5 Great Family-Friendly Hotels in the Costa del Sol

If you’ve been seeking a Spanish getaway that’s perfect for kids, Costa del Sol ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable family escape. From go-karting with active teens to turtle spotting at the aquarium with your tiny toddlers, it’s easy to keep your little ones busy at this action-packed resort. And did we mention the flight time is only two hours?

Along its 160km of sun-drenched coastline find All Inclusive hotels boasting all-you-can-eat buffets and around-the-clock entertainment. Meanwhile, affordable Self Catering spots provide the flexibility to do what you want, when you want. As for luxury, there are 5-star properties teeming with waterparks and spacious suites. With endless options, we’ve made your search easier thanks to our list of the top 5 family-friendly hotels in Costa del Sol.

4* Globales Los Patos Park

Waterslides and splash zones at Globales Los Patos Park

Best for: Splash-filled, family-friendly holidays

Family-friendly highlights:

- Onsite waterpark
- Four swimming pools
- Footsteps from the beach
- Playground
- Activity-packed mini club

Why visit? This great value-for-money hotel is equipped with all the essentials you need for an unbeatable family getaway. Onsite, benefit from a lake-size children’s pool accessorised with an array of slides that resemble your favourite sea creatures. A mushroom shower and splash bucket allow little guests to get wet and wild. But the real showstopper is the pirate galleon. From its spinning tube to its man-made beach and cannons. Plus, there’s an adults-only swimming option when parents need to unwind (or escape the kids).

The fun doesn’t stop there thanks to the non-stop entertainment programme. Battle it out on sports courts, learn Flamenco with a dance class, or try your luck with a game of bingo. All generations are catered for. When the sun sets, performers will take to the stage to provide a night of excitement.

Food-wise, Globales Los Patos Park is an All Inclusive paradise. Its sprawling buffet serves up international favourites and Spanish delights from morning, noon and night. Better yet, you can head back as many times as you want - overindulging has never been so easy. There’s a snack spot on hand during your sunbathing hours dishing out ice creams and light bites. As for cocktails and slushies, the pool bar is your go-to.

Location: Situated less than 30 minutes from Malaga airport in the resort of Benalmadena, your hotel places you amidst some of the Costa del Sol’s best beaches. When you’re not building sandcastles on Blue Flag stretches, Tivoli World theme park and a Sea Life centre make memorable days out. And be sure to stroll along its promenade when you want to grab tapas with views of the Mediterranean.

4* Puente Real

Pool area of Puente Real hotel

Best for: All Inclusive, family-friendly holidays

Family-friendly highlights:

- Seafront location
- All Inclusive gold option
Three outdoor pools
- Great kids’ club
- Dedicated menus and buffet area for little appetites

Why visit? When it comes to choice, this All Inclusive spot has plenty, including the option to go Half Board should you wish to explore Costa del Sol’s culinary scene. As standard, guests can indulge in infinite snacks and drinks. You’ll also have an all-access pass to its buffet where live cooking stations invite you to sample seafood-stuffed paella, succulent meats and cheesy pizzas.

Upgrade to its 24-hour all-in gold package for additional perks. While you’re greeted with wine, mini guests will be welcomed with goody bags. They’ll also have access to the hotel’s Game Experience room and a complimentary horse riding excursion. And if you’re still not sold on this stunning resort, your free dinner at both its Italian and steak a la carte restaurants will.

Boasting activities galore, there’s never a dull moment here. All ages can flex and stretch with some aqua aerobics, while competitive types can head to the mini golf or sports courts. But the main attraction has to be the mini club. Ages four to 11 can snuggle up for story time, or get crafty painting before heading to the playground for climbing frames and swing rides.

Location: Overlooking a flawless Blue Flag awarded stretch and only a 15-minute walk from Torremolinos, Hotel Puente Real is the ideal choice for families looking for a worry-free holiday. With everything conveniently close by, you can take advantage of major attractions such as Aqualand Torremolinos and a crocodile petting zoo.

4* Hotel Palmasol

Pool and sunloungers at Hotel Palmasol

Best for: Budget, family-friendly holidays

Family-friendly highlights:

- TripAdvisor 2021 Traveller's Choice award winner
- In the heart of all the action
- Contemporary family rooms
- Outstanding daily entertainment
- Fun-filled kids’ club

Why visit? You don’t need to pay a hefty price tag to benefit from top-quality service and modern facilities. Hotel Palmasol promises a comfortable retreat with all the essentials taken care of. Kick back and relax in double rooms that sleep up to four people. Larger families will appreciate the space inside a junior suite, alongside its deluxe amenities that come with the upgrade, including a living room, two TVs and Mediterranean vistas from your balcony.

After a good night's rest, the Palm Restaurant will lure you in with its full English favourites (we can already smell the bacon). And there’s even a dedicated spread for ages two to 10 years. Whether you opt for B&B, Half board or All Inclusive, as well as a large open buffet hosting outdoor barbecues. Highchairs and microwaves are also available for babies. For mocktails and Mojitos, there’s a duo of bars featuring live music and nightly performances.

While parents bask in Costa del Sol’s 325 days of sunshine, little ones will be kept busy with treasure hunts and foam parties all courtesy of the kids’ club. If that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s a duo of pools playing host to aqua Zumba and water polo.

Location: Directly opposite Puerto Marina in the heart of Benalmadena, you’re just minutes from the Old Town and a flawless selection of beaches. Stumble across sangria spots, karaoke bars and seafront restaurants as you explore the resort’s cobbles. Better yet, cable rides up Mount Calamorro will ensure unforgettable moments, while Biopark Zoo lets you get up close and personal with the world’s largest Komodo dragon. Not forgetting the nearby Laser Island Adventure Park.

5* Vincci Selección Estrella del Mar

Luxury Vincci hotel Costa del Sol

Best for: Luxury, family-friendly holidays

Family-friendly highlights:

- Direct beach access
- Five outdoor pools including a lagoon-size number
- Three restaurants with kids’ menus
- Adventure play area
- Kids’ club

Why visit? Combine luxury accommodation and a relaxing atmosphere with state-of-the-art kid’s facilities and you’ve got yourself an all-rounder getaway. Attention to detail is what makes this hotel a deluxe stay, from its superior rooms with awe-inspiring sea views to its babysitting service and chill-out zones, there’s something for everyone.

Outdoor pools come equipped with Balinese-style beds adding elegance to any tanning session. And splash-free swims can be found in the adults-only areas along with a bubbling hot tub. While you’re delighting in hydromassage treatments at the spa, mini guests from four to 12 years old will be dancing their way around the mini club. Activities such as painting, fancy dress and sports games are just some of the highlights.

When it comes to food, you’re spoilt for choice. Restaurant Baraka is renowned for its Mediterranean-inspired menu, while Restaurant Beach Club will tantalise taste buds with its local delights including gazpacho. And when you really want to indulge, there’s a buffet whipping up around-the-world favourites.

Location: Taking up a prime position in the resort of Marbella amidst 23 sun-soaked beaches, your surroundings are one-of-a-kind. The Paseo Maritimo promenade runs along the water with a string of bars and family-friendly restaurants providing front-row tickets to opulent ocean views. It’s also home to a zip wire adventure park, buggy rides and a kid’s spa!

4* Holiday World RIWO Hotel

Pool area at hotel RIWO

Best for: Action-packed, family-friendly holidays

Family-friendly highlights:

- Fun-filled Beach Club splash park
- All Inclusive option
- Lagoon-style pool
- Beachfront location
- Indoor play area

Why visit? This all-singing, all-dancing stay is bound to keep your tiny tots busy. When they’re not practising their cannonballs in its huge pool, there’s a kids’ club for ages three to 12 years promising endless entertainment. We’re talking mini discos, movie nights, music as well as arts and crafts. Head over to the Beach Club and discover its wild wave pool and jaw-dropping slides. The thrills keep on coming thanks to the animation team and their nightly star-studded performances.

All that action can work up an appetite and The Gallery has just the solution. Buffet stations bursting with fresh fruits, warm doughy bread and hearty international dishes will win over even the fussiest of eaters. Meanwhile, themed evenings bring you the best from around the world including Thai, traditional Spanish fare and the spices of India. Pull up a highchair at Jalapa Chambao Snack Bar for a quick bite to eat. And when your mini travellers head off to bed, there’s a dedicated cocktail spot calling your name.

Family rooms sleep up to six including one infant, allowing you to bring the whole clan along to World RIWO. These apartment-style spaces boast two independent rooms, bunk beds and a living area for premium comfort.

Location: Sitting on a hilltop amidst an old town, Benalmadena is your base. Away from its cobbles lies a marine park where holidaymakers can swim with dolphins. And for wannabe princesses, a trip to Colomares Castle is a must. Better yet, the beach is a flip-flops throw away when you want to ride the Mediterranean’s waves via jet-ski or pedal boat.

Danielle Gunner

About the author

As a frequent jetsetter, Danielle is an expert in all things travel. From foodie trips in Rome to hunting down the best beaches in the Balearics and Christmas shopping in New York. She’s also the mum of a very cute but mischievous toddler, meaning she has some great family holiday hacks too. Check out all her travel tips & tricks!