Kenza Carlson has been working with the MCH Group for four years but she represents the essence of Marbella’s social scene and somehow, we cannot recall a time without her. Born to a French/Chilean father and an American mother, she is very much representative of the clientele that visits hotels belonging to the MCH Hotel Group.

Indeed, it was during her childhood that she first experienced the magic of the Marbella Club Hotel. Kenza lived in Marbella but went to reside in the States at the age of 10. She tells me, “I grew up in the Marbella Club Hotel and learned to swim at the beachside pool. My father was a champion padel player – and the Hotel had the first ever padel courts in Spain.” Her Marbella roots run deep. “My paternal grandfather was a diplomat in Paris. He first visited Marbella in 1964, when he was invited by Alfonso Hohenlohe whom he had met in Mexico.” Kenza always enjoyed being part of the social scene and meeting people, a passion that began in childhood and continued into adulthood.

At the age of 17, Kenza left Tennessee (where she completed high school) to study International Communications and Marketing at the American University in Paris. For one brief summer, she completed an internship with the Public Relations Head of the Marbella Club, having the privilege to work closely with Count Rudi before returning to Paris for her studies and, upon graduation, began operating in the PR and marketing departments of luxury brands, including Boucheron, Chanel, and Mint Merchandising International. “I enjoyed working for these companies because I love PR & fashion, but it was extremely intense. When I was 25, I took a break for a few months in Marbella and I ended up staying!”

Around 10 years ago, Kenza was invited by Hubertus Hohenlohe, a family friend, to an exhibition in Paris. Hubertus, well known for throwing legendary parties, “was exhibiting his art at the Moretti & Moretti gallery in Paris. Says Kenza: “I was introduced to the charming Moretti Brothers and a few years later, we met again at one of Hubertus’ parties at Casita del Príncipe in Marbella. One of the brothers told me he was opening a gallery in the Marbella Club and invited me to visit. A few weeks later, I did just that, and he asked me to help launch the gallery locally. Sadly, he passed away soon after and his brother needed somebody to take over the gallery. I was glad to help.” When Kenza started in the art world she knew little about styles like street art, yet “my admiration and appreciation for this type of art grew rapidly.”

At Moretti & Moretti, Kenza’s role centred on organising events. “Daniel Shamoon (whose family owns the Puente Romano, Marbella Club Hotel and other international projects) is an avid art collector. Carlos Serantes (Entertainment Consultant for the Puente Romano and CEO of Globally Madrid) attended these events and asked me to assist with PR and events for the Puente Romano. I accepted gladly and started helping with the fashion shows, art exhibitions, and events such as the Gypsy Kings dinner and ‘show concept’ we had one summer.”

Kenza defines Daniel the Hotelier as “a true visionary,” and speaks equally highly of John Thomson, Group Corporate Director of Food & Beverage at MC Hotels, a man who is passionate about customer service and attention to detail. “I have learned so much from Mr. Thomson,” notes Kenza.

Before accepting her position within the Hotel group, Kenza also designed jewellery. “My mother’s side of the family are all jewellers and because fashion is such a big interest, jewellery has always been a source of fascination.”

Kenza’s strength is the client base she has built over so many years, the natural result of being part of the international social set — the heart and soul of the MC’s appeal as a luxury resort and events destination. Her work is varied and includes everything from compiling VIP lists to organising events for the Owners Club — including motivational workshops, influencer seminars, nutritional/health events, and wine/caviar/gastronomic tastings.

Kenza also has the honour of inviting and hosting top global luxury lifestyle and travel bloggers, opening the world’s eyes to the beauty of Marbella, Ibiza, Sierra Nevada, and Marrakech: everywhere the MC Group has hotels. She additionally does freelance work, organising promotional parties and events for external clients.

When she isn’t with clients, models, and bloggers, Kenza spends much of her time travelling, often accompanying Daniel — a well-known sponsor of several charities in places like Kenya. He has supported organisations like Action Aid and World Vision, centred on women and children with AIDS and other illnesses, as well as those who have suffered sexual abuse. Kenza also attends Paris Fashion Week, and art events such as Art Basel and ARCO. The MC Group is currently considering a new project in Bora Bora: a luxury private resort on an island, a place Kenza understands well because, “I’m half French Tahitian and I know the island very well. My family have an island nearby that is fully sustainable. It is run completely on solar panels and produces no waste.”

Kenza is currently helping develop the Art Fund, working on events related to art. “Marbella would benefit greatly from a buzzing art scene. At the recent Influencers Summit, we had an artist create a work of art live. Events like this show that Marbella is capable of being a cultural as well as a holiday destination. We also need more restaurants like Nobu… businesses with an international projection that will enable us to reach more target markets abroad.”

Kenza is a world traveller, but when asked what’s her favourite place to live in, she cannot settle on just one. “Somewhere between Paris, Marbella, California, and Ibiza,” she says, noting that the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is the most exclusive in the Nobu Group’s chain of hotels. “Despite a 30 per cent drop in general tourist figures to Ibiza, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay had a full occupancy; it is amazing. Robert DeNiro said  himself it is the most beautiful Nobu Hotel to date.” For Kenza, Ibiza is particularly enchanting. “It’s no wonder it is home to one of the most powerful magnetic fields in the world.”

Kenza is young, ambitious, and open to what the world has in store. An art lover, jewellery designer, fashion buff and above all, a people’s person who loves nothing more than expanding her circle, she is the perfect addition to the MC Group. May Marbella continue to wield its own magic, so she never leaves our shores.