Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to…
If there’s one thing Marbella knows how to do, it’s party: whether it’s lavish Champagne spray parties, chilled out beach club sundowners, decadent dusk ’til dawn pool parties or sophisticated cocktails and live music, whatever you’re looking for on a sultry summer’s night out, it can deliver.
And it’s not just summer, either. Marbella nightlife does vary quite significantly from season to season: it might seem warm enough to northern Europeans in November to party on the beach or poolside, but to the southern Spanish the seaside fun and frolics end at least a month or so earlier. Don’t be deterred if you’re here out of season, though, as the party people don’t hibernate through the winter months, they just party differently.
Here’s our pick of the best places to let your hair down on a night out in Marbella…
Best for Overall Experience
Marbella clubs don’t come much more established than Olivia Valere. For 14 years it’s been at the centre of the area’s nightlife scene – if you’re rich or famous and have visited Marbella, you will have spent a night or two at Olivia Valere. This huge pleasure palace was built along the most grandiose of lines, taking its inspiration from the architecture of the Mezquita and Alhambra Palace. Expect keyhole-shaped doorways, decorative arches and lots of intricate Moorish design swirls and flourishes throughout.
There are two areas to choose from, both of which offer something different – The Lounge Terrace and The Sushi Bar. Celebrity DJs are a regular occurrence throughout the summer, with the likes of Paris Hilton, Carl Cox and Craig David having stepped up to the decks. There’s also a very convenient outdoor restaurant next door called Olivia Valere Babilonia. The interiors are plush with lots of white seating and no expense spared on the decoration, and the general air of opulence and extravagance lends itself nicely to a complete and utter blowout. It’s open all year round – and there’s often live entertainment throughout the summer – but only at the weekend during the winter.
Address: Carreterra de Istan – Km 0.72, 29600, Marbella; phone: 658 58 15 85; Oliviavalere.com.
Best New Venue
Due to Covid this club is currently closed (April 2021). Once we know more about opening dates we’ll update this page. This club night has been around since 2000 but didn’t have a permanent residence until 2018. Now it’s just on the outskirts of Puerto Banus in a theatre-style club with viewing balcony around the dance floor.
Expect the usual table service and champagne processions if that’s your bag, and great international names to tickle your earbuds. Music ranges from house to RnB to hip-hop, just keep an eye on the night; 2018 saw Eric Morillo, Tyga and Rick Ross wowing the crowds and packing out the dance floors.
There are plenty of performers to keep you dancing, as well as ticker tape releases and great lights. This club isn’t huge, so if it’s a big night make sure you buy tickets in advance and get your name on the guest list.
Open from midnight until 6am from May until October.
Address: Carretera de Cadiz KM. 175, Centro Comercial Rimesa Tino, 4, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella, 29660; phone: 665 94 87 87; Dreamersmarbella.com
La Suite is currently temporarily closed, watch this space for updates. Deep house and techno greet the crowd in this 600m2 club. What we love about La Suite is La Terrasse next door – two venues in one. Food is served in La Terrasse which is the ideal pre La Suite warmup location.
When the summer hits, kick back in this central courtyard and sup on a cocktail or two. Every effort has gone into the décor and general welcome good feeling vibe of La Suite. It reminds us of clubbing in the 90s when a club was more than a place to just dance: walk beside original Roman mosaics, sit under palms and soak it all in.
Open year round, but weekend are where it’s at. Dress to impress.
Address: Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, K 177 S/n, 29602, Marbella; phone: (+34) 952 820 900.
Best for Front Line
There’s a lot of talk about ‘frontline’ and ‘backline’ nightlife in Puerto Banus. In a nutshell the frontline is a more sophisticated, high-end affair and the backline (literally the second road back from the port) is a little more raucous. At the end of the port – very much frontline – is Pangea. All white, black and neon, Pangea is a great place to spend an evening if you’re in town. The gorgeous roof terrace can be seen from the portside street below, and house and RnB music is bashed out over the yachts. If it errs just a little on the side of OTT with its décor, hey it’s a club after all, and you’re in Puerto Banus where glamour’s very much the name of the game. Despite always being filled to the rafters and having an indoor part, sadly, it isn’t open during the winter.
Address: Puerto Banus Port; phone: 680 291 967; Pangea-club.com.
Beach Clubs in Marbella
The Marbella beach club scene needs to be checked out when visiting the area. Not only is it seriously cool, but it’s also very practical – tanning, relaxing, pampering, swimming, eating, drinking, dancing and partying all in one venue. Perfect.
There are several beach clubs to choose from – with new openings springing up every summer – but here are a couple of our favourites. Be sure to check with our Concierge before a visit, though, as sometimes there’s a themed party on – white, white and gold or red – to add a little bit of glamour to your beachside lounging, sundowner sipping or early morning partying.
Best for Striking a Pose
Nikki beach is currently temporarily closed. The legendary Nikki Beach has been a fixture on the Marbella nightlife scene for two decades. Beachside decked two-tiered terrace, inviting pool, draped comfy chill-out areas, large beach beds, stocked bar, Nikki dancers, resident DJs, themed parties, alfresco dining room and a perfect stretch of Marbella beach… What’s not to like?
This open-air adults’ playground is hard to beat, basically – just stretch out langorously, set up stall and be waited upon. Nikki Beach is kind of an attraction in itself, you can spend the whole day there or just rock up for the evening’s entertainment. When the club gets started it spills out into all areas, with live music, soulful house and creatively clad Nikki Beach dancers whipping the place up into a hedonistic frenzy. It’s the beach club to be seen at, and with 1000’s of young and beautiful people filling the place over the course of an evening, it pays to dress to impress.
Address: Playa Hotel Don Carlos, Carretera de Cadiz, Km 192, 29600 Marbella, Malaga; phone: 952 83 62 39; Nikkibeach.com.
Best for Cocktails
A short walk from the centre of Puerto Banus, if you feel like stretching your legs in the cool of the evening, Ocean Club sits on an extensive plot. The white and blue décor wraps around a sail-shaped pool lined with round beds that are some of the most comfortable around. They offer a seriously mouth-watering selection of cocktails (their Bloody Mary made with homemade chilli sauce is a particular LVC favourite) along with shishas and massages throughout the day. The restaurant serves up simple but delicious food made with fresh ingredients, and service that from start to finish is impeccable. All in all, it’s a beautiful beach club with a sophisticated air.
Address: Avenida Lola Flores, S/N, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; phone: 952 90 81 37; Oceanclub.es.
Planning a celebratory trip to southern Spain with friends? Have a look at our selection of luxury Marbella villas.
Like our pick of the best nightlife in Marbella, but looking for something more chilled from your night out? Check out a few of our favourite restaurants.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 139603 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-11 09:50:40 [post_content] => Looking to get off the beaten track in Andalucia? We’ve scratched beneath the surface of this exciting, historic area of Spain, asked local experts and come up with a list of little-known things to see and do for our guide to hidden Andalucia...
If the bird's eye view of the inside of the cathedral looks spectacular, then to cap it off you emerge outside with 360-degree rooftop views of Malaga. [email protected]
Visit Malaga Cathedral's Roof
The top tip of Lindsay Gregory, Director of The Luxury Villa Collection: “Stroll around Malaga historic centre, take a hammam at Mammam Al Andalus and finish with cocktails at a rooftop bar.” https://malaga.hammamalandalus.com/en/
RELAX IN A HAMMAM
A rather lovely town with a Moorish fortress complex and no fewer than 30 churches. Don’t miss having tapas in the impressive Plaza de los Escribanos.
Meander in Antequera
Just outside Antequera, these are some of the largest and most complete megalithic structures in Europe. Museosdeandalucia.es
Visit Three 5000-year-old Dolmens
The ruins of a 9th-century church carved out of rock are the highlights of a larger fortified town complex. Anything 9th century and still standing is incredible in our books.
Wonder at a 9TH Century Church – Bobastro
A house with a garden in the Albayzin (the oldest part of Granada city) is known as a Carmen. These Carmens look out towards the Alhambra Palace, often have wooden balconies, plant-filled patios, babbling water features and decorative tiles.
Nose Around the Carmens of Granada's Albayzin
This 17th-century abbey and college comes complete with holy caves/ancient catacombs. The view of Granada alone is worth the walk.
Visit the Abbey of Sacromonte, Granada
This village has stately houses gripping onto the edge of a gorge, cobbled streets and spa credentials. Our top tip is to escape the summer heat in Granada and visit Alhama – it has a unique microclimate where summer nights cool to a comfortable level.
Take a day trip to Alhama de Granada and its Natural Hot Springs
Once part of several fortifications, the castle that sits on this tiny island dates back to the 13th century.
Find Out the Mysteries of the Island of Sancti Petri, San Fernando, Cadiz
This pristine white village, sitting high on a rocky hilltop, really comes into its own at sunrise and dusk. Aside from the dramatic light, there are lovely boutique shops, great restaurants and, during the summer, look out for their candlelight festival.
Experience the Beautiful Light in Vejer de la Frontera
While it's got a great beach with some decent Atlantic surf, it’s the laidback-hip bar vibe in El Palmar that makes it stand out from other stretches of southern Spain's coast.
Surf and Sip in El Palmar
David, chef at De Tako's top tip is, “One of the best ways to experience a country is through its food and an even better way is to enjoy perfectly cooked food is in an incredible setting surrounded by friends". We entirely agree – hire a private chef at your villa for the ultimate in convenience.
HIRE A Private Chef
One of our top hidden foodie treats in Andalucia is delicious Retinto beef from Cadiz. Much is spoken about fried fish, olives and olive oil, jamón ibérico and Sherry but this meaty option is also a real gastro-standout.
Taste Riotinto Beef
Hire a boat and hit the sea - you’ll almost inevitably come across a pod of dolphins in the Mediterranean.
Take to the Sea – Dolphin Watch
This forgotten about 12th-century arched gateway and wall was the main entrance into Seville, and is certainly off the beaten path.
Puerta de Macarena/Walls of Seville
You'll never have experienced a bar like Garlochí, a homage to Easter in Spain. All year round there's incense burning and procession music playing – they call it the cathedral of bars. Don’t miss their signature cocktail: Grenadine, whisky and Cava.
Drink at a Bar Dedicated to Easter in Sevilla
There’s a succession of beautiful waterfalls running over some interesting limestone formations in Sierra Norte de Sevilla Nature Park.
Wild Swimming at Cascadas de Hueznar in Seville Province
Fiona Flores Watson, Telegraph Travel Writer and Seville resident recommends: “The summer outdoor concerts held in the Alcazar Palace… a magical setting for live jazz, flamenco or classical music by moonlight.” Alcazarsevilla.org
SEE LIVE MUSIC IN THE ALCAZAR PALACE
The castle of Castillo de Almodovar del Rio was built in 740. You can join theatrical tours, do some medieval combat training or spooky storytelling. Castillodealmodovar.com
Visit Highgarden, the Tyrell’s House in Game of Thrones
Manni Coe of Toma & Coe Tours' top tip is: “One of the most consistently excellent restaurants I know in Andalucia is located on a little-known street, in the little-known town of Lucena. It's called Tres Culturas and it's also a handy stop off en-route to Cordoba." Tresculturasrestaurante.com
TRAVEL TO EAT AT TRES CULTURAS
In the Sierra de Cazorla natural park this castle was built at the start of the 16th century. A beautiful monument in an even more beautiful part of the world.
Marvel at the Castle of Iruela, Jaen
The colours of autumn over the vast landscape of rural Huelva is the perfect way to disconnect. Local people flock here to experience the change of the season.
Reconnect with Nature and See Autumn in Aracena
This breath-taking beach near the charming village of San Jose feels like another world.
Genoveses beacH in Cabo de Gata, Almeria
A bit of a cheat but do a tour…
Our top 5 are: Most unusual is in Segura de la Sierra in Jaen province: this square bullring is the old courtyard of a castle and was built in the 18th century. Ronda bullring is the second oldest and the biggest. Seville bullring is the oldest; Antequera's is famed for appearing in Madonna’s Take a Bow video; Mijas has spectacular views and is simply charming. Archidona usually erects a bullring inside its eight-sided main square during the summer season. Like this and want to know more about visiting southern Spain? Check out our 50 things to do in Andalucia and our guide to the five best cities to visit in Andalucia [post_title] => Hidden Andalucia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hidden-andalucia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-31 15:25:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-31 15:25:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=139603 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 133379 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-03 15:27:14 [post_content] =>
See Andalucia through its Bullrings
(As of Nov 2020)Since the global pandemic reached our countries in early 2020 there has been restrictions in one way or another on the way we live our lives. With the sheer amount of press on Covid-19 it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees. So we wanted to reach out to our guests and give you a clear idea of what it’s really like to be in southern Spain in 2020. As we become used to Covid-19 not going away we’re getting better at carrying on with our lives but with safety measures in place. Obviously, those who are at high risk may adopt a more stringent approach to their activities but for the rest of us we’re getting out and about responsibly. While we at The Luxury Villa Collection welcomed guests during 2020 we realise that clarity on what it's like in southern Spain is needed.
What restrictions are there in southern Spain?Shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, events, museums and art galleries all have capacity limits to ensure social distancing can be adhered to safely. Businesses all have hand sanitizer at the door so customers can clean their hands upon entering and leaving an establishment. As of 25th October there is a curfew between 22.00hrs and 07.00hrs. Further restrictions have been put in place to limit the movement of people outside their municipalities. Face coverings must be worn at all times if over 6 years old, other than:
- People playing sports do not have to wear a mask whilst engaged in the sporting activity.
- Masks do not need to be worn by customers who are eating, drinking, or smoking.
- In the sea or swimming pool.
- In a designated household sunbathing area on the beach.
Do I have to wear a face covering?The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 years old at all times unless during one of the points stated above. This includes in all forms of indoor and outdoor public spaces even if social distancing can be applied. For countries that haven’t adopted this measure, face coverings seem a huge inconvenience but what they have allowed people to do is enjoy their holiday as normal with face coverings and social distancing being the only restrictions.
Are restaurants open?Yes, restaurants and cafes are open with limitations place upon their capacity to ensure tables are spaced out enough so customers can remove their face coverings while drinking or eating. Serving staff and chefs must wear masks at all times.
Are Beaches open in Andalucia?Yes. Once on a beach in your own sunbathing area and in the sea you may remove face coverings. The sunbathing areas must be 2 metres apart and social distancing must be adhered to in the sea. Some beaches have allocated sunbathing areas others are flexible but there are personnel checking that people adhere to social distancing rules while enjoying the beach. No distancing is necessary within your family unit. The norms that local governments put in place over summer 2020 worked to great effect and people could enjoy the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical.
Are tourist sights open?Yes. Restrictions on numbers being allowed into famous landmarks, tourist attractions and galleries has meant some sights have never been so quiet. Achieving the perfect photo of the Alhambra Palace or Real Alcazar de Sevilla without other sightseers is actually possible.
Does a face covering need to be worn while driving?When driving alone or with your household no face covering needs to be worn, but if there are passengers or a driver from a different household then everyone must wear a face covering.
What’s the general mood in southern Spain?Summer 2020 saw fewer parties for sure: the dancing all night in a club and watching the sunrise from a buzzing rooftop bar was and is not on the cards at the moment. However, long lunches beside the sea, visiting theme parks, historic sights, galleries and museums, beach days and outdoor activities are all there being enjoyed. It's really business as usual with the some sensible parameters in place. Some of our guests used our villas with entertainment rooms, cinemas, spas and abundance of space to organise private experiences from chefs to talks to spa treatments and live music. Bringing the wonderful Spanish culture into the safety of their private villa.
What is State of Alarm and What Does it Mean?The phrase state of alarm sounds very official and, well, alarming however, it is really just an administration step for the government and helps regional governments put in place restrictions. This phase allows the government (if necessary) to limit the movement of people at specific locations and times, temporary use private industries (such as private hospitals), limit the use of services and ensure the supply of necessary goods and services. In 2020 during Covid19, the state of alarm has meant limiting the movement of people between different provinces and curfews been implemented (from 23.00-06.00hrs). In no circumstances does state of alarm mean visitors aren't permitted to travel back to their home country.
Air travel – Is it safe?So far there has been little evidence of in-flight transmission of coronavirus, but there have been a couple of examples of transmission early on in the pandemic before more stringent controls were in place. Shaun Fitzgerald, Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor at the University of Cambridge said, aircraft ventilation systems are unique, the “replacement rate” - the number of times a volume of air equivalent to the volume of the cabin is removed each hour - can be four minutes in a aircraft. Compare this to 20 or 30 minutes in an indoor environment on the ground and it’s very brisk. The air filters themselves on aeroplanes are sophisticated and much more effective than filters found in indoor venues on the ground. Most airlines say face coverings are mandatory, limit food and drink services and don’t allow queuing for the toilet. The airports themselves are being diligent ensuring social distancing is in place as well as temperature controls in some. As from October 2020 if traveling from Europe or the UK:
- You must complete a health control form - which includes a HCF - a negative PCR test within 72hrs of your arrival to Spain.