surinenglish

Mahiki Beach sealed off by police hours before it was due to open

The new La Sala venue in central Marbella being closed off with tape last Friday.
The new La Sala venue in central Marbella being closed off with tape last Friday. / Josele-Lanza
  • Although the launch party of Sala Group’s latest Marbella venture took place last weekend, the building itself cannot be used and is locked in a planning dispute

The town hall in Marbella has sealed off a former ‘chiringuito’ beach bar on the promenade in the centre of the resort that was about to be reopened as the first Spanish branch of a top London nightspot.

Mahiki Beach is based on the popular celebrity hangout, Mahiki, in Mayfair in the British capital. It was due to be launched last Friday, 26 May, by the well-known venue owner, Sala Group, which has done a deal to extend the Mahiki brand into Spain.

However, Marbella council says that the refurbishment of the old ‘chiringuito’ has flouted planning law and doesn’t have permission.

Sources said that the new owners had applied for the appropriate building licence but started work before it was granted. In April, problems reportedly arose with the architects and town planners issued an order to stop the rebuilding work.

The refit was said to have continued right up to last Friday’s launch date, and included elements that weren’t in the original planning application, including the installation of a bar at street level.

Faced with the failure to comply with the order and the advertised imminent opening, local police sealed off the site on Friday afternoon.

The high-profile launch of the club still went ahead as planned, at a different venue, and attracted several reality-television stars from the UK who flew in for the occasion.

Sources said that the Mahiki Beach venue would remain closed until the planning permission was sorted out, probably “sometime in June”.