Of the many prestigious residential areas that make up Marbella and its surroundings, none is quite as famous and desired as the Golden Mile. Indeed, the homes that flank this seven-kilometre-long, palm-lined avenue connecting Marbella town and Puerto Banús, are easily considered to be the finest address in Marbella – and one of the finest on the Mediterranean.
The Golden Mile is one of those iconic avenues, in this case not within the centre of a capital city but within the green heart of one of Europe’s top resort towns. Its four lanes flanked by palm trees, exclusive apartment complexes, resort hotels, gardens and private villas connect the downtown area of Marbella with the glamorous yacht harbour of Puerto Banús, which was opened in 1970 and soon became famous in its own right. Today, the Golden Mile continues to be the epitome of Marbella elegance and style, an area that simply breathes luxury and privilege.
The birthplace of Marbella luxury
It is here, at the Marbella Club Hotel, that the story of Marbella as an internationally recognised luxury resort destination began back in the 1950s, when an aristocrat named Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe first extended a series of guest houses into the now-legendary hotel. His list of acquaintances and friends comprised the crème de la crème of the international jet set, and it wasn’t long before Hollywood actors, European aristocrats and international business tycoons discovered the pleasures of Marbella. Prime among these have always been the best climate in Europe and a spectacularly beautiful setting between mountain ranges, lush green valleys and the Mediterranean Sea – with stunning views across to Gibraltar and North Africa to complete the picture.
The prince asked his cousin, Count Rudolf Graf von Schönburg, to manage the new hotel that catered to the world’s elite, and over the years Count Rudi, as he is affectionately known in Marbella, became synonymous with the elegance and refinement that marks the Marbella Club and its sister hotel, the Puente Romano, which opened in the 1970s. Today, it is the epicentre of luxury nightlife and fine dining, with the likes of Le Suite, Nobu and also Dani García’s Leña among a range of quality venues. Located side by side, the Marbella Club and Puente Romano form the heart of the Golden Mile in every sense, embodying the very reason why it is so special and greatly desired. Room rates are not low, but they attract the famous and successful to a series of elegant suites surrounded by lush gardens, private courtyards, a stunning collection of restaurants and evening venues, as well as a gym, spa and owners club.
Marina Puente Romano, the beachside residential extension of the resort, borders the renowned Puente Romano Tennis Club, whose first director was none other than the great Bjorn Borg himself. These days it is the haunt of Novak Djokovic, who uses the club as his home training base. Properties within this area named for an ancient bridge that formed part of the legendary Via Romana command the highest rates in Marbella, and at €20.000-€25.000 per square metre they compete with major urban centres and the very best resort destinations around the world. Indeed, the luxurious villas, apartments and penthouses on the seafront side of the Golden Mile represent the very pinnacle of luxury in Marbella.
From beachfront to hill club
In addition to hosting many of chic restaurants, nightlife venues, art galleries, fashion boutiques, interior designers and beach clubs on the Costa del Sol, the Golden Mile also incorporates the luxurious residential areas that extend inland towards Marbella’s iconic La Concha Mountain. These include such leafy villa suburbs as Las Lomas de Marbella Club, the arty village of La Virginia, Rocio de Nagüeles and the semi-gated Sierra Blanca. The latter is home to many grand villas with spectacular views enjoyed from this elevated position at the base of La Concha, yet finds itself just a few minutes from downtown Marbella and its beaches.
The most exclusive part of Sierra Blanca is Cascada de Camoján, a select gated villa suburb named for one of the cascading streams within the protected mountain scenery it borders. Endowed with spectacular views over the coast, this is one of the premium addresses in Marbella, though the older suburb of Nagüeles is also gaining prestige as earlier villas on large plots are being renovated and modern homes built in their stead.
From beachfront to hill club, Marbella’s iconic Golden Mile offers a broad variety of living environments within the resort town’s most desired location. Added to the lustrous heritage of this privileged address are some of the most luxurious new developments of villas, apartments and penthouses in Spain. They represent a new wave of top-end properties that blend optimal levels of quality, design, refinement and security with the amenities and concierge services of a five-star resort. It is this trend, combined with the unequalled desirability of the setting that makes real estate on the Golden Mile gold dust.