With a long-running reputation as one of the original Euro party towns, Spain’s iconic Marbella has endured its share of unfair stereotyping as an up-all-night destination. But this Málaga coastal spot’s (admittedly extensive) party scene belies the town’s natural beauty, nestled between secure seas and Mediterranean hillsides. It’s tucked away in-between in these verdant slopes, through olives groves and vineyards, that you will find Anantara’s newest – and most intriguing – resort.
Surrounded by emerald golf courses and manicured gardens, Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis-Marbella Resort is moments away from bustling Marbella and the Costa de Sol town’s vibrant port, the latter lined with luxury designers and plentiful people-watching. Hosting its own roll- call of celebrity guests, including Michelle Obama and her daughters, Jennifer Lopez, and scores of more secretive royals, Hollywood stars, athletes, politicians and society stalwarts, the Edward Gilbert-designed resort imbibes a sense of occasion, first implemented by the property’s original lady of the manor. Both a curious world traveller and beloved family matriarch, the late Alicia Villapadierna Klein developed Villa Padierna
Palace in 2003, envisioning the property’s vast spaces as a culmination of her global adventures with her husband, Ricardo, and their four sons. Hand-picking personal mementos of her favourite destinations, she created interiors that represented a living map of her and her family’s most fondly-remembered moments. “She was an incredible, truly beloved woman who was the sun to those around her,” reflects Cristina Borges, Anantara’s Regional Director of PR for Portugal and Spain. “A strong, vibrant force of nature who everyone loved and was drawn to. Villa Padierna Palace became a special place to stay because of her energy.”
It’s from this innate warmth and personal touches that Villa Padierna Palace, now operated by Anantara, draws its strengths, with its sense of familiarity invoking the characteristic feeling that that you’re staying at an eccentric but close friend’s estate. Each of the 132 guest rooms, suites and pool villas are uniquely decorated, from commissioned artworks and one-of-a-kind pottery pieces, to beloved curios and family snapshots. In total, more than 1,200 original artworks can be discovered throughout the property. Within the gardens, poised marble statues and a thoughtful water feature lead you to the stand-alone wellness centre. Take an afternoon at the Anantara Spa, with a 10-step hydrotherapy circuit inspired by traditional Roman baths and inclusive of scented steam rooms, icy plunge pools, and a hammam. Walk through the classical courtyard, across to Anantara’s Spanish restaurant, where the open kitchen focuses on local favourites from seafood paella to a tangy gazpacho. Dine on the sun-dappled terrace under a canopy of greenery, looking over the surrounding golf course, groves of cypress and palm trees, and the shimmering coast beyond. A selection of
elegant dining choices range from Michelin star-chef Paco Roncero’s new O by Paco Roncero, and the 99 Sushi Bar concept, to Anantara’s signature Dining by Design experience, offering once-in-a-lifetime moments in hidden gardens, secret rooms and starlit rooftops.
This celebration of the memorable is what led the resort to reach out to All Things Mochi for their collaboration, points out Cristina. “We were excited to be aligned with a brand that feels special, that makes you feel special whenever you wear it,” she says. “All Things Mochi has that kind of energy, a vibrant designer that understands the power of people and culture. And we could see the All Things Mochi woman finding her home here, at Villa Padierna Palace.” Known for collections dedicated to specific regions and countries, All Things Mochi has traversed the globe, releasing each new launch like a love note to its latest destination discovery. For founder and designer Ayah Tabari, All Thing Mochi’s latest romance took place in the undulating gardens, hidden streets and clear coastlines of Spain, with the Resort ’20 collection inspired by memories from the brand founder’s youth. “Spain had stolen my heart ever since I was a little girl,” Ayah reminisces. “Since I was four years old, my parents used to take me to our house in Marbella where we would spend long summers, and I fell in love with their cobblestones and bougainvillea trees. Living there gave me a lot of insight to the Spanish culture that is enriched by its traditions, colorful fiestas, and joyful people. The list of reasons why I love Spain is endless, and it was only fitting to dedicate a collection to a place so close to my heart.”
Approached by Anantara about collaborating with their newest resort in Marbella, Ayah realised that the luxe location was the ideal stage for her Resort ’20 collection, with the All Things Mochi woman easily imagined to be wandering the resort’s grounds, teeing off in the early Mediterranean sunshine, or celebrating over an intimate dinner. She’s the woman who “has places to be, goals to meet, and has life to live,” elaborates Ayah. “She exudes positivity, [and] is vibrant, free spirited, strong and unafraid to be herself.”
Taking cues from centuries of sartorial iconology, the collection references a Spain in the throes of celebration. Boldly oversized, the collection’s extravagant ruffles, energetic colourways and attention- grabbing prints pay homage to Spain’s historical styling, explains Ayah. “I fell in love with the ruffled silhouettes and colourful lace trims found in flamenco dance outfits to the dramatic embellishments in the strong matador bullfighting costuming,” she says. “Flowers are also a major element in this collection from the sacred tradition of silk thread flower embroidery reflecting the romantic passion of the Spanish culture. We used colours Spain is known for, such as their passionate red and bright yellow, and incorporated the vivid violet and bold green from the bougainvillea flowers that bloom there.” Completing Ayah’s vision of a celebratory holiday wardrobe in an ode to passionate Spanish culture, the Anantara x All Things Mochi woman has made her home in Marbella, at least until the next jet-setting location beckons.
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