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It was as far back as December 2020 that Hyatt let us know that it planned to add a number of properties to its European portfolio by the end of 2023 and it’s one of the hotels mentioned in that announcement that has just opened its doors in southern Spain.
La Zambra – An Unbound Collection property
Location & getting there
La Zambra stands on the former site of the Byblos Hotel in Mijas, Spain, and represents Hyatt’s first foray into the region.
Its location puts La Zambra part-way between Málaga and Marbella and sitting in the foothills of the Mijas mountains just 2 miles from the coast.
The closest major international airport (relatively speaking) is Malaga (AGP) which is a 30-minute drive from the property. Malaga is not served by any of the major US airlines but you should find that connections via hubs like Madrid, London, Paris, and Amsterdam are easy to find.
If you’re looking to save a bit of money on your flights, keep in mind that Malaga is well-served by a number of European low-cost carriers so if you’re traveling from the US, it’s worth checking to see how much it costs to book a transatlantic fare (on a legacy carrier) and then a separate fare on a low-cost carrier as that may be cheaper than a single connecting fare booked through one of the major transatlantic airlines.
Hyatt tells us that La Zambra offers a total of 197 rooms and suites designed with “warm materials and soft tones.
Room and suite options include garden and golf course views with terraces offering vistas of the surrounding area.
Interestingly, the Hyatt and hotel websites only seem to offer the option to book standard rooms with a single king-size bed so this doesn’t look like a property that will be suited to those uncomfortable with sharing a bed with their traveling companion unless they’re prepared to book one of the suites.
The entry-level rooms (1 King Bed) are approximately 325sqft/30sqm in size while the King Bed Deluxe rooms at 375sqft/35sqm, King Garden View with Terrace rooms at 430sqft/40sqm and King Golf View with Terrace rooms at 430sqft/40sqm all offer a little bit more space.
As far as the suites go (important news for World of Hyatt Globalists coming up!), La Zambra offers two flavors of Junior Suite (Garden View and Golf View) both of which offer 485sqft/45sqm of indoor space and 105sqft/10sqm terraces…
…as well as a number of full suites:
- Family Suite
- Signature Suite
- Terrace Suite
- Tower Junior Suite
- La Zambra Penthouse Suite
The La Zambra penthouse is 3,700sqft/345sqm in size and features its own private entrance, a private swimming pool, a dining pergola, a relaxation area, and a wine cellar.
In contrast, the Tower Junior Suites only offers 430sqft/40sqm of internal space but they do come with two terraces that cover up to 360sqft/34sqm and which offer 360-degree panoramic views.
It’s not clear how many of each suite type there are (presumably there’s only one penthouse suite) so it’s hard to tell how easy (or not) it will be to make good use of Hyatt Globalist suite night awards at this property.
Dining at La Zambra
The property offers four distinct dining options which, we’re told, all feature the flavors of southern Spain in one way or another.
Palmito offers guests an all-day Mediterranean menu serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Healthy and plant-based options are available for the more health-conscious, there’s a rotisserie grill, a “sea extravaganza”, and there are multiple options designed for younger guests.
Picador is described as a “neo-taverna” (no, me neither!) which focuses on the food of the local region – Andalusia. It opens for lunch (12:00 – 16:00) and dinner (19:00 – 23:30) and serves a mixture of raw, cold, and warm tapas, using local ingredients such as Payoyo cheese, carabinero, prawns, and organic greens. For those in search of something a little heavier, socarrat rices, glazed Iberico pork shoulder, and a range of desserts are also on the menu.
Bamboleo is the hotel’s main bar which offers what La Zambra calls “a diverse menu of meals and snacks that combine local dishes with Asian, American, and Mexican-influenced offerings”. Opening hours are 10:00 – 01:00 Sunday through Thursday and 10:00 – 03:00 Friday and Saturday.
Finally, we come to La Bartola.
This is described as a “casual spot” that’s modeled on Spanish beach bars and which serves light snacks, seafood tapas, salads, and authentic Andalusian dishes, as well as a variety of cold-pressed juices, cocktails, and La Zambra’s “signature sangrias”. Opening hours are 10:00 – 19:00.
Amenities at La Zambra
At the heart of the hotel’s amenities is the 26,909 sqft/2,500sqm Mood Spa, which comes equipped with a Turkish bath, sauna, whirlpools, and 12 personalized treatment cabins.
For those looking to burn off some energy, there’s a gym featuring the latest, Technogym equipment, two tennis courts, a paddle court, and two outdoor swimming pools.
La Zambra guests also have access to two “world-class” golf courses (located adjacent to the property) and if those aren’t challenging enough, the local area has a further 12 “significant” courses and two championship courses.
World of Hyatt information
La Zambra is entering the World of Hyatt program as a Category 5 property and that means that standard rooms cost between 17,000 and 23,000 points/night depending on the season.
Considering what cash rates are like at this property, this makes La Zambra a great place to redeem World of Hyatt points (assuming the property lives up to its 5* billing).
During peak season (the warmer European months), standard rooms at La Zambra frequently cost in excess of €650 (which is approximately $650 now that the dollar has skyrocketed in value)…
…so when that same room can be booked for 23,000 points on the same date…
…a World of Hyatt member redeeming points would be getting close to 3 cents/dollar out of every point used. That’s nothing short of fantastic.
Given the choice of spending 161,000 points for a 7-night stay in peak season (7 x 23,000) or in the region of $4,700 dollars…
…which would you choose? 🙂
Even in a less busy (although still warm) month like April, it looks like using points at La Zambra could be a good idea.
Considering you wouldn’t pay more than 20,000 points per night on most nights in April…
…and considering cash rates are still in the region of $450 at this time of year…
…who wouldn’t jump at the chance to save some money and get well over 2 cents per point spent?
Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that any of this is a reason for everyone to rush to book a stay at La Zambra – let’s wait to get a few reliable reviews before we get too excited about this place – but assuming prices stay as they are (or in the same region), that the property turns out to be good, and that management doesn’t start to play games with entry-level room availability, this could turn out to be a fantastic addition to the World of Hyatt.
As an aside: I predict that this property will not be a Category 5 property for long. Assuming all goes well in the next few months, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see it bumped up to Category 6 at the first opportunity that Hyatt has.
Hyatt has opened a new Unbound Collection property in Spain’s Andalusia region. La Zambra features 197 guestrooms and suites, it offers a variety of dining options, its grounds look spacious and its facilities look promising. Best of all, at no more than 23,000 points/night, La Zambra may turn out to be a great place to use World of Hyatt points if you’re looking for a resort break in Europe.