It’s been less than a week since I got back from sunny Marbella, but oh, don’t I long to be back there!
We – Ben, my sister and her boyfriend, my mum and dad – stayed in a gorgeous four bedroom villa with a shared pool in Paraiso Hills, Estepona which is approx. 10-15 minutes in a taxi from Puerto Banus and a little bit further from central Marbella. We hit the jackpot with the weather, as we arrived in the middle of a three week heatwave but my tan is fading fast!
If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off to the Costa Del Sol over the summer months, here’s my list of must dos.
On arrival at the exclusive nightspot, the first thing to hit you is the breath-taking panoramic views of the harbour from the open rooftop terrace. This is shortly followed by twinkling stars, complemented by Ibiza-esque chilled beats from the terrace DJ. Before it gets too busy get yourself a seat and enjoy a few G&Ts; the drinks prices are reasonable bearing in mind the location. We also managed to swerve the 10 euro admission charge. I could have stayed here all night but the others wanted to see more of Puerto Banus.
Nestled in the hills of Estepona, just on the border of Benahavis is this little gem of a restaurant. We loved it that much that we spent two nights here. The atmosphere is relaxed alfresco dining coupled with top class service and a menu to die for. On night one I enjoyed carpaccio of tuna, followed by sole and prawns pil pil – very garlicky but delicious. The olives and ginger carrots served on arrival also deserve a mention, as do the shot of gazpacho and melba toast served before the starters.
On our second visit, I opted for the salmon carpaccio with caper berries followed by fillet steak, finished with pavlova. If you want to be more adventurous with your food choice you can. Alongside the traditional dishes are treats such as coconut gambas and Thai style sole. To wash down the food, we enjoyed the dreamiest red wine, which we’re hoping to source for our wedding, a rich Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend called Enate.
Located on the beach of Puerto Banus, Ocean Beach Club is a private pool and restaurant with views of the sea. Pre-booking is a must, we booked a bed for four people before leaving the UK. On arrival you are greeted by your waiter. Ours, Alex, was lovely and efficient and we soon had a cocktail in hand, I had the Royal Fraise, a strawberry champagne glass of deliciousness. The bed, which I’m sure was made of memory foam, was super comfy if not a little small for four but this wasn’t a problem as we spent most of the time perched on the edge with drink in hand or at the side of the pool.
It’s worth noting that the drink prices are expensive, particularly the champagne, as you would imagine. I chose the Thai style beef for lunch and it was lovely and aromatic, with nice level of spice. To accompany this we had a bottle (or two) of white wine. We booked to go on a Monday and it was fairly relaxed, however, I think this would change come the weekend. We stayed until 8ish and I could easily have returned another day.
Orange Square, Marbella Old Town
On recommendation by a friend, we took to Marbella’s old town on our second to last evening and headed for the well-known ‘Orange Square’ filled with restaurants and bars. The evening was spent wandering the cobbled streets and dined at a restaurant just on the edge of the square. This is a great spot for people watching and trinket shopping.
Happy holidays x