Michelle Obama visit puts Marbella onto the World Tourism Map

As one of the top holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol, Marbella has always been a playground for the rich and famous. However, the upcoming private trip of America’s First Lady Michelle Obama (between August 4th and 8th) to this luxury seaside resort has certainly helped the town’s profile.

Until 1960, Marbella was mainly an industrial city and it was only in the later decades of the 20th century that it gained prominence as a holiday hot spot. Its soothing climate, lovely stretch of sandy beaches and historic culture were channelised with the development of world-class infrastructure that is Marbella today.

However, during the early years of its popularisation, Marbella really promoted itself among those wealthy jet set tourists, including European aristocrats and Hollywood actresses, enticing them with chic beachside resorts and villas. Subsequent real-estate development in future years has allured many property buyers who wish to set up a second home in this magnificent setting.

Although Marbella’s transformation into a prosperous Mediterranean town began with large scale municipal construction activities, the town has been tainted with the accusation of corruption and property scandals with the involvement of its municipal authority. It all began in 1990s with the election of Jesus Gil as the Mayor of Marbella.

However, although this individual was earlier credited for the construction boom, Jesus Gil was later forced to resign in 2002 and briefly imprisoned, following his involvement with a series of corruption scandals. This was not the end of such scandals because in 2006 the entire Marbella Town Hall was summarily dismissed by the Madrid government with irregularities and corruption cases in urban planning.

Marbella’s meteoric rise in the property market resulting in the inhabitation of some of the wealthiest people in the world has also made Marbella vulnerable and an attractive target especially to those in the criminal fraternity. However, since 2006 and specifically under the governance of the present Mayoress Angeles Munoz, the town is trying and succeeding to gain back its 60s reputation.

With Michelle Obama’s visit in August 2010, Marbella has certainly got a chance to promote itself to the world. Praising the tourist potential of the town, the Mayoress says: “it’s always been a popular destination with a strong and very powerful global brand and the visit of Obama family shows that strength of Marbella.”

Marbella is now Centre Stage on the World Tourism Map

Welcoming Mrs Obama, Munoz said that Michelle Obama could have travelled anywhere in the world but she chose Marbella. The Mayor further highlighted that the visit of the Obama family removes any negative connotation towards the town and it also highlights the political and institutional stability achieved in the current legislature. In her words, Marbella has been put in the world tourism map.

The Costa del Sol resort town of Marbella has everything you can ask in a holiday and rest: with an extraordinary climate, sun, beach, leisure, sport, cuisine, shopping and a host of wonderful places for sightseeing.

Luxury Hotel Villa Padierna

It has been confirmed that Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha, aged 9, along with some old family members will reside at the luxurious Hotel Villa Padierna, located in Benahavis near Marbella. The five-star Hotel Villa Padierna – a golf and spa resort – is a property of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

With luxurious accommodation, lavish spa and recreation facilities, the hotel is preferred by many as one of the finest places to soak in the Mediterranean sun in an idyllic setting, while the historic town of Marbella a few minutes away provides a blissful time to its guests.

As reported, the booking for the Obamas is for 35 rooms in which standard rooms start at 250 euros per night and upwards to cover 5,000 euros per night. In any case, it’s a tour of the US Presidential family and, without a doubt, a positive boost to the image of the region. The Obamas will later travel to Mallorca from Marbella and pay an official visit to Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia.

Villa Padierna Marbella

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