TV host Lloyd Grossman used to pose the question, ”Who lives in a house like this?” Giles Brown lifts the latch on the Marbella mansions of the rich and famous.
With its enviable lifestyle and fabulous climate, Marbella has been a firm favourite with the jet set since the 50s. Stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, James Hunt, Stewart Grainger, Rod Stewart and Sean Connery all made their homes in the town. The attraction remains today, with several household names falling under Marbella’s seductive spell and buying property.
The biggest star in the Premier League, Erling Haaland, is the latest celebrity to buy a property here. lt’s no secret that Haaland and his family adore Spain, especially Marbella. Erling’s father, Alf-Inge – who also played professional football – is a huge golf fan and bought a house where the family could spend the Christmas holidays together. (As an aside, I literally bumped into Erling at the entrance to Los Naranjos Golf Club. The guy is huge, and I felt some of the trepidation that Premier League defenders must experience when the Manchester City scoring sensation comes thundering towards them…) In March Erling brought his own place in Nagüeles, valued at 6.5 million Euros.
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Erling Haaland, Norwegian footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Norway national team, at Marbella Football Center.
Another superstar footballer, Cristanio Ronaldo, is a frequent visitor to Marbella. The Portuguese legend can normally be spotted at Trocadero Arena Beach as well as the Marbella Club Hotel and Hotel Puente Romano when he is in town. Ronaldo brought a house in La Resina, west of Marbella, handy if he decides to check on one of his business interests, a hair loss clinic on the Golden Mile. The notoriously headstrong Ronaldo previously rented two mansions in millionaires’ paradise La Zagaleta when on holiday a few years ago. Presumably, one was for himself and the other for his ego…
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Ronaldo promoting the opening of his hair loss clinic in Marbella
Ronaldo’s neighbours at La Resina include Tottenham player Harry Winks and and former Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, which will be handy is he fancies a quick kick around in the garden. US Open champion – and genuinely nice guy – Michael Campbell also owns a property if he wants some golf tips, while MMA legend Conor McGregor – “The Notorious” is also a neighbour. So it’s safe to say that there won’t be any trouble with intruders!
World tennis number one Novak Djokovic moved from Monaco to Marbella a few years ago. The Grand Slam legend now spends his free time in a luxurious mansion that he purchased for roughly £8.5 million. The house consists of nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a game room, a swimming pool, a cinema room, a gym, sauna and, no prizes for guessing this one, a tennis court. The property also has breathtaking views of the mountains and sea. Djokovic has treated his fans to glimpses of his Marbella mansion via social media.
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Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena hiking in Marbella
He may be one of the most famous sportspeople on the planet, but it doesn’t mean that he shuts himself away behind the security gates. Novak is frequently spotted on the courts at the Puente Romano Tennis Club, as well as the restaurants in the Puente Romano resort itself, and normally has time for a quick word with fans. He even took a bow when Seal spotted him in the crowd at the “Crazy” star’s Marbella concert!
Malaga’s most famous son since Picasso, Antonio Banderas, has spent summers in La Gaviota, a spectacular house on Los Monteros beach, that he shared with former wife Melanie Griffith for decades. After the divorce, “the nest” was left for Banderas, who has other real estate investments in his beloved home region, including a penthouse, in the centre of Malaga, and several apartments in the historic area. Banderas is a regular vistor to Malaga, especially during Semana Santa, when he takes an active part in the processions.
Other movies stars who have made their homes in Marbella include Hugh Grant, who guards his privacy in La Zagaleta, George Clooney and Dolph Lundgren. Known for his iconic role as Soviet super villain Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and over 40 other action films, Dolph lived full time in Marbella from 1998 to 2010, at one time serving as the official Ambassador of the town. When I interviewed Dolph, he described the commute from Marbella to work in LA as “brutal”, but he still has a beautiful Spanish style villa tucked away in the hills.
For the ultimate ‘tucked away in the hills’ Marbella property, however, you cannot beat superstar Julio Iglesias’ country estate. “Cuatro Lunas” sits on an area of no less than 450 hectares full of vast orchards and gardens and includes a tennis court, two heliports, three swimming pools and several houses apart from the main one, all of them extremely luxurious with their own and relaxation areas. The compound also has its own forest and is crossed by various private trails (for a total of four miles if you fancy a meander).
The main house consists of seven rooms, eight bathrooms, a chapel and, of course, a recording studio. In addition, there is the 400-square-metre suite that served as the wedding venue for the wedding of Julio with Miranda Rijnsburger in 2010. If you fancy making an offer for Julio’s place, it is currently valued at 145 million euros.
So keeps your eyes peeled next time you are strolling around Marbella. Who knows which famous resident you will bump into!