Puerto Banús is located south west of Marbella’s town centre. It is estimated that about 5 million people visit here every year. It is known as the playground of the rich and famous, who have been coming here for many years and more recently for the reality TV stars who refer to it as ‘Marbs’.
Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys are a common sight and there are many millionaire’s yachts moored here. As with most ports, there is daytime Banus and night-time Banus. During the day, there are great cafés and bars to relax and people watch or trawl around the designer boutiques. After dark, there a plenty of bars and clubs offering entertainment.
Puerto Banús is one of the best known areas of Marbella. It ís famous for its marina, its night life and above all its ostentatious lifestyle.
Originally the brain child of Beverly Hills designer Noldi Shreck, who had been commissioned to work on the Marbella Club Hotel. Noldi Shreck persuaded José Banús, a local property developer, that instead of building American style skyscrapers it would benefit from a more sophisticated version of an Andalucian style village and marina. So Puerto Banús was built in 1970 and the lavish opening of the complex was attended by, amongst others, the Aga Khan, film director Roman Polanski, “Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner, heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christian Barnard, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. A young Julio Iglesias was hired to sing for the guests and three hundred waiters from Sevilla served 22 kilos of beluga caviar to 1700 guests.
Puerto Banús has a stunning port with absolutely breathtaking yachts and some amazing shops, a play area for children and a huge choice of restaurants, bars and clubs. Until about 20 years ago, it was so exclusive, only a few people had actually heard of it. Now, its reputation has blossomed and it has grown from two roads and a marina into an international resort. More than 5 million tourists visit the port.
One important landmark is the impressive statue sculpted in bronze and copper by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. It is called ‘La Victoria’ and it stands 26 metres high on a granite pedestal. It was a gift from the Mayor of Moscow and it was unveiled in 1994. Another statue of interest is the three ton rhinoceros by Salvador Dali which was sited in Puerto Banus in 2004. It is officially known as “Rinoceronte Vestido con Puntillas” (Rhinoceros dressed in lace). Dali created the sculpture in 1956 following the filming of his surrealist movie “La aventura prodigiosa de la encajera y el rinoceronte” (The prodigious adventure of the lacemaker and the rhinoceros).
As with most ports, Puerto Banus has two personalities – daytime and nighttime. During the day, it is a beautiful Mediteranean port with dozens of outdoor coffee shops and restaurants catering for every taste and culture where you can relax and watch the world go by. The El Corte Inglés department store is very popular with visitors and residents. It has 5 floors and they sell a wide range of clothes, furniture, household ítems and food. Marina Banus is a small indoor shopping centre opposite El Corte Ingles. The big names here include Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier and Bulgari – to name but a few. And, at the centre of the marina, you can take the ferry to the Marbella´s Puerto Deportivo.
By night, after about 11.00 pm, the bars and clubs really come to life. Puerto Banus becomes a noisy, bustling night life area. There are many clubs, restaurants and bars to choose from for all ages and offering all types of entertainment. Finally, one of the largest markets in Marbella is held at the bullring every Saturday morning. Puerto Banus also has a Casino which is in the Andalucia Plaza Hotel and a cinema which regularly shows films in English.