Revamped Royal Townhouse Once the summer residence of Empress Eugenia de Montijo (Napoleon III´s wife), Hotel Claude Marbella is a 17th- century townhouse that has been revamped and restyled to meld authentic period features with modern design, setting a new benchmark in the boutique-is- beautiful league of southern Spanish hotels. This latest chic retreat takes its name from the late Claude Devoize, the French Opera singer, whose home this townhouse was back in the 70s and 80s, hosting endless soirees and cultural gatherings. The focus of Hotel Claude is its marble-flagged patio and its unique romantic roof terrace, overlooking the bustling old town of Marbella. The seven rooms, divided into 6 Superior Deluxe Rooms and 1 Suite, have been designed individually and each boasting their own unique personality and feel, though all come equipped with the latest in comfort and technology. The Suite Francesca is the only room that looks out onto the old town’s main street. A large balcony and a huge floor-to-ceiling window keep it bright and airy, and the high, wood-beamed ceilings and decorative arch leading to the minimalist mosaic-fitted bathroom create a sense of spaciousness. All 6 Superior Deluxe Rooms are located to the back of the building, overlooking neighbouring patios and roofs. Up in the eaves, The Flamand room overlooks the roof terrace and has its own private stairwell leading up to a smart loft-style studio with glossy oak floors and a semi-open-plan bathroom. Listening to the church chime outside and looking out over the steeple, you feel like a princess in a tower. Savannah and North African-themed Marroqui are joined by a courtyard, making them ideal for families or friends travelling together. Small properties can sometimes feel stifling, but not here, and the design incorporates a flurry of velvet, purples, reds and cream colours. Once the a la carte breakfast has been served on the roof terrace or the black and white themed “bijou” style dining room, guests are left to their own devices. Focusing on showing guests a slice of the old Marbella, in addition to the Costa del Sol´s beaches and golf courses, Hotel Claude emphasises on slowing down and enjoying the surroundings. You´d be hard-pressed to find a retreat as slick or private as The Claude anywhere in Marbella.