While they may not be booking a room upgrade or comping you a round of free drinks, there is a certainly a growing trend of high profile celebrities as hotel owners. Since A-listers are well accustomed to the comforts of a top notch concierge and five-star luxury, it makes for a natural marriage as well as a smart business investment and let's face it, celebrity sells.
From a beachside cottage to a rainforest retreat, here are a few destinations of interest:
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Situated on 14 acres on the south shore of Bermuda, Ariel Sands offers beachside cottages with ocean views and infinity plunge pools. The original Ariel Sands Beach Club closed in 2008 and currently under redevelopment as a five-star condo-hotel resort. Douglas is no stranger to Bermuda as he and wife Catherine have an island home there and the property has been in his family since 1954 (his mother Diana Dill Douglas was born there). For more on the Douglas retreat, see Architectural Digest.
The Bedford Post Inn
Richard Gere and Carey Lowell
The quaint eight room luxury inn set in the heart of Bedford, New York is a real find -- and just forty five minutes from Manhattan. Owned by actor Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell, the historic Bedford Post Inn dates back to the 1860s with all the charm of the past and modern designs of the present. Locals and guests alike love the informal dining at both the Farmhouse and the Barn and classes at the Yoga Loft are the perfect place to de-stress. You can also read more on Gere as hotelier in my piece for Celebrated Living.
|Gere and Lowell|
Francis Ford Coppola
Director, screenwriter, producer, restauranteur and winemaker are just a few of the many accomplishments of Francis Ford Coppola so it stands to reason that his lifestyle brand would be next. Francis Ford Coppola Presents includes four luxury retreats that include the Blancaneux Lodge and Turtle Inn in Belize, La Lancha in Guatemala, Jardin Escondido in Buenos Aires and my personal favorite (and fit for a consigliere), the Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy. Each resort has its own theme and personality, one more magical than the next. Located in the Maya mountains, the twenty room Blancaneux was once the Coppola family retreat while the Italian country style rooms of the Palazzo Margherita is an antique lovers delight. For more on Coppola's properties, see the website here.
|The garden suites of Palazzo Margherita above and below|
Secrets Aura Cozumel
International tennis superstar and 11 time Grand Slam champion Rafael "Rafa" Nadal calls Cozumel his second home, falling in love with the Mexican beach resort and diving town after a visit several years ago. He is now part owner of Secrets Aura Cozumel (he recently entered a partnership with AMResorts) and its sister neighboring resort Sunscape Sabor Cozumel. Located just twelve miles off the Yucatan Peninsula, guests can literally swim up to the contemporary designed luxury suites and yes, there are tennis courts. (I spent several days last month covering the tennis star for an upcoming feature and the all-inclusive resort is wonderful).
|Nadal at recent press conference for the resort|
What better place to take a vacay with your four-legged friends than the Cypress Inn. Actress, animal activist and longtime resident of Carmel owns the 44 room boutique inn filled with dog and cat friendly extras. Built in 1929, the inn is filled with Old World charm and Day's film posters line the walls. Don't miss the Yappy Hour at the Inn's Terry Lounge (named after Day's son Terry Melcher) and sip vintage drinks named after Kirk Douglas, Ronald Reagan and Cary Grant. And it's just walking distance to the beach.
|Sadie at the Cypress Inn|
Robert De Niro
Oscar winning actor Robert De Niro opened the boutique Greenwich Hotel in 2008, a haven for celebrities far from the lens of the paparazzi in his neighborhood Tribeca. You can book one of the 88 rooms and pretty much be assured of a Hudson River view or if you are really well-heeled, opt for the two-bedroom penthouse with its floor to ceiling windows. Or just book a treatment at the Japanese spa in the basement, constructed by craftsman with nary a nail. Just don't expect to run into "Bobby" in the lobby.
Photo Credits: AMResorts, Cypress Inn, Ariel Sands, Coppola Resorts, Bedford Post Inn, Greenwich Hotel.