Celebrities usually get A-list treatment when they travel. They check into some of the grandest hotels with 5-star amenities at their beck and call.
Some of them have ventured into the hotel industry, creating out-of-this world experiences for guests.
Here are five celebrities who have ventured into the hotel industry:
Robert De Niro
Bet De Niro, famous for his roles in Goodfellas and The Irishman, didn’t strike you as a hotel owner?
The 77-year-old, together with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper, created the Nobu Hotels concept, described on its website as a “local experience with a modern design and stunning spaces”.
The group owns hotels in Chicago, London, Los Cabos, Barcelona, Marbella and Manila. There are plans to expand into Africa, with the first property set to launch in Marrakech in Morocco soon. Rates vary per hotel.
Wonder where Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman goes to unwind after shooting a movie? He probably goes to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Australia. Jackman loved the place so much that after he visited he ended up investing and becoming a co-owner.
He states on the website: “The Spa Sanctuary at Gwinganna is quite simply world-class. One feels simultaneously immersed in nature and indulgent luxury. The staff at the sanctuary is extraordinary, their expertise and passion is unparalleled. Enjoy.” (sic).
Spanning 200 hectares in Tallebudgera Valley, guests at the award-winning lifestyle retreat enjoy sunrise qigong (a restorative moving meditation), wellness seminars, world-class dining and spa treatments. There are packages to suit all kinds of preferences. Rates start from AU$1 155 (R13 290).
Pharrell Williams, together with Miami-based entrepreneur David Grutman, will launch The Goodtime on Washington Avenue in South Beach in Miami next month. According to its website, “The Goodtime Hotel is a collection of experiences linked by a commitment to create emotional good”.
Pharrell told Ocean Drive magazine that The Goodtime would light up the community. “People are going to be inspired by what we’re doing here. It will be good energy, good vibrations, good space and, of course, a good time.
“We’ve been so blessed with The Goodtime. I want to emphasise how excited we are for this community, this street of Washington. There’s a lot of room to grow, and I think what we want to do is become a part of this community and not leave it better than we found it, but contribute to it,” Pharrell said. Designed by Ken Fulk, the seven-story hotel boasts 266 stylish rooms.
Other attractions include Strawberry Moon, an inside and outside dining space, The Library, an indoor and outdoor gym with Peloton bikes and MyBeast immersive training, and the pool lounge with stunning views. Rates start from $305 (R4 540).
The Italian fashion designer and her family are behind the Palazzo Versace hotel brand. The hotels, located on the Gold Coast in Australia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, are known for their extravagance and striking design elements.
Palazzo Versace Gold Coast is home to award-winning dining, a day spa, fitness and well-being centre, a private marina, and the first water salon cabana experience in Australia.
Palazzo Versace Dubai, dubbed one of the most luxurious hotels in the Middle East, is in the Jaddaf Waterfront precinct overlooking Dubai Creek. Donatella Versace exclusively designed the interiors and furniture for each of the 215 rooms. Here, travellers can explore nine Versace-themed restaurants and bars, relax at the spa or suntan by the pool.
"It’s little details like these that make a hotel special and we’ve paid a lot of attention to them," Versace told The Telegraph in 2016.
Rates start from 888 AED (R3 600) in Dubai and 900 AU$ (R10 382) in Australia.
David Copperfield’s Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay is magical. The magician described it as “an experience like nowhere else on Earth”. The Islands of Copperfield Bay comprises 11 private islands with 280 tropical hectares. There are over 40 sugar-sand beaches and a private airstrip. The islands are 137km from Nassau in the Bahamas.
Travellers have the choice of five guest houses that come with their own private beaches. Besides relaxing on the beach with an exciting read or sipping cocktails at sunset, Copperfield has added a few activities that guests can experience. These include The Musha Olympic Games, drive-in movies, karaoke night and a boat ride to the Sandbar. Rates start at $50 000 (R745 208) a day for up to 12 people with a five-night minimum stay.