Is Marbella a Victim of Its Own Popularity?
Since the Costa del Sol became the place to go in the 1960s Marbella’s popularity has grown and grown. Favoured by the rich and famous, who purchased gigantic properties and super yachts which they moored in the exclusive Puerto Banus Marina, holidaying in Marbella was a sign that you were doing pretty well for yourself. Fast forward to the start of the noughties and things in Marbella started to change…
The rise of Z-list celebrities such as Katie Price and Kerry Katona, not to mention the myriad of reality TV stars that rose to fame in the noughties, who flocked to Marbella on holiday started to attract a new kind of holidaymaker. Magazines were (and still are) constantly filled with pictures of these bargain bucket celebrities partying in Puerto Banus, sailing to coast on yachts or shopping for designer clothes in Marbella.
Beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, La Sala and Ocean Beach Club opened their doors and began charging astronomical prices for the privilege of sitting on a sun lounger and enjoying a cocktail at one of their ‘exclusive’ pool parties. There are plenty of people who will pay these silly prices just to say that they have partied with half the cast of TOWIE but for those wanting a relaxing holiday in the sunshine or a family getaway on the Costa del Sol this is not the place to be.
The good news is while Marbella has been morphing into a playground for z-listers and hen parties resorts nearby on the Costa del Sol have had huge investments made into them meaning they are now fantastic options if you want relaxed beach bars, good restaurants and the occasional night on the town. Fuengirola and Benalmadena are prime examples of resorts that have transformed from their image of a high-rise resort for pensioners to attractive, well maintained and affordable holiday resorts.
The accommodation outside of Marbella is also greatly cheaper. Villas and Apartments on the Costa del Sol are available in abundance and staying in areas such as Mijas Costa, La Cala, Estepona or Fuengirola can save you a fortune rather than paying the premium rate for being a stone’s throw from Marbella. Public transport and cheap taxi fares mean that you can get into Marbella easily from any of the other quieter resorts along the coast.
Of course Marbella is not all bad. The Old Town is beautiful with Orange Square and the Town Hall amongst the highlights. It is a lovely place to enjoy a meal and take a stroll in the evenings. Puerto Banus is worth a visit if you like designer shops, or even if you just like to people watch. The beaches in Marbella are good and very family-friendly if you avoid the beach clubs. It is just a pity that much of the town is invaded by champagne swilling 20-somethings in the summer months. If you want to take a trip to Marbella do it between October and May when the town returns to its former glory! Better still, give one of the resorts nearby a try, I think you’ll be impressed.