Is…the only way Marbella?
OK, it's time to 'fess up here. At Licklist towers we pride ourselves on keeping a clean bill of health when it comes to addictions. Yeah we like a little drink and a looong party – but who doesn't? Life's too short to spend it slumped in front of the telly with nothing for company but a few tinnies and a photo of your ex. So apart from the usual party lifestyle we're just normal, regular folk. Except, well…OK you've got us. We like reality TV and in particular we love The Only Way is Essex. Why? Hell, why not? Following the adventures of a group of Essex guys and gals maxing out their credit cards on booze while publicly battling each other sounds, to your humble correspondents, like the perfect way of enjoying an evening in.
And here's the best bit: last year the 'Only Way gang' transplanted their adventures to southern Spanish sunshine capital Marbella for extra helpings of fun in the sun and they’ve been back since to film another episode.
So if it's good enough for the Essex crew, is it good enough for everyone else? Truth is that there's plenty of places you can enjoy yourself when you go abroad; but Marbella does have that special 'something'.
First up, some good news for every guy who has experienced the long wait for their girl to pack: this ain't a long haul journey. Girls, you're not going to be in the air for hours so you can stock up on all those essentials like mascara when you hit Marbs. In fact, from the UK you can reach your destination in just a few hours and there are flights into Malaga airport on a daily basis. There's some decent deals around too and what you save on the flight you can put towards the drinks – with some of the prices in Marbella bars and clubs, you are going to need it!
If it's not happening here…
OK, so you've got to Marbs and your money is burning a hole in your recently acquired uber-fashionable clothing. Where's the first port of call? Well port is actually pretty close to the truth. Spend your evenings in the Puerto Banus marina and you'll easily find a club that you like, no matter what your taste in music. For example, Aqwa Mist is one of the newest clubs in the town and it can be found beneath La Sala. This is one for the upmarket crowd thanks to all the VIP extras. See how many celebs you can spot while you’re here!
Puerto Banus is also home to Tibu Banus. With wall-to-wall celebs – should you feel like drunkenly swaying up to some inhabitant of a recently cancelled reality show and asking for an autograph - and some of the continent’s top DJs, this is a seriously on message way to spend an evening. Elsewhere, The News Cafe has a 'young' feel to it and has quickly become a very trendy place to hit the floors and show off your best moves. Just remember guys – even ironic dancing like your dad is unacceptable here. Tables can be booked but you need to make sure that you have plenty of cash as this one could make quite a dent in your budget.
Sophistication – right here, right now
Marbella is a great place for the more sophisticated nightclub and Suite is no exception. This can be found at the Puente Romano Hotel and mixes a club with a restaurant and a lounge. Here you will certainly find the town’s 'it' crowd.
For a club with a theme, the Olivia Valere is one that will stick in the memory. The gardens, terraces and fountains give it a very different atmosphere than most dance clubs. Named after the woman who owns it, a trip to this particular club will really drain your budget. However, with a huge dance floor, an outdoor area and a number of different bars, it's the perfect place to lose unwanted suitors and get back to the real business of the evening.
For a very chic nightclub there is always Funky Buddha – VIPs, top DJs and plenty of cocktails should make a night spent here one to remember! Last, but certainly not least, Puerto Banus is the place to go for Sleek (formerly Dreamer’s) nightclub. Rumour has it that the club has a waiting list of the world’s top DJs who are just queuing up for the chance to play here.
When you get to Marbella plan your partying carefully. Each of the clubs has its party nights on different nights, so you can easily spend a fortnight here without seeing the same club twice. Spend a bit of time exploring the town before you decide where to go. A good place to begin is the City Boardwalk. This covers a distance of around 10 miles and has plenty of bars, hotels and restaurants as well as the usual daytime haunts such as great shops.
Marbella's the way by the way…
So what's the final score? Marbella 1, most other destinations nil we reckon. You can party, you can chill; but you can also enjoy some of the other attractions this part of Spain has to offer should you choose to. With its reputation as a great destination for stag and hen weekends, and its clubs, bars and beaches (check out the Golden Mile for Nagueles Beach – a top combination of sand, sea and water sports), Marbs is the ultimate all-rounder for those of you who crave continental fun. And who knows, when the 'Only Way…' gang turn up next time, p'raps you can blag a role as an extra?