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Spain Grand Chapitre

Marbella, October 9-12, 2014

Our 65th ‘Costa del Sol’ Grand Chapitre took place in Marbella, a city that welcomed us with the characteristic joy of Andalusia.

Members and guests from Spain but also from somewhat further afield arrived at the Hotel Gran Meliá Don Pepe for four days of culture, gastronomy, sightseeing and ceremony.

Photos above (c) Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts

The Don Pepe is a legend in Marbella because it was the first luxury hotel in the city. Located on a large plot in the heart of the Paseo Marítimo sea front promenade at the foot of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, the hotel has hosted film stars, political VIPs and many other famous people.

Photos above (c) Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts

Our group was treated with equal importance as all our rooms had prestigious sea views. Once settled in we set out to visit the city of Marbella, the castle and the old town including the Plaza de los Naranjos the beauty of which left everyone surprised.

The first dinner of the comprehensive programme was at Restaurante La Navilla owned by our confrère Miguel Pedraza. Dining on the terrace we could readily taste the freshness of the sea fish and the exquisitely-prepared meat.

Photo ci-dessus : (c) Restaurant La Navila

On Friday morning we headed to the Sierra Blanca to visit the town of Ronda. Heavy rain did not diminish our spirits. We visited the bullring, one of the oldest and impressive in Spain, which is considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Ronda popularity over time has been enhanced by the writings of Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles who spent many summers there as part-time residents of the old town quarter called La Ciudad. Both wrote about Ronda's beauty and famous bull-fighting traditions.

From there – in continuous rain – we arrived at the Bodega Doña Felisa, located in the Serrania Rondeña (Chinchilla), where we enjoyed delicious snacks – for which the area is famous. It was clear from the wine tasting that the Bodega pays careful attention to the production of its wines. Limited production and high quality was the overall aim.

Back to Marbella in time for a wonderful evening after the rain-soaked day, we could enjoy the scenery of the white villages of the Serrania Rondeña from the Restaurante Santiago. The menu was an amazing array of seafood, especially exquisite lobster and clams. After dessert, we enjoyed the hot spirited flamenco show thus ending the day somewhat warmer than we had been earlier!

Saturday started with a walk around El Puerto Banús, the luxury marina located between Marbella and San Pedro de Alcántara, better known as Puerto Banus. It is in this quarter that can be seen the most exclusive boutiques, a panoply of luxury cars parked outside of them and the fantastic boats and yachts moored not far away.

We returned to the hotel for a well-presented brunch. Then in the evening first it was the Induction Ceremony presided over our great friend Peter Musa from Switzerland. Peter is a Member of the Conseil d’Honneur and the Conseil Magistral, a former International Vice-President and Member Honoraire of the Conseil d’Administration. During the Ceremony, Mrs Maria Angeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella since 2007, was inducted. After a reception in the hotel gardens, a Gala dinner followed. Dancing till dawn concluded a wonderful event.

Now we are already looking forward to our next Chapitre!

Amable Prieto Montero, Bailli Délégué