Marbella classics: The Golden Mile and Nueva Andalucía
Marbella is known internationally as a glamorous seaside resort whose idyllic setting on Mediterranean shores first drew an international jet-set in the 1950s. Since then this reputation has been cemented through such classics as the Golden Mile, Puerto Banús and Nueva Andalucía, which continue to add to the iconic Marbella appeal.
When we speak of Marbella, most of us – especially those abroad – conjure up a series of images. These include beaches dotted with sun beds, chiringuito bars, seafood restaurants and trendy beach clubs, but also the marina of Puerto Banús, where yachts lay glistening in the water as luxurious cars pull up alongside and many a celebrity is spotted heading off to an A-list party. Marbella is this place of hedonistic glamour where the beautiful set gather to enjoy memorable summers, but it is also a town of tree-lined avenues flanked by elegant shops, shaded squares rich in café society and beautiful homes ranged along the fringes of undulating golf courses.
Marbella is, in fact, the sum of these parts, with a charming old town, fine dining, spas, an outdoor sports culture and more history and art than you would imagine. Foremost among its landmarks is the Golden Mile, a six-plus kilometre stretch of palm tree-lined avenue that connects Puerto Banús and Marbella town. Lining it are parks, restaurants, boutiques and famous luxury resort hotels such as the Marbella Club and the Puente Romano, which in turn feature their own tennis and beach clubs set amid sprawling greenery. But there are also homes that carry the Golden Mile address, and those fortunate enough to call it home typically live in beautiful villas, mansions and penthouse apartments.
Sea or mountain
Not surprisingly, the properties located on the seaward side of the Golden Mile command the highest values and are most sought after. This applies to the lucrative summer rentals market as well as the top end of the property sales market, and here you will find some very important homes, ranging from stunning beachside villas whose immaculate lawns and infinity pools seem to merge with the horizon. From this private domain you step straight on to the beach, where yachts lie at anchor just offshore and a stylish beach walk leads you straight to glamorous beach club venues.
The villas continue on the mountain side of the famous avenue, as do exclusive apartment complexes swathed in lush green gardens and first-class amenities. Some of the latter include not only swimming pools and tennis courts, but also private gyms and spas, 24-hour security, a manned reception with concierge staff and also clubhouses with chill out lounges and waiter service. All of this can occur in residential areas surrounded by stands of pine trees and views across to the nearby Mediterranean Sea, Puerto Banús and the beautiful mountain scenery of the Sierra Blanca range.
At a short distance from the social scene of Puerto Banús, the shops and fine dining of Marbella town, and the golf and sports clubs of the neighbouring areas, you can live in total peace and privacy.
Nature at the edge of Puerto Banús
Another area that has become a sought-after icon of Marbella is Nueva Andalucía, one of the region’s most attractive residential areas. Situated within the gentle bowl of a valley just inland from Puerto Banús, it enjoys a perfect location close to the sea, town, marina and all amenities and diversions, yet also offers the kind of space, peace, views and natural surroundings that many residents – and in particular families – look for. Nearby are international schools, tennis clubs, spas, gyms, shops, restaurants and nightlife venues, with the private villas and attractive low-rise apartment complexes set around a series of renowned championship golf courses.
In Marbella, ‘suburbs’ often follow the flow of a golf course, and in the ‘Golf Valley’ as Nueva Andalucía has come to be known, you will find a collection of some of the finest of both – golf courses and residential areas. Among these are Los Naranjos, Las Brisas and Aloha, with the highly exclusive La Cerquilla forming a community, not around a course but on the foot slopes of the mighty mountain ranges that lead inland. Perfect for hiking, walking the dog and also relaxing beside two pretty little lakes, it is an area that forms the transition between a bustling, glamorous resort town and open nature.
Here, at just a few minutes from Marbella town and Puerto Banús, you can spot eagles soaring high overhead against the deep blue sky as you laze by the pool or fish in the lake. In Marbella, the attractions are many but the glamour still comes from the timeless classics that give it enduring appeal.