The Ultimate Guide to Marbella, Spain

Ultimate Guide to Marbella

Timeless Glam and Newfound Sportiness in Spain

Spain’s glitziest beach time is undergoing a renaissance. The yachts and exclusive beach clubs remain, but visitors are as likely now to hit the links or a mountain-bike trail as the designer boutiques.

When To Go

While high season is July and August, the sun shines here 320 days a year. Spring brings warm weather and orange blossoms.


The Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa opened in 1854, and its relaxed, discreet elegance has attracted royalty, celebrities, and international jet-setters ever since. The 130 rooms, suites, and villas (some with their own pools), are scattered among a dense canopy of green on a ten-acre waterfront property. Its newly opened Kids Club offers imaginative activities that include perfume blending and traditional Andalusian tile making. This hotel also includes its own equestrian center. Doubles from $340, including breakfast daily, a $100 dining credit, and a round of golf.

Dine and Drink

Marbella born Dani García recently relocated his eponymous two-Michelin-starred restaurant a mile down the beach from the Marbella Club. Its 16-course tasting menu focuses on flavors, innovation, and technique rather than gastro-pyrotechnics. Kick off a causal nights out at the newly opened Taberna Casablanca with a fino sherry and a handful and of topas, including salpicón de marisco (marinated seafood salad) and Spain’s iconic cured ham, jamón ibérico.


The exclusive marina Puerto Banús has boutiques from every major fashion label. For homegrown shops, head to Old Town.

Locals Know

Summer means fresh sardines grilled on bamboo splits over olivewood embers at one of the numerous open air chiringuitos (shacks) along Marbella’s beaches

Chill and Dance

The Moorish-like place Olivia Valere draws upscale revelers. To dance in the sea breezes, hit Nikki Beach, with its sexy vibe and water shuttle to yachts and sailboats moored offshore.

Off-Season Swim

The Marbella Club has two heated pools, one indoors.

Don’t Miss

Old Town in Marbella’s center is a labyrinth of meandering lanes and narrow alleys, an authentic and refreshing slice of Andalusia.


Stretching five miles from Marbella to Puerto Banús, the waterfront paseo is perfect for jogging, cycling, or just strolling.

Best Beaches

The Beaches to the east side of town, including Los Manteros and El Rosario, are sandy and remain shallow 50 yards out. To sunbath with the famous and fashionable, head to Nagüeles Beach at the heart of the Golden Mile.


There are more than 60 courses within less than an hour’s drive, including the legendary Valderrama in Sotogrande, 40 miles southwest. There is a reason this area is known as the “Costa del Golf.”


Hike up La Concha, the coiling peak that towers 4,000 feet behind town, stunning views reward those who make the five-hour round-trip trek from the Juanar nature reserve.


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