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Marbella - Celebrity Playground

Apr 14, 2008
A sunny coastal town filled with beautiful scenery and hotels, Marbella is a popular resort in the Costa del Sol. Holidays in Marbella, cheap and expensive, are popular with all sorts of tourists, but the town is most well-known as a playground for the super-famous and uber-rich on holiday. Marbella is, these days, internationally recognised as a favourite destination for the extremely wealthy.

But it wasn't always like this. Back in the 1950s, Marbella holidays were unheard of and the spot existed only as a small fishing village. All of this changed, however, when Prince von Hohenlohe founded a new hotel in Marbella in 1954, the Marbella Club Hotel. Marbella, which had been a favourite destination of the Greeks, Romans, Moors and Arabians more than a thousand years earlier was suddenly re-awoken.

Quite apart from the established French Riviera and Monaco, this unpretentious natural paradise, with its wonderful climate and earthy ambience, was recognised as a refreshing getaway for a carefree Costa Del Sol holiday. Marbella soon attracted not only the European aristocracy, business tycoons and beautiful people of the day, but also Hollywood icons such as Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Stewart Granger and Grace Kelly.

Deborah Kerr was among the earliest members of this celebrated ex-pat community in the 1950s. For almost four decades, she entertained the cream of Hollywood and attracted other illustrious couples such as Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer. They bought a Marbella property here in 1965, at a time when celebrities emigrating to and taking holidays in Marbella were at their peak.

In 1970, Sean Connery and his then new bride Micheline Roguebrune became the most emblematic celebrity residents of Marbella, when they bought a derelict house on the beach near San Pedro and transformed it into their personal Mediterranean paradise.

He and Micheline entertained the likes of Richard Burton, Michael Caine and George Best on their Costa Del Sol holidays. Omar Sharif loved to visit friends and play at the glamorous old casino in Puerto Banús.

But the era of old-style glamour came to a close when, after 30 years, Sean Connery moved back to Scotland, and by the late 1990s, the scene had definitely changed. The smoking jackets and tuxedos, De Tomasos and Aston Martins, valet-parked at the old casino, were replaced by outrageous designer wear, fast Lamborghinis, Ferraris and stretch limousines. Old decorum and discreet promiscuity were exchanged for wild behaviour - often played out before the cameras.

The new jet-set of football players, pop stars, models, soap stars and tycoons may be called garish and nouveau riche by some, but they are the ones who take their Costa Del Sol holidays in Marbella and fill the glamour pages today, pursued by paparazzi just as their predecessors were before them.

Living in or taking their holidays in Marbella, they share the town with the residents and normal tourists on their cheap holidays to Marbella, who are still thrilled to catch a glimpse of them or enjoy a sample of the glamour that surrounds them on their Costa Del Sol holidays.

Some of the old glamour remains, now represented most aptly by Julio Inglesias, and younger generations on cheap holidays in Marbella are much more enthusiastic about the prospect of spotting David Beckham, Bruce Willis, Paul McCartney, Lolita Flores, Craig David or Isabel Pantoja. Antonio Banderas is often spotted in the area, taking one of his regular holidays in Marbella at his house in Los Monteros.

These are some of the new generation of stars whose presence continues to give Marbella panache and still attract Costa Del Sol holiday makers in their thousands.
About the Author
Daniel Eyre is the Product Manager of Search Travel Online. Search Travel Online is part of the Co-operative Group, specialising in cheap Marbella holiday packages, as well as deals to Majorca, the Balearics, Tenerife, Costa Blanca and more.
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