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Hen Ideas

The Ultimate Marbella Hen Do

Red7 Blogs , September 21, 2016

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Why Marbella is the best place to visit

Marbella, Spain’s answer to St Tropez, has quickly become one of the most luxurious holiday destinations and is the perfect location for a hen weekend all year round. Known for its prestigious beachfront clubs and stunning white beaches, Marbella and neighbouring Puerto Banus, promise a glamorous trip away with the girls and a true taste of the high life!

This chic Costa del Sol town is a celebrity hotspot and a firm favourite of The Only Way Is Essex cast, who jet off to the Spanish shores most summers to soak up the sun, sea and champers. The glitz factor is highest on the infamous Golden Mile, but there’s also a traditional side in the calm sanctuary of the Old Town. So whether you’re looking to party in complete luxury or are after a more relaxing beach retreat, Marbella really is the perfect pick. Our ultimate guide will show you how to live it up like a celeb with your favourite ladies in tow…

marbella hen ultimate guide Sunset

What has Marbella got to offer?

Marbella By Day

The Best Marbella Beaches

Famous for champagne showers and glamorous daytime relaxation, the Puerto Banus Beach and Marina are a must-see. Nikki Beach is one of the most exclusive beachside chilling areas in Marbella, complete with swimming pool, VIP beds, a large open air restaurant and a VIP terrace with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. La Sala by the Sea is also not to be missed and has a whole host of incredible parties taking place throughout the summer months. If it’s breath-taking scenery you’re looking for you 100% need to go to the Love Juice Parties – one of our top recommendations if you’re after a place to take some amazing hen do snaps. Chances are you’ve probably heard of Ocean Beach and their famous Sintillate Champagne Parties, but if you’re looking for an even more exclusive party head over to Purobeach. Located near Estepona, this luxury hangout by the sea promises you and the girls the best music and plenty of sunbeds to relax on. With an accompanying terrace bar, what better way to spend the day than sipping on their signature cocktails in the sun?

For an oasis of clear blue water and golden sands head to Venus-Bajadilla beach. Just a short stop away from the Old Town, this sandy haven is one of the most popular beaches among British sun seekers and is located next to the Marbella fishing port, making it a prime location for a more traditional day at the beach. For the extroverts in the group there is also Puerto Cabopino Nudist Beach, another glorious slice of paradise with natural sand dunes and beach-side bars.

Now we know not everyone’s idea of bliss is sunbathing, so don’t worry if you can’t stand the feel of sand between your toes. Marbella also has plenty of alternative activities to enjoy in the sunshine. A short drive away in Torremolinos is AquaLand, a legendary waterpark that’s guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Or stop by Funny Beach, a beach/theme park filled with high-octane sports like go-karting, jet skiing and even hover boards.

Marbella Ultimate Hen Beaches

Exploring Marbella

There’s more to Marbs than meets the eye and the historic side is just waiting to be discovered. The Basilica de Vega del Mar, a Christian Byzantine church, is one of the only surviving ruins left of its kind and well worth a visit if you love a bit of history. For an alternative day trip, the Sohail Castle is the epitome of Fuengirola monuments. Half an hour outside Marbella, it has become a true symbol of the city as well as a stunning backdrop for that perfect selfie. For incredible architecture, head to the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion (Church of the Incarnation) in the centre of Marbella which dates back to 1505.

Aside from the historic elements, Marbella is also home to some beautiful and quirky fountains, like the Fuente La Venus de Marbella and the Fuente de la Virgen del Rocio. The first is a must-see, hilariously depicting the goddess Venus on water-skis (yes, really). The second is larger and best seen at night when it’s all lit up. For the Salvador Dali fans, the open air surrealist gallery Avenida del Mar is also well worth a visit. Showcasing his famous sculptures, the gallery makes up an avenue that will lead you directly to the beach, making it the perfect afternoon detour. Finally, to make sure you get those Instagram-worthy hen weekend snaps, stop by The Constitution Park to take in the beautiful surroundings and see the hundreds of flowers in bloom.

Marbella Hen Castle

Where to Shop

Despite being fairly small, Marbella and Puerto Banus are a haven for shop-o-holics. You’ll find everything from high-street to high-end and one of the biggest department stores in Spain, El Corte Ingle, which stocks all the hottest designer labels over 5 floors. For a day spent doing what girls do best you’ll want to head along to the luxury yacht Marina and Calle Ribera to the designer boutiques of Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Missoni among others. High-street lovers will be in their element at the Marina Banus Shopping Centre, a modern shopping arcade crammed full with all the best high-street gems including Zara, H&M and Pull & Bear.

Party Boats

Depending on how raucous you want your hen weekend to be, you can always opt to start the party early with a daytime party boat, which is exactly how it sounds. You and the crew will get to enjoy the best tunes and delicious cocktails whilst cruising along the coast. Or, for a more private experience and a real taste of the millionaire lifestyle that Marbella is famous for you could even host your own very private yacht party on a charter cruise.

Marbella Hen Party Boat

Marbella By Night

 The Best Marbella Clubs

If you think Marbella is impressive by day, just wait until the night sets in. Get glammed up with your hens and hit the clubs like a true A-lister. Start the night off visit to Pangea – Marbella’s most exclusive nightlife spot. Known for its super-luxurious atmosphere and mesmerising panoramic views, you and the girls can get in the dancing spirit with sets from international DJs or treat this as the pre-drinks warm up with a glass of bubbly. To walk in the footsteps of your favourite celebs spend the night at AQWA Mist nightclub in Puerto Banus. A favourite of Eva Longoria, Craig David and Tinie Tempah, you’ll get to sample the full VIP treatment and can even make use of the club hot tub for that ultra-amazing chill out. Tibu is the perfect club if you and the girls want to mingle with the rich and famous. Just a short walk from the Marina, it’s brimming with glitz and glamour and is everything you’d expect from the so-called millionaire’s playground. A quick tip – all of these clubs are over 21’s only and have a ‘No Effort, No Entry’ dress code rule, so make sure you dress to impress on your big night out.

Where are the best places to eat in Marbella?

Marbella Hen Meal

Michelin Star Restaurants

  • Skina – Located in the Old Quarter of Marbella, this is a great one for wine buffs and offers speciality seafood dishes in an idyllic setting.
  • El Lago – Found in the Elvira Hills of Marbella with a stunning backdrop of Greenlife Golf. Enjoy picturesque views across the course and surrounding lakes with exquisite locally sourced food.
  • Dani Garcia – Head here if you’re after international cuisine influenced by traditional Andalusian cooking. It also has four areas where you can relax: The Terrace, Grandma’s Table, The Raw & Oyster Bar and finally the Cocktail Bar!

Lounge Bar Restaurants

  • Tibu – In the heart of Puerto Banus, Tibu is one of the newest and most exclusive restaurants and joins onto the famous nightclub. Dine under the stars on their beautiful rooftop terrace for dinner and drinks, then use the VIP entrance into Linekers to party the night away.
  • El Gran Gatsby – Located in the iconic tower of Puerto Banus, you’ll get spectacular views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea & Marina, cutting edge Mediterranean cuisine and great music.
  • La Sala – The ultimate combination of a social and dining experience. With 8 different areas to enjoy, you’re bound to find a room for you and the group. Footballer Ashley Cole and TOWIE stars Lauren Pope and Bobby Norris have all been spotted here, so there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a star…

Everything in between

  • Sloanes Bistro – This hidden jewel is situated in the heart of Elviria and has a good mix of seafood and Italian inspired cuisine.
  • Arco Tapas – Everyone loves a bit of tapas and what better way to enjoy it than in the traditional Old Town. An extensive menu and vibrant local atmosphere makes it great if you’re looking for a less formal evening meal.
  • Vovem – Vovem Grill is a new BBQ restaurant serving up more than 10 varieties of beef and was described by New York Times as offering the best beef in the world! We think it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Buenos Aires Steak House – Another steak house, but this time giving you a taste of Argentina in Marbella, as well as seafood and vegetarian dishes. An outdoor terrace means you can also dine Al Fresco.

Where to stay in Marbella?

Marbella Hen Villa

Seafront

Choosing where to stay in Marbella can be tough but if you’re after beautiful views and golden sand, your best bet is the seafront. Here, you’ll be within walking distance of the beach with the sweet sound of the Mediterranean Sea in easy reach. A 10-minute walk from the Marbella beach, NH Marbella is an elegant 4-star hotel with gorgeous gardens and a large pool if you don’t fancy heading to the beach.

Downtown

If you’re after the best location for bars, clubs and cafes, aim for downtown Puerto Banus. This is a much livelier part of the town and makes a good base for hen parties who know they’ll be spending time exploring the Marbella nightlife. BlueBay Banus is a quaint 4-star hotel built in the style of a traditional Andalusian village and ideally located in the heart of the action. It also boasts 3 swimming pools and extensive gardens for you to relax in and soak up the sun. Step up the glamour even more with a stay at the luxury 5-star Gran Hotel Guadalpin Banus . Set amongst palm trees in Puerto Banus, you can walk from the hotel to town past the designer boutiques and stunning yachts in the Marina.

The Hills

For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to The Hills. Nestled amongst millionaire mansions you’ll find some of the best luxury villas so you and the girls can really live like a celeb for the week. Villa Siesta is split into five separate apartments, all sharing a central courtyard. As well as sea and country views, this party pad has a massive pool and plenty of sun loungers. Sierra Park Club is perfect for larger hen party groups. This small, relaxing complex is made up of 18 apartments and built in a typical Andalusian style with white walls, red tiled roofs, gorgeous marble floors and sun terraces overlooking a flower-decked courtyard. These apartments are just a short ride into the buzz of Puerto Banus and Marbella making it the perfect base to explore the area.

What’s on? Dates for the diary

Spring

  • Samana Santa – An ancient tradition and celebrated as the Holy Week in Malaga.
  • The Fuengirola International Fair – A great way to learn about cultures from around the world without leaving the Costa del Sol.
  • La Virginia Spring Market – An annual event offering artisanal arts and crafts, food, clothes, toys and much more. One not to miss!

Summer

  • Noche de San Juan – This festival is also known as ‘The Magical Night of San Juan’. Similar to a Spanish Guy Fawkes, it’s held on the beach with roaring bonfires and lots of food and drink.
  • Ministry of Sound at Mask – Providing the biggest headline DJs, the infamous Ministry of Sound hosts the Summer at Mask every Sunday.

Autumn

  • Festival Luna Mora – A unique event to mark the beginning of Autumn when the whole village is lit with thousands of candles. It takes place on the second and third weekend in September and is a really spectacular sight if you’re in Marbella.
  • Feast of San Martin – A food festival on November 11th each year to celebrate St Martin’s Day.

Winter

  • Marbella Carnival – The famous Marbella Carnival takes place every February and showcases incredible costumes.

Tips for travelling in Marbella

 Once you’ve arrived at Malaga airport, the transfer time is around 40 minutes into the centre of Marbella. If you’re travelling to your hotel or villa you can book a transfer coach when booking your flights. Usually a taxi will cost €70 – €80 depending on the size of your party. There is also a public bus outside Terminal 3 where tickets can be purchased online prior to your trip or at the kiosk outside Malaga airport arrivals hall.

If you require a taxi at any point during your hen do there are plenty around tourist areas and will vary in cost depending on how far you are travelling. A taxi from Marbella to the centre of Puerto Banus will cost between €10 – €15.

 

marbella hen ultimate guide beach

Top 3 TOWIE Spots

If you and the girls are big TOWIE fans, then don’t forget to include a trip to the Essex-approved spots below. Who knows, you might even bump into Joey Essex or Pete Wicks…

  • In the daytime La Sala by the Sea has seen many famous faces over the years and attracted the likes of Stacey Solomon and members of the TOWIE cast including Sam and Billie Faiers, Jessica Wright and Ricky Rayment.
  • For a celeb style dinner, El Gran Gatsby which has also welcomed many TOWIE stars through its doors.
  • As night falls, the AQWA Mist club is the place to be. The majority of and Geordie Shore reality stars have hit this club as well as other celebs including Rudimental and Amir Khan who have partied the night away here.

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