The Golden Mile, the origin of Marbella glamour

Louise Swan, January 2015 | Areas - Our view, Local News and Information

The concept of Marbella glamour has evolved with the times, from the aristocrats and Hollywood stars of the 1950s and 60s, the playboys and models of the 1970s and 80s to the celebrities and stars of a modern era. However, the origins of Marbella’s glamorous reputation lay within its most famous boulevard, the Golden Mile, for it was here – just west of Marbella town – that an international elite first flocked to enjoy the idyllic climate, views and natural setting of this coastal region.

Having seen the possibilities, they created a lifestyle that remains the envy of much of Europe; a life built around outdoor living, sport, relaxing in the sun and socialising. Indeed, Marbella is all about enjoying the finer things in life, and while the top restaurants, boutiques, nightlife venues and other luxuries do come at a price, there are also other pleasures on tap, such as hiking in the nearby mountains, visiting charming mountain villages or towns, socialising at traditional tapas bars and soaking in the sun on the beach.

For all the variety Marbella offers it is the reputation for glamour and chic that still draws many to these shores, be it as tourists, seasonal visitors or full-time residents. This tradition was established in the 1940s, when Alfonso von Hohenlohe and his father first bought large tracts of beachside land on which to build their private villas. The friends they invited were so enamoured with this newly discovered gem that word got out and before long the original hosts decided to build a small, exclusive hotel to accommodate the growing influx of jet set visitors.

And thus the Marbella Club was born in the early 1950s. Originally no more than a glorified villa with additional cottages, it soon grew into a charming and fully functioning luxurious resort hotel right on the Mediterranean shore. Prince von Hohenlohe enlisted the help of Count Rudi von Schönburg to run the hotel, which was now playing host to international royalty and stars such as Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant – the first of a long list of dignitaries and celebrities that have frequented the Marbella Club Hotel and its younger sibling, the Puente Romano Hotel.

The latter was opened in the 1970s, not too long after the creation of the glamorous marina of Puerto Banús, just a little further along the coast. In due course the road connecting Marbella town and Puerto Banús – which bypasses these two exquisite resort hotels – became known as the Golden Mile, a palm-lined avenue flanked by parks, chic eateries and sumptuous private villas and apartment complexes. The very finest are located on the beachside, where a veritable millionaire’s row of mansions and low-rise penthouse apartments makes this one of Europe’s most exclusive residential areas.

4 Beds 4 Baths 360 m² Built 650 m² Plot

Exclusive luxury villa in an unbeatable location, within the grounds of the prestigious Grand Luxury hotel, Marbella Club, in the heart of the Golden Mile of Marbella and a few steps from its ...

11 Beds 11 Baths 1100 m² Built 3159 m² Plot

We would like to present a unique opportunity to purchase a frontline beach Marbella Club villa, the first in almost two decades. This exceptional property, set on a generous plot of over 3000 square ...

10 Beds 10 Baths 2400 m² Built 5700 m² Plot

Magnificent residence situated beachfront on Marbella's Golden Mile with direct access to the beach and only a minute's walk from the Marbella Club Hotel. This unique villa truly has no equal in ...

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