Take a trip to Marbella for yachts, showy shops and hours of fun in the sun

LUX yachts, showy shops and hours of sunshine — Marbella is a must for Towie fans like me.

I headed to the south of Spain hoping I’d bump into Gemma Collins.

My weekend was centred around Puerto Banús, with its harbour full of huge boats. You can practically smell the money as you walk past the likes of Versace and Gucci.

But Marbs isn’t just for millionaires — it also has more down-to-earth offerings on its harbour in the form of pizza and kebab restaurants.

The resort is where the young and tanned come to party, and I felt very pale next to the Love Island stunners.

Note to self — book a spray tan beforehand next time.

My party weekend started well at Candypants — a weekly party at Plaza Beach, a chilled-out club where guests lounge on day beds sipping champagne or vodka.

There was no sign of the Towie gang but there was a laid-back atmosphere and there were even sunken hot tubs in the floor for those who didn’t want to ruin their eyeliner with a dip in the sea.

The party, which also runs in Dubai and Ibiza, once hosted Justin Bieber and even has its own fashion line.

By early evening the event really gets going as guests hit the dance floor — before they then head over to the Mirage nightclub to carry on until dawn.

I made an exit for a quick siesta back at my hotel, the Barcelo Marbella, before chilling on the balcony of my vast, plush room — surrounded by golf courses and palm trees.

Dinner was at Teatro, an outdoor theatre experience where you dine under the stars. It would be right up the GC’s street — but sadly there was still no sign of her.

Swept away by the evening’s performance and encouraged by the staff, all the guests were dancing on the stage by the end of the night.

With a hangover to tackle the next morning and a plane to catch at 9pm, there was only one thing for it — prosecco with breakfast then on to another poolside club.

I headed to Ocean Club Marbella for the day, which is like Plaza Beach’s grown-up sister.

People are preened to perfection here — they must take all year to get ready for a day in the sun.

But even if you haven’t spent the previous 12 months prepping, the club is a lot of fun — slick and well managed, just don’t expect to make any friends if you divebomb the pool.

Marbella is a place to let your hair down, enjoy yourself and indulge — and it doesn’t hurt that everyone and everything around you looks a million euros.

Sadly, I never did see Gemma Collins — though I saw on Instagram that she was there the weekend after. Just my luck.

Go: Marbella

GETTING/STAYING THERE: Flights from the UK to Marbella are from £27.99 per person one way. See easyjet.com. A Superior room at the Barcelo Marbella hotel is from £55 per person. See barcelo.com/en-gb.
OUT & ABOUT: A day-bed at Plaza Beach & Mirage is from £147 a day (plazabeachbanus.com) and at Ocean Club from £192 a day (oceanclub.es). For Teatro Marbella, see teatromarbella.com/en/. Candypants at Plaza Beach run each Saturday. See candypants-events.co.uk.

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