Every major worldwide major city has its own exclusive area famous for the wealthy. California has Beverly Hills, The French Riviera has Cannes and Nice, in Monaco, it’s Monte Carlo, but in Malaga, it is Marbella and Puerto Banús.
It is without a doubt southern Spain’s preferred retreat to the rich and famous. In fact, it is unusual to walk down the waterfront of the yacht port in Puerto Banús and not see at least 2 Ferraris and a handful of other sports and luxury cars; most of which cost more than a typical Spanish home. Multi-storeyed mega-yachts line the back side of the port flying flags from all over the world. For those who are not jet-setters, it is an opportunity to walk the boardwalk and window shop at Cartier, Louis Vuitton, or Gucci.
Most who are not affluent dream of having a taste of how “the other side” lives, love to take ‘selfies’ next to their favourite sports car or other luxury items. Proving that you do not need to be wealthy to visit and enjoy Marbella.
Originally, Marbella had always been a small fishing village until the mid-20th century until a few Spanish aristocrats started to develop high-end summer resorts.
Then when a local developer called Jose Banús bought the land on the water, his intent was to build a luxury marina and shopping complex. Noldi Schreck, one of the architects who designed Beverly Hills in California, met with Jose and together, the concept for the modern Puerto Banús was born.
He threw a huge inauguration party with the rich and famous from every continent in attendance. Thereafter, the rich draw the high-end merchandise houses and top fashion brands to establish their presence. Today, over 5 million people visit annually.
Celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world have made their way to Marbella and Puerto Banús from the President of the United States to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Shortly after Puerto Banús was launched, Saudi Arabia’s Prince then King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, built an extravagant replica of the US White House called El Rocio Palace which hosted family and staff until his passing.
What to do
There is no shortage of fantastic shopping opportunities in the newer parts of town or in one of the many shopping centers available without breaking the bank. The Plaza del Mar located on the seafront promenade, Marina Banus, Corte Ingles and the Plaza Mayor are just a few of the great shopping centers you’ll find.
Visit one of the many fantastic restaurants in Marbella to have a grand meal and enjoy the best dishes created by Michelin Star chefs like the Marbella-born Dani García, and other awarded restaurants like Skina, El Lago. Don’t miss the El Ancla in San Pedro de Alcantara which is an excellent restaurant with views of the sea, ideal for having quality traditional seafood.
This luxurious area of the Costa del Sol is also known as the Costa del Golf. Connoisseurs recommend Finca Cortesin, Santa Clara Golf, and Atalaya Golf. If you are not an avid golfer, you can wait for your party relaxing in their spa, the pool or having cocktails in one of the bars. There are also many music festivals like Starlite which present world-renowned artists from many different music genres. Have fun at any one of the many beach parties, nightclubs, casinos and much more and have a wonderful time in Marbella; you will never get bored.