During your luxury villa break try some of these ideas for a completely relaxing stay

Cortijo El Mirador Malaga Luxury Villa

Villas with Views that Will Take Your Breath Away

When it comes to luxury villas there are certain criteria we expect: design-led furnishings, acres of private space, the latest in luxury facilities, an enormous infinity pool, perhaps… and a view. Part of the magic of being on holiday for us is having a drink while watching the sunset or waking up and taking your morning coffee against a stunning sea view backdrop.

Here’s our pick of a few of the best villas with views in southern Spain…

Villa Cezanne, El Madronal, Benahavis

El Madronal Marbella

Set in a landscape that would make the great artist himself weep, the views from Villa Cezanne just don’t get much better!  Surrounded by a private estate of pine trees and cork oaks, you may spot the odd Jabali (wild boar) or young deer while sitting enjoying your morning coffee and the Sunday news. The views extend from the mountains down to the sea, as far as the bay of Puerto Banus and Marbella.

The best vantage point to take it all in? The black-tiled infinity pool of course, it reflects the skyline like a mirror. Very nice indeed.

Find out more about Villa Cezanne

Villas Los Flamingos 1 and 2, Marbella

los flamingos villa view

With floor to ceiling windows this villa in Benahavis invites the view indoors. Whether you’re in bed, walking down the sweeping staircase or in the garden, you have uninterrupted views of the perfectly maintained Los Flamingos golf greens which roll from the mountains at one side, down to the deep-blue Mediterranean and North African mountains at the other.

Find out more about Villa Los Flamingos

El Mirador Estate, Malaga

Villa with Poolside View

Perched high in the mountains east of Malaga is El Mirador. The name is an appropriate one – ‘mirador’ means ‘view point’ in Spanish, and this stylish villa certainly has them in abundance. Views from the pool, sunbathing and barbeque areas over the mountains and the sparkling Mediterranean beyond are incredibly special. Best of the lot, though, is the view from the massage bed while you’re having your stresses and strains worked out. Bliss.

Find out more about El Mirador

Villa Vivaldi, La Zagaleta, Benahavis

View from Pool at Villa Vivaldi

The pergola at the end of Villa Vivaldi’s garden is the perfect place to admire the coastline from up high in the exclusive La Zagaleta estate. On clear days Morocco can be seen, and the views are seemingly endless right the way along to Gibraltar. The house looks directly out to the sea, so most of the bedrooms and gardens enjoy fantastic views.

Find out more about Villa Vivaldi

Hacienda Vejer, Vejer de la Frontera, Cadiz

View from Villa Bedroom Terrace

The Costa de la Luz, or ‘Coast of Light’, is well named. All year round, one of Spain’s most beautiful stretches of coastline is bathed in a light that’s almost otherworldly in its beauty. And that’s why Hacienda Vejer has made our list of best villas with views – from dawn to dusk the countryside surrounding the villa is touched with the most beautiful warm light.

Find out more about Hacienda Vejer

Villas Las Artes, Marbella, Los Monteros

sea views villa las artes marbella1

On the beach side of East Marbella, Villa Las Artes is a beautiful luxury villa by the sea. ‘By’, though, is perhaps something of an understatement – it’s practically in it. It could hardly be closer to the water, and the view from terrace to sea has no interruption – which makes it the perfect place to kick back and listen to the sea’s ebbs and flows while the sun drops to the horizon.

Find out more about Villa Las Artes

Paraiso de Camojan, Marbella

marbella view from villa

With a dramatic mountain jutting skywards behind, a lush lawn in front leading to the swimming pool and views out over Marbella and the Mediterranean it’s easy to see why we chose Paraiso Camojan as one of our pick of the best villas with views. To cap it all off, from the terrace seating area the sea peeps through the palms reminding you the beach is close by.

Find out more about Paraiso Camojan

Villa Kynthia, Paraiso, Estepona

estepona from a villa terrace

From bedroom to outdoor chill out area via the swimming pool, and practically every inch of space between, the 280-degree views that surround the graceful Villa Kynthia are seriously to-die-for. A garden with beautifully manicured lawns and mature plants surrounds the villa and frames the sea and mountain views. Absolutely breath-taking.

Find out more about Villa Kynthia

La Medina, Medina Sidonia, Cadiz

View at Villa La Medina in Medina Sidonia

High up on the hill in Medina Sidonia this beautiful villa gazes out over quaint Spanish rooftops and rolling Cadiz hills. The passing of day, from misty morning, to dazzling afternoon through to mesmerising sunset, is played out through a spectrum of colours. The exceptional vantage point of Villa La Medina means it has views over the historic town and beyond over the rolling countryside.

Find out more about La Medina

Like this pick of southern Spain’s best villas with views? For more beautiful getaways to escape to this summer, check out our full collection of luxury villas.

Marbella best spas

Seven of the Most Indulgent Spas in Marbella

To spa before the holiday or to spa during? That is the question.

While prepping for holidays it’s tempting to have a session or two to get your body smooth, relaxed, beach ready and primed for the perfect tan. But the LVC answer has always been before AND during. And with the summer just around the corner, we’ve whipped up a wonderfully indulgent pick of the best of what’s on offer near Marbella.

Women being massaged

Firstly, you should know that when we spa, we absolutely do not mess around. We have very high standards. The overall experience is the key: our criteria includes everything from expecting a beautiful spa area, relaxing mood and serene facilities, seamless service, divine products, world-class expertise and intelligent spa treatments. We’re wanting a holistic approach with perfect relaxation areas that invigorate the senses, recharges the energy levels and balances mind and body.

So here’s our pick of the best spas near Marbella that fit the bill…

Saltwater indoor pool at Thalasso Spa

Marbella Club Thalasso Spa

Address: Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, 29600 Marbella.

What: Thalassotherapy (the use of seawater, sea products, and shore climate in treatments). We’re all about bathing in the goodness of seaweed at the minute and love the way Thalasso Spa uses what Marbella has in abundance with its coastal location. There’s also a seawater pool, hammam steam baths and wood-burning Finnish sauna.

Products: Babor, Marjana Cosmetiques, Thalio, Natura Bissé.

We love: The Intensive body treatments which include body wraps and a specific-to-your-needs massage.

Point of difference: Med view seawater indoor pool – seriously, it’s wonderful.

Who’s it for: Single girls’ spa day treat, couples, star-spotters.

More information: Marbellaclub.com or ask our Concierge to book your dream treatment.

Pool at Six Senses Spa Marbella 

Six Senses Spa at Puente Romano Beach Resort

Address: Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Malaga.

What: Facials, massages, hammam, manicures and pedicures, hydrotherapy pool, cold plunge pool, experience showers, herbal steam room and a sauna set in a beautiful facility.

Products: QMS Medicosmetics and The Organic Pharmacy (We know! We love The Organic Pharmacy, too).

We love: Vitamin C and Papaya Enzyme Peel 50 minute Facial. You’ll feel like you have new skin and fine lines diminished.

Point of difference: Signature Senses Facial by QMS Medicosmetics has been developed exclusively for Puento Romano Six Senses Spa.

Who’s it for: Everyone. This is one of our all-time favourite spas in Marbella. It has a wonderfully calming feel and is great for groups, frazzled mothers and couples.

More information: Sixsenses.com os ask our Concierge for further details and reservations.

 Finca-Cortesin-Thai-Massage

Finca Cortesin Spa

Address: Calle Casares, 2, 29690 Casares, Malaga.

What: A huge area full of natural light to spa in. Heated saltwater pool, saunas, Turkish baths, showers, relaxation lounge, Japanese bath (water maintained at a constant 10ºC) and a -12º snow cabin.

Products: Biologique Recherche.

Point of difference: Thai massages and a very attentive team to serve you. They’ll supply reading material, delicious tea or thirst-quenching drinks before you’ve even thought about wanting them.

Who’s it for: Couples and people needing to get away from it all for total relaxation. Oh, and ageing rock superstars, too – Axel Rose is known to spend weeks there.

More information: Fincacortesin.com or again, our Concierge has direct contacts with the spa to ensure the best slots.

Treatment Room at Kempinski Spa Marbella

Kempinski Spa at Hotel Bahia

Address: Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Carretera de Cadiz, Km 159, 29680 Estepona, Malaga.

What: Indoor relaxation pool, Finnish sauna, steam room, ice fountain, heated benches and a relaxation area.

We love: Their treatments and specially created spa menu for men – so many spas overlook the men. Our favourite is the Niance Men Revitalize facial.

Products: Niance and Thémaé.

Point of difference: Quartz Sand bath spa table (the only one in Spain). Try it, it’s dreamy.

Who’s it for: People who might want a quick spa circuit and treatment or who like to spa-light. This Marbella spa is easy come easy go and very accessible.

More information: Kempinski.com or get in touch with our Concierge to assist.

 Dipping pool at Healthhouse La Dunas Spa

Healthouse Las Dunas

Address: Urbanizacion Boladilla Baja, Crta. Cadiz km 163500, 29689, Estepona, Marbella.

What: A real focus on healthy lifestyle with treatments using mainly aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. There is a designated swimming lane, sensation path, vitality pool with jacuzzi, warm cave, cold cave, salt cabin, caldarium, snow cabin, sauna, steam bath and flotarium.

We love: Their Spa & Yoga sunset sessions with a 1 hour yoga class and 30 minute massage as well as access to the whole spa – an ideal treat.

Products: Algologie.

Point of difference: This is a wellness facility with luxurious surroundings; it particularly focuses on weight loss.

More information: Healthouse-naturhouse.com or contact our Concierge as the first step to feeling wonderful!

Dipping Pool At Villa Padierna Spa

Villa Padierna Thermae Spa

Address: Urb. Los Flamingos Golf, Ctra. de Cadiz, Km. 166. 29679 Marbella – This one is perfectly located for our Los Flamingos villas

What: Elegant Romanesque-inspired spa facilities with luxurious surroundings. Four steam rooms with different essential aromas and temperatures (one with sea salt, one Greek sauna, two Finnish saunas), a very atmospheric dynamic swimming pool, a flotarium and a Laconium as well as a treatment room with oxygen bubbles (yes, the ultimate treatment room).

We love: The facials,. Choose from a personalised treatment, the Michelle Obama or Sophia Loren. Well it if works for them…

Products: Piroche Cosmétiques, Carita, Micro Puncture Lab©.

Point of difference: The Roman plunge pool is pure elegance. This luxurious spa is the best for celebrity spotting, too.

More information: Villapadiernawellness.com or contact our Concierge who looks after our guests just next door.

Outside The Barbers Shop in Puerto Banus

The Barber Club Marbella

Address: Boulevar Principe Alfonso, 015, 29601, Puerto Banus, Marbella

What: A men’s barbers, coffee lounge and spa treatment club. Modern, fashionable and cutting edge, this place offers men’s facials, tanning, massages and grooming.

We love: That men are taking care of themselves – swoon.

Products: Penhaligon’s, Uppercut, Creed.

Point of difference: It’s all about the men and that’s unique in Marbella.

More information: Thebarberclubmarbella.com.

Want to wrap a trip to one of our favourite Marbella spas up into the perfect pamper day? Check out our essential guide to Marbella shopping.

To make sure your stay in southern Spain is as healthy and relaxing as possible, why not consider one of our retreat villas?

when is the best time to visit Andalucia

When’s the Best Time to Visit Andalucia?

Let’s get one thing clear from the start: it’s never exactly a bad time to visit southern Spain, as on any given day of any given week all year round, there’s something going on. However from full-on fiestas to solemn religious ceremonies, via annual harvests and music festivals, we’ve picked out a few of the very best times to visit.

Planning a Visit around the Weather

Weather-wise, when’s the best time of year to visit Andalucia? It’s a question that gets put to us a lot here at the Luxury Villa Collection. And the answer we always have to give is… it very much depends.

Andalucia’s a big region – four times as large as that default indicator of size, Wales – plus, it’s also an area of huge geographical diversity. So while you may have lovely winter sunshine and 20 degrees down on the coast, the snow might well be falling on the mountains inland.

Let’s focus on the positives, though, and the average temperatures in the region’s most sun-soaked province, Malaga:

Weather in Malaga, Average Temperatures

Traditional & Religious Events

Easter (Semana Santa) in Andalucia

Carnival – Cadiz; 2nd to 12th March 2017: The weekend before Lent is a massive party weekend in southern Spain and nowhere does it bigger than the city of Cadiz. It’s a noisy, messy affair where everyone takes to the streets in fancy dress and parties until sunrise.

Semana Santa – Seville; 9th to 15th April 2017: With the sound of brass and the scent of incense on the night air, every Easter the streets of Seville are filled with the processions of Semana Santa (or Holy Week). While Seville undoubtedly puts on the biggest and grandest display of devotion, other places of note include all the big cities – Granada, Malaga and Cordoba especially – while the small town of Velez-Malaga is a spectacular and lesser-known alternative.

Las Cruces de Mayo – Granada; 2nd to 3rd May: Another city, another full-scale party dressed up as a religious occasion. While the crosses which are displayed in squares throughout the city are undoubtedly lovely, Granada’s Las Cruces is, in reality, just a great excuse for a party. And why not?

Patios de Cordoba; second and third week of May: North, south, east or west, spring is one of the best times to visit Spain, wherever in the country you might be thinking of heading. Nowhere is that more the case than in Cordoba. In May, some of the oldest and most beautiful patios of the town’s historic centre are decked out in their full floral finery and opened up to the public. Unmissable.

El Rocio Pilgrimage – Huelva; Pentecost/depending on Easter: One of the region’s most impressive devotional displays, up to a million people have been known to make the journey to this remote church to see the Virgin make her spectacular appearance in the early hours of Pentecost Monday. With El Rocio sitting right in the heart of the Doñana National Park, it makes for a great excuse to explore one of Spain’s great natural wildernesses, too.

Music & Nightlife Events 

Flamenco festivals

Beach club opening parties, Marbella and Puerto Banus; mid-late April: Something of a curtain-raiser for summer on the Costa, the beach clubs throw everything they’ve got into their annual opening parties. Nikki Beach, perhaps the best of the bunch, gets their season underway this year on 28th April with most of the others falling either side of it.

Granada international festival of music and dance; 17th June to 8th July: While the flamenco on display during Granada’s annual festival is fantastic (2016 headliners include Eva Yerbabuena and Miguel Poveda), it’s undoubtedly the setting that steals the show. Sitting under the stars in the gardens of the Generalife accompanied by some top-class dance and exquisite views of historic Granada is an unforgettable experience.

Starlite Marbella; 14th July to 20th August: Marbella‘s music festival is now a firm fixture on the Andalucia events calendar. 2016’s big international names include Carlos Santana, Robert Plant, and the ageless Tom Jones, while Siempre Asi and Alejandro Sanz top the line-up of Spanish performers.

Flamenco festivals; June-September: while Andalucia’s greatest art form is very definitely a year-round affair (check out our guide to Flamenco), it really heats up every year along with the summer temperatures. Malaga’s summer alone is studded with superb flamenco events from Alhaurin de la Torre (June) and Alora (July) to Antequera and Ronda (both August) before, finally, the main event of the Malaga Bienal Festival takes place in early to mid-September.

Ferias

Spain as a whole celebrates more local virgins’ and saints’ day than you can shake a stick at. But if there’s a capital of the religious holiday, it has to be Andalucia. Aside from the religious elements, they mean one thing: letting your hair down and partying in a colourful blur of flamenco dresses, fairgrounds, dancing and drinking under the stars.

Ferias are held from April until September and are one of Andalucia’s greatest spectacles. In terms of city ferias, a few of the main ones of note are:

  • Seville’s Feria de Abril: 12th to 17th April 2016
  • Feria de Caballo in Jerez de la Frontera; 30th April to 7th May 2016
  • Feria de Nuestra Señora de la Salud, Cordoba; 20th to 28th May 2016
  • Feria de San Bernabé, Marbella; 7th to 12th June 2016
  • Feria de Malaga; 13th to 20th August 2016

Gastronomy, Food & Wine Events

Down in Andalucia, the seasons – and the harvesting of the fruit of land and sea – still have a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. Spring sees olives, oranges, avocados, asparagus and the Almadraba fishing of bluefin tuna in Cadiz. By the late summer the region is exploding into wine harvests, while come the autumn the almonds and figs are bursting.

There are simply too many food and wine festivals in the region to name them all, but here are a couple that come with the LVC seal of approval:

Las Fiestas de la Vendimia y Otoño, Jerez de la Frontera; 1st to 18th September: One of the oldest ferias in Spain, Jerez’s annual Sherry shindig is a blur of wine crushing, bodega visits and tastings, flamenco, horses and general festivities.

Axarquia food festivals; August to September: this mountainous region to the east of Malaga has been getting something of a name for itself in recent years for its cluster of food-related festivals – and all the singing, dancing and general celebrations that comes with them.

  • Dia de Morcilla (blood sausage), Canillas de Aceituno; 24th April 2016
  • Dia de la Cereza (cherry), Alfarnate; 25th June 2016
  • Fiesta del Gazpacho; Alfarnatejo; 6th August 2016
  • Noche del Vino (sweet wine), Competa; mid August
  • Fiesta del Ajoblanco (cold almond soup), Almachar; 3rd September 2016
  • Dia de la Pasa (raisin), El Borge; 18th September 2016

Sporting Events 

Polo at Sotogrande

Moto Grand Prix – Jerez Motor Racing Circuit – 22nd to 24th April 2016: one of the biggest events on the Spanish motorsports calendar roars into Jerez every April. The second race of the Moto GP season is a big deal in Spain, and the atmosphere track-side over the course of a long weekend in April is one of the liveliest around.

Golf on the Costa del Sol: while the region’s +300 days of sunshine mean that golf is very much a year-round sport in Andalucia, the best times of year to book a golf holiday are probably spring and autumn, when you get the sunshine without the searing summer temperatures. (Have a look at our pick of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol.)

Land Rover International Polo Tournament – Sotogrande; 28th July to 29th August: Sotogrande’s Santa Maria Polo Club hosts one of the highlights of the polo calendar every summer. One of the most prestigious events in Andalucia, it’s an occasion in which to see and be seen – obligatory glass of bubbly in hand – as much as it is to watch what’s going on out on the field.

Sanlucar Horse Racing, Sanlucar de Barrameda; 10th to 27th August: This hell-for-leather horseback sprint along the Sanlucar sands goes all the way back to 1845. The setting’s superb and the atmosphere’s lively (with more than a drop or two of Manzanilla being supped). Best of all, though, you get right up close to the action and feel the thundering of hooves underfoot.

Ski season in the Sierra Nevada: Europe’s most southerly ski resort opens for business every year with the first snows in December, before closing up again in late April (or even on occasions in late May). Which means that you can literally spend a morning on the slopes before dropping down to the coast and hitting the beach in the afternoon.

Nature & the Great Outdoors

Cherry Blossom in Andalucia

Flamingo migration at Fuente de Piedra; late February: For many of us bird-watching is not exactly the stuff of riveting holidays. However, seeing the flamingos at Fuente de Piedra is a little different. To catch a glimpse of them, as a vivid flash of pink against the blue sky, before they descend on the salt lakes of is one of the most beautiful natural spectacles in Europe.

Arrival of the cherry blossom, Axarquia; March (depending on the weather): Andalucia’s cherry blossom season may not be quite as well-known as Japan’s, but it’s still pretty spectacular. Alfarnate’s Ruta de las Pilas, a 12km round trip through the orchard-lined countryside, is one of the very best ways to experience it.

Beach weather; May onwards: While you can obviously stretch out on the sand at any time when the sun’s shining in southern Spain, locals tend not to venture onto them until summer has really kicked in. May and October can regularly touch on 30 degrees Celsius – more than warm enough for most of us to get the beach bag out, in other words.

Cork oak harvest – Los Alcornocales Natural Park; June-August: The serious business of the cork harvest is still carried out by hand and mule every summer in the cork forests of Los Alcornocales. A morning winding your way through the sun-dappled trees, stopping off to watch the trees being painstakingly stripped of their bark along the way, can be neatly finished up with a long, leisurely lunch in a stunning mountain town like Gaucin, Jimena de la Frontera, Ubrique or Zahara de la Sierra.

Our guide to when to visit Andalucia is far from definitive. There’s simply SO much more to see and do in this fabulous region of Spain – to the extent, in fact, that we’ve missed out, not just one but two, entire provinces in Almeria and Jaen.

So what’s stopping you? See the best of southern Spain from one of our luxury villas.

puerto banus waterfront shops

The Essential Luxury Puerto Banus Shopping Guide

If you like to shop and like your designer brands then there aren’t many places that come close to Puerto Banus. Why? For the sheer concentration of designer boutiques in a relatively small area: Bond Street may have the designer staples in mega-boutiques, but Puerto Banus has a very heels-friendly, bite-sized offering.

Here’s our guide to the very best luxury Puerto Banus shopping – whether you’re mad about Michael Kors or love a bit of Lanvin, there should be something for you in this little lot…

Versace

Conjunto Residencial Benabola, 8 (First shop into the port at the fountain)

No introduction is needed for this famous fashion house. Always a favourite for that evening dress to impress.

Gucci

Muelle Ribera, 15-16 (Near Salvatore Ferragamo)

gucci shop front puerto banus

Another shop front, another global fashion icon. Gucci’s PB instalment features lashings of the usual glamorous looks from the brand’s recent magazine front cover-conquering collection.

Tod’s

Muelle Benabola, 3 (At the entrance to Puerto Banus)

Household name Italian accessories designer Tod’s sells classic shapes in wearable colours. Their moccasins are a basic holiday necessity.

Carolina Herrera

Muelle Benabola, 5 (A little further along from Tod’s near Sinatra’s Bar)

Carolina Herrera is the high priestess of classic, high-end, stylish design. Head here for sheer sophistication.

Hackett

Calle Ribera, Casa L, 8 (Second road from the Port opposite Hermes)

Traditional British clothing brand Hackett is still doing what they’ve been doing since 1979. Expect the usual beautifully made men’s classics in their Puerto Banus store.

Hermes

Calle Ribera, 11 (Second road from the Port)

French label Hermes may be famed for its accessories (it’s a scientifically proven fact that you can never have too many Hermes silk scarves) but don’t overlook its ready-to-wear collection.

La Perla

Avenida de la Rivera, 33

Italian luxury lingerie designer La Perla’s Puerto Banus shop is a romantic, elegant affair full of pure silk, Chantilly lace, ribbon and feathers. They also have a gorgeous swimwear collection, too.

Lanvin

Muelle Ribera, 1b

view of lanvin puerto banus

Our favourite of the Paris fashion houses, Lanvin serves up edgy, feminine designs for urbanites, socialites and debs.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Muelle Ribera, 17K

Need shoes? Visit Salvatore Ferragamo. From classic heels to avant-garde statement shoes, the Italian designer’s shoes are a thing of legend.

Jimmy Choo

Muelle Ribera Casa N, 5-6 (Near Louis Vuitton)

One word: swoon. While Jimmy Choo’s sun-kissed Puerto Banus boutique couldn’t be further from his beginnings in East London, the clientele is much the same as anywhere else: fashion royalty and the international city jet set.

Louis Vuitton

Muelle Ribera, Casa N (At the end near Dolce & Gabbana)

louis vuitton puerto banus

Little introduction is needed for the French brand that managed to make luggage sexy. Suitcases and bags aside, you can pop in and browse their full range of holiday-friendly accessories and a ready-to-wear collection, too. 

Dolce & Gabbana

Muelle Ribera 3-4

Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana have been at the forefront of fashion for nearly three decades. Always fresh and inspiring, their designs are youthful with killer tailoring.

Hoss Intropia

Muelle Ribera, Casa Jota, 11-12

While Hoss Intropia can be found on most of the more desirable shopping streets in Europe they still have a unique edge compared to other high-end high street offerings. Their exquisite designs are ideal for wedding guest attire or summer evenings or… just any time, really.

Agent Provocateur

Muelle Ribera, Casa N, 12

Still pushing all boundaries with naughty but nice lingerie, swimwear designs and a boutique that’s as extravagant as their underwear. It’s impossible to leave without an armful of those pink and black bags.

Michael Kors

Muelle Ribera, 13

New York-based designer Michael Kors offers wearable, practical solutions for your wardrobe. The Puerto Banus boutique stocks his MICHAEL Michael Kors sports luxe range as well as his ready-to-wear collection.

Dior

Calle Ribera, Casa F, 15 (Second road from the port)

Dior Store Front Puerto Banus

Oh, Dior! Raf Simons left the helm in 2015 and the future is uncertain. However, customised accessories is where it’s at and Dior has just pretty much blown all other options out of the water. They’ve launched MyDiorSoReal sunglasses, so it would be rude not to purchase a pair. If you’re in sunnies this season make it Dior.

Tom Ford

Muelle Ribera, Casa F, 20

Tom Ford brought Gucci from the brink of bankruptcy in the 90s before setting up his own label in the noughties. Thank you Tom for having a store in Puerto Banus – we can’t get enough of the American chic, feminine designs.

High Street with Edge in Puerto Banus

Uterqí¼e

Calle Ramí³n Areces, 5

From the same house as Zara, Uterqí¼e is not luxury but it does do fashion accessories and some choice basic clothing items very well indeed. A good option to browse through for basic wardrobe-fillers.

338B

Calle Ramí³n Areces, 16B

This compact shop pulls together a youthful selection of clothes and accessories from recognised labels including Ted Baker (thank goodness), Highly Preppy and Sam Edelman (more shoes) among others.

Adolfo Dominguez

Centro Comercial Marina Banus

Also on the same road as Uterqí¼e and 338B is a shopping centre (Centro Comercial Marina Banus) with some high street stores inside. One of note is Adolfo Dominguez. It’s always worth visiting as it hits trends in a classic, effortless way with its easy to wear everyday favourites.

El Corte Ingles 

El Corte Ingles is the department store in Spain, it sits somewhere between the British stores of House of Fraser and Selfridges – or similar to Browns, if you’re North American.

The usual suspects are all present and correct in the cosmetics hall with the likes of Bobbi Brown, Bare Minerals, Chanel, Kiehl’s and Estée Lauder on offer. Elsewhere there are accessories from Bimba y Lola (a Spanish fashion brand to love, think Jonathan Saunders with uniquely bold, easy to wear designs), whole floors of women’s and men’s designer fashion (Burberry, Emporio Armani and Missoni to name but a few brands), as well as a good children’s department (yes there’s a Petit Bateau). Other floors include homeware, electrical goods and food departments – everything you’d expect from a large department store, basically.

Liking our guide to the best Puerto Banus shopping, but in need of more top retail therapy? Check out our edit of the very best Marbella shopping.

Blog Marbella Shopping Essentials

The Insiders Guide to Marbella Shopping

Marbella and shopping. Did two things ever sit together so naturally? It’s all in the heritage: the area was born out of the golden age of wealthy jet setters in the 50s. And there’s one thing the glamorous jet set of yesteryear (and present day, for that matter) know how to do – and that is spend it.

While just up the road, Puerto Banus is door-to-door designer boutiques, Marbella’s offering is slightly more varied and you have to work a little harder to find its most inviting independent shops.

To give you a bit of a helping hand, we’ve picked out a handful of the very best in our guide to Marbella shopping.

The Best of the Boutiques

My Dreamy Shoes 

Calle Nueva, 4

my dreamy shoes marbella

Dreamy by name, dreamy by nature. This small shoe shop in Marbella has a great selection of shoes for women and children, from wedges and espadrilles to boots and heels. If you want something a bit unusual in the way of footwear you’ll find it here.

Liz Cole Couture/The Hat Shop 

Calle Panaderia, 4

Liz Cole’s studio is just off Plaza de los Naranjos, tucked away down a narrow street. She sources the most divine collection of kimonos, as well as making made-to-measure clothing out of handmade silk. She can design and make anything you want, from 40s-inspired shirt dresses to 50s full skirts as well as modern shift dresses. A dress takes about two months from design, to fitting to the finished article – so plan your trip well.

Atelier Marbella Crea 

Avenida Miguel Cano 6 / Local 2 Bajo

atelier marbella

Need a hat for the wedding season or ladies’ day at Ascot? Let’s face it, buying a hat off the peg to go with an outfit never looks quite right – you nearly always have to get one made that matches the colour or style of your outfit. Fortunately, your ideas are in safe hands with Atelier as they are a long-established milliners (and school) in Marbella.

D.Oliva 

Calle Nueva, 9

DOliva gourmet wine shop Marbella

D.Oliva only stock the very finest produce from Andalucia – Owner David personally selects his wine from local vineyards and sells this alongside a mind-blowing choice and flavours of Spanish olive oil – try it with fresh pan de pueblo in the shop, or you can even book a full blown wine and food pairing (book it as part of an Old Town Marbella Tapas Tour with our colleagues at Toma Tours). It’s a great place to drop in to if you’re a food-lover.

Twist Boutique 

Centro Comercial La Colonia (San Pedro de Alcantara)

twist boutique marbella

Twist makes the cut for the LVC Marbella shopping edit as it stocks small brands that are casual, easy to wear and stylish. Don’t let the slightly dated shop fit and merchandising put you off as the collections are handpicked by the owner. It also stocks Hudson jeans and Ugg footwear.

Nina B 

Centro Comercial Centro Plaza, Avenida Manolete, 1, Local 39-40 (Nueva Andalucia)

A carefully selected range of clothing and accessories from largely Swedish designers fill this boutique in Nueva Andalucia. A range of unusual and sensibly priced brands such as Filippa K, Caterina Lucchi, Sixty Days and TCN make it well worth a visit.

Gunnels Fashion 

Centro Comercial Centro Plaza, Avenida Manolete, Local 18-19 (Nueva Andalucia)

gunnels fashion nueva andalucia

Born out of the need for unique, original pieces of clothing and accessories, Gunnels is a boho-chic, pretty, breath of fresh air. The owner is Swedish and is famed for her clogs (yes you heard correctly, clogs – just try them and you’ll see where we’re coming from). We love this boutique and always pop in when we’re in Nueva Andalucia.

Berdaguer 

Calle de Ramiro Campos Turmo, 10

Not forgetting the men, of course… Berdaguer is one of the more traditional, high-quality men’s clothing shops in Marbella. Stocking branded names such as Hackett, Burberry and Church’s, this boutique deals in classic clothing and a variety of accessories that would keep any man happy.

The Best of Vintage

These two vintage shops stock quality pieces from recognised names so it’s always worth popping in for that vintage Luis Vuitton backpack, Chloé silk dress or YSL circa 1984 belt you’ve always wanted.

Chic Vintage 

Calle de Enrique del Castillo, 1

chic vintage marbella

This little shop is filled from top to bottom with all sorts of vintage clothing and accessories. Be prepared to rummage, but there are gems to be found.

Ruz Vintage 

Avenida Ricarco Soriano, 21

Only stocking luxury brands, Ruz vintage has a great collection of clothes and accessories including a good selection of silk scarfs in perfect condition.

The Best Shopping Centre

Set back off the Carretera de Ojén and surrounded by palms, La Cañada makes for a great option if you’re wanting an afternoon away from the beach or the pool. There are a few designer names knocking about, but it’s largely the best of the Spanish high street that fills the space.

Adolfo Dominguez

Classic styles in good quality fabrics fill Adolfo Dominquez stores. Its collections are forever favourites that won’t go out of fashion. Think a sea of tan, creams, navy, black and a nod to fashionable colours. They stock men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, costume jewellery and sunglasses. 

Bimba y Lola

We love Bimba y Lola. Expect fresh designs that go from edgy, to classics with a twist. A relatively small collection is served up every season featuring bold colours, tailored trousers and dresses with shoes, bags and jewellery to compliment.

Purificacion Garcia

Men’s and women’s mid-range designer shop Purificacion Garcia always delights with flattering cuts, inventive designs and forever pieces.

If you’re after a suitably glamorous base camp for your Marbella shopping trip, check out our collection of luxury villas.

La Zagaleta Villa Vivaldi pool sea views

Eight of the Best Amazing Swimming Pools

Stop what you’re doing for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine yourself stretched out on a daybed soaking up the sun under the bluest of blue skies, a glass of chilled Champagne in your hand.

Now, we’re willing to bet two things: firstly, that those winter blues were momentarily banished; and secondly that what you had in your mind’s eye looked rather like one of these amazing swimming pools.

Best Infinity Pools

Infinity pools are not a new concept. Well, not to the French, anyway – the first was built in the Palace of Versailles. History aside, these are most definitely the crí¨me de la crí¨me of swimming pools. The best examples are used to create an optical illusion, where the water of the pool blends into the sea or the sky to all round stunning effect.

villa picasso infinity pool

There’s nothing like beautiful surroundings to help you relax – and this modern pool whispers ‘unwind’. There are two types of pools: inward, enclosed ones and open, outward-facing ones. This angular L-shaped pool is very much the latter. Welcoming steps draw you down, not only into the water, but also towards a spectacular view of Los Flamingos golf course. An infinity pool where the view seemingly never ends is perfect for such an ultra-modern style of house. Not only does this pool have a view, but it also adds to it.

Find out more about Villa Picasso.

Pool with sea views

Some people say if you have the beach on holiday, you don’t need to bother with a pool. We beg to differ. Having both is surely the best option of all? This pool has made it onto our list because of the sheer, beautiful simplicity and audacity of its location – less than 10 metres away from the Mediterranean. The two huge urns at each end of the rectangular infinity pool both bring exquisite symmetry and serve a practical purpose as the spiralled entrance steps. Elegant, stylish and tasteful.

Find out more about Villa Las Artes.

Pools with Total Privacy

Cortijo el Mirador pool view

There’s only one way someone would be able to see you taking a dip in this pool – and that’s if they were hovering directly above you in a helicopter. This tasteful villa, secreted away high in the mountains down a long private road, is a hidden idyll. The kidney-shaped lagoon-style pool sits below the house so the poolside fun is separated from the peaceful sanctuary of the living quarters. Of course, there’s an outdoor kitchen poolside, so everything you need is right to hand.

Find out more about Cortijo el Mirador.

madronal villa swimming pool

For us, this pool is reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Age. We can easily imagine Katherine Hepburn gliding down that staircase, dropping her robe and diving elegantly in to the water. It’s a private hideaway pool, and the feeling of being enclosed by its lush gardens only adds to the sense of glamorous seclusion.

Find out more about Hacienda de Madroñal.

Lap Pools

Villa Solise lap pool

For our money, a beautiful pool has to be part of the overall design of the villa. Luxury villas with pools should have an overarching calm synergy, where one compliments the other: the comfortable indoor living areas should spread outside to the pool, outdoor kitchen, dining areas and chill-out zones to form a restful and relaxing whole. And this pool may not be huge, but it does just that.

Find out more about Villa Solise.

Huge Pools

Villa Vivaldi La Zagaleta villa

Luxury private pool

When it comes to pools size really does matter – particularly if you’re travelling with a large party. This contemporary yet classical villa has a seriously roomy 17m pool, which can be heated on request. It also has a beautiful Japanese style pagoda, ideal for the heat of summer – when, frankly, any sort of exercise is too much – or for supping a cocktail or two.

Find out more about Villa Vivaldi, La Zagaleta.

Pool at Villa San Bernardo

Lagoon pools, with their inviting, curved edges are always particularly welcoming. This seductive affair made the LVC edit of amazing swimming pools as it has barstools, a separate Jacuzzi and even an island. We like the idea of having an island to swim around – it adds a bit of variety to languorous pool-time drifting.

Find out more about this villa in El Madroñal.

Indoor Pools

indoor swimming pool marbella

When travelling during the shoulder seasons or in the winter an indoor heated pool is a real treat. Being able to use a pool all year round is the epitome of both luxury and health and wellbeing. This villa has an indoor plunge pool as part of its spa as well as a heated indoor pool. If the sun is shining and an outdoor pool is the order of the day then this villa has not one but two outdoor pools to choose from. And these aren’t just normal pools, either: one is an angular infinity pool, the other is a lagoon pool with a waterfall. Four amazing swimming pools in one villa? It could only be Marbella.

Find out more about Paraiso de Camojan.

Best Malaga Nightlife

Wondering where to go on a night out in Malaga? Well, wonder no longer. From bouncing bars to ultra-glam clubs via chic rooftop hangouts, we’ve got the best of Malaga nightlife covered.

The Malaga party scene is more understated contemporary cool than uber-glamorous. However, while it may be slightly less hedonistic than Marbella‘s (Champagne spray parties are not on the menu) it’s still very definitely a place to play come nightfall.

Malaga Rooftop Bars

Best for a Post-Shopping Drink 

Larios Terrace at Room Mate Larios

rooftop terrace hotel larios

Every summer since, well, forever Larios Terrace has had the upper hand in the roof terrace drinking stakes. Great views of the cathedral from designer monochrome seating ensure that once you’re there you’re unlikely to leave until you’ve sunk at least a few sun-soaked vinos or sunset cocktails. Its location on the city’s main shopping street means it’s a popular place to start a night out. If you’re visiting during Easter, it’s worth noting that local boy Antonio Banderas can often be seen knocking about the place as it’s the best vantage point from which to see the processions.

Opening times: In spring it’s open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6pm to 1am, and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 2am. In summer it’s open every day from 8pm to 2am.

Address: Calle Marques de Larios, 2, 29005 Malaga; Phone: +34 952 22 22 00; Larios.room-matehotels.com.

Best for Jaw-dropping Views

AC Hotel Malaga Palacio

Malaga isn’t a modern skyscraper-type city, so up on the terrace on the 15th floor of the AC Hotel you feel on top of the world, and the uninterrupted panoramic views across the whole city are stunning. There’s great service here with a very well stocked bar offering a choice of rare gins, wines, cocktails and whiskeys. The clientele tend to be of the smart, 40-plus international variety, but it’s also very much a local haunt for Malagueños too.

Opening times: The glassed area is open all year, the pool area (oh, did we forget to mention the amazing rooftop pool?) when the weather is good. Open from noon until 1am. Thursday, Friday and Saturday open until 4am.

Address: Calle Cortina del Muelle, 1, 29015 Malaga; phone: +34 952 215 185; Marriott.com.

Best of the Rest

Alcazaba Premium Hostel – Rooftop Terrace

alcazaba rooftop terrace view

Yes, this is a hostel, but do NOT let this put you off. Because, if you venture up to the fourth and fifth floors (fear not, there is a lift), you’ll find yourself in the coolest place to hang out for cheeky lunchtime tipples, sundowners, pre-club drinks or that last, end-of-night drink you definitely didn’t need.

At the top of the building, the Roof Terrace bar is a mezzanine affair with a decked terrace, a smattering of bar stools and low box seating, and a vibe that’s buzzy most nights of the week. It’s the view which really wows, though: the terrace opens up on to the surrounding rooftops, the Roman Theatre below and the illuminated Alcazaba fortress on top of the hill opposite. There’s not much more to say, really – it’s just an incredible location.

Opening times: Sunday to Wednesday from 4pm to midnight and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 2.30am.

Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 12, 29015 Malaga; phone: +34 952 22 98 78; Alcazabapremiumhostel.com.

Malaga Clubs 

Best Crowd Pleaser

Liceo

Housed within a beautiful 19th-century mansion, Liceo is a great venue in a lively, dead-central location. Once used as the backdrop for the Chemical Brothers’ music video Galvanize, it’s now home to a flamenco club (which actually makes for a pretty atmospheric spectacle), as well as regular club nights from midnight until 6am. There are several rooms playing different music and two floors, the second being a mezzanine level around the central patio. The crowd on the club nights is largely under 35 and they target the student population during term time. However, before the club really gets going the flamenco is a good option.

Address: Calle Beatas, 21, 29008 Malaga; phone: +34 625 55 70 12; Liceoflamenco.com.

Best for Music-lovers

The Clarence Jazz Club

clarence jazz club malaga

If you like jazz then this is the place you need to head for. Open all year round with critically acclaimed artists frequently appearing, this live jazz venue is always a pleasurable place to while away a few hours. It doesn’t veer away from what you’d expect from a jazz club: think comfy tub chairs, exposed brickwork, standing room and a generally very chilled vibe indeed.

Opening times: Wednesdays and Thursdays 8-2pm; Fridays and Saturdays 4pm-4am.

Address: Calle Cañí³n, 5, 29015 Malaga; phone: +34 951 91 80 87; Clarencejazzclub.com.

Best for a Typical Spanish Experience 

If you’re wanting to dance and party until 6am then head to Calle Beatas/Plaza Uncibay and Calle de Luis de Velazquez/Calle Lazcano where there’s club after club. In true Spanish nightlife fashion these clubs seemingly spring from nowhere after midnight. A little less polished, perhaps, than the above but lots of late-night fun all the same… 

Sala Gold

Right in the centre of the old town is Sala Gold, perhaps the most sensational late-night Malaga nightlife joint. This is a club to dance in not to pose or chill out in – leave that to the rooftop terraces. With three rooms to choose from decked out with huge flat screen TVs, it’s one of the larger clubs in the city centre. The music is largely popular Spanish, the décor is, as the name suggests, gold and the emphasis is all about unpretentious fun.

Opening times: from 10pm-6am.

Address: Calle de Luis de Velšzquez, 5, 29008 Malaga; phone: +34 670 09 87 49; Discotecasenmalaga.es.

Best for Mid-Week Partying

Theatro Club

This small club takes its inspiration from an old theatre – all high baroque cornicing, huge, glittering chandeliers and theatrically themed, burlesque-style live entertainment. All of which comes together to make this more than just your average club in Malaga. It’s in the centre of the old town again – so you’ll have no difficulty finding it – and it’s open every night of the week until 6am. There’s a VIP area that can be reserved by contacting the club, too, in case you like your own space and dedicated waiter. (If you’re looking for someone to arrange your night out in Malaga, speak to our concierge.)

Address: Calle Lazcano, 5, 29008 Malaga; phone: +34 670 09 87 49; Discotecasenmalaga.es.

And finally…

If you’re spending a night or two partying in Malaga and want to try a few more places, then here are some other smaller clubs that you can check out: Tokyo, Bubbles, White Lounge Club, Discoteca Anden, Granados 10 and 30 y Tantos. All run a series of nights offering live entertainment, different types of music and easily bar hop-able locations.

Like our pick of the best Malaga nightlife, but thinking of a more sedate sort of evening? Have a look at a few of our favourite restaurants.

Make sure you’ve got an ultra-glamorous pad to return to after your night out in Malaga – check out the Luxury Villa Collection’s villas in the area.

Mountain Views from La Zagaleta

Seven of the Best Costa del Sol Golf Courses

With more than 50 courses in just a shade over 100km, not for nothing is the coastline west of Malaga known as the ‘Costa del Golf’.

A golf holiday here offers something for all abilities, too, from gentle municipal hacks to tournament courses for seasoned scratch handicappers.

So without any further ado, here’s the LVC pick of a few of the best Costa del Sol golf courses…

Marbella Golf & Country Club, Benahavis

sea views marbella club

We begin appropriately enough, at the beginning, with the grande dame of Costa del Sol golf courses: Marbella Golf & Country Club. It may not be the oldest course in the region (that honour goes to the Malaga Parador which dates back to the 20s), but founded in 1954 and part of the resort of the same name, it very definitely leads the way in the old-fashioned glamour stakes.

And the course? Designed by Dave Thomas, set back a little from the coast to the north of Benahavis, its gently undulating fairways wind their way between well-placed water features upwards towards the mountains.

Stunning setting aside, the course is both in consistently great nick and challenging, with a mix of elevated tees keeping even low-handicap players guessing for distance and club selection. A major selling point of Marbella Club is the gap between tee times (a generous 12 minutes minimum) which means that the tension when you shank one into the rough is slightly reduced. A class act.

The 19th hole: Tie in tee times to coincide with an evening table booked at Juan Galvez’s The Grill, the hotel’s fabulous (and heavily meat-centric) restaurant.

Address: Carretera Benahavis, Km 3.7, 29679, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 88 06 08; Marbellaclubgolf.com.

La Quinta Golf & Country Club, Nueva Andalucia

5th hole la quinta marbella

La Quinta ticks a lot of boxes. A mature and well-kept course that was designed by Spanish pros Antonio Garrido and Manuel Piñero, it perhaps plays a little easier than some of the others on this list. That’s not to say it’s not a high quality course – nor that it doesn’t have its challenges in the form of some tricky fairways and cavernous bunkers – merely that it’s suitable for mid-handicappers.

The course is made of three nine-hole loops – San Pedro, Ronda and Guadaiza – which can be mixed and matched as you see fit. As a result, along with a scenic driving range, it makes for a good warm-up round at the start of your golf holiday. 

The 19th hole: Soothe stiff backs with a post-round soak, steam and massage in the hammam-inspired La Quinta Spa.

Address: Avenida Tomas Pascual, s/n, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 76 23 90; Laquintagolf.com.

Finca Cortesin, Casares

finca cortesin clubhouse

A fairly new addition towards the western end of the Costa del Sol in Casares, Finca Cortesin is a sophisticated luxury resort that mixes indulgence with style and taste throughout.

Two things stand out about the golfing here, though: first of all, despite only having been built in 2006, it’s a mature course with fairways lined with lots of old cork and olive trees and some spectacular scenery; secondly, at nearly 7,000m it’s an absolutely monster. Weak drivers need not apply.

The 19th hole: play an early morning’s round and spend the afternoon stretched out by the pool, before heading down to their beach club for sundowners.

Address: Carretera de Casares, s/n, 29690 Casares, Malaga; Tel: +34 952 93 78 00; Fincacortesin.com.

La Zagaleta, Benahavis

la zagaleta fairway

Winding its way up into hills and woodland above Marbella, La Zagaleta country club has two courses, La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos. Both are amongst the very prettiest of this very pretty bunch, with many holes snaking their way through tree-lined valleys criss-crossed with occasional streams. This is the real joy of playing here: not only does nature start as soon as the fairway stops on many holes, but at almost no point do fairways run alongside one another. They feel like golf courses that are integrated into the surrounding natural landscapes rather than imposed on it.

There’s just one potential hitch: it’s a members’ only affair. So unless you’re fortunate enough to have friend who’s in the club you won’t be getting in.

The 19th hole: forget about that disappointing scorecard by heading for the clubhouse’s bowling alley, exclusive for residents of La Zagaleta with prior arrangement (check out our villas in La Zagaleta).

Address: Carretera Ronda Km 38.5, Benahavis, Malaga, 29679; Tel: +34 952 85 54 50; Lazagaleta.com.

Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande

valderrama water hazard

Valderrama Golf Course has in the past picked up the accolade of the best golf course in mainland Europe. The list of competitions it’s held over the years is a long one taking in the Andalucia Masters, the Volvo Masters and the first Ryder Cup to be played on European soil. Suffice to say that, whichever way you come at it, it’s one of the best places to play golf in Spain for the serious golfer.

And the emphasis here is very much on Serious with a capital ‘S’. The greens are lightning fast, the fairways at times breathtakingly tight, and the rough unforgiving. But the thing that sets Valderrama apart is the fact that there’s not a single dull hole – whether they’re winding their way through the cork woods, both visually and in terms of the challenge they throw up, each offers something slightly different, right up to the famous 17th with its death or glory tee-off.

The 19th hole: start by booking an afternoon tee time. Then, at the end of your round, step off the 18th green, walk to the clubhouse, order yourself a glass of fine champagne and watch as the shadows lengthen over the fairways. Drink it all in. You’re surrounded by a piece of golfing heritage.

Address: Avenida de los Cortijos, s/n, 11310 Sotogrande, Cadiz; +34 956 79 12 00; Valderrama.com.

For accommodation that is as equally refined, choose Villa El Chorrito Sotogrande neighbouring Valderrama golf club.

Los Flamingos, Benahavis

views los flamingos golf benahavis1

Los Flamingos is Malaga golf ground zero. Right in the heart of the action, and part of the exclusive Villa Padierna resort complex, there are three courses sitting side by side: Alferini, Tramores and Los Flamingos.

Of the three, Alferini is the trickiest – long with punitive rough and countless challenging approach shots. Tramores is a short, friendly warm-up course (an extended pitch and putt, if you like) that’s ideal for grooving your swing. Los Flamingos, though, is probably the most inviting for the average golfer. Designed by Antonio Garcia Garrido, it’s a mix of gently rolling parkland and hillier holes. After a tight front nine, the back nine opens up a bit making for a very pleasant day of golf in the Andalucian sunshine.

The 19th hole: while it’s nowhere near as relaxing as a cold beer or two back in the clubhouse, the Michael Campbell Golf Academy is a great place to hit the driving range, take a lesson (private and group tuition is available) and iron out any kinks in your swing.

Address: Villa Padierna Golf Club, Urbanizacion Los Flamingos Golf, Carretera de Cadiz, Km. 166. 29679 Marbella, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 889 157; Villapadiernagolfclub.com.

Choose one of our Los Flamingos Golf villas for a convenient stay that’s also within easy reach of the coast’s restaurants and bars.

Los Naranjos, Marbella

9th hole los naranjos

This Robert Trent Jones Sr-designed course celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. Like the other courses he turned his expert hand to on the Costa del Sol, Valderrama, Sotogrande and Las Brisas, it’s as pleasant to play as it is to look at. Aesthetically, the 9th is a particular highlight: having successfully navigated a lovely right to left dogleg, you can lean on your putter and admire beautiful views of La Concha.

In terms of difficulty, it’s something of a course of two halves, with the back nine a more leisurely walk in the park(land) after the challenging terrain – plus tricksy water features and bunkers – of the front nine. It sits firmly in the mid-range end of the spectrum, though, and for higher handicappers is nowhere near such a daunting day out as some of the championship courses on this list.

The 19th hole: the club is Swedish-owned and there’s been great excitement about the appointment of a Scandinavian chef to head up the recently refurbished restaurant in the clubhouse. Locals have been booking the morning tee times to align their rounds with a spot of lunch.

Address: Plaza de Cibeles, s/n, 29660 Marbella, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 81 24 28; Losnaranjos.com.

Costa del Sol Golf Holiday Need-to-Knows

When’s the best time of year to play? With over +300 days of sunshine per year, it’s never exactly a bad time for a Costa del Sol golf holiday. Autumn and Spring, though, are perhaps the most popular seasons as the temperatures are pleasant, without ever hitting the scorching summer highs. 

How much are green fees on the Costa del Sol? It very much depends. At the upper end, the green fees at Valderrama won’t leave you with much change from €400, whereas a round of golf at Los Flamingos or Los Naranjos might set you back somewhere in the region of €70-80 in low season.

How do I find the best Costa del Sol golf deals? Whether it’s making sure you get the most favourable tee times or booking you the best caddy, the LVC concierge team are on hand. Ask and you shall receive.

Like our pick of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol, and now looking for a suitably indulgent place to stay? Check out our collection of luxury golf villas.

After something a little less energetic from your holiday? Stretch out on one of our pick of the best Marbella beaches instead.

Best Marbella Nightlife

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

Olivia Valere

Olivia Valere

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

Cavalli Club Puerto Banus

cavalli club puerto banus

Puerto Banus has a new kid on the block by the name of Cavalli Club. It exploded onto the scene in 2015 with big name DJs (the likes of Snoop Dog and Bob Sinclair) and one wild party after another throughout the season. It’s not a huge club so reserving a table (particularly if you’re a group of more than six) is a good idea, and our Concierge can help. They rack up some great names and party themes throughout May until October. If the dance floor doesn’t grab you, and you need somewhere to place your Jack Daniels, you can chill out on the mezzanine level in comfort overlooking the dance floor.

Open from midnight until 6am from May until October with an over-21s door policy.

Address: Carretera Cadiz, Km. 175, 29660 Puerto Banus, Malaga; phone: 689 74 45 28; Cavalli Club Facebook Page.

Best for Front Line

Pangea

pangella puerto banus

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

nikki beach marbella

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

Ocean Club

ocean club marbella

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.

luxury villa el madronal, benahavis

El Madronal: Marbella’s Secret Hideaway

Marbella’s well known for attracting A-list celebrities and VIPs, and the paparazzi are often out in force snapping shots of the latest famous arrival. Getting away from the paparazzi in the resort itself can be challenge, but there is somewhere you can stay in complete privacy and still enjoy all that Marbella and Puerto Banus have to offer.

El Madronal Marbella

Sublime setting for Villa Cezanne

This peace and quiet can be found in an idyllic country retreat in the foothills of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, yet just a short drive from Marbella and the coast. It might be close in distance but this tranquil refuge is a world away from the glitz and glamour in bustling Puerto Banus. Here, you’ll find yourself in the heart of typically Mediterranean landscape with the Mediterranean and Strait of Gibraltar stretching beneath you.

El Madronal gated development sits above the Guadaiza River valley on the mountain side forested with pines, cork oaks and aromatic shrubs. Carpetted in wild flowers in spring and in a riot of colour in autumn , it’s home to a long list of fauna – wild boars, deer and mountain goats – as well as numerous species of birds.

This natural paradise rubs shoulders with neighbouring La Zagaleta, one of the richest postcodes in Spain, and has been earmarked by the rich and famous as somewhere to get away from prying eyes (and the cameras) since the 1950’s when the first millionaires built their exclusive retreats here. The development has been designed to provide space and privacy. Plots are at least 2,600 square metres so there’s plenty of scope for spacious houses and large gardens. All come with sweeping views – on clear days, you can see the different peaks that make up the Rif Mountains in Morocco on the other side of the Mediterranean.

El Madronal villa

The Peaceful Surroundings of El Madronal

Luxury is key to describing homes in El Madronal – alongside spacious living go sumptuous furnishings and fittings, infinity pools, manicured gardens, state of the art technology, staff accommodation and room for several cars. All within natural surroundings where the silence is only broken by birdsong.

High security on the complex translates into total privacy. Numerous high-profile politicians, executives and businesspeople have escaped from their daily grind here for a welcome break. And plenty of celebrities have taken holidays in El Madronal far from the long lenses of the paparazzi. But discretion is absolute so you never know who’s staying until they’re long gone – as fans of One Direction has just discovered.

Celebrity homes on the development include the estate belonging to the film star Madeleine Carroll, known as the ‘iceberg maiden’ and star of Hitchcock’s ’39 Steps’. Her magnificent El Madronal home was one of the first to be built and she spent her retirement here. You can get a taste of a Hollywood retreat by renting the large country mansion, Hacienda Madronal 2.

Luxury private villa Hacienda Madronal 2 in Marbella

Luxury Andalucian Hacienda Owned by A-list celebrities in El Madronal

El Madronal was also home to El Cortijo recording studio where singers and musicians have taken inspiration from the tranquil surroundings to compose and produce. Icelandic star Bjork composed her iconic track ‘So Broken’ here in 1997; Cher, Roxette and Mariah Carey stayed while they worked on albums as did the Swedish group The Cardigans.

As well as relaxing and soaking up the panoramic views from your terrace and pool, you may want to explore some of Andalucia during your stay at El Madronal. The bright lights of Marbella and Puerto Banus are, of course, just a short drive away as are some world-class golf courses and sandy beaches. But venture a little further afield and you can sample some of the very best Andalucia has to offer.

Continue up the mountain road and you’ll find yourself in Ronda – one of southern Spain’s most stunning white towns with its plunging river gorge, typical Andalucian architecture and monuments such as the Arab Baths and one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. Be sure to try some of the local Ronda wine at the excellent restaurants and tapas bars in the town or visit one of the vineyards.

Ronda, Idylicc place to visit during Andalucia holidays

Stunning Ronda, just half an hour from El Madronal

The vibrant city of Malaga is also just a short drive away with plenty of things to do and see including the Moorish fortress, Baroque cathedral and art museums including the Picasso Museum. Leave some time for shopping – don’t miss the local produce at the Atarazanas market – and go then for a leisurely lunch at one of the many fine restaurants in the old quarter and on Muelle Uno in the port where you’ll find Juan Carlos Garcí­a’s Michelin-starred restaurant.

With its unique location and magnificent properties, El Madronal allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds on holiday – you can relax in total peace and quiet or pop out to nearby resorts and tourist attractions. And as one of the most private places in Spain, no one need ever know you’re there.

For places to stay in and around El Madronal please take a look at our collection below, or contact us today for an availability check and quotation.

 

Villa Azure luxury villa Zagaleta Marbella
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Villa Azure

Villa Azure is a stylish contemporary 5/6 bedroom luxury villa for rent in La Zagaleta with concierge, indoor pool and panoramic views above Marbella.
Casa Alegre, Benahavis
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Casa Alegre

Casa Alegre is the epitome of rural Andalusian elegance, a Benahavis luxury country villa full of handmade luxuries and one-of-a-kind antiques in a tasteful mountain home by the river. 5 Bedrooms sleeping 10. Prices from £4,950 to £8,950 per week, staffed property.
The Retreat modern luxury villa Ronda
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The Retreat

A stylish Spanish Cortijo with endless panoramas, scenic countryside, luxury amenities, character antiques and five-star service. Plenty of space for large families, destination weddings or events. 6+1 bedrooms sleeping 14. Prices from £6,000 to £9,600 per week, fully staffed.
Villa Cezanne Benahavis Marbella luxury villa
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Villa Cezanne

Villa Cezanne is a picture-perfect modern villa, with breath-taking Mediterranean panoramas, 4 bedrooms, 3 living rooms, office, bodega and games room, sleeping 11. Prices from £6,400 to £9,950 per week.
Finca La Buena Benahavis Luxury Villa
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Finca La Buena

Set on 600 wooded acres in Benahavis near Marbella, Finca La Buena is a traditional Spanish manor farmhouse steeped in class and elegance, worthy of the Aristocracy, and yet welcoming and homely. 10 Bedrooms sleeping 19+3. Prices from £20,500 to £26,700 per week, fully staffed.
Villa Vivaldi La Zagaleta luxury villa
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Villa Vivaldi

Villa Vivaldi is serenely removed from the hustle of Puerto Banus, offering a luxury villa rental in exclusive La Zagaleta. This classical yet modern 7-bedroom villa blends fine art, elegant style and refined luxuries with incomparable Mediterranean vistas.
luxury castle rental villa Marbella
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Hacienda de Madronal 2

Hacienda Madronal 2 is a 7 bedroom luxury estate set in private woodland, once owned by a Hollywood actress and a Rock Star. The Hacienda sits in the beautiful Madroñal area to the north of Marbella, with stunning views of the coastline and wooded hilltops. Located just an hour from Malaga and 45 minutes from the stunning hilltop town of Ronda. 7 bedrooms sleep 13, with prices from £4,350 to £9,400 per week.
wedding villa venue marbella
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Hacienda de Madronal 1

Hacienda Madronal 1 is a 9/10 bedroom luxury estate set in private woodland in the beautiful Madronal area to the north of Marbella, with stunning views of the coastline it is the perfect location for Spanish weddings and family gatherings. Located just an hour from Malaga and 45 minutes from stunning hilltop town of Ronda. Sleeps 18-20 guests. From £6,000 to £12,500 per week, staffed villa.
Luxury 7 bedroom villa near Marbella
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The Madronal Collection, Villa 2

7 Bedroom Luxury Madroñal Villa With Indoor Pool & Self Contained Apartment. Sleeps 18. From £8,365 to £23,075 per week.