Michelle Obama arrives in Spain for holiday with daughter
US First Lady Michelle Obama and her nine-year-old daughter Sascha arrived in Spain on Wednesday for a brief holiday that local authorities hope will help boost tourist revenues.
A picture published on the websites of several Spanish newspapers showed her wearing sunglasses and carrying a large black bag, disembarking the US air force plane at Malaga airport in southern Spain with her daughter.
The pair were travelling by car to the five-star Hotel Villa Padierna near Marbella located some 40 kilometres (25 miles) away where they will stay for four days on that the White House has described as a "private mother-daughter holiday" with several long-time family friends.
Earlier on Wednesday the hotel's owner Ricardo Arranz told public radio RNE that the Obamas had reserved 60 rooms at the hotel for themselves, theirs friends and their extensive secret service detail.
"Everything is ready," he added.
President Barack Obama, who celebrates his 49th birthday on Wednesday, has stayed behind in Washington.
The couple's oldest daughter, 12-year-old Malia, is attending a summer camp in the United States.
Michelle Obama was also scheduled to meet Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at their summer palace on the Balearic island of Majorca during her brief stay, the White House said.
Rates for a room start at the hotel start at 250 euros and rise to 5,000 euros (6,500 dollars) for a villa with a 24-hour butler service and private pool and garden.
An Italian palazzo-style building about five kilometres (three miles) from the coast, the hotel has five restaurants, a spa and access to three 18-hole golf courses.
Spanish PR firm Oak Power Communication estimates the visit will generate about 50,000 reports on radio and television and in newspapers around the world and provide publicity for the Spain's southwestern Andalucia region worth around 800 million euros (one billion dollars).
© 2010 AFP