12 Sep, 2011 @ 12:09
4 mins read

The good, the bad and the ugly – Expat 100 Categories


Francis Butler – Owned influential Finca Besaya in Marbella, for 15 years.

Ram Nandkishore – Restaurant mogul behind Polo House, Jacks and Mumtaz, the first curry house on the coast.

Charlotte Scott – Stylemeister, who has put up many celebrities (even it is said Lady Diana) at her beautiful guest house Trasierra, in Sevilla.

Ian Radford – Owner of Buddha Beach and popular restaurant La Sala.

James Stuart – Owner of Costa de la Luz’s leading hotels Califa, Madreselva and Triperia.

Anthony and Patrick Read – Hotel entrepreneurs, who run San Rafael near Jerez and Corral del Rey in Sevilla.

Marcos Torres – Brazilian owner of boutique hotel Villa Marbella, voted Spain’s Number One on Trip Advisor

Pom and Tina Piek – Dutch born hoteliers who own Hotel la Fuente de la Higuera in Ronda where PM David Cameron recently stayed.



Howard Brereton – Journalist and DJ who owns Typically Spanish website.

Lenox Napier – Journalist who founded The Entertainer, which later became the Euro Weekly News.

Gerry and Joan Davies Founded Sur in English in 1984.

Chris Chaplow – The man behind Andalucia.com.

Max Clifford Celebrity publicist with a home in Marbella.



Duchess of York – Spends time in Sotogrande every summer.

Deborah Kerr – Starred in From Here to Eternity with Burt Lancaster and lived in Marbella for three decades until her death in 2007.

Orson Welles – American film genius who spent considerable time in Ronda, where he is buried.

Sean Connery – Lived in Marbella for many years, bringing world attention to the region.

Melanie Griffith – Wife of actor Antonio Banderas, has done a lot of charity work in Andalucia.

Stanley Baker – Star of Zulu, who lived in and promoted Malaga for years.

Stan Boardman – British comedian who has had a home in La Cala de Mijas for decades.



Rainer Maria Rilke – German who wrote the seminal Spanish Trilogy in Ronda in 1913.

David Baird – Hard working writer, with many books on Andalucia to his name. In particular Back roads of southern Spain.

Gamel Woolsey – Gerald Brenan’s wife wrote Malaga Burning: An American Woman’s Eyewitness Account of the Spanish Civil War.

Ernest Hemingway – Great lover of southern Spain and particularly Ronda, for its bullfights. Made numerous references in books and articles.

Richard Ford – Spent four years travelling in Andalucia for his influential 1845 classic Handbook for Travellers in Spain.

David Bomberg – Famous British artist who brought attention to the beauty of the landscape around Ronda.

Geoff Garvey – Influential Grazalema-based writer who edits of the Rough Guide to Andalucia.

David SearleAndalucia-based writer who 20 years ago wrote key legal book You and the Law in Spain.

Nina Epton – Travelled as a single woman, publishing her musings, as simply ‘Andalucia’.

Theophile Gautier – 19th Century French writer, whose book A Journey to Spain (1841) makes particular references to Andalucia.

William Somerset Maugham – 19th Century French writer, whose book A Journey to Spain (1841) makes particular references to Andalucia.

Hans Christian Anderson – Danish author of The Mermaid and I Spanien (In Spain). Spent a lot of time in Malaga and said of the city: “In no other Spanish city have I been as happy and as comfortable as in Malaga.”



Charles Pickman – Businessman who restored the La Cartuja monastery in Sevilla turning it in the 1840s into a successful ceramics factory.

Alexander Williams and Anny Humbert – Helped make Jerez sherry famous and brought substantial income to the local economy.

Robert Blake Byass – One half of the famous sherry conglomerate Gonzales & Byass.

Clara Verheij – The Dutch entrepreneur behind Axarquia’s award-winning Bodegas Bentomiz.



Steve Samson – Manager of Sunseed since 1987 – one of Andalucia’s most interesting green collectives, which has studied permaculture, share cropping and water use for 25 years.

Edwin Spijkers – For 20 years, has run Spain’s top green website business Generador Electrico from his farm in Ronda.

Hanne and Asger Mundbjerg – Danes who founded green solar company Technicas Maro 20 years ago.

Federico Schatz – German wine producer, in Ronda since early 1990s. He helped promote the area through his products.

Martin Kieninger – Eco-architect who set up the first, fully registered organic vineyard in Malaga.

Sam Ehlich – Founder of innovative company Treasures by Wasteland that uses recycled wood to make fashionable furniture.



Nigel Shamash – Set up celebrated retreat Cortijo Romero in 1986. Now said to be Spain’s leading centre for alternative holidays.

Rosie and Jonathan Miles – Set up popular alternative yoga retreat Kaliyoga in the Alpujarras in 2002.

Matt and Debbie Southom – Founders of watersports company Xtreme Gene, which has brought numerous world champions to Cordoba and many economic benefits.

Bjorn Borg – Lived on the Costa del Sol for many years running a tennis club. Recently played in Marbella Masters tennis tournament.



Maurice Boland – Popular local DJ who stepped down from TRE radio station following an indiscretion. Self-styled ‘Mr Marbella’, has huge local profile and raised considerable amounts of money for charity for 20 years.

Freddie Foreman and Ronnie Knight – Both played a big part in the notoriety of the so-called Costa del Crime.

Adnan Khashoggi – Controversial arms dealer whose estate later became La Zagaleta.

Toni Muldoon – Timeshare fraudster, helped maintain the notoriety of the Costa del Sol and affected the lives of hundreds of expats (albeit negatively).

Mickey Green – Notorious criminal who fled Britain to the Costa del Sol 30 years ago and has never been found.

Helen and Len Prior – Famously had their house wrongly knocked down in Almeria and still live in the garage without compensation.

Garry Leigh – Famous timeshare conman, who was killed in an accident last year.

Xaviera Hollander – Former New York hooker and madam, the author of the notorious novel the Happy Hooker (later a film with Lynn Redgrave) has lived in Andalucia for decades.

Judah Binstock – British entrepreneur, one of the most enigmatic of Marbella, who came in the late 1980s to escape British justice.

Marc Rich – Known as the ‘commodities magnate’, Rich, based in Marbella, allegedly made 13 billion dollars a year. Bill Clinton gave him a presidential Pardon after he was indicted for the biggest tax fraud in US history.

Tony King – So-called Costa killer jailed for life in Spain for killing two Spanish teenagers and the attempted rape of a third.


James Bryce

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. So all these trashy minor celebrities are more influential than the likes of Ian Gibson (despite Chris Stewart nominating him). Shame on you Olive Press, you used to aim higher than this.

  2. “So now we are down to ‘people who once had a house here’, or someone who gives it a passing mention in a book?

    Isn’t that just what the “winner” did? lol

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