Want to holiday like a Hollywood star? Kaye Holland has the low-down on the addresses to hit
Bermuda, North Atlantic Ocean
Thanks to its romantic pale pink sands and ridiculously pretty pastel houses that belong in a watercolour painting, Bermuda has long been a favourite haunt of the rich and famous. Rumour has it that Chelsea Clinton was conceived in Bermuda when Bill and Hilary were on holiday and John Lennon stayed (and played) here in the summer of 1980 while writing his last album Double Fantasy. Meanwhile movie stars Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were so taken with Bermuda that they bought a house, while former tennis ace Pat Rafter also has also called Hamilton (the Bermudan capital) home since 1994.
Golfers can take to the fairways (Bermuda has more golf courses per square mile than any country in the world) while sun seekers can toast themselves on Bermuda’s famous beaches . In the words of Mark Twain, Bermuda is “the perfect country for a jaded man to loaf in.”
Dubai - one of seven emirates that make up the UAE - has become a permanent fixture on the celeb winter sun scene thanks to its promise of guaranteed rays, without the need to fly halfway around the globe. One of Dubai’s breathtaking projects is the Palm - aka three palm-shaped man made islands that are often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world owing to the fact that they, along with the Great Wall of China, can be seen from space. This awe inspiring engineering feat is home to scores of swanky apartments (Becks has bought a place on The Palm as have Freddie Flintoff and Frank Lampard) and sumptuous resorts such as the marine themed, Atlantis - the cast of Made in Chelsea and Keeping up with the Kardashians have been spotted hanging out here. Meanwhile model, Claudia Schiffer, makesa beeline for the The Burj Al Arab describing the Dubai property as her “favourite hotel. When I think of luxury, I think of this hotel.”
Mission Hills Haikou, Hainan Island, China
Keep it under your hat, but there’s more to China than the Temple of Heaven and Terracotta Warriors. Say hello to Hainan - an island oasis that sits on the same latitude as Hawaii. Sanya marks the southernmost tip of the island and, owing to its sandy beaches, is where most stars choose to fly and flop. There’s an ever increasing number of five star hotels to choose from including the Ritz-Carlton (whose corridors and fountains have been inspired by Beijing’s Summer Palace) but if you want to bump into the A list likes of Christian Slater, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey, make for Mission Hills Haikou - home to the world’s largest spa and volcanic mineral springs. The aforementioned have all left doodles in the guestbook when playing in theMission Hills ‘Star Trophy’ (an annual, pro-celebrity golf tournament).
An intoxicating city of sun, samba, football, food, beaches and Bossa Nova, Rio has been attracting celebs for decades. The neoclassical Copacabana Palace – whose recent £20 million refurb has only served to up the decadence quota - has hosted the heads of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers (the pair immortalised the Palace in their film, Flying Down to Rio) Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Tom Cruise (the Top Gun star insisted on being served breakfast at 4am), Princess Diana and Justin Bieber. It’s impossible to exaggerate the glories of this property with its dazzling white facade. Elsewhere Copacabana’s more salubrious sibling, Ipanema, is home to the hip Hotel Fasano. Designed by Philippe Starcke, the Fasano attracts a cool crowd – here’s looking at you Beyonce – who flock here for its sleek rooms, gorgeous rooftop pool and glam bar.
Sandy Lane, Barbados
When Europe is under a dark blanket, every celeb seemingly heads abroad to Barbados to bask in some winter sun. Music industry mogul, Simon Cowell, his partner Lauren Silverman and ex Sinatta all seek out Barbados’ fabled west coast (nicknamed the Platinum coast) where they check into luxury beach-front resort, Sandy Lane. If you can’t afford to follow in Simon’s cuban heeled footsteps and stay at Sandy Lane, celeb spot at Lime Grove. This overdraft shattering shopping mall - within a stone’s throw of Sandy Lane - affords fabulous people watching opportunities. Mr Nasty aside, Sir Philip Green and daughter Chloe, Tulisa Contostavlos and Mariah Carey have all been spotted soaking up the sun in Barbados. As has local girl done good, Rihanna. The Bajan beauty regularly returns to her homeland for some R&R.
Gansevoort, New York
The Big Apple - home to Bloomingdales, the Empire State Building, Tiffany’s, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Central Park, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and iconic yellow taxis - has been mesmerising celebs for years. Where do they stay in the city that famously never sleeps? It’s got to be the glamorous Gansevoort - named for a nearby Dutch-christened street - in the hip Meatpacking District. Songstresses Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry like to call the hotel - whose rooms afford arresting views of the Empire State Building to the north and the Hudson River to the west - home, when in town. And of course Kim Kardashian and her then-husband Kris Humphries famously resided in the US$7,000 per nightPresidential Suite while shooting Kourtney and Kim Take New York. The real must see, however, is the hotel’s heated rooftop swimming pool (complete with underwater music!) and Plunge bar: think people watching at its best.
Necker Island, BVI
Where do the stars head when their romantic lives turn a little bit Bridget Jones? Take a bow Necker Island. This is where One Direction heart throb, Harry Styles, retreated after his break up with America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift. Located in the beautiful British Virgin Islands, Necker Island is Sir Richard Branson’s private island paradise which was recently the subject of a BBC2 documentary Billionaire’s Paradise: Inside Necker Island. Hazza isn’t the only A lister that the island has welcomed: past guests include Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Kate Winslet, Kate Moss and more. Branson's 74-acre Caribbean retreat - with its army of 100 staff- could be yours too… for a spend of £40,000 per night.
Amansala Eco-Chic Beach Resort, Tulum, Mexico
There’s something of a buzz building around Tulum - Louis Vuitton has even gone so far as to name a bag after the town. However compared to its Mexican Riveria cousins, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, it’s still without the crowds (but with the character). Individuality, you see, is what Tulum does best so you won’t find identikit chain hotels and restaurants catering mostly to tourists here. Rather you’ll find boutiques, bakeries and cantinas (traditional Mexican watering holes) and thediscreet Amansala Eco-Chic Beach Resort (Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are both fans of the property’s bikini bootcamp). Other assets include sugar-like sands - Ryan Phillippe, Sienna Miller, Jamie Bell, Kate Bosworth and Neil Patrick Harris have all been spotted on the beach - and azure waters but only a philistine would come to Tulum without seeing the world famous Maya ruins, truly a travel benchmark.
Want to make merry with the stars? Miami - the East coast’s hottest and hippest city for fun and sun - is where it’s at. This is a shamelessly glitzy city where star sightings (Shakira, Matt Damon, Jo Lo, Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan – oh and OJ Simpson – all own homes here) are ubiquitous. If you want to see the likes of Li Lo doing something tabloid worthy, book a table atupscale Chinese eatery, Philippe. It’s not cheap (the bill is as over the top as the nightly noodle show which sees a mound of dough beaten into submission before emerging as fine strands of noodles) but it’s worth it for the chance to dine alongside Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Seacrest on crispy seaweed and shrimp toast. Then dance off any excess calories consumed at achingly cool club, The Mansion. Expect to queue (the line of people pleading to be allowed past the velvet rope snakes around the block), but once inside you can revel in the company of luminaries like JT and Jessica Biel.
Want to share a beach with Beyonce et al? Say aloha to Hawaii (the home state of US President Barack Obama and entertainer Bruno Mars). Stars - including Reese Witherspoon, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Charlize Theron, Kimye and Cameron Diaz - flock to Hawaii in their droves during winter and for good reason.
True the journey to get there is something of an odyssey but this is a small price to pay for a piece of sunny paradise. Hawaii is home to eight different islands but Kauai (Hawaii’s fourth largest island) represents your best chance of bumping into a celeb. Increase your chances further by checking into the sumptuous St. Regis Princeville. Nestled among verdant sea cliffs, the resort boasts an incredible 19 dining options, an 11,000 square foot spa, working cattle ranch and two award winning golf courses. Sure a stay here isn’t cheap but it is unforgettable.