio, wood roasted whole organic chicken with hay-flamed caramelised onions, and – for the cherry on top - Burnt Basque cheesecake. For an added dose of atmosphere, head-bopping tunes curated by Emma Schenkman revive the sounds of Mediterranean funk, boogie and soul in the most welcoming, sophisticated way.
Marc Álvarez, fresh from a six-year stint with the Adrià brothers and the El Barri restaurant group, has dreamt up a bespoke drinks menu inspired by the hotel’s history and setting. Creative and stirring concoctions supervised by resort mixologist Nelson Gallo incorporate citrusy herbs, seasonal fruit and home-made cordials: must-haves include ‘Vertical Garden’, with whisky rye, lime and orange curaçao in made-to-measure glassware; and ‘Zoco’ – an attention-grabbing mix of rum, ras el hanout, mango, orange and lime.
Whimsical and location-inspired interiors designed by Marie-Caroline Willms and Johanna Haniel of Spain-based design studio, EMCI, play on California’s retro diner vibe – a source of much inspiration for founder, Prince Alfonso. The space encompasses two indoor areas: a circular bar as a nod to Seville’s Plaza de España; and a conservatory-style salon featuring a botanical-infused design, with fabrics in shades of russet, indigo, saffron and sage, alongside raffia-upholstered walls and natural greenery. Unique touches celebrate the Marbella Club’s storied background: a locally handcrafted fireplace by Seville-based artisans, Exvotos, adorned with merman sculptures, mythical creatures and murals of an enigmatic pine forest pay tribute to the original finca on which the hotel stands; Marbella ceramics specialists Edmond and Inés bring the beauty of the gardens indoors with larger-than-life handcut and painted murals; and framed images of the Marbella Club’s beloved personalities takes guests through decades of dress-up parties, Beach Club revelry and late night flamenco feasts.
Launched this spring, the Clubhouse epitomises the best things in life – food, drink, fun, friendship and family – and is a fitting tribute to the hotel’s original Clubhouse that acted as a purposefully low-key hangout for Prince Alfonso and his illustrious friends over 65 years ago. A series of convivial, free-flowing indoor and outdoor spaces, all flanked around a lush central patio, guests will also uncover The Grill, where ‘Gaucho’ Roque Juarez Junior brings to life time-tested recipes; Rudi’s, a decadent winter den for champagne toasts, tapas and rounds of backgammon; Summer Bar for al fresco cocktails; La Bodega, an expansive wine cellar and scene of wine tastings; and an exquisitely designed private dining space. The Garden Pool will re-open this summer with an entirely new menu envisioned by Marbella Club’s resident wellness chef Andrés Ruiz. With a focus on garden-based fare, seasonal produce and local harvests, the new offering follows in the successful footsteps of Chef Andres’ recently-introduced healthy gastro experience, El Olivar. Sitting close by is a new tomato garden with over 60 different ancestral varieties, surrounded by flowers and herbs to be incorporated into the dishes, with an ongoing calendar of events like gazpacho making or tomato tastings spearheaded by gastronomic designer Véronique Gladstone.
A new hair spa, beauty salon and barber ensure guests always feel their best, whilst a unique proposition store and several flexible spaces act as the site of art exhibitions and pop-up collaborations throughout the year. This summer, the Clubhouse will display an exclusive exhibition of photographer Stuart Cantor’s ‘Marbella Club Days’ series – a collection of 18 images that capture the relaxed glamour and magical spirit of the hotel; a showcase of the Marbella Club Days father-and-son swim short in collaboration with swimwear brand Orlebar Brown; and an ephemeral 220 sq. m. boutique from legendary French maison, CHANEL, showcasing the Spring/Summer 2021 Ready-to-Wear and 2020/21 Métiers d’art “Le Château des Dames” collections, as well as the exclusive CHANEL COCO BEACH 2021 collection.
El Patio: Quick Facts
Opening hours: Breakfast 9-12pm / Lunch 12-4pm / Tardeo 4-8pm / Dinner 8pm – 2am
No. of covers: 120
Head Chef: Armando Codispoti
Restaurant Manager: Hasan Ayashi
Head Bartender: Nelson Gallo
Head Sommelier: Ángel González
Interior designers: Marie-Caroline Willms and Johanna Haniel, EMCI
Music Curation: Emma Shenkman