Marbella the 'Six Star Costa Del Sol' for Holiday Choice

A new female mayor and more luxury timeshare resorts complete with first class facilities are just part of the move towards a new six star Costa del Sol – ours and Mr. Cowell’s to enjoy all year round.

As Britain freezes, Spain’s St. Tropez still hogs the top spot as Europe’s winter sun getaway. Fiona Klonarides writes about our love affair with the Spanish village that could.

As Britain freezes, Spain’s St. Tropez still hogs the top spot as Europe’s winter sun getaway. But it’s not just the sun that makes Marbella an all-time timeshare favourite. . . The sun may be the star of the show, but there’s more to Marbella than the sand and sangria cliché. Fiona Klonarides writes about our love affair with the Spanish village that could.

Marbella’s Cinderella story goes something like this: once upon a time, about fifty years ago, a small fishing village transformed itself into one of the sunniest, most sophisticated seaside towns in Europe. (And everyone who visited holidayed happily ever after . . .)

Blessed with better weather than the rest of Europe, and, as the saying goes, with something for everyone, it’s hard to think of another Mediterranean destination that ticks so many boxes. Marbella lovers are seduced by its mix of simple, sophisticated and Spanish: dip your toes into the warm sand and tuck into a plate of fried fish at a child-friendly café, or splash out on late-night sushi and cocktails by the bar while you play spot-the-celebrity.

The next morning, it’s a double café con leche on the terrace – in your T-shirt. The sun may be the star of the show, but there’s more to Marbella than the sand and sangria cliché. With more golf courses per head than anywhere else in the world, it’s a putter’s paradise, and with two marinas – Marbella and Puerto Banus – close by, it’s a natural mecca for the haves and have-yachts.

Sports, shopping, history, enchanting villages. . . it has it all. And if that’s not enough, there’s tax-friendly Gibraltar and mystical Morocco "next door". For an eagle eye view of billionaire villas and their deep blue pools, hike up Marbella’s famous La Concha Mountain – or see the coast from a hop-on, hop-off catamaran as you head from Marbella to Puerto Banus for lunch at Picasso’s where Ferrari owners and families mingle over thin-crust pizza.

Just behind are the shops, and close by is El Corte Ingles, packed with glossy leather bags, good food and designer dresses, an emporium of Spanish style. At dusk, there’s nowhere more magical than “Orange Square” (Plaza de los Naranjos) Marbella’s 15th century original old town. Candle-lit restaurant windows beckon along cobbled streets lined with boutiques and galleries which are a joy to get lost in.

At dusk, there’s nowhere more magical than “Orange Square” (Plaza de los Naranjos) Marbella’s 15th century original old town.

Dinner might be tapas . . . or Swedish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Indian? Then a late-night pit-stop for hot chocolate and churros (deep fried doughnuts) by the main square as the bells of St. Mary’s Church chime midnight.

Perhaps we love Marbella because she’s whatever we want her to be: stylish, uncomplicated, historic, contemporary, fast, slow, sophisticated, easy-going. A buzzing jet-set destination or a sunny, beachy breathing space worlds away from old Blighty’s grey skies? So when the temperature is 12 degrees but 21 degrees sounds better, Marbella calls.

For us, Marbella’s a short hop away, a sunny playground open 365 days a year. For Marbella, a new female mayor and more luxury timeshare resorts complete with first class facilities are just part of the move towards a new "six star Costa del Sol" – ours and Mr. Cowell’s to enjoy all year round.

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