US First Lady, Michelle Obama and her youngest daughter Sasha arrived in Malaga airport Wednesday morning aboard Air Force Two. The First lady and her daughter were picked up by a motorcade of black limos and police cars. They were driven directly from the airport to the luxury hotel Villa Padierna.
5-star Luxury Holiday in Style
The hotel Villa Padierna, officially located in the municipality of Benahavis, is ranked amongst the top 30 hotels in the world. With its tuscany styled architecture and 2,000 square meter spa the Obama family will have plenty to enjoy. The U.S. First Lady was welcomed by hotel director, Ricardo Arranz who confirmed to the press that the Obamas had reserved 60 rooms at the hotel for themselves, their friends and their extensive Secret Service detail.
Michelle Obama Arrives in Marbella
The first day included a trip to the historic Old Town of Marbella amongst an entourage of security and a dinner at the Buenaventura Restaurant.
State of the Art Presidential Security
The visit of the U.S. First Lady has boosted security surrounding the hotel as well as the town itself with over 300 police offers, 70 secret service agents – many disguised as tourists as well as various military personnel.
Media Exposure Valued at 800 Million Euros
The Michelle Obama visit to Marbella is expected to be covered in 50,000 media outlets including over 600 TV channels, 2,500 newspapers, 2,100 online media, 900 radio stations as well as 1,850 gossip magazines. Experts even go as far as claiming that news articles are worth up to seven times more than advertising through media, which would suggest the Obama visit could be worth a staggering 5.6 billion euros in marketing for the Marbella town.
Local Controversies over the Obama Visit
The huge billboard which read “Welcome Obama Family” and in smaller text “Thanks for choosing Marbella” was removed just a day before the arrival of the Obama family. Local residents have also expressed their disapproval of the town hall and local politicians “bending over backwards” to accommodate the wife of U.S. President Barack Obama. Countless roads have been touched up last minute and the municipality of Estepona even cleaned a 50-meter stretch of beach and planted an oasis in the sand, in case the First Lady decides to go for a swim.
Visit to Royal Family on Mallorca island
Michelle Obama is also scheduled to meet the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain at their summer palace Miravent on the island of Mallorca.
Photo Credits: Marbella Town Hall