The town stands in considerable constrast, after another sequence of apartment-villa, to most of what is come before. It is undisputedly the quality resort of La Costa del Sol. Where restaurants and bars are more stylish and everything cost considerable more. It has the highest per capita income in Europe and more Rolls Royces than any European city apart from London. The town has been spared the worst excesses of concrete architecture inflicted upton Torremolinos. Marbella also retains the greater part of its old town (set back a little from the sea and the new development).
Centred on La Plaza de los Naranjos and still partially walled, the old town is hidden from the main road and easy to miss. Slowly this original quarter is being bought up and turned into quaint clothes boutiques and restaurants, but this process isn't that far avance. You can still sit in on an ordinary bar in a small old square and look up beyond the whitewashed alleyways to the mountains of Ronda.
Truly the rich dont stay in Marbella itself. They secrete themselves away in villas in the surrounding hills or lie around on phenomenally large and luxury yacht at the marina and casino complex of Puerto Banus, 6km. out of town towards San Pedro. If you are impoverished, this fact is worth nothing as its sometimes possible to find work scrubbing and repairing sair yachts. As you expect Banus has more than its complement of cocktail bars and seafood restaurants, most of them very pricey.