Restaurante D.O.M. reinvents its space, but keeps its culinary spirit

Always striving, year after year, to improve its facilities and the quality of its services, the hotel’s restaurant, D.O.M., is changing position, but not the essence of its cuisine which stays based on the 0km philosophy.

Meliá Marbella Banús offers its clients a privileged location on the Golden Mile, a few metres from the beach, near Puerto Banús and at the heart of the Costa del Golf.

Always striving, year after year, to improve its facilities and the quality of its services, the hotel’s restaurant, D.O.M., is changing position, but not the essence of its cuisine which stays based on the 0km philosophy.

The new and spectacular setting is laid out as an open space, surrounded by spacious gardens with a really lovely light and wafted by a sea breeze.

Under new front-of-house manage, June Fano, and the leadership in the kitchen of renowned chef Javier Gómez, the restaurant, with D.O.M. standing for Denomination de Origen Malagueña, takes us on a tour of the culinary universe of Malaga province and travels from sea to mountain, offering the visitor a wide and surprising gastronomic range.

From the sea, fish such as turbot or snapper from Fuengirola; from the mountains, its famous Malaga goat which is oven-baked for 24 hours. Malaga’s Axarquía and its tropical fruits, such as mango, feature in the desserts and cocktails, all accompanied with an extensive wine list, where the stars are the wineries of nearby Ronda.

In addition, its menu is full of classic dishes that have been reinvented in an original and appetising way, such as the Malaga salad with cod, the creamy ‘ajoblanco’ cold almond soup with smoked ‘carabinero’ scarlet prawns or the ‘pringá’ mixed-meat-stew croquettes.

Tamara Cordero has been Director of Meliá Banús since 2015. We spoke to her about the restaurant’s new location and also about one of the most important customer segments for the hotel – golf.

After the difficult circumstances we have been through, how has the hotel managed? How is the summer looking?

The hotel closed in September 2020, like the vast majority. However, we have been fortunate to be one of the partner hotels for the football teams that came to Marbella for their preseason. Thanks to those teams, including the Norwegian national team, the Dutch women’s team and the Mexican women’s and men’s teams, we were able to reopen the hotel in February and it was closed again at the end of April.

It was quite a challenge for our team to match the ‘Stay safe with Meliá’ working practices and procedures with the UEFA guidelines. In line with those rules, the hotel was only open as a bubble hotel for one team at a time and this allowed us to bring back a large part of the staff.

As for the summer, once we reopened on 13th May, our bookings started coming in again. While the UK restrictions have been a disadvantage for the destination for sure, it is also true that our hotel has the Spanish market during the summer season. Up to now, we are meeting forecasts and even beat them in May and June.

It is hard to predict how July and August will go, especially considering the constant changes that we are all experiencing. We hope to at least meet the forecasts.

Meliá Marbella Banús has a very clear concept of ‘sun and beach’ with its clientele in the summer. But what merits does it have as a hotel for the winter months and how do you try to break out of the seasonality of the reservations?

Meliá Marbella Banús has a privileged location, not only because of its proximity to Puerto Banús and Marbella, but also to Ronda, an enclave in the province of Malaga with a thousand years of history and where the wine industry is booming.

In terms of reducing seasonality, one of our cornerstones is golf and we are fortunate to be surrounded by about 70 courses less than 30 minutes away.

What volume of business does golf represent for the hotel?

The golf market for us is over 30 per cent of the tour operator segment, which in turn makes up 15 per cent of all hotel revenue. Golfers are mostly British, and they normally come with the golf tour operators we work with and with whom we have an excellent relationship. At Meliá Banús we help our guests find the course that suits them best, so they have a really special experience.

Which is most common – the individual golf tourist or group visitors through tour operators?

Most of our golf customers tend to be through tour operators. The agencies contact our Golf Desk, and we send them all the information and services we offer, preparing a package tailored to each of the guests.

What do golfers staying in the hotel expect the most?

The golf customer usually stays on bed and breakfast. One of the services they ask us for ahead of arrival is recommendations on golf courses and booking tee times. Once they get to the hotel, they appreciate our spacious and very bright rooms and enjoy our outdoor areas when they come back from their round of golf.

What strong points does Meliá Marbella Banús have for golfers wanting to visit the area?

Our biggest advantage is our location, close to more than 70 golf courses, very spacious rooms in all categories, proximity to Puerto Banús and an excellent choice of places to eat in the area – and in our own hotel now as well with the reopening of D.O.M.

The D.O.M. restaurant is one of the area’s culinary draws and we know it is undergoing changes and improvements: What can you tell us about that?

After almost two seasons with our restaurant closed for obvious reasons, it’s time to do what we do best and what we enjoy the most. We are preparing a season full of surprises based around Malaga food and drink, and both our culture and folklore are in there too as costars to give us all a treat.

What was the reason for changing the position of the restaurant?

If we have learned anything at Meliá Banús up to now, it is that one of the great luxuries in a restaurant is its space. Restaurants with tables almost touching are a thing of the past. Now Restaurante D.O.M. sits in an open-air area with more space, yet still with an intimate atmosphere, and designed for enjoying the summer in very pleasant surroundings.

What is the concept of the new menu at D.O.M.?

We’re carrying on our philosophy of rediscovering and really showing off the cuisine of Malaga province and all its produce. Besides that, our wine cellar and cocktail range are a chance for our serving team to demonstrate the great work they have been doing.

Who is the new chef and where does he come from?

Javier Gómez is still our chef. This year the surprises come from the front-of-house team with our F&B Managers June Fano and Javier Mena who trained at the prestigious Basque Culinary Center.


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