OPINION: I’m so tired of ‘luxury’ venues on the Costa del Sol… is this REALLY what we moved to Spain for? 

THE number of ‘luxury’ venues popping up along the Costa del Sol is becoming tiresome. 

You know the type, they have a weird one-word name that wouldn’t look out of place in an Ikea catalogue. Their gin and tonics will set you back €20 or more while a sunbed will cost you literally hundreds. 

And we know why they do it, because the posers and millionaires who live on or visit the coast have no problem paying for it. 

Give your business a minimal design and slap the word ‘luxury’ in your branding and you too can charge through the nose for tiny ‘haute cuisine’ dishes – that usually don’t even taste that good, by the way. 

And this is not just a problem in Marbella, new luxury venues are popping up along the coast, including in Estepona and Sotogrande. 

Even padel tennis clubs are joining the fray, with a mix-in at the latest centre in San Pedro de Alcantara setting you back up to €25. That’s double the price of the Villa Padierna racquet club just down the road towards Estepona, for comparison. 

They may look lovely, visually, but the more these venues grow the more they price locals and expats out of these areas. 

The average salary in Malaga province is €1,411 per month, BEFORE tax, so it’s hard to imagine most people who live here splashing hundreds of euros on a sunbed. 

I just find it depressing to imagine authentic Spanish businesses being replaced by out-of-reach and overpriced venues. 

I mean, didn’t we expats move to Spain because we love the culture? Tapas bars where they still write the orders in chalk on the bar, decades-old chiringuitos where they cook sardines in a wooden boat that’s been fashioned into a grill. And no frills beach clubs that serve you incredible food and big portions with reasonable prices. 

Of course, places like this still exist, and I hope they continue to do so.

While I believe in variety and there should be venues for everyone, it feels like all the new places are being geared towards the super wealthy. 

One hopes the more authentic places will be protected, or the coast will run the risk of losing its character and soul.

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