Building on the success of the legendary Marbella Club Hotel, the darling of the international jet set since the 1950s and 1960s, Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe embarked upon a project that would see the opening in 1974 of a luxurious apartment complex adjacent to the Marbella Club along the town’s famous Golden Mile. Wedged between this glamorous stretch and Mediterranean beaches, Puente Romano drew its name from a Roman bridge that is a remnant of the Via Augusta, which connected Cádiz with Rome almost 2,000 years ago.
A favoured destination
Now set within luxuriant subtropical gardens, the bridge is surrounded by the soft-edged, white-plastered Andalusian architecture that made the Puente Romano such a favourite with those who spent an entire season in Marbella. Among them was Mr. Mouaffak Al Midani, who acquired the complex in 1979 and converted it into a luxurious five-star resort hotel, using the spacious private apartments as deluxe hotel suites. With a long list of famous guests and the privilege of hosting events such as Bjorn Borg’s wedding party in 1980, the Puente Romano soon acquired an international reputation that would rival even the hallowed Marbella Club Hotel.
The hotel’s location at the heart of the Golden Mile and along an exclusive stretch of land leading directly to sandy beaches, assured its enduring appeal. Many a celebrity has stayed here, not least because the elegant Puente Romano Tennis Club has become the venue for international tennis tournaments and concerts by the likes of Blondie, Ray Charles and the Gypsy Kings, to name a few. The 1980s and 1990s saw further expansion of the facilities, including new and even more luxurious suites, new restaurants and a sumptuous beach club that rates as one of the most exclusive in Marbella.
After 1994, when the Shamoon family acquired Puente Romano, new catering, conferencing and banqueting facilities were added to satisfy the growing need for elegant venues to host glamorous events, launches and parties. More recently, there has been an overall refurbishment that has modernised the décor and amenities whilst remaining true to the sensual Moorish-inspired architecture that gives the Puente Romano, and indeed the Marbella Club, its graceful character.
Marbella’s ‘Millionaire’s Row’
Those few lucky enough to own a property in the immediate surroundings of the Puente Romano belong to a select group in what is effectively Marbella’s Millionaire’s Row. Here, ensconced within lush greenery, are private domains in quiet, secluded residential streets set between the Golden Mile and the sandy shores of the Mediterranean. A few of the properties even run the entire length from road to sea. They can be classed among an international elite, with prices running from above ten million euros to beyond 60 million.
Privacy, security and discretion are the keywords in this area, where gorgeous villas with private access to the beach lie ensconced within the opulence of subtropical grounds. Having the Puente Romano and Marbella Club as your neighbours merely adds to the allure of the address, as well as putting fine restaurants, racket clubs and beach clubs on your doorstep. The other amenities of the Golden Mile are similarly close by, with the shops, nightlife and professional services of Marbella a minutes’ drive away, and the nearest golf course – Dama de Noche – within little more than a five-minute reach. This, and the fact that you can have your yacht ‘parked’ within sight of your home help to make this one of those dream locations that so appeal to the residential A-list.