When the Marbella Club opened in 1954, there was almost nothing else around it. Exclusive and expensive from the outset, it swiftly established Marbella as an alternative to the French and Italian Rivieras for aristocrats, tycoons, and yachtsmen who prefer their weather sunny and their beaches sandy. Six decades later, all those lovely gardens and trees have matured, and the clusters of bungalows and garden pavilions have evolved a homey yet clubby ambience. Rooms vary a lot, but they are without exception spacious and decorated as if a magazine were coming in the next day to shoot a photo spread. All of them have either private balconies or terraces. Service is discreet and superb.