Surrender to bewitching bright lights and serene sights
Beneath the peaks of the Sierra Blanca mountains, Marbella glistens in the Mediterranean sun. With glamourous nightlife and über-luxury hotels, this city-by-the-sea is the go-to getaway for high flyers. And with a rich history, it’s the ultimate clash of old and new Spain. From the casco antiguo with its winding lanes, to the street sculptures and striking views of Gibraltar and Morocco – Marbella has as much substance as it does style. Here are just five reasons why it should be on your 2018 radar.
#1 – For sun, spas and R&R
Slip on your designer swimsuit and spend a day on the most dazzling beach on the Golden Mile. Playa Nagüeles, with its powder sands and turquoise waters, is just a five-minute walk from Nobu Hotel Marbella and the exclusive Plaza Village. Take a break from the beach for a retro pedalo outing. Or for something a bit faster, Nagüeles also offers luxury yacht hire.
If you’re staying at Nobu Hotel, you could swap the sands for ultimate serenity at the Six Senses Spa. A marriage of the award-winning spa’s philosophy and rustic Andalucian charm will have you relaxed in no time.
#2 – For the love of tennis
Because of Andalusia’s (almost) year-round sunshine, this region has taken to tennis in a big way. So you’re never all that far from a number of perfect spots to practice your serve.
Marbella is home to some of Southern Europe’s most esteemed clubs, where you can not only play tennis till your hearts content but also enjoy major events like the Davis Cup.
#3 – For the VIP lifestyle
Though it was once a quiet fishing village, Marbella’s beauty (and perfect weather) soon attracted wider notice. Now, it’s a cosmopolitan hotspot that draws in well-heeled visitors from across the globe – and that’s all thanks to its iconic nightlife, from the low-key yet high-end restaurants, to the world-class clubs.
Start your evening with a fine dining feast in the buzzing heart of Marbella. Thai Gallery pushes the boundaries of traditional cooking, with edible origami, sleek surroundings and intoxicating aromas. Or for an authentic Andalusian experience with an exciting twist, book a table at Dani Garcia’s Michelin-starred restaurant. If you’re staying at the Nobu Hotel, a trip to its signature restaurant is a must – and as a guest, you’ll get first-in-line access. In true Nobu style, each dish maintains its fusion flavours – but with a distinctly Spanish touch to reflect its setting.
A big Marbella night out often begins in Banús. Follow dinner with cocktails at Bijoux Banús, while DJs set the tone for the evening. Or to start and end the night on a high, head to La Suite, the most exclusive nightclub in Marbella. Party until the early hours, then step out onto the terrace to see in the sunrise.
#4 – For just a dash of history and culture
Though the unabashed glamour is what makes Marbella so enchanting, there’s plenty of authentic charm – if you know where to look. Head to the old town for traditional tapas, boutique shopping and quaint cobbled streets. Stop off in the main square, Plaza de los Naranjos for churros and chocolate. Or step back to Moorish Spain at Murallas del Castillo, the ruins of a 10th century castle.
For a slice of more contemporary culture, head to Avenida del Mar. Ten striking bronze sculptures by surrealist artist Salvador Dali line this seaside promenade – along with two creations by local artist Eduardo Soriano.
#1 – For Puerto Banús
Connected to Marbella by the palm-fringed stretch of the glittering Golden Mile, in Puerto Banús, luxury never leaves. It laps at the yachts by the quay. It paves the streets lined with designer boutiques. And as night falls, it pours through the doors of the Costa del Sol’s most exclusive nightclubs.
Underneath this glittering sheen, Puerto Banús still has plenty of soul. If you’re visiting in June, the Flamenco Festival sees the streets swirl with colour, from the whirling flamenco dresses to the garlands stretching from window to window. Food stalls sell traditional dishes, while local restaurants join the fun – pushing tables aside to make room for nights of dramatic dancing.