Why we love Puerto Banús
It is difficult to believe that Puerto Banús, located southwest of central Marbella, has only existed since 1970. Building on Marbella’s burgeoning reputation and star pulling power, it was created by property developer Jose Banús to rival the smart resorts of San Tropez and Monte Carlo. Within a relatively short space of time it has packed in a lot of glitz and glamour and achieved the desired iconic status as a playground for the rich, very rich and famous and welcomes around 5million visitors every year. Today, it is also a magnet for revellers taking advantage of the cheap flights and short flying time from most European main airports looking for some fun in the sun. Not many places can deliver the goods to such a diverse audience.
What’s it like?
You’ve got to love a place that names it’s streets after a Hollywood star, albeit Malaga born! Set back a few minutes’ walk from the beach and in front of the famous El Corte Ingles department store, you’ll find Plaza Antonio Banderas. Depending on the time of the year and time of day, you can find anything from a large market selling Moroccan knick-knacks, a children’s funfair or simply a quiet place to relax and enjoy the sound of the fountains gently burbling. Take a short stroll towards the beach and you’ll come across a myriad of bars, restaurants and clubs many of which don’t come to life until well into the night, then you’ll see the glittering marina will what seems like hundreds of super yachts gently bobbing in the water. This is where you will also see the highest concentration of Italian luxury in cruise mode for the driver to create maximum impact. If not exactly rubbing shoulders with the bold and beautiful, you can get a glimpse of their lifestyle. It’s what happens when the sun goes down that attracts the millions of visitors to the bars, restaurants, beach clubs and nightclubs of Puerto Banús. Some of which are brash, some are glamorous and many are reassuringly expensive, offering something for everyone, from hen & stag parties, celebrity spotting, gourmet experiences or simply been seen in the right places.
Eating and drinking
It is virtually impossible to mention the plethora of eateries and to distinguish the different styles of cuisine and types of restaurant in Puerto Banús. There really is something for all tastes…Indian, Italian, modern European, Argentinian, Moroccan, Russian, Lebanese and of course specialist fish restaurants and beachside chiringitos, cafes, bodegas… the list goes on. Needless to say, the marina side restaurants can be fairly pricey, but you are paying for the view – of the boats and people watching – as much as the dining experience. However, if you’re on a tight budget, three are cheaper options such as Picasso’s, which has a great position, serves good pizzas and is excellent value for money.
The most recent additions to port’s restaurant and nightlife are La Sala, Mosaik and Güey are located just a few minutes’ walk from each other and slightly away from the main hubbub, each attracts their share of stars, locals and holiday makers by offering a programme of food, bars and live music. Aqwa Mist (under la Sala), Tibu, Pangea and of course the Ocean Club Marbella are all must do venues for any self-respecting clubbers. Although some of the bars around the port are less than salubrious, they are easy to avoid in favour of more select establishments.
Sports and outdoor activities
Paintball Marbella, personal fitness trainer, Banana rides, water skiing, wake boarding, yacht charter, scuba diving, deep sea fishing Fly Blu catamaran boat between Marbella and Puerto Banús
Shopping opportunities in Puerto Banus will satisfy the most devoted shoppers, with designer boutiques from Armani to Hermes can be found lining the pretty streets around the marina. If your budget doesn’t stretch to big designer names, you can find more reasonable prices in chains such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and Berska in the Marina Banus shopping centre. There is also a mix of designer, high street and typically Spanish brands available in the 5-floor department store El Corte Ingles, offing everything from electrical goods to furniture and fashion. There is also an enormous, well-stocked supermarket on the ground floor. If you head up to towards the bullring on Saturday mornings, you’ll find a bustling market selling fruit and vegetable, clothes, spices, ceramics, antiques and much more.
Golf courses in Puerto Banús
With such a large number of golf courses within the space of a few kilometres, it is clear why this area of Marbella is unofficially referred to as “Golf Valley”.
- Aloha Golf Club-18-hole course in Nueva Andalucía
- La Dama de Noche-9-hole floodlit course for day or night play.
- Las Brisas Golf Club –18-hole course in Nueva Andalucía
- Los Arqueros –18-hole championship course in Nueva Andalucía
- Los Naranjos–An extremely popular 18-hole course in Nueva Andalucía
- The Ocean Club: Popular amongst young international revellers who never seem to leave, splashing around in the large pool during the day and partying by night. There’s a comprehensive bar and menu packed with tasty light meals and in the summer you can enjoy fashion show and exhibitions by international artists.
- La Sala by the sea: Originally known as Buddha Beach, this lovely beach club is now part of the La Sala chain and like its namesake located by the bullring, it pulls in the celebrities. Thai style snacks are available and can be delivered direct to your sunbed.
- Plaza Beach: The load music, comfy chairs and good food attracts a young crowd.
- Astral Beach: It’s located at the western edge of Puerto Banús (near the Victory Statue and just a few minutes from the green Rhino), and one of the most laid back beach clubs around. Relax and chill out over a cold drink.
- Playa de Levente: Spanning the entire 1000 metres from the marina, this is main beach which is extremely popular with families due to the shallow water and flat sand. It can be extremely busy in the summer, so get there early and stake your place.
- Mistral Beach: Although 20 minutes’ walk from the port, next to the Guadalpin Banus Hotel, this beach is technically still in Puerto. It has a lively atmosphere and is particularly popular for water sports.
Facts & Figures
Here is some useful information about Puerto Banús to help you make up your mind as to whether this is the place that you would like to relocate or to invest in property.
The marina is visited by approximately 5 million tourists every year.
Alongside reasonably priced taxis, there is a good public transport service which makes getting around very easy. The Portillo bus routes serve the neighbouring towns and also offer routes running as far as Tarifa, Gibraltar and Malaga airport. The bus stop is located outside El Corte Ingles.
Puerto Banus is linked to the rest of coast by two major road roads; the Costa del Sol toll road (AP-7) or the Autovia del Mediterraneo (CN-340A)
- 45 minutes’ drive from Malaga airport
- 60 minutes from Gibraltar airport
- 2.5 hours from Malaga to Madrid on the AVE fast train