Category Archives: Prince Max

The Marbella Club

Mother’s Summer Hideaway

The Marbella Club on Spain’s Costa del Sol was, at first, a large old farm purchased in the late 40s by Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg  and his father Prince Max as a family retreat.  But their hospitality was so generous and their guest list so long that by 1954 Alfonso had converted the place into a super swanky exclusive resort hosting the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lawrence Olivier and Ava Gardner.

When we were living in London in the early 70s, Mother would ship us off to camp in Switzerland for the entire summer and then go hang out at the Marbella Club.  She once judged a bull fight in town.  After camp one year, Prince Juan Carlos (later King Juan Carlos) of Spain taught me how to play backgammon at the club’s pool.  He was incredibly dashing and funny and kind to give away his afternoon to a sunburned American tween while her mother cruised the bar for bigger game.