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chef marco

Chef Marco Morelli’s
guide to Puente Romano

Marco and his brother Carlo are the brains (and chefs) behind a succession of esteemed Italian restaurants: Elistano in London’s Chelsea, Aretusa in Puerto Banus, Solotto in Andalucia, and most recently the legendary Serafina in Puente Romano. The pair spent years holidaying in Marbella before eventually moving there in 2014, when Daniel Shamoon asked if they’d open the first restaurant on the resort’s now bustling plaza. Which is why Marco knows the place as well as anyone…

Guide to Puente Romano Marbella Properties

Best place for drinks

“I like Joe’s Bar. I like it for its familiarity, and for its location – just over the plaza from Serafina. There used to be a Joe’s when I was growing up in Marbella, so there’s a certain nostalgia for me. Now it’s owned and run by Dilly, a Rastafrian who is a real character. He serves incredible cocktails, great for before or after dinner, and plays the best funk and soul music. I like how it flows nicely into the plaza where you’ll find a separate bar. One bar’s better suited for summer, the other is better for winter perhaps. Failing that, La Suite is more of a nightclub but it has a lovely outdoor area which is great for a drink.”

Best place for dinner

“I think Monkey Club is probably my favourite after Serafina, naturally. I do like Dani Garcia’s eclectic Spanish, Bibo serves great tapas, and Nobu is world famous for its Japanese fusion, but Monkey Club has something for everyone. Something from all corners of the globe. It’s very cool looking, and it attracts a particularly hip crowd. Their beef carpaccio on the Chimpanzee Menu is sensational. They play good music there too.”

Best place for sunset

“For the best sunsets you’ll see maybe anywhere, you must head down to the pier by Marbella Club Hotel. It’s a lovely, pretty walk down the beach from Puente Romano (approximately five minutes) and a really nice way to wind down for the evening. I like to go all the way down the end of the pier, because from there you get a great view of the beach and much of the Golden Mile. Looking out to sea, the colours are just fantastic.”
Best place for sunset Puente Romano Marbella
Best place to exercise Puente Romano Marbella

Best place to exercise

“There are many ways to keep fit at Puente Romano. The gym there is fantastic and I love to go jogging down the Paseo Maritime, but for a great workout for both body and mind, I love to go paddle boarding. I leave my board on the beach at the Water Sports Centre and nip down whenever I can. Mornings are usually the best time to go when the sea is nice and flat. It’s particularly peaceful and relaxing. I believe you can also do paddle board yoga, although I’m yet to try that.”

Best place to swim

“I like to swim at the little cove at the front of Puente Romano. It’s a nice little bay. There’s a shallow gradient there and it’s family friendly. There’s a breakwater there so it’s relatively flat which makes it good for both paddling and more serious swimming.”

Best place to swim Puente Romano Marbella
Best way to spend an evening Puente Romano Marbella

Best way to spend an evening

“If I’m not working (which most of the time I am), of an evening I’ll usually be hanging out around the plaza. I’ll decide what kind of cuisine I fancy and usually dine within the resort. After that, I love to walk around the botanical gardens. The stretch from the plaza down to the beach is very beautiful indeed. The sweet smells of the flowers and the sounds of the various birds are incredible, especially at sunset.”

Marco’s top tip

“A long lunch at MC Beach at Marbella Club is one of my favourite things to do. It’s such an elegant, pretty beach restaurant, and their famous ‘fish and salt’ is one of the most simple yet delicious dishes I’ve ever eaten. It’s best if you don’t have any afternoon plans, that way you can just stay there drinking cocktails all day.”

mc beach marbella

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