Marbella: Back on the radar
Our World | On 07, Jul 2011
Marbella and nearby Puerto Banus have historically been deemed the glamorous playground of the rich and famous and as a result became a very popular destination for the UK C&I market. Unfortunately in more recent times Marbella has been ‘out of favour’ as a C&I destination with new and exciting European destinations coming to the fore and taking the limelight. Having recently returned from a successful event, I feel it is time to remind ourselves and our clients what a great, diverse and affordable destination Marbella and Andalucía still is, particularly in the current climate.
Malaga has great flight access from London and the regional UK airports and now benefits from a new fully operational Terminal 3, which opened in March 2010. Marbella has an excellent choice of luxury hotels, including the Don Carlos, Gran Melia Don Pepe, Puente Romano and the Marbella Club to name just a few. When it comes to programme options, Marbella can deliver on many levels for a variety of audiences. Aside from activities on the water or great golf, you could take a day trip to Puerto Banus, with its fashionable boutiques and luxury yachts on show in the marina. Nightlife is abundant and includes clubs such as Pangea, Tibu, Nikki Beach, Seven, News Cafe and the Funky Buddha. Many of these have London and European DJ’s in situ, appealing to the young and trendy.
Those looking more for culture and the appeal of Andalucía will not be disappointed with the old town of Marbella which is very quaint. I was lucky enough to experience the Marbella Fair, also known as the Marbella Feria de San Barnabe, which took place whilst I was there and entailed many of the locals parading down the Paseo Maritimo in traditional dress. The Paseo Maritimo is a 6 km long beach promenade lined with palm trees, beautiful buildings, shops, outdoor cafes and restaurants with lovely views of the sea. Both locals and visitors either walk along the promenade or enjoy cycling and skating.
Only an hour away inland through the Sierra Bermeja Mountains lays the beautiful town of Ronda. Controversial, even amongst the Spaniards, the Corrida Goyesca is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year, at the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. Otherwise the bullring (Plaza de Toros) is now a museum and visitors can stroll out into the arena.
So there’s my little glimpse into Marbella. This most recent visit for me puts Marbella back on the radar as a great and affordable C&I destination offering something for everyone!