I must confess, Marbella has never been top of my destination wish-list, but when I got the invitation to fly out for the holiday hotspot’s infamous Ocean Club Opening Party for one night, I couldn’t turn it down – 24-hours in Marbs? The T.O.W.I.E. references alone were reason enough for me.
Reality shows aside, Marbella isn’t just about tans, teeth and…(although there is plenty of that), there are great restaurants, beach clubs and hotels to ensure you have a hedonistic-fuelled holiday and memories to bring home. On the party front, it’s the Ocean Club in Puerto Banús that’s dominating the scene right now, from the opening and closing parties to the notorious champagne pool sessions; it is the place to be seen in if you’re off to Marbella this summer season.
The opening party was eye-opening to put it mildly. For a start, the dress code is strictly white and silver. Most people chose white (sets off the tan better), and although I’ve never thought grown men look ‘all that’ in head-to-toe bright whites, seeing the uniform across such a vast beach club was impressive.
Entertainment-wise, no expense was spared as Jess Glynne took to the stage and an elaborate fireworks display was put on above. And it didn’t stop there; Victoria’s Secret-style feather and lingerie-clad girls floated around the venue for the evening and partygoers queued up to Instagram themselves in front of an entire wall made of fresh flowers. Tray after tray of sushi and oysters were delivered to tables on demand whilst bottles of Dom Pérignon Rose seemed to be on tap.
We partied, drank and people-watched until the early hours. Those with a higher Marbella constitution partied on till five, apparently, while our group tottered back to the Gran Hotel Gvadalpin Banus, who were putting us up for the night. It was a little calmer than some other hotels in Marbella - a characteristic we were grateful for it when it came to nursing wearing heads and peacefully soaking up the sun the next day.
Reflecting on my Marbs whirlwind back home I wondered whether I would return. I think I’ve had my fix, but that’s not to say I didn’t have a blast. Marbella is certainly entertaining; what you might expect if Ibiza had a wilder, younger sister perhaps.