Marbella has been attracting celebrities, Europe’s elite and Arab nobility for decades, since Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe founded Marbella Club Hotel. He invited a Swiss-Russian-Mexican architect Noldi Schreck, who took part in Beverly Hills development, to work at the MCH image. Hollywood icons, such as Cary Grant, Elisabeth Taylor, Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra (who put Hotel Pez Espada on the map after a fracas), Sophia Loren, Kim Novak, Bridget Bardot and Ingrid Bergman found their heaven there, as well as Jean Cocteau, Guy de Rothschild and Princess von Bismarck.

Jose Banus invited Schreck to create Puerto Banus, which opening in 1970 was attended by royalties and celebrities. Young Julio Iglesias (family house in Ojen) sang for 1700 guests, including Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace, a film director Roman Polanski, pioneer of heart transplant Dr. Christiaan Barnard, ‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner, jet-setter and businessman Aga Khan. Walk of Fame in Banus copies one in Hollywood, with a starfish instead of a star. Among its names: Jose Banus, Noldi Schreck, Julio Iglesias, Lola Flores, Montserrat Caballe, Antonio Banderas, Duchess of Alba, Baroness Thyssen, Countess Gunilla von Bismarck, Michelin chef Dani Garcia and other people who did a lot for Marbella.

Julio Iglesias at his home in Marbella

The creator of award-winning “How to Marry a Millionaire”, American film director Jean Negulesko was inspired by Marbella’s stylish hedonism, moved here, created “The Pleasure Seekers” and lived happily till the age of 93. Joan Collins accepted her career-making role in “Dynasty” while living in Marbella holiday home. Deborah Kerr and her husband Peter Viertel, a novelist and screen writer, settled in Los Monteros for almost 40 years. Famous for his wild parties, Formula-1 racing driver James Hunt lived in San Pedro. Sting, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, Steven Seagal, superstar Prince, Andrew Lloyd Weber, porn star Linsey McKenzie, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron have enjoyed Marbella’s sun and luxury properties. Roxette, Cher, The Cardigans, Mariah Carey and Bjork composed and produced their songs in recording studio ‘El Cortijo’.

For 20 years Sean Connery owned Casa Malibu in San Pedro where he and his wife entertained stars, including Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Omar Sharif and George Best. 3 ‘James-Bonds’ gambled in Casino: Connery, Roger Moore (a regular fiesta-goer at MCH) and Timothy Dalton (stayed in historic El Fuerte). Another global celebrity/James Bond, Pierce Brosnan has been spotted holidaying at Rio Real. Shirley Bassey lived in Marbella for some time, performed here one of her signature songs, from the James Bond Movie, Diamonds Are Forever, and helped to organized a lavish birthday party for the legendary owner of La Baraka (Zagaleta) Adnan Khashoggi.

Sean Connery at his home in Marbella

Marbella area has attracted Iran’s ex-leader Ak Kujala (Zagaleta), Ukraine’s President (now ex) P. Poroshenko (Atalaya-Isdabe); Cuban ex-president Batista lived in Guadalmina until his death in 1973. Russian President V. Putin built (not owns) a Zagaleta mansion. Hidden Zagaleta’s villas are rumoured to belong to Rod Stewart and Hugh Grant. David Beckham and Beyoncé had to deny owning property there, but how can we know for sure? Privacy is priority, after all.

Guadalmina has always been associated with aristocracy and Hollywood Golden Age stars, from ex-empress of Persia Princess Soraya to screen goddess Audrey Hepburn who bought a villa with her husband, film director Mel Ferrer. Guadalmina’s golf course saw the Krupps, Agnellis, Dukes of Windsor, Henry Ford, Aristotle Onassis playing. Among recent residents: the only descendant of Onassis, Athina, former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, Madrid ex-mayor Ana Botella, while Naomi Campbell comes to relax.

Antonio Banderas having lunch in Marbella (Resident in the city)

Princess Diana visited her friends’ Goldsmith family estate in Benahavis. Spending time in Marbella influences Sir Tom Jones; his amazing version of ‘Delilah’ at Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Concert is definitely inspired by Spain. James Hewitt closed his restaurant on Marbella’s Golden Mile but remained to pursue other interests.

Celebrities flock to Marbella, from royalty (Qatar’s Sheikhs, Saudi Royalty, Duchess of York, King Mswati III of Swaziland) to A-list actors and singers (George Benson, Seal, Bon Jovi, Bruce Willis, Eva Longoria, Robert De Niro), and sports stars like Björn Borg, Novak Djokovic who bought a villa here and Davis Bentley who became a businessmen in Marbella’s entertainment sector. Cristiano Ronaldo has recently bought a contemporary house next to the properties of sports stars Conor McGregor, Steven Carr, Harry Winks and Thomas Sorensen (Estepona area). Newspapers wrote that George Clooney bought a Sierra Blanca villa, but his wife Amal prefers London, New York and Lake Como.

Novak Djokovic on the beach in Marbella (Resident in the city)

PR guru Max Clifford (press agent for Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, David Copperfield and Mohammed Ali), Lord Alan Sugar, Dolph Lundgren and Simon Cowell made Marbella their second home. A frequent visitor of Marbella, Antonio Banders owned a Los Monteros villa with Melanie Griffith. Tom Cruise filmed here some scenes from “Day and Knight”. Among other visitors: Ivana Trump, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Katie Price, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Brigette Nielson, Kate Moss, Penélope Cruz, ‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan, Samuel L. Jackson… The list goes on and on. Not to mention Starlite Festival.

If you are into rubbing shoulders with stars, or a star yourself, or looking for a Hollywood lifestyle, Marbella is the right place! If your choice is a stunning contemporary villa in a prime location, contact Perlas del Mar! It’s your turn to live the good life in Marbella!

Beach Club in Marbella inaugurated by Pamela Anderson