Hashtag Spain is your lifestyle guide and magazine to what’s hot and hip in Spain. We cover luxury destinations and trendy new venues.
If you are thinking of sending your children to an international school in Spain, then this guide is for you. Expats have a diverse range of international schools to choose from, with the majority of these schools located in coastal areas or the capital of Spain, Madrid. Many people search for the best international schools in Spain, but the range of private international schools in Spain go from English-taught, British or American schools that teach in French, German, Swedish and even Japanese so we feel it is best to let everyone decide for themselves what is the “best” school in Spain so we list below a complete guide to all international schools. Depending on the school, you will find the teaching leads to British GCSE or A-level qualifications, American High School Diploma (including SAT college entrance examinations) or the International Baccalaureate (IB). Most of these schools operate on a Monday to Friday schedule. Although most international schools are private, some also following a bilingual (English/Spanish) curriculum and are partially subsidized by the government. If you are new to Spain and want to send your child to an international school, most parents would take the route of a private international school. To assist you in your research, we have put together a list of international schools for expats in Spain.
Spain offers just over 8,000 km of coastline (that is nearly 5,000 miles) and many of those kilometers are lined with stunning beaches, making Spain one of the world’s top beach holiday destination. The beaches in Spain are as diverse as Spain itself, with some beaches more idyllic and remote while others are smack in the middle of it all and given the geography, Spain offers beaches both on the Atlantic Ocean as well as on the Mediterranean Sea. At Hashtag Spain we put together a guide of the very best beaches in Spain. If you are traveling or living here, be sure to check them out:
Playa de Ses IlletesFormentera, Balearic Islands The Playa de Ses Illetes is a beach located on Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands. This is also the one with the most unique beaches. Top of our list is the Playa de Ses Illetes which you can find just off the northern top of Formentera, in the natural park of ses Salines. Given the beauty and high natural and scenic value, this beach has even been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This is a hugely popular beach with white sand, calm waters and crystal clear water.
Playa de Maspalomas & Playa del InglésMaspalomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands The Playa de Maspalomas beach is a major area of sand dunes that at some points is as wide as 100 meters. This beach is located in the southern part of Gran Canaria, the biggest island of the Canary Islands and joins the Playa del Inglés on the east side, providing a total of 6 km of spectacular beach.
Playa de BoloniaTarifa, Cádiz The Playa de Bolonia is located in the seaside resort of Tarifa, part of the province of Cádiz in Andalucía. The Playa de Bolonia stretches over 3,800 meters and has a median width of around 70 meters. This idyllic beach is one of the few virgin beaches left in the south of Spain with practically no urban development around its area. There are also some roman ruins from the ancient city of Baelo Claudia to be seen.
Playa de LevanteBenidorm, Alicante The Playa de Levante is a 2,000 meters long and 110 meters wide beach located in the city centre of Benidorm, the leading beach destination in Spain. This urban beach offers disabled beach access and is lined with beach bars, restaurants, shops children’s play areas, showers and toilets. You can rent a sunbed and umbrella or you can enjoy cable skiing as well as other water sports.
Playa de CofeteMorro del Jable, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands The Playa de Cofete beach is located on the island of Fuerteventura on the Canary Islands. This is a remote area, which can only be reached via a 20 km long unpaved road. The Play de Cofete is a stunning virgin beach of nearly 14 km in length and up to 50 meters wide. Although there are often strong winds and high waves, the natural beauty of this beach makes it ideal for relaxing.
Playa de MuroMuro, Mallorca, Balearic Islands The Playa de Muro or Platja del Muro as it is known by locals, is a 5 km long beach with a width of up to 70 meters, located in Muro, a small town in the north of the island of Mallorca. Here the sand is white and the water crystal clear. If you have been to one of these beaches, please share your experiences below.
If you’re into the trendy chic thing to do, then you have to stay at the Barcelona Edition, a luxury hotel newly opened in 2018 that is sure not to disappoint. The Barcelona Edition was one of the most awaited hotel openings of the year and this is why. You mix urban with chic and you get an elegant mix with dreamy cool, just like the El Borne neighborhood where it is located. El Borne is an artistic, hip and strong tourist magnet area of Barcelona. This gorgeous new luxury hotel offers 100 guest rooms, a super cool rooftop bar, restaurant and nightclub lounge for late night drinks. The hotel is located just by the Santa Caterina market and a short walk to the Barcelona Cathedral, so you can tick those two off your bucket list while staying there without much effort. The super busy Rambles and all the best luxury shops, including Chanel and Gucci you can find a short stroll away on Paseo de Gracia. The rooms are sophisticated and decorated with a discrete but luxurious touch. Something rare in many five-star hotels nowadays. If you’re into this, then you will love The EDITION hotel. This may not be the time of the year to enjoy a dip in the pool, but with this view it might entice you anyhow. Did we tickle your fancy? Grab a deal online and book your stay at The Edition Barcelona to enjoy this uber cool and trendy hotel. Have you stayed there already? Leave a review below and share your experience at the Edition Barcelona.
On the Costa del Sol the weather over the Christmas holidays is the best weather you can get in Europe. If you like it just above 20 degrees celsius, the South of Spain is where you have to come. Call your friends, get your family together or invite the first person that comes to mind. Pack the minimum clothes, book a flight to Malaga and don’t forget a fancy dress or suit for the New Year’s Eve party! We have scouted out for the best venues to enjoy a luxurious and extravagant party. Discrete or for friends and families. Check it out: Finca Cortesin. Vincci Selección Estrella del Mar. Puente Romano Beach Resort Marbella. The Oasis by Don Carlos Resort & Spa. Marbella Club Hotel Golf Resort & Spa. Villa Padierna Palace Hotel G.L.. For those that prefer to party in cooler temperates but still want to be in the south we put together a selection of unique places in Granada: Hotel El Lodge Ski & Spa. Hotel Hospes Palacio de Los Patos. Hotel Vincci Hotel Rumaykiyya. Meliá Sierra Nevada. We hope that you will have a wonderful vacation and take the opportunity to wish all our readers and advertisers a Happy New Year!
Hashtag Spain Luxury Travel Editor Diana Ghebaur has had the opportunity to sit down with Justine Haughey, Marketing Manager of the prestigious hotel and gain an insight into the exciting new upgrades at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Estepona and find out more about the hoteliers vision of the future of hospitality. Diana Ghebaur: What will the renovations bring to the hotel? Justine Haughey: At Kempinski we think that a hotel isn’t just a hotel anymore. It’s no longer just a place for travellers to lay their heads at night. For Kempinski a luxury hotel it is an extraordinary place with one of a kind design, details and atmosphere. The renovations break the status quo and focus on the hotel entrance, lobby and culinary venues. They fuse the Kempinski timeless elegance and resort look with the trendy elements and vibe that the local guests and world travellers of today seek. This approach brings to the hotel a grand sense of arrival and a comfortable atmosphere where guests and local residents will experience fantastic accommodation and dining experiences. All this is further consolidated with a new bold approach to food & beverage in which Kempinski cooperated with the Zsidai Gastronomy Group to create a new concept called, El Paseo del Mar. El Paseo del Mar is a gastronomic hot spot which combines three fantastic concepts. Black Rose The Bar, a cocktail bar and lounge, located in the hotel lobby this is the place to meet friends and have a sip overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Baltazar Bar & Grill – a creative Spanish steakhouse. Refined yet cool this poolside restaurant celebrates traditional fired-based cooking and fresh ingredients prepared with love in our josper and tandoor oven. Spiler Beachclub, opening in June on the seafront, this cool casual beach restaurant & bar will bring favourites like wood-fired artisan pizza, Argentinian grill dishes and superfood salads. All venues have in common great service, uniqueness and spectacular Mediterranean views. Diana: You are hoteliers since 1897; what has changed over the decades? Justine: A lot changed since then. Our story as hoteliers started in 1897, the time when the first comfortable hotels were appearing in German cities and when our founder, Berthold Kempinski founded the first Kempinski hotel, the ‘Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft’ in Berlin. Despite this already early start as hoteliers our roots in hospitality start even earlier. The Kempinski family business started as wine traders and by 1862 Berthold Kempinski was already world-famous for its shop in the Friedrichstrasse, Berlin. Following this success in 1889 the Kempinski family opened in Leipziger Strasse, the biggest restaurant in the whole of Berlin. Since then the Kempinski passion for food and beverage was always a highlight in our heritage, we are known as a pioneer company, we were the first to implement a unique concept at the time known as “event gastronomy” (“‘Erlebnisgastronomie’) so in vogue today. This past connects with the present and future of all Kempinski hotels and in particular of Kempinski Hotel Bahia as our redesign and concepts devote so much attention to the guest dining and drinking experience. This approach also set the tone for the Kempinski ADN, goals and meaning. Kempinski a name synonymous with individual luxury. Kempinski achieves this aim by managing a portfolio of 76 five-star hotels in 31 countries. The portfolio includes historic grand hotels, superb city hotels, outstanding resorts and superior residences as well as famous hotel names. Famous hotel names include the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok, Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St Moritz or the Çiragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul. As time goes on, Kempinski celebrated last year its 120th anniversary and marked it with the opening of another landmark hotel in Cuba. Moving forward in the pursuit for exclusivity and individuality next Hotel openings include geographies as diverse as Dominica, Oman, Mianmar or Bali, Indonesia. Kempinski is also a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. Diana: Any exciting upcoming events/happenings this 2018? Justine: Yes! 2018 is definitely an exciting year. Kempinski Hotel Bahia wants to engage with the local scene and be experienced not just by travellers but by locals too, so we aim at becoming more part of everyone’s daily life whether they’re on a trip or not. Thus, apart from our new gastronomic hot spot El Paseo del Mar and its dining concepts we will offer trendy and immersive experiences. Kempinski will further embrace the local communities and support and create events like we did recently with the “Jornadas del Mediterraneo”. We can tell you that we have fantastic plans to organize a Polo Beach Cup in our beach and we are also producing a programme of cultural events to be held at the hotel. Look out for announcements and updates in the coming months. Diana: Thank you, we look forward to our next visit to this world class luxury hotel.
The 4-star boutique hotel Mariposa in the heart of Málaga is a must if you are looking for a fresh and trendy place to stay. With an aim to seduce, for business or pleasure, Mariposa hotel is located barely 5 minutes walk from the historical center and 8 minutes from the beach La Malagueta. The trendy hotel offers 52 rooms in über cool design, and even parking for those guests that arrive by car. For the upcoming season there are also plans to open a rooftop skybar. We had the pleasure to talk to the founders, Audrey and Amélie Pignol. Diana Ghebaur: Why Málaga, why Spain? Audrey and Amélie Pignol: It is our parents who chose Málaga, they always loved Spain (you can eat at any time) and where looking for a place where it is sunny every day of the year. They proposed us this new experience and we obviously said yes directly. We are very excited for this new adventure. Diana: What differentiates Mariposa Hotel from others out there? Audrey and Amélie: We opened 11 months ago, and started some renovations 3 weeks from now because we do want to create a hotel with a special atmosphere where people will want to come back. We have 52 rooms so we try to give a special service to every individual guest in order for them to come back next year, for instance. We are also planning on opening a bar on the rooftop from April with a total different approach of what you can found in Málaga. The city of Málaga is growing a lot and attracts more and more tourists every season. Diana: Was this your dream before doing your studies at Glion? Audrey and Amélie: Our parents always worked in hospitality, so for us it was obvious to continue and thanks to them we are finally living our dream! Diana: How do you see the future for the hospitality industry? Audrey and Amélie: Everything keeps moving very fast with all the new technologies. The guests are more demanding and aware. So we have to keep a perfect service in order to respond to our guests’ needs and attain a favorable reputation online. Moreover, the positioning in internet plays a major role and with all the phones and apps we have to [constantly] keep improving. Diana: Any tips for other upcoming hospitality entrepreneurs or final words for our readers? Audrey and Amélie: We love our job and are so grateful to get the chance to do it. Every day we do everything to keep making our hotel, the Mariposa hotel, the way we see it and learn more, without ever giving up. We hope to welcome you in our bar very soon! To book a room, call +34952579300 or reserve online.