First Lady Michelle Obama’s one night stay in Morocco cost taxpayers over $600,000 in hotel and car rental costs alone.
Mrs. Obama traveled to the North African country with her daughters Sasha and Malia and mother Marian Robinson to promote her education initiative “Let Girls Learn.” She arrived in Morocco wearing a $1,750 designer dress and ended the night with a “lavish dinner” with Princess Lalla Salma and actress Meryl Streep.
Rooms were booked at three five-star hotels for the 24-hour visit, according to contracts signed off by the State Department.
Two contracts were signed for rooms at the Royal Mansour worth $50,000 and $10,073. The five-star hotel has a mother-daughter spa suite, promises its guests “wonder, luxury and unparalleled services,” and offers a “spiritual spa journey.”
The Hotel Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa was also booked for Mrs. Obama’s trip, including contracts worth $200,000, $31,968, and $28,039. The Secret Service also stayed at the Sofitel for $133,493. A pre-advance visit cost $4,676.
Additional rooms were booked at the Pearl Marrakech Hotel, costing $24,934.
Renting a car and driver for Mrs. Obama’s visit cost $6,966, and other car service for Secret Service, the White House Military Office, and the White House Communications Agency totaled $122,173. In all, the contracts totaled $612,322.
Aside from hotel and motorcade costs, the Daily Mail estimates that flights for the trip totaled $300,000.
Morocco was the second stop on Mrs. Obama’s three-country visit. Obama first traveled to Liberia, and headed to Madrid on Wednesday to promote girls’ education.
People.com noted, “The exciting trip closely follows Malia’s graduation from Washington, D.C.’s private Sidwell Friends School.”