If you’re looking for inspiration to plan a late Summer (or early Autumn!) getaway, Michelle Obama might have some pointers for you. The former First Lady of the United States of America recently enjoyed an enchanting vacation in Spain where she enjoyed a whirlwind adventure in two beautiful cities—Mallorca and Madrid. Accompanied by her friends, former U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos and his husband Michael Smith, Obama’s Spanish sojourn was a mix of relaxation, art appreciation and quality time with a discreet circle of friends.
A Frequent Visitor To Spain
The former First Lady is no stranger to Spain. Reportedly, since leaving the White House in 2017, she has visited Spain at least five times. Her first official visit to Madrid happened in 2016, during which she met with King Felipe and collaborated with Queen Letizia to promote the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiatives.
A Stylish Arrival
Costos, currently President of Secuoya Studios and Smith, the renowned international decorator, were first seen with Obama enjoying lunch at the renowned Flanigan’s restaurant in Puerto Portals, shortly after landing in Palma by private jet with a substantial security detail. Afterwards, the trio wasted no time diving into vacation mode, as the Becoming author boarded the elegant yacht ‘Falcao Uno’ in Palma Harbor for a scenic three-hour cruise. The security motorcade then whisked them away to Finca Xarbet, the stunning Mallorcan residence purchased by Costos and Smith the previous year, as prominently featured on its own public Instagram account, @FincaXarbet.
Reports suggest that Costos-Smith hosted an outdoor dinner party for the former First Lady that evening, attended by several friends, including the newly appointed president of the Balearic Islands and her spouse, with Smith sharing a photo of his garden table on his Instagram account. The following evening, they enjoyed sunset cocktails on the rooftop of Hotel Sant Francesce in Palma, where they mingled with owner Andreas Soldevila and his wife Aida, along with other guests. This enchanting soiree was followed by a leisurely stroll down the charming streets of Palma and a delightful dinner at Restaurant El Camino, with Costos even sharing a snapshot of the menu and two bottles of fine Spanish wine on social media.
A Day in Madrid
Obama, a known art enthusiast, spent the next afternoon touring the newly-opened Royal Collections Gallery and the La Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. Her deep appreciation for art and design is evident from Smith’s work decorating The White House for the Obamas (2008-17), and was clear that visiting Madrid’s extraordinary art collections is something she enjoys.
A Glamorous Dinner in Madrid
When Costos completed his tenure as Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in January 2017, he and Smith never entirely severed ties with Spain. They have since made a new home in the Almagro neighbourhood of Madrid, where Obama stayed during her visit.
A glamorous dinner party was thrown in her honour, attended by notable figures such as Carolina Herrera Jr., the Mayor of Madrid, and Borja Arteaga from the U.S.-based investment bank, PJT Partners, where Costos serves on the board. Their gathering also featured friends from the art and entertainment industries, reflecting Costos’s work at Secuoya Studios, located within Madrid Content City. Notably, this complex houses the European Headquarters of Netflix, a company where the Obamas have their production company, Higher Ground, which incidentally premiered its newest movie, Rustin, while Mrs Obama was visiting Spain.
Costos has been instrumental in building and maintaining ties between the U.S. and Spain. While he declined to comment on the specifics of the First Lady’s visit when contacted by HELLO!, he expressed his excitement about returning to Spain with Michael and Michelle after a long hiatus. This trip came after Costos successfully battled prostate cancer in Los Angeles this past summer, a battle he had shared publicly on his social media platform earlier this year.
Continuing the Journey
Amidst a substantial security detail, the former First Lady’s motorcade departed from the Costos-Smith residence this past Friday for lunch at Restaurant Fayer before heading to an undisclosed location in Madrid.
Michelle Obama’s late summer holiday in Spain was a testament to the power of friendship, cultural experiences, and the enduring connections between nations, and offered a glimpse into the life of a former First Lady who continues to inspire and captivate the world with her grace and commitment to meaningful causes.