Has Marbella got the right image?

Marbella mayor José Bernal, unveiled a new Marbella and slogan ahead of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Madrid this week

"Marbella, a five-star destination" is the slogan that the Town Hall hopes will  "enhance the image of the city and promote it to attract more tourism and investment".

Bernal stressed that with the new image "we intend to enhance and add value to our main attractions - nature, gastronomy, golf, beaches and luxury shopping."

"They are our stars and our main objective is to  generate wealth, jobs and employment for the town and offer the best services to our visitors".

The mayor said that the slogan "sums up the excellence of our city; the attractions of Marbella, San Pedro Alcantara and Puerto Banus offer 365 days of the year and we have made our town a tourist destination of the first order".th

Bernal said that the new image would be supported by increased investment from the Town Hall.

For the first time in eight years Marbella had its own stand at FITUR, which was used to promote a variety of events and iniciatives scheduled for 2106.

Not all approved of the new image, however, several taking to social media to complain that the new logo looked more like a cheap hotel sign than a luxury logo.

What do you think of the new logo?

BeFree Festival dates announced

Marbella's stand at the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (FITUR 2016) yesterday hosted the presentation of the second edition of the BeFree Gay Festival, which this year will be held between  September 1 - 4.

The head of Tourism for Marbella, Miguel Luna, and festival director, Marcos Rodriguez, agreed on the importance of tourism in the gay community for Marbella.

Luna underlined that Marbella supported the LGBT community with concrete actions such as the creation of a Diversity delegation at the Town Hall and  to the first edition of the BeFree Festival that attracted  1,200 people."

Marcos Rodriguez, festival director, said that BeFree would promote Marbella as a same sex wedding destinations aas well as highlight the  luxury shopping options.

Starlite Festival dates and acts announced

Marbella's most high profile music event, the Starlite Festival will run for an extra week this summer.

Marbella mayor José Bernal announced the news at the Marbella Stand at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid (FITUR) yesterday.

Now in its fifth year, Starlite Festival will take place at the Marbella Auditorium from July 14 to August 20.
Benal was joined by one of the promoters of the event, Ignacio Maluquer, and expressed the support of Marbella for what he described as "one of the best festivals in the world."

"It's a great project undertaken by Ignacio and Sandra Sanjuán that promotes our city and contributes even more to our main tourist season," he said.

Acts confirnmed so far include July 29 Charles Aznavour, on July 29, Il Divo (August 3), Malu (August 8), Alejandro Sanz (August 9) and Movida Night (August 18)


Now Showing - The Hateful Eight

If you fancy catching a film in Marbella, then Wednesday is the best value day to do it.

The Cine Teatro Goya in Puerto Banus has improved its selection of English language films (known as V.S.O.E) and is also a much more comfortable viewing experience.

Wednesday is Dia del Espectador, when tickets are available at the reduced price of €4.50 (normal price €8). This includes three hours parking as well, so it represents great value.

Now showing is Quentin Tarantino's latest film The Hateful Eight.

Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chis Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock's new sheriff).

Lost in a blizzard, the bunch seeks refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travelers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all...

The Hateful Eight shows at 19.00 and 22.00 today.

Birthday Blues


It's my birthday today (Forty Eight if you must ask) and when you’d lived the kind of life that has mainly featured escapades in Marbella and London that have involved epic late nights, enraged bouncers, annoyed bar tenders and long suffering girlfriends, that fact that I made it past 26 is a minor miracle.

As I thunder towards the big Five O the main change that I’ve noticed so far that I’m a classic case of the mind being willing but the body being weak,

In the 80s, I was able to party until the dawn broke over Ipanema Palace - a club that, like my youth in Marbella is now long gone – grab a couple of hours sleep and still be able to hit the beach at Tramps that afternoon. Now it takes an effort to crawl to the sofa, fumble for the remote and let something easy on the brain wash over me.

And if an evening of clubbing is enough to tire you out, don’t even think of any sporting activity. I’m an enthusiastic member of Marbella Rugby Club, where my enthusiasm used to get  as far as single handidly trying to drain the bar of beer on match day.

Once,  however, my old team from Richmond, “The Bulldogs” came over on tour and I was honour-bound to step fearlessly onto the pitch. Needless to say I was flattened several times, but the large amount of liquid that was consumed after the match and well into the night helped numb the pain.

The next day however, I found it difficult to move, and was the object of much mirth for my father, who gave up playing rugby after school and took up the much safer career as racing driver. The other problem with sport is that everyone over 34 is described as a veteran, whose legs are “not what they were” I’m still pleased with my legs, thank you, but in a subtle change of sporting options, I’ve found myself loitering around golf shops. After all, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo are all in their 50s, so I’m a comparative youngster.

Another sad fact of life is the amount of money I spend as I get older. Granted when I was 17 we used to buy a crate of 24 San Miguels, drag it down to Puerto Banus and sit opposite Sinatra’s, but I remember going out with 2000 ptas in my pocket, and carousing through the Puerto Deportivo in Marbella, usually ending up in Joe’s Bar in Banus, and still having 500 ptas left to get me back to the family home in Nueva Andalucia, but now it seems that I can’t even break into a sweat for less than €200

In my twenties the cry “everyone back to mine” would result in half the bar getting takeouts and decamping back to someone’s villa to carry on the party. Sleeping arrangements were simple – you slept where you fell. At one memorable occasion we went back to a Hungarian foodie friend’s house, who insisted that we partake of her own her own flavoured vodkas. The next morning the garden resembled a crash site – bodies and furniture were spread over a large area and I woke up in the hedge. It wasn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last…

Of course, if you are crashing with friends who have children and arrive late and/or “over refreshed ” they are likely to extract a subtle revenge. Such as putting you on the sofa bed in the kiddies’ playroom thus ensuring that you are woken from your slumbers by a four-year-old jamming an eggie soldier in your ear while her two year-old brother expertly sets the DVD to full volume and blasts you with the first five minutes of Ice Age. At this point mammoths, sabre tooth tigers and the rest of the prehistoric herd are not the only thing that I wish were extinct and ”Wicked Uncle Giles” is quickly sent staggering towards the taxi rank.

Then of course, there is the small problem that  you still think that you are 17. This can lead to some embarrassing, “oldest swinger in town moments” My classic came at the 20th anniversary of Comedia. As a young lounge lizard in the 80s I had, of course, been to the opening night. Standing at the bar, I was treating a young lady to my full smooze routine, when she remarked that she didn’t remember the opening of Comedia. “Yes” I said, flashing my best George Clooney grin “It was a pretty wild evening, wasn’t it?”

“No” she replied. “I don’t remember it because at the time I was three years old”

The crashing and burning sound after that reply was my youth flying out of the window…

Even worse is if your friends have 20-year-old nannies, au pairs or nieces. Then you find yourself desperately trying to appear a sort of hip, Ray Ban wearing Svengali like figure that has been there and done that. They, of course, think that you are a manically grinning weirdo who doesn’t know who The Ting Tings or Dizzie Rascal are, and keeps going on about how he used to go to the gym.

But with age comes wisdom, and today I was struck by the sage observation I’m finally turning into the kind of person my parents warned me about…

Property of the Week

Planet Marbella's property expert has picked out this bargain apartment in El Paraiso Estepona with guaranteed rental return for €89,950 to start the week.

This is a one bedroom apartment less than a mile from the shops, bars and restaurants of the Benavista Commercial Centre and the beach.

The property consists of: an open plan living/dining room and open-plan kitchen, one bedroom and one bathroom.

The apartment includes all furnishings and fittings plus a guaranteed rental return, and  is a very attractive proposition for any would be investor looking for a property on the buy to let market.

Located in a well established residential community development excellently maintained with delightful communal swimming pools, gardens and a central plaza, the apartment overlooks the plaza and offers mountain and sea views.

A great opportunity to purchase a property in one of the most prestigious areas of the Costa del Sol.

For more information please contact Peter on 670 015 202. email pbrownproperty@gmail.com

Urban Collective in Marbella

Kasser Rassu Gallery opens Urban Collective, a new exhibition featuring three exciting artists, tonight.

Hosted by Benezra Art Investments, the exhibition showcases the latest works by Dom Pattinson, Kathrina Rupit and Benjamin Duarri

Dom Pattinson has had sell out collections at the London and New York Art Fairs as well as exhibitions in Singapore, Valencia, Portugal and Australia. Dom recently hit the press in New York and the Hampton’s with his sell out shows and two of his artworks were purchased for the private collection of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as wedding presents.

Kathrina, who is originally from Mexico studied graphic design at the University of Visual Arts in Mexico. After a period of traveling she established herself in Dublin. Her show in Marbella last year was a huge success.

Since 2004 Benjamin Duarri, also known as Screen prince has been developing his own brand of Caligram –Art , or written images which are made up of words like a mosaic.

Drawing inspiration from an ocean of music he grew up with, he often uses handwritten lyrics to portray the artist that wrote and performed the track, which became an ongoing series called “The Royalty Series” This shows an evolution and refinement of his calligram style.


Urban Collective opens with a cocktail at the gallery from 8pm this evening.


Mayor vows to protect Marbella history

Marbella mayor Jose Bernal has vowed to increase security at the town's historical monuments. The mayor was speaking during a visit to view the shocking damage by vandals at the Villa Romana de Rio Verde.

Bernal was accompanied by the head of Culture and Heritage, Gema Midon, as well as police and  associations Cilniana, San Pedro 1860 and Marbella Activa.

All deplored "the acts of vandalism and looting at the 2,000-year-old site, especially the damage to the Medusa mosaic, whose face has been totally destroyed after this savage attack"

Bernal said that the Town Hall had been immediately in touch with the Local and National Police after discovering the attack on Sunday, and that they were working with the Junta de Andalucia on how to restore the mural.

"Unfortunately, much remains to be done to create an awareness of  the value and meaning of one of the best examples of Roman culture in Marbella and Andalucia" said Midon "We will be increasing security ay  three archaeological sites: the Vega del Mar Paleo-Christian Basilica, the Roman Baths and the Villa Romana de Rio Verde".

Police are now looking for the vandals, who face imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years.

Personally, I think the punishment should fit the crime. Such as throwing them to the lions...

Now showing - Joy

If you fancy catching a film in Marbella, then Wednesday is the best value day to do it.

The Cine Teatro Goya in Puerto Banus has improved its selection of English language films (known as V.S.O.E) and is also a much more comfortable viewing experience.

Wednesday is Dia del Espectador, when tickets are available at the reduced price of €4.50 (normal price €8). This includes three hours parking as well, so it represents great value.

New this week is Joy,  the wild true story of Joy Mangano and her Italian-American family who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty by inventing the Miracle Mop and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce.

Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, and picked up a Golden Globe for her performance, along with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen.

Joy screens at 18.10, 20.20 and 22.40 today and Thursday

Property of the week

This is a lovely ground floor apartment near to the beach in a quiet urbanisation in Benamara, close to all the local amenities and within walking distance of restaurants, beach and public transport.

The accommodation consists of one big bedroom with en suite bathroom and fitted wardrobes, living/dining with open plan fully fitted kitchen, marble flooring, double glazing, fireplace with wood burning stove and sunnyw est facing patio.

The complex is very well maintained and has beautiful communal gardens and swimming pool. Basic furniture is included.

This property has great investment and rental potential.

63 m2 built plus 18m2 patio

PRICE €110,000

For more information please contact Peter on 670 015 202. email pbrownproperty@gmail.com