The best thing about birthday celebrations is that they remind us about life itself. And I don’t think I’ve ever been at festivities as full of life as those planned by my good friend Raquel Zamora for her 50th birthday. Not one, but four days of celebrations!

You might think that no-one could make it through four days of partying and come out alive, but events planned by Raquel are never what you expect. In fact, I emerged after four days with a renewed zest for life!

After all, Raquel – a well-known wellness entrepreneur, whose celebrated Marbellan businesses include Milk & Roses, now the town’s beauty salon of reference, and Rachel’s Eco Love organic restaurant – is all about exuberance and good energies.

Her love of beauty, wellness, small details and her belief in the power of togetherness and connection were never more evident as during this birthday celebration.

It was no surprise that she gathered such a wide-ranging group of people, including good friends, as well as many of the people that make things happen in Marbella, people that are inspiring, uplifting and create good vibes wherever they go.

There were two distinct sides to festivities. Perhaps more unexpected were the daytime guided sports, fitness and wellness activities, often by the pool of one of the hotels we stayed at. The yoga session was a particular favourite of mine, with its mindful benefits staying with me all day. The brunches that followed were truly legendary – little surprise though, given Raquel’s culinary connections.

Evenings were of course party time, and these ranged from a White Party at the Puente Romano hotel, with the guests’ creative variations on white attire generating a light, bright, uplifting energy. This was particularly suited to Raquel’s speech to us all, as she was illuminated from behind by a pair of fluorescent angel wings. A perfect vision that will stay with me.

An exclusive villa on the Milla de Oro hosted our black-tie event, where we were treated to the finest dining, catered by Nobu, followed by a real up-tempo party night, featuring drummers as well as a range of other artists, in addition to the most delectable cocktails.

This was not just partying for party’s sake. This was partying with soul, with connection, with outstanding food, and with love that grew exponentially over the course of our days together.

I have been to a lot of parties over the years, as well as organising many, of course, so I am well used to the superlatives that are so often thrown around when people refer back to memorable festivities. In this case though, the superlatives were entirely justified, and this four day-commemoration of Raquel’s gorgeous being was memorable in all the right ways. Party of the year? You know, it might just be so …

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