Puerto Banús (The Port) is known around the world as a jet setters paradise. Situated to the West of Marbella, it is visited by approximately 5 million people each year. Within the port one will find the most exclusive designer boutiques, the biggest and most expensive yachts on the planet, extraordinarily luxurious cars and it’s especially also known for its glamorous nightlife.
Clubs, bars, piano bars and pubs overflow in the area. During the day you can visit the lovely beaches, hit the shops or enjoy lunch in one of the port’s world-class restaurants.
Nueva Andalucía has grown into a very extensive urbanisation just above Puerto Banús. It is a residential area with a large population of foreigners, especially British and Scandinavian. Also known internationally as The Golf Valley, due to its concentration of famous golf courses, it is well served with restaurants and supermarkets.
An international range of tourists make this luxury port all the more interesting. There are many hotels available for visitors wishing to stay in the area, such as the Hotel Meliá Marbella Dinamar, the Hotel PYR Marbella, the Plaza Suites or the Gran Hotel Gvadalpin Banús, which offer all the services necessary for an amazing holiday on the Costa del Sol.
This millionaire’s playground has also been home to select residents since its opening in 1970. Apartment blocks rise all around Banús, including on the first line of the port! For the elite that can afford them, these luxurious apartments are available to buy or rent. Refer to our Business Directory for information about real estate agents.
Across the coastal highway, Nueva Andalucía is bustling with residents and visitors and you can expect to find busy shops and cafés peopled with many different nationalities, as well as golfers who naturally gyrate to this area.
Puerto Banús is located next to Marbella and some 60 kms west of Málaga airport. Inside the port it is unlikely you will need transport because everything is within walking distance. However to venture outside of the area, or get home after a night out, buses and taxis are available. Bus services run from Puerto Banús to adjacent towns on the local Portillo bus routes. Bus services can also take you as far as Gibraltar or Málaga airport. The most frequented bus stops are located by El Corte Inglés and in front of the port on the A7. The L-1 bus takes you to and from the popular shopping centre La Cañada. You can pick it up outside Puerto Banús’ McDonald’s or El Corte Inglés. Buses come every half hour. Buses also run to Aloha, pass Centro Plaza and to La Campana in Nueva Andalucía.
For most people, getting a taxi is much simpler than riding by bus. There are four main taxi ranks in Puerto Banús, however during the busy summer months taxis can be found almost anywhere. The four main points are opposite the archway, as you enter the port, another is located outside Glam nightclub, more taxis can be found parked beside Dreamers nightclub (across the A7), and outside El Corte Inglés. Across in Nueva Andalucía, there are taxi ranks in front of the Andalucía Plaza and Meliá La Quinta Hotels, as well as at Centro Plaza and other key points.
WHAT TO DO
Once in Puerto Banús, be sure to snap a photo of Salvador Dalí’s famous green rhinoceros. The sculpture was unveiled in Puerto Banús in 2004. The El Marbellero statue is also a landmark. It stands an amazing 30 meters high and was a gift from Russian expats in the area to former Marbella mayor, Jesus Gil. It is said to be a representation of Marbella’s local residents.
If you prefer to stroll on the beach rather than around the shops, there are lovely long promenades (Paseo Maritimo) on either side of the port. These promenades are a great place to cycle or roller blade. Or one could opt to use the municipal exercise machines located right on the Paseo Maritimo.
There are a plethora of restaurants in the port to chose from that include nearly every type of cuisine imaginable. Some of the most popular include the long established Los Bandidos and the pizzeria Picasso and the much newer Dani Garcia’s La Moraga and the Hard Rock Café.
The focal point of Puerto Banús is the marina, which provides docking facilities with berths for 915 boats between 6 to 50 meters long which are available to rent or buy. The water depth ranges from 3 to 6 meters within the marina and is 7.5 meters deep at the port’s entrance. Said to be one of the most luxurious marinas in the world, it berths yachts belonging to the world’s wealthiest individuals – including the King of Saudi Arabia! Many of the yachts moored can enjoy spectacular views of the ocean as well as La Concha Mountain, one of the Costa del Sol’s landmarks. If you’re interested in docking in Puerto Banús refer to Business Directory for more information.
In Nueva Andalucía, there are also many highly regarded, quality restaurants offering a range of selective cuisine, bars and cafés. The commercial centre, Centro Plaza is the base for a range of established businesses and a meeting place for people with its popular bars and restaurants such as Yanks and Starz and hair & beauty salon, Reflections. At the top of Nueva Andalucía, El Lago de Tortugas (Turtle Lake) offers a scenic destination for a picnic under its shady eucalyptus trees.
AT THE BEACH
Walk along the promenade and check out Puerto Banús’ chiringuitos and luxurious beach bars. Beach goers can rent a sun bed from anywhere between €5 and €120. Depending on the exclusivity of the beach club, food and drink also ranges in price. One can expect things to be somewhat expensive as this area was designed for the world’s most wealthy visitors. Some of the most lavish beach clubs are in Puerto Banús, such as the classy Ocean Club located on Playa de la Siesta, offering designer drinks, trendy cuisine and chilled music in a great ambience. There are also chiringuitos, such as Pedro’s Beach on Playa Rodeo, that cater for visitors looking for a simpler beach experience.
Beaches can be found on either side of the port – but be careful, some have more stones than others. The beaches in Puerto Banús have little shade, so be prepared and take a parasol and lots of cream! There is plenty of space on these beaches and you will have no problem finding a patch of sand to roll out your towel and soak up the sun. While lying on the sand you’re likely to spot a luxurious yacht. In Puerto Banús your fantasies can become a reality as yacht rental services are easily arranged.
José Banús, arguably the most influential developer in Spain, inaugurated Puerto Banús in May 1970. Since then, its popularity and sophistication have continued to grow. Banús and General Franco were close friends and José was well known as ‘the regime’s builder’, developing many areas of the Costa del Sol. However, Puerto Banús was his special project designed for the elite jet set of the world. Noldi Schreck worked alongside José Banús to give the marina a touch of sophistication.
A luxurious launch party shook the Costa del Sol and Puerto Banús has been host to incredible parties ever since. The lavish grand opening was attended by, among others, Aga Khan, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, Prince Rainer and Princes Grace of Monaco, and heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christian Barnard. The young Julio Iglesias was paid an extortionate 125,000 Pesetas to entertain guests. 300 waiters were contracted from Seville and served over 20 kilos of beluga caviar to 1,700 glitterati.
Puerto Banús is one of the most exclusive places to go shopping in the world. If you´ve got your credit card at the ready, the marina has hundreds of the most exclusive designer shops, including brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Dior, Versace, Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera, Custo Barcelona and many many more. Just be aware that the shop might be temporarily closed to the general public if a VIP happens to be shopping there.
If designer clothing is out of your range, Puerto Banús is also full of Spanish high street fashion stores like Stradivarius, Zara, Mango, Bershka, etc. There is also a representation of Spain’s largest department store – El Corte Inglés. The main square, Plazade Antonio Banderas hosts an amazing Handmade Craft Fare in the whole month of August and there is also a weekly street market on Saturdays next to the bullring, Plaza de Toros de Nueva Andalucía, where you can find clothes, local produce, shoes, toys, etc.
Puerto Banús and Nueva Andalucía offer a full range of sporting facilities that are accessible whatever the season. This includes several gyms such as the Qi Gym, Plaza Gym in Centro Plaza and Atenas, opposite the port. If you like to funk your way to fitness, Princess Studios has a full range of fun classes, from pole dancing to cheerleading and Hip Hop, there’s something for everyone.
If you prefer water sports, Puerto Banús beaches have them all! They are professionally staffed but can be pricey. Nueva Andalucía is first and foremost recognised for its world-renowned triumvirate of golf courses, Aloha, Las Brisas and Los Naranjos which receive countless golfers during the season, October – May. Nearby, La Quinta Golf is a fourth course comprising 27 holes, offering a choice of layouts to combine. There is also Lawn Bowls available in Aloha and various tennis courts scattered throughout the area.