For most people, Puerto Banús needs no introduction. Southern Spain’s finest marina (among the most luxurious in Europe) sparkles as one of the biggest attractions on the Costa del Sol and is a must-see in Marbella. Puerto Banús hosts the world’s largest yachts, its fastest cars, its most luxurious fashion brands and a long list of celebrities. Something of a place to see and be seen, the marina also has some excellent options for property in Marbella.
Where is Puerto Banús?
Puerto Banús lies on the west side of the Golden Mile in Marbella. The high-end residential area of Nueva Andalucía sits to its north and San Pedro de Alcántara to its west.
What are the origins of Puerto Banús?
The finest marina on the Costa del Sol celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. Conceived by entrepreneur José Banús and Beverley Hills architect Noldi Schreck, Puerto Banús always aimed to be one of the world’s top marina. Its opening party in 1970 has a guest list of 1,500 and included some of the world’s most famous people. Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly were guests of honour, and a young Julio Iglesias provided the live entertainment.
Over the last 50 years, the residential and commercial side of Puerto Banús has grown to include several apartment developments and El Corte Inglés department store. The centre of the marina, however, remains true to its original Andalusian style. And five decades later, Puerto Banús is still the most exclusive marina in southern Spain.
What’s Puerto Banús like?
The marina is a Mediterranean-style development with wide boulevards and tropical gardens. The port itself has over 900 berths, and some of them allow superyachts of up to 50m long to anchor. Puerto Banús regularly moors the world’s finest superyachts such as the Taiba, Azteca and Solandge as well as powerboats and pleasure boats. The prestigious marina easily rivals Saint Tropez and Monaco, and many believe it ranks as the finest in southern Europe.
On land, the frontline marina premises are mostly high-end fashion boutiques and jewellery shops dotted with restaurants and café-bars. Some of them have been open for decades – Salduba and Sinatra Bar are two examples. Just as they welcomed Liza Minelli and Sean Connery in the early 1970s, they now play host to Lady Gaga or Cristiano Ronaldo.
On the periphery of the marina are more shops and residential developments. The large central square (Plaza Antonio Banderas) holds art and craft markets throughout the year and has an ice rink at Christmas.
Puerto Banús is also synonymous with the best nightlife on the Costa del Sol. The marina has several clubs, and its famous beach clubs double as night clubs in the summer. Open any gossip magazine in July and August, and you’ll see photos of celebrities out and about in nightclubs in Puerto Banús.
How big is it?
Puerto Banús itself is small and sits sandwiched between the highway and the coast.
How many people live in Puerto Banús?
The marina has few permanent residents (there’s no official census). However, the population swells several-fold in July and August with holidaymakers, many of whom stay in self-catering lets in Puerto Banús or in one of the hotels.
What’s the weather like in Puerto Banús?
Puerto Banús enjoys the same excellent weather as Marbella. Protected by the Sierra Blanca mountains from the cold in the winter and the summer heat, the marina has a privileged micro-climate. Expect plenty of sunshine, mild winters and warm summers.
How do I get to Puerto Banús?
If you’re driving to Puerto Banús from the west (from Estepona or Guadalmina), take one of the turns right after you come out of the A-7 highway tunnel at San Pedro de Alcántara. If you’re approaching from the east via the A-7 motorway, Puerto Banús is the first turn on the right. From Marbella, you get there along the Golden Mile.
How far is it to Malaga Airport from Puerto Banús?
Puerto Banús is just under 60km from Malaga Airport, and it takes around 35 minutes to get there. Expect to take up to 50 in the summer when traffic is heavy.
How far is it to Gibraltar Airport from Puerto Banús?
If your flight goes to Gibraltar, allow just under an hour to get to Puerto Banús by car plus extra for passport and border controls.
How far is it to Marbella from Puerto Banús?
Almost on the doorstep. The distance between the two is just 8km along the Golden Mile. If you fancy the exercise, it’s easily walkable and makes a lovely stroll along the seafront promenade.
What are the main attractions in Puerto Banús?
The biggest marina on the Costa del Sol appeals to tourists and residents for several reasons:
People-watching – the list of celebrities from all walks of famous life (nobility and royalty, TV stars, entertainers, artists, actors…) runs very long, particularly in the summer.
Yacht-watching – you’ll see some of the world’s finest crafts moored throughout the year (some are year-round residents). The sight of a superyacht against the backdrop of the Andalusian architecture and mountains is one of the most spectacular in Marbella.
Fancy cars – the four wheels match the glamour moored next door and most vehicles in Puerto Banús are top of the range. Bugatti, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Aston Martin sportscars line the marina flanked by Rolls Royce and Cadillac limos.
Shopping – browsing for luxury items (or just window shopping) is top of the things to do in Puerto Banús. You’ll see the world’s top designers in fashion, shoes, accessories and jewellery in boutiques around the port.
Dining out – the marina is home to many excellent restaurants, some of which are classics on the Marbella dining scene. You’ll find a good choice of different cuisines and some restaurants boast frontline marina positions so you can people-watch while you eat.
Beach clubs and nightlife – the hedonistic lifestyle at Puerto Banús lends itself perfectly to a day at one of the beach clubs followed by an evening at a nightclub.
Aquatic activities – numerous companies offer water sports in Puerto Banús. These range from the hire of jet skis and windsurf boards to fishing expeditions. You can also go on dolphin spotting trips and catch the ferry service to Marbella.
What are the beaches like near Puerto Banús?
Puerto Banús doesn’t have the biggest beaches in Marbella, but what they don’t have in size they make up for in atmosphere and fun. To the east of the marina is the longest beach and probably the quietest while to the west are a succession of small bays. All are sandy and have safe bathing.
You’ll find many beach restaurants in Puerto Banús, and some have water sports concessions where you can hire jet skis, longboards and kayaks. Or take a ride on the adrenaline-rush attractions such as the Banana Boat or Doughnut.
For a more sophisticated day at the sands, Puerto Banús offers some of the most select beach clubs in southern Spain. Ocean Club, famous for its celebrity guests and champagne parties, has a giant pool and a very central location. La Sala by the Sea goes for a Thai theme and offers live entertainment.
How about shopping in Puerto Banús?
Shopping in Puerto Banús deserves a whole section because the luxury retail experience at the marina is second to none in southern Spain. It’s the third-largest luxury market in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, and the majority of top international brands have boutiques in the port.
Fashion takes centre stage with the best-known French, and Italian haute couture designers all represented. Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo are just some examples. American legends such as Carolina Herrera and Tom Ford also have stores. Shoe brands include Jimmy Choo and Tod’s. And in the accessory department, Louis Vuitton and Hermès have long-established stores. Jewellers are also present and include Bulgari.
Most of the high-end stores are based around the marina itself, although there’s also excellent shopping outside the port. The large El Corte Inglés department store specialises in luxury brands in all its departments from furniture and appliances to fashion and accessories.
And property in Puerto Banús?
The small area of the marina means that property options are almost exclusively apartments. Those in the frontline are mostly in the original Andalusian style with balconies overlooking the boats. More modern developments have sprung up in recent years and offer spacious living, often in penthouse apartments. There are also high-end complexes with some of the best communal facilities in Marbella and with the additional advantage of a frontline beach position.
As you might expect, Puerto Banús property is among the most expensive in Marbella. Apartments can easily cost over €1 million and rise as high as €5 million for those in prime positions. Holiday lets in Puerto Banús are popular, and there’s potential for buy-to-let properties.
Find out more about real estate in Puerto Banus.