Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

Starlite Gala – Hollywood comes to Marbella

Last Saturday’s Starlite Gala was the event of the year for Marbella society, with the red carpet at the luxurious Villa Padierna lit up by Hollywood film and television stars and host of Spanish and international celebrities, aristocrats and business barons. (see my article here)
Eva and tony

This new, annual international charity gala has been created by Sandra García-Sanjuán and María Bravo as a platform to bring together the worlds of business, celebrity and philanthropy to raise money for fiscally responsible charities.

The star-studded benefit was the climax of an exceptional few days for the coast which has been the focus of the world’s media thanks to Michelle Obama’s choice of Andalucía for her first European family holiday with daughter Sasha.

Although Mrs Obama did not attend the celebrity gala, the night was illuminated by Hollywood A-Listers, Antonio Banderas, who was elegantly dressed in a dinner jacket with black tie, and Eva Longoria, who looked stunning in a dark coral satin dress, with clusters of jewels across one shoulder and at her waist.Eva speaking

Antonio was joined by his wife Melanie Griffith and their daughter Stella del Carmen. Eva shared the evening with her handsome husband Tony Parker.

Guests included retired tennis ace Boris Becker with his wife Lilly Kerssenberg; Marbella-based tennis pro Manolo Santana; Luis Alfonso de Borbon, Duke of Anjou with his wife Margarita de Vargas;  Gunilla Gräfin von Bismarck, great-granddaughter of Otto von Bismarck; supermodel Eugenia Silva, who was the ‘MC’ for the evening; Alexandra and Victoria Swarovski; the fashion designer Purificación García; as well as Marbella’s own Olivia Valère (with husband Philippe), who hosted an exclusive after party at her prestigious nightclub.

Other celebrities included socialites Carmen Lomana and Paloma Cuevas; Chenoa, and David de María (who were amongst the singers entertaining the guests); Manu Tenorio; Angela Carrasco; the flamenco dancer Rafael Amargo who also performed at the gala; and the flamboyantly dressed Argentinean artist and media personality, Patricio Moreno.

Marbella’s Mayor, Angeles Muñoz joined the party too, clearly pleased that Marbella is enjoying a renaissance in its reputation as a place for the rich and famous.

Deepak Chopra, public speaker and expert in ayurveda, mind body medicine and spirituality also flew in to support the event and as one of the highlights of the evening, he received the first Starlite Humanitarian Award for his ‘global force of human empowerment, wellbeing and for bringing light to the world’.Andrew


I was press accredited, so managed to get these pictures – plus I got a colleague to shoot me on the red carpet before anyone arrived!

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About the Author

Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »