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Ryan Howsam

Arimelia CEO Ryan Howsam’s
guide to Marbella

A serial entrepreneur and investor, Ryan first visited Andalusia in 1989. The region had such a profound effect on the young Yorkshireman that 15 years later he moved – albeit part time – to Marbella. His daughter went to school there while he began carefully acquiring the best real estate that money could buy. Today he owns some of the most desirable properties in Puente Romano, Sierra Blanca and The Golden Mile. An expert on all things James Bond, and a dab hand with a pitching wedge, if he’s not sealing a deal at Puente Romano’s Owners Club, you’ll find him mentoring one of the dozens of companies he’s involved in.

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Best place for drinks

“Depending on the time of day, I have a couple of go-to spots. Any time before midday I love to walk 20 minutes down the beach to Cappuccino Grand Cafe. Despite its authentic Italian feel, it’s actually a Mallorcan company. As you’d expect, they’re pretty good at coffee and breakfast, but the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner. Any later in the day, and I’d usually head to Serafina. The bar is at the back of the restaurant and it’s great to just pull up a stool for a quick drink. A glass of blanc de blanc is my usual tipple, although they make pretty mean espresso martinis there too.”

Best place for dinner

“Generally, I like to eat healthy. There’s a great place just over the road from The Marbella Club called Organic Market & Food which is great for salads and smoothies. In Puente Romano you’ve got Celicioso, an organic café-cum-bakery that only serves gluten-free food. I’m a big fan of their Amazonic protein balls with açaí and banana. Elsewhere, Dani Garcia has just opened a new restaurant in the Puente Romano, called Lena which is as good, if not better than his other restaurant there, Bibo. This one is a super-stylish steakhouse with the most incredible wooden decor – the ceiling is a work of art. The skewers and kebabs are delicious but the steaks are the real showstoppers. For serious carnivores, the 1.3kg Tomahawk is about as much steak as anyone could possibly hope for. It’s fair to say Dani Garcia has that Michelin star for a reason.”

Best place for sunset

“There are lots of places where you can enjoy amazing sunsets in Marbella. If you want to coincide dinner with a sunset, I’d highly recommend Sea Grill on the beachfront. If you are feeling energetic, hike up to the top of La Concha mountain. It’s a 3-4 hour trek through a stunning national park, and the view from the peak is not one you’ll forget in a hurry.”

Best place for a sunset Marbella

Best place to exercise

“Around here, Padel is very popular. It’s like tennis but you play over the net and against the walls in a similar way to squash. It’s really fast paced and you usually play doubles. You pick it up very quickly. Cycling is also very popular. There’s a lovely scenic ride up to a charming little village called Istán. It’s about 15km and admittedly much of that is uphill, but it’s well worth the effort. And of course it’s downhill all the way home.”

Best place to swim

“Most of the time I’ll just swim in front of Puente Romano, but if I’ve got guests I might walk down to The Marbella Club. There’s great swimming around the pier there, and of course it’s nice not having to look too far for refreshments…”
Best place to swim Puente Romano Marbella

Best place to play golf

“The other big thing here is golf. I’m a member at Real Club de Golf Las Brisas, one of the best courses in Europe. You might remember Seve Ballesteros won the Spanish Open there many years ago. Pretty much next door, you’ve got Aloha Golf Club – another PGA tour course to have hosted the Spanish Open – which is good but not quite on the same level. For something a little more luxurious, Finca Cortesin is a stunning five-star hotel and resort with a fabulous course – potentially the best in Spain. The Volvo World Match Play Championship has been played there. It’s a bit more up and down so you’d probably want a buggy, whereas Las Brisas is a walking course so good for a bit of exercise.”

Best way to spend an evening

“If you want some nightlife, there’s a very famous club called Olivia Valere which is close to Puente Romano. It’s a pretty glamorous affair; the kind of place you book a table and have Champagne delivered all night. It’s certainly not cheap, but you do get some of the world’s top DJs there, and it’s always a very well-to-do crowd. Again, if that’s what you’re looking for, Mamzel at Finca Besaya is another cool bar/restaurant that turns into a club later in the evening. However, I prefer The Supper Club as it’s a little more laidback. It gets pretty lively towards the end of the night but during the evening you can eat dinner and watch some great live music there.”
Best way to spend an evening

Ryan’s top tip

“There’s a little town called Ronda which is about an hour away from Marbella. It’s a stunning place set dramatically over a deep gorge. Here you’ll find Ascari Race Resort. For anyone who is into cars or indeed racing cars, this is an absolute must. The track here is like the Nürburgring only better looking and not quite as long. You can drive all manner of different cars, from Ferraris to Formula 3s, and it really is an amazing experience. The icing on the cake is you can get a helicopter from Puente Romano and be there in under 10 minutes. Because who doesn’t like to arrive in style?”