Monday 3 August 2015

Seven of the world's hottest celebrity-owned hotels

How to sleep like the stars

Nicola Brady

Published 19/04/2014 | 02:30

Necker Island
Necker Island
The Brando, French Polynesia
Any Murray's Cromlix Hotel, Scotland - The newly refurbished space opened at the start of April, with 15 rooms and suites.
Gaia Retreat, Australia
Sundance Resort, Utah
The Clarence Hotel, Dublin
The Greenwich, New York

Wanna sleep like the stars? Nicola Brady rounds up seven of the hottest celebrity-owned getaways on the planet.

1. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

If the palm trees on Necker Island (pictured above) could talk, they'd have juicy secrets to spill. Richard Branson's private island home has hosted many a star-studded holiday, where rock stars and supermodels cut loose far from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

Following a devastating fire in 2011, the Great House has been completely restored, and is open once more for what can only be described as one of the world's most exclusive holidays. Unless you're invited by Branson himself, you'll need to shell out $62,000 (€44,846) a night for the exclusive use of the property, which sleeps up to 30 adults.

Otherwise, you can join one of the "Celebration Weeks", where the accommodation is shared by visiting guests. It'll set you back an eye-watering $27,475 (€19,872) per couple for the week, which includes transfers, all meals, drinks and a team of around 70 "fabulous staff" who'll cater to your every whim.

See: neckerisland.virgin.com

2. The Brando, French Polynesia

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It's a paradise island to take your breath away, with lush, palm-filled beaches dotted around a deep blue lagoon.

It certainly won the heart of Marlon Brando, who made the atoll of Tetiaroa his private hideaway after filming 'Mutiny on the Bounty' nearby. Over the years, he strove to preserve the natural splendour of Tetiaroa, an island he said was "beautiful beyond [his] capacity to describe".

On July 1, 2014, the tenth anniversary of Brando's death, a luxurious resort opened on his private island. The Brando has 35 plush villas, each with their own plunge pool overlooking the beach. There's also an environmental research station, where guests will be able to visit the scientists working onsite to talk about their work with rare birds and marine life.

As you would expect from an island 30 miles from Tahiti, the setting is stunning, with turquoise waters so clear you could weep. The prices are no surprise either – a one bedroom villa is €3,000 per night, with a three-night minimum stay.

See: thebrando.com

3. Cromlix Hotel, Scotland

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2013 was a big year for tennis superstar Andy Murray. As well as winning his first Wimbledon championship title, he also bought the Victorian mansion of Cromlix, a hotel just a few miles from his hometown of Dunblane.

The sumptuous space boasts with 15 rooms and suites, some overlooking the grounds and, of course, the tennis courts. There, you can play on the full court or practice wall, both clad in the Wimbledon colours of purple and green.

The restaurant, Chez Roux, is overseen by Albert Roux, but you can also sneak away to a hidden spot for some private dining, before finishing the night in the whisky room. A double room starts at £200 (€242) a night in low season, or £250 (€302) in high season, including a full Scottish breakfast.

See: cromlix.com

4. The Clarence, Dublin

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You don't have to fly half way around the world to stay in a celebrity-owned hotel.

The Clarence was bought by Bono and The Edge in 1992, who aimed to create the kind of place they would want to stay in themselves, if visiting the city. Plans to dramatically revamp the hotel were put on hold after Dublin City Council refused to extend the planning permission granted in 2007. So for the time being The Clarence remains a cosy, boutique affair. It may not be the most glamorous hotel in town, but the prices are far from Richard Branson levels – rooms start at €139.

See: theclarence.ie

5. The Greenwich Hotel, New York

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With a fantastic location on the edge of Tribeca, stylish bedrooms and a plush interior, The Greenwich is a hotel generally considered to be one of the best in Manhattan. And that's before you take into account the sway of its famous owner, Robert De Niro.

Since opening in 2008, the luxury hotel has been deemed a world-class bolthole, with amenities that most New York hotels would die for. There's an intimate, lantern-lit pool with rustic wood beams adorning the ceiling; a private courtyard, open to residents only and a renowned (and reasonably priced) restaurant, Locanda Verde. The hotel has 88 rooms and suites, none of which are alike, with luxuriously chic touches sourced from around the world. Rooms start at $550 (€398) for a night, plus tax.

See: thegreenwichhotel.com

6. Sundance Resort, Utah

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The name Sundance may be most commonly associated with the film festival, but it in fact started life as a mountain retreat, bought by Robert Redford in 1969. Located on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah, Sundance is a peaceful, rustic resort with a solid environmental policy at its core.

Since its inception, the aim has "always been to develop very little and preserve a great deal" in the words of Redford himself. During the winter, visitors take to the slopes for the ski season, with the on-site ski and snowboard school. The summer brings a multitude of mountain activities, with alpine hiking trails, horse riding and mountain biking. During low season, room rates start at $199 (€144) per night.

See: sundanceresort.com

7. The Gaia Retreat & Spa, Australia

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Perched high on the subtropical hills near Byron Bay, the Gaia Retreat & Spa is a centre focused on health, wellbeing and relaxation. Opened in 2005 by Olivia Newton-John and some friends, the Australian resort offers a number of retreats that are tailored to the individual, combining yoga sessions, spa treatments and healthy food, some of which is grown in the on-site garden. There's a heated saltwater swimming pool, sauna and the like, and also meditation and organic cookery classes. You're allowed some vices, though, in the form of Australian wines served with dinner. The Revive Package starts at AUS$1,145pp (€778), for a two-night break with meals, activities and a massage. You can also stay on a B&B basis, from AUS$595 (€404) for two people.

See: gaiaretreat.com.au

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