Since the 1960s, the world’s rich and famous have aspired to own a holiday home overlooking the sea in and around the fashionable seaside town of Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol
How did it start?
The Marbella Club was chiefly responsible for turning what had previously been a quiet Andalucian fishing village into a world-famous resort. Founded in 1954 by the playboy aristocrat Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe, it was intended as half his private rustic hideaway, half a sophisticated nightclub.
The family had first bought an old finca in the late 1940s which they used as a summer home. But it was Prince Alfonso who saw the potential of this beautiful stretch of coastline. When the hotel opened, it had a modest 20 rooms. Word got out about this magical location and soon the Marbella Club was on the glitterati map for Europe’s rich and famous. Guests during its early heyday included Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Laurence Olivier.
Set on the now famous Golden Mile, between the Old Town Marbella and Puerto Banus, it didn’t take long for other wealthy Europeans to follow in Prince Alfonso’s footsteps and buy their own holiday home in the Spanish sunshine (Marbella is sunny for more than 300 days of the year).
Today, the hotel, and its famous sub-tropical gardens, is still a go-to destination welcoming a constant stream of wealthy from the Middle East, Hollywood stars, European royalty and business tycoons throughout the year.
Why buy in Marbella?
Marbella boasts 27 kilometres of coastline but even when you tire of the beach, there’s plenty of culture on the doorstep, too. The attractive town of Ronda is just a short drive into the mountains, while there are lots of historic remains that have been left behind from previous residents of Marbella including Roman villas and baths and the city walls built by the Muslims during the Middle Ages.
Marbella is also conveniently served by regular flights from all UK international airports. Today, it remains one of the most stylish resorts on the Costa del Sol. Together with the luxurious marina and casino complex of Puerto Banus just a few miles down the coast, it’s often dubbed the “St Tropez of Spain”.
Another attraction of Marbella is the established international community which have founded amenities including the International School Estepona, an English primary school for children aged between 2 and 12 and the British International School of Marbella which covers early years through to secondary school.
Hotspots around Marbella
A few miles north of Marbella lies the exclusive resort of La Zagaleta—sometimes dubbed the most expensive housing complex in the world. Set in the hills of Benahavis, it has some of the most expensive properties (in 2018, an estate sold for a reported €25m—a record in the area in the past decade).
Benahavis is one of the prettiest of the famous pueblos blancos (white villages) which are scattered in the hills that rise above the coastline. Tucked between Estepona and San Pedro, it’s known for its stunning scenery and buzzy, year-round cosmopolitan community. Aside from La Zagaleta, other top addresses include Los Flamingos and La Quinta but Benahavis also offers more modest apartments for sale in residential estates including Los Arqueros and La Heredia.
The yachting marina Puerto Banus, which was developed in the 1970s, lies in the centre of the celebrity action. Just six kilometres to the south of Marbella, during the height of the summer season, it attracts some of the largest and most expensive yachts cruising the Mediterranean. The town itself boasts upmarket apartments and penthouses for sale but those looking for something nearby might look to buy in Nueva Andalucia which has more traditional-style villas for sale.
Are there any bargains for sale in Marbella?
Take a look at our properties for sale in Marbella and surrounding areas which have had their prices recently reduced.
Properties for sale
Prime Golden Mile location
This vast, 8-bedroom modern villa lies in Cascada de Camojan, one of the most sought-after areas of Marbella. Just minutes from the town in the foothills of La Concha, the villa enjoys a panoramic view over the Mediterranean.
Traditional apartment in Nueva Andalucia
Set in the community of Los Toreros, a short distance from Puerto Banus, this well-presented duplex apartment has three bedrooms and a large terrace with views of La Concha mountain.
Lock-up-and-leave villa in Marbella
Built to a high standard, this three-bedroom villa is just five minutes from the centre of Marbella, close to local amenities, beaches and shops. It comes with a private pool, security and access to a residents’ clubhouse.
View our latest properties for sale in and around Marbella