Having lived near Gibraltar for some years, it was a delight to hear that a ship has been docked in the harbour where you can eat gourmet food and drink cocktails on the top deck (Gibraltar has many restaurants, but none that are Michelin standard).
The Sunborn Gibraltar is a 147 metre long floating luxury yacht hotel – a first for Gibraltar, and a totally new concept. Spread over seven decks, the ship has been designed in a very modern, minimalist style. The owners are from Finland and this is portrayed in the design throughout the ship. Sunborn was created to offer destinations with limited development space an additional luxury hotel. Designed to meet very high environmental EU standards as a European Green Building, on-board the yacht features innovative, eco-friendly technology, and will not be using engines or generators while in mooring. As movable properties, yacht hotels can be located in protected locations, both natural and historic (such as Gibraltar), where they have the advantage of leaving no environmental footprint after removal.
Arriving on board the Sunborn Gibraltar, there is the grand entrance, with a large chandelier being the central feature. A team of enthusiastic staff are there to greet you. Down one deck is the ballroom, perfect for corporate entertainment or parties. The suites are spacious and each has its own large terrace – ideal for a drinks party. The standard bedrooms are a smaller version, but with a balcony terrace. All have marble bathrooms. They also have the phone programmed for lighting effects and electric blinds. No more information in a pack – it’s all very state-of-the-art here! Plus floor to ceiling windows throughout the yacht allow for stunning views across the straits to the tip of North Africa.
The main restaurant, with over thirty chefs in the kitchen, is on the top deck with views of nearby Spain. The food is international cuisine and was perfect for the lunch we were having – pea soup and salmon in tzatsiki for starters, and sea bream on a bed of cauliflower with polenta and mushroom risotto for the main course. Our mint tea was made with fresh mint – a real plus! – and the service was friendly and efficient.
A soft opening is in the pipeline and many projects are still to be completed, such as the linen restaurant, the spa and the gym. On our visit, there were many artisans at work completing decks and fitting out bedrooms and the casino. The casino tables will have a minimum chip, which will be attractive to poker players around Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol, as well as to those from further afield.
I look forward to returning when the ship has been completed and is full of the buzz of guests. This will be the perfect choice for corporate types and companies for board meetings, conferences and entertaining but, better still, will be a great place to hang when you have downtime in Gibraltar.