Puerto José Banús, more commonly known as Puerto Banús is a marina located in the area of Nueva Andalucía, to the southwest of Marbella, Spain on the Costa del Sol. It was built in May 1970 by José Banús, a local property developer, as a luxury marina and shopping complex. It has since become one of the largest entertainment centres in the Costa del Sol, with 5 million annual visitors. Developed around a coastal village in the Mediterranean architectural style, Puerto Banús contains expensive shopping malls, restaurants and bars around the marina.
The architect Noldi Schreck, who participated in the design and construction of Beverly Hills, was visited in 1966 by Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe to ask him to work on the Hotel Marbella Club. Schreck’s first job was to meet José Banús (a close friend of Francisco Franco), and convince him that Puerto Banús was not a suitable place to build huge skyscrapers that would house thousands of wealthy families. He proposed a sophisticated Andalusian village and marina, the first port made by a single architect. José Banús became the largest developer of residential tourism complexes on the Costa del Sol. The port took his name and he became famous with the epithet “the regime’s builder.
The lavish opening of the complex in May 1970 was attended by, amongst others, the Aga Khan, film director Roman Polanski, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, Dr. Christiaan Barnard (pioneer of the heart transplant), and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace ofMonaco. A young Julio Iglesias was hired to sing for the guests for the sum of 125,000 pesetas. Three hundred waiters from Seville served 22 kilos of beluga caviar to 1700 guests.
In 2011, it was reported that one of the largest-scale developments in Marbella’s history was to take place with a 400 million euro investment into La Bajadilla, east of Marbella, by Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Ben Nasser Al-Thani which included 200 metres (660 ft) quay for cruise liners, a five-star hotel on the marina, as well as bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets to compete with Puerto Banus.
Geography and climate
Puerto Banús is located on the Costa del Sol of southeast Spain, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southwest of Marbella, 64 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Malaga and 782 kilometres (486 mi) south of Madrid. The climate of the area is protected in its northern part by the Coast Mountain Range of Cordillera Penibética. It enjoys a microclimate that produces a mean annual temperature of 18 °C(64 °F).
The Malaga Airport is 60 kilometres (37 mi) away. There is a good network of roads and transport services connecting Puerto Banús with adjacent towns and suburbs.
Its streets are lined with expensive luxury boutiques like Christian Dior, Gucci, Bvlgari, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and others. One stretch is known as “The Golden Mile”. Apart from the chain of restaurants, boutiques, in the heart of the Antonio Banderas Square is one of the largest El Corte Ingles department stores in Spain, including the up-scale hypermarket, Hipercor.