Wedged in between coastal hillocks and the Marbella Golf Club, El Rosario is in many ways a classic Marbella villa suburb. Its freestanding villas flow down a gentle gradient from near the motorway in the north down to the coastal road that skirts the shore about a kilometre inland. An area where the first homes on extensive private plots appeared in the 1960s, it came into its own in subsequent years, being largely consolidated by the early 2000s.
The spread of properties in this peaceful, and in parts gated residential area, range from brand new to rustic, from very large and opulent to more modest proportions, and from ultramodern architectural styling to more traditional looks. The tranquil streets are low on traffic but lead directly to a local commercial centre that includes a supermarket, a small collection of shops and offices, and some restaurants and cafés. An iconic part of this centre is the German bakery, which has become a reference point in the area, while there are also two health and rackets clubs that offer tennis, padel tennis, swimming pools, gym, pilates and café/restaurants, as well as providing a social hub for the area.
The latter is also the case at the Marbella Golf Club, whose stylish clubhouse features a fine dining restaurant with lovely views over the course, a pro shop, golf academy, elegant lounge areas and facilities for conferencing, launches and social functions. Nearby are also the courses of Santa Clara Golf and Greenlife Golf, the latter of which houses the very highly rated gourmet restaurant El Lago.
A larger shopping centre can be found at Elviria, a few kilometres eastwards, with a liberal sprinkling of restaurants, cafés, lounge bars, and also beach clubs in between. The famous Nikki Beach forms the beach club of the five-star Don Carlos Hotel, but you can also opt for a more down to earth experience at the many chiringuitos (beach cabana bars) that dot the coast here. This area is favoured with some of the best sandy beaches in the Marbella area, and though primarily a laid-back sun-soaked suburb with its focus set firmly on the sea, El Rosario also has a very good spread of schools, clinics and other professional services on its doorstep. These include The English International College, the German School and the Costa del Sol Hospital – all within a few kilometres.
Though offering suburban peace, tranquillity and privacy with open views of the sea and surrounding mountains, this area east of Marbella is also conveniently close to the heart of town and all its services and diversions – making El Rosario one of the classic Marbella-style suburban areas.