In her mid-80s hit, “Sweetest Taboo”, soulful songstress Sade famously sang, “Every day is Christmas, and every night, is New Year’s Eve”. Nowhere does this ring truer than in Marbella. If you’re in the mood for a party, no matter what time of the year it is, Marbella is perfect for a spot of nocturnal naughtiness and is more than able to cater for however much trouble you want to get into – everything from a slightly fuzzy head the next morning to a night in the cells. (Not to be recommended. Trust me.)
New Year’s Eve in Marbella is always a ‘full on’ experience. If you are a northern European at your first Marbella NYE, a little word of advice from one who has been there, done that and woken with strange and unexplainable stains on his crumpled dinner jacket the next morning.
New Year’s Eve in Marbella is a marathon, not a sprint.
In the UK the aim seems to be to make it to midnight without falling over, grabbing the nearest random floozy for a snog at 12 (if you’re at a private house party the Labrador will do) and crashing face down onto the duvet at around 1 AM.
In Marbella the party doesn’t really get started until midnight, with a family meal in the evening and then a visit to the Plaza de los Naranjos to see in the New Year with grapes, kissing and a veritable tsunami of cheap cava being sprayed. Then the party really gets going.
Bar hopping around Marbella’s Old Town is always great fun, especially on New Year’s Eve. Plan it properly and you will gently make your way down to the bars and clubs of the Marbella Puerto Deportivo, which is always good fun. Lemon and Puente Faro are always popular and if you find yourself in the infamous Loco’s be warned. It’s all too easy to lose both track of time and all sense of dignity in there and you may very well stagger out at some point on January 1st. (Again. Not to be recommended. Trust me.)
If you want your celebrations to be a little more structured – but only a little bit – then The Boardwalk are holding an 80s and 90s themed party with live music and impromptu dancing. Incredibly popular, The Boardwalk is renowned for throwing great parties with everybody, including the staff and management, joining in the fun.
As you would expect, Marbella’s iconic venues also pull out all the stops when it comes to New Year’s Eve. The grande dame of Marbella hotels, the Marbella Club will be holding its traditional New Year’s Eve Gala with its after dinner party, free bar and DJ. Things will be slightly more relaxed at the Hotel Puente Romano’s La Suite nightclub where the seriously swish and stylish will see in 2020. La Plaza at Puente Romano, with its restaurants and bars including Nobu, Monkey Club and Thai Gallery has become the defining destination for both foodies and fun lovers and, with the über-trendy Nobu Hotel overlooking La Plaza, there is bound to be a brilliant and Baccalaurean vibe.
On the subject of grande dames, Oliva Valere is also open for New Year’s Eve. Always packed and popular, the distinctive club promises to see in 2020 with a “Glittering Future” theme, so I should imagine that shimmering and sparkly will be the predominant dress code on the night. http://www.oliviavalere.com/
Nueva Andalucía’s Aloha Strip, with its mix of bars, lounges and restaurants, is inevitably busy on December 31. You could always indulge in some festive bar hopping but having driven down the Strip at about 1 am on New Year’s Day a few years ago I had a glimpse of what a future British tourist zombie apocalypse could be like. Half dead figures staggered mouthing obscenities down the middle of the road and pounded on the sides of my 4×4, trying to get in. They thought I was a mini cab, obviously…
If an evening dodging the Undead isn’t your thing, (Again. Not to be recommended. Trust me), then Mosh looks much livelier. The popular “fun kitchen” (eat, drink, party, repeat) promises a chic and elegant night at “the most extravagant party in Marbella, with mind blowing shows, décor and live music”. Open from 9pm until “the cats go home” – Mosh has a thing for felines; its logo is a geometric cat’s head – the New Year’s Eve party also includes a set from the rather brilliant DJ Chris Wallem. http://moshfunkitchen.com/
Celebrity hangout La Sala will be no doubt be packed on New Year’s Eve, although there are still some bar only tickets available if you want to drink and dance – and there are even canapés provided as well. With the Jackie Brown Band providing the live music as well DJ Junior de Costa and the decks and live percussion, you can expect some serious partying on the night. https://lasalabanus.com/
Across from La Sala, Breathe boasts that it will be “on fire” on New Year’s Eve. It promises fire jugglers, Capoeira demonstrations, live DJ and a fire flare show. One aspect of the night captured the imagination – ‘The New Year Burning Bowl Ritual’ – where guests will be encouraged to “write a list of what you want to release and not carry in 2020 and we will burn it to get rid of negative feelings”. Obviously, I won’t be partaking in that one. Mainly due to the fact that if I were to burn my negative feelings, there would be the biggest ‘whoosh’ of flame on the coast since the Coin fire a few years back… https://www.breathe.life/
Puerto Banús is bound to be busy on New Year’s Eve with bars such as Sinatra, Portside, La Habana and News Café always popular, while Terra Blues, although not as brilliantly bonkers as its noughties heyday when the maverick Russell was a one-man bartending, DJ, table-dancing, mass-sing-along organising maelstrom, still attracts a party crowd. The only downside to NYE in the “Port of Abuse” is that trying to get a taxi at the end of the evening is somewhat akin to getting a chopper out of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
Finally, if you don’t want the New Year’s Eve party to end, head down to the hedonistic haven that is Playa Padre. The boho beach club that has as much of a reputation for being party central as somewhere to work on your tan will be open from 2pm on New Year’s Day. With a line-up of five DJs including a set from international DJ Monolink, you can start 2020 like you mean to go on!!! https://www.playapadre.com/