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Michelle Obama in Marbella

August 5, 2010 – 3:00 pm

It’s Business as Usual as Marbella Graciously Receives Michelle Obama in the City’s Charming Old Town – Press release from Marbella town hall.

Michelle Obama’s visit to the Costa del Sol may be brief, but her brief stay is having the Midas touch on the image and popularity of Marbella.

Following Mrs. Obama’s smooth arrival at the Villa Padierna Hotel in an impressive cavalcade of some twenty specially imported Chevrolets and armoured cars, she and her daughter Sasha were able to relax, have lunch and spend some time with Ricardo Arranz and Alicia Villapadierna, the owners of the area’s most opulent hotel, who presented her with a magnificent array of gifts, including a flamenco dress, a hand-painted fan, a set of books on Picasso and an award-winning engraving, compliments of the Marbella Town Hall.

As a private visit, the agenda of Mrs. Obama and her daughter during their stay is not available to the public, but Michelle and a large entourage surprised residents of Marbella by taking a relaxed stroll in the afternoon in the quaint cobbled streets of the Casco Antiguo, Marbella’s historic Old Town.

Passersby and residents of the charming neighbourhood were delighted when Mrs. Obama window-shopped, browsed souvenirs and stopped to buy two white summer dresses for her daughter and herself. The shop assistant was charmed by Mrs. Obama’s charismatic presence and natural charm. “She was extremely charming, and told me how much she loved Marbella”. After purchasing a few more items, Mrs. Obama and her party stopped to dine early at the Buenaventura restaurant close to the Plaza de La Encarnación.

Despite exhaustive security measures – an estimated 70 secret service agents and 250 national police officers are employed in the operation of keeping the First Lady of the USA safe – Mrs. Obama has been able to relax and enjoy her first twenty four hours in the area with a minimum of fuss.
As José Luis Hernández, Marbella’s councillor of Tourism, states, “Marbella is more than accustomed to receiving dignitaries and celebrities. Mrs. Obama did not have any particular requests, and we are happy to show the world that she can relax and soak up the ambience of Marbella and Andalucia, while life goes on as normal around her. ”

Thursday 5th August
Today Mrs. Obama and her party will travel to Granada and spend a few hours at the Alhambra Palace, El Albaycin and the Cathedral before heading back to the Costa del Sol.

Friday 6th August
The Obamas are expected to spend time relaxing at the Villa Padierna Hotel with its exquisite pool, gardens, sports facilities and spa. They may also go to the hotel’s private beach club just two kilometres away.

Saturday 7th August
Michelle Obama is expected to visit the historical town of Ronda, immortalized by American writer Ernest Hemingway, and there is much speculation that she will attend the Starlite Gala, a glamorous charity event hosted by Antonio Banderas and Eva Longoria at her chosen hotel, Villa Padierna. Guests are paying 1000€ per person to attend.

Sunday 8th August
Mrs. Obama and her daughter will finish their trip to the Marbella area and head to Mallorca to meet King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia of Spain.

For further information, please email: marbellapressoffice@marbella.es, Tel: +34 952 828244,

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