When to go
With 320 days of sun a year, and the lowest average temperature around 12 degrees in January, Marbella is pretty wonderful whenever you go.
PlanesThe nearest airport is Malaga | around 30 minutes away by car. There’s a toll road and a freeway | neither of which is straightforward to negotiate | particularly at night. A licensed taxi from the airport is around €50 | or ease into your holiday via a Merc or BMW from Skybus for a few euros more (book at the UK office on +44 (0)1243 784349; www.skybusspain.com). If you want to ham up the jet-set look | glide up to your hotel in a stretch limo from the Marbella Limousine Company (+34 618 640 100; www.limosol.com) | from €25 a person.
TrainsThere’s no direct rail link from Malaga airport to Marbella.
AutomobilesYou’ll probably find it’s not worth renting a car: the narrow Marbella streets are much friendlier to pedestrians than vehicles; signposting isn’t great; and traffic lights are positioned high up so you have to squint into the sun… There are buses from Malaga airport: see www.andalucia.com/travel/bus/airport.htm for timetables and details.
TaxisCabs are cheap, but not always metered. Those that aren’t should carry an official book of rates, so check with your driver before you set off. Taxis display a green ‘libre’ notice or green light at night. You can ask your bar or restaurant to call one for you.
Marbella has been the famously chic playground of old-school, look-at-me Mediterranean glamour for decades, and Marbella Club is one of the biggest reasons behind its rep. Opened by playboy Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe in 1951, the shore-side resort (which includes a spa, beach club, golf course, botanical gardens and champagne room, naturally) still attracts the glitz-garbed international jet set and those who like to watch them at play. Although these days, a lot of the younger guests slope off to barefoot-luxe coast club Nikki Beach down the road when they’re tired of lounging on the pool terrace…
Style Andalucian Alcazar
Setting Sun, sea and sierras
It may boast one of Spain’s best golf courses, but Finca Cortesin, near Estepona on the Costa del Sol, certainly isn’t the sort of bland hotel frequented by old men in lemon slacks and Pringle sweaters.
• Hi-tech, fully equipped spa
• Fantastic food from three restaurants
• One of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol