Ritzy Puerto Banús is the glamour girl of the Costa del Sol and a ubiquitous playground of the international rich and famous. Set against the background of a dramatic swathe of mountains, the resort’s spectacular coastal setting is well matched by its luxury marina and proliferation of designer boutiques, restaurants, and exclusive villas.
If you have 48 hours to spend in the lap of Mediterranean luxury, here’s how you can do it.
Day One: Luxury On and Off the Water
You don’t have to go far to discover the heart of Puerto Banús is focused around the picturesque 900-berth marina and central promenade.
Must-See: the Marina
Start off with a leisurely stroll around the marina, which is home to countless luxury vessels, including those owned by royalty (the King of Saudi) and celebrities. Some of these extravagantly appointed boats never even leave their moorings, serving as floating holiday homes for their wealthy owners.
Indulge in Some Serious Shopping
Calle Ribera, the promenade in front of the marina, is lined with high-end luxury boutiques. The traffic that cruises past is just as impressive and it’s bumper-to-bumper Lamborghinis and Ferraris in the busy times. All the big name designers are represented with stores here and you can restock your wardrobe with the latest season offerings from:
- Michael Kors
- Roberto Cavalli
- Louis Vuitton
The star-studded designer list goes on, and on, and on. If it’s shopping that floats your boat, you be able to do some serious damage to the credit card here.
Most shops along Calle Ribera are open every day until late at night, however some are closed on Sundays.
Don’t Miss the Celebrity Square
The glitzy retail isn’t restricted to the port area though, and just a few minutes away you’ll find El Corte Inglés, Spain’s largest upmarket department store chain. You can actually see it from the marina, but you’re not likely to forget the address, in any case…
El Corte Ingles is situated on Plaza Antonio Banderas, so named after Malaga’s favourite son who was born and still has a home (and a rather big boat!) here. Wander around its five floors of fabulous high-end retail refreshment, after which you may have to make a pit stop back at your accommodation to offload all your purchases!
El Corte Inglés is located at Calle Ramón Areces, open Mon-Sat 10am-10pm and Sundays in peak times. There are also regular arts and crafts street markets held in Plaza Antonio Banderas.
Dine Overlooking the Magical Marina
While it’s always dressed to impress, Puerto Banús takes on a very special kind of magic after dark. Choose from one of the many elegant dining establishments along the promenade, where you can enjoy exquisite fine dining and spectacular views over the marina and out to the horizon.
- Fuel Brasserie – Where food is not just fuel, it’s an ‘event’. You might see some familiar faces here, as it’s a favourite rich and famous hot spot. Situated at Av. del Prado, 3, open 12–3:30pm, 7pm–12am.
- Celebrities Gold – Fabulous food, priceless views and, yes, even the odd celebrity! On the water at Complejo Benabolá, open 9.00am-2.00am daily.
- El Gran Gatsby – The perfect place to watch the sun set over the Costa del Sol. Fabulous cocktails and stunning terrace dining. Open 12.30-02.00am, right on the marina.
Day Two: In the Pink on the Beautiful Beach
If day one is spent exploring the heart of the resort, on day two it’s time to see the ‘other’ side of Puerto Banús – its beaches! While no beach on the Costa del Sol is ever going to disappoint, the ones around here are a little bit special, as only befitting the upmarket surrounds…
Just a short sandy stroll from the main beach under the shadow of the marina, Playa Rio Verde may be named after a green river, but it’s the gorgeous pink-tinged sands and delicate crystal blue of the water that create a veritable rainbow of relaxation.
- The beach is 1500m of wide, sandy shoreline, lapped by calm, virtually waveless waters.
- You can rent a deckchair with parasol, or if you want to get out and explore the marina area from a different vantage you can even hire a small boat.
- Playa Rio is kept immaculately clean and there are also some excellent upmarket bars and restaurants for lunch, dinner or sunset cocktails.
Renowned as the most glamorous beach in Marbella, you might find yourself rubbing shoulders (or even sunscreen) with any number of international glitterati throughout a lazy day here – so you just never know who may be joining you for cocktail hour!
While a couple of days are never really enough for a holiday, beautiful Puerto Banús is the ideal place to enjoy a short luxury break on the Costa del Sol.
If you’re planning on exploring other parts of the Costa del Sol, this article may be of interest
How to Get to Puerto Banús
When you fly into Málaga Airport, getting the rest of the way to Puerto Banús to start your luxury break in style is easy with a private Málaga airport transfer from Shuttle Direct. Pre-book online and your driver will meet your flight and transport you and your luggage right to the door of your hotel or villa. There’ll be no waiting around for public transport or other passengers, and the relaxing journey to Puerto Banús only takes about 45 minutes.
If you’re hiring a vehicle at the airport to sightsee around the Costa del Sol, to get to Puerto Banús you’ll have a choice of taking the inland A7 toll road (which is faster) or the AP-7 and A-7 coastal route, which is extremely picturesque.
Where to Stay:
Park Plaza Suites Apartamentos – Location, location, location. The elegant, old world glamour of the Park Plaza Suites Apartamentos is a perfect complement to the stunning harbour backdrop. Soak up the luxury of your private balcony, enjoy live music on the grand piano in the foyer bar, and dine on delicious French cuisine in the restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Melia Marbella Banús – In its delightful garden setting, the Melia Marbella Banús allows you to experience Puerto Banús in the way it should be enjoyed. With so many places to relax, including a rooftop terrace and pool, three outdoor pools complete with tropical waterfalls, and spacious garden and ocean view suites, you’ll be embraced in the lap of luxury.
Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa – Situated right on the beach, a sunset drink on your private terrace overlooking the ocean is just one of the extravagances you can enjoy in the Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa. Dine in the Michelin-starred restaurant, indulge yourself in the onsite wellness centre, and soak up the 5-star contemporary luxury of your suite in this elegant hotel.