Summer is in full swing, vacation season is here. Where do you go to get away from it all if you want to be pampered and petted and treated like royalty? Here’s a roundup of some favorite star hang-outs. You can vacay like a celebrity, but remember the price for such luxury is steep.
Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and her ex Tom Cruise have each rented the Fijiian island of Wakaya for a reported $23,000 a night. If your budget’s a bit tight, take the Wakaya Club’s Royal Suite if you wish — a 12,000 square foot villa on a 16-acre hilltop estate with panoramic ocean views, a rock-rimmed pool with a waterfall and Jacuzzi, a night-lit tennis court, a Boules court, its own gym, a dedicated household staff including a personal chef and an on-call driver. Only $7,600.00 a night.
Care for something a little less isolated?
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Fiji Islands Resort (seen above) considers itself the world’s finest five-star eco resort, and it’s easy to see why. The undersea beauty and diversity of the area – 350-450 species of coral compared to Hawaii’s 11 – make it a premier destination for divers. The resort offers luxury bures (cottages) and an array of amenities, plus a Kid’s Club where nannies care for children while parents attend dive school or snorkel. Ed Begley Jr., Sandra Bullock and Robert Redford are among its visitors.
At perennial celebrity favorite Sandy Lane in Barbados, you really can be treated like royalty – since the Queen of England has been known to holiday there. A penthouse for a couple of nights’ stay will only set you back about $10,000 – unless you want an ocean view, in which case it will be more. And of course a villa in this posh resort is much more. Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen, David and Victoria Beckham, Hugh Grant and Simon Cowell are among the famous names who’ve relaxed there.
Puerto Vallarta was hugely popular back in the day, when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made that Mexican seaside enclave their getaway. Now, about 10 miles north, Punta de Mita has become a celebrity hot spot, thanks to Lady Gaga, who started showing up at the town touted as Bali-meets-Mexico in 2011. Since then, visitors have included Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Hilary Duff, Kirsten Dunst, and Mario Lopez. After filming in Mexico City, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Diego Luna shot a few scenes in Punta Mita for the futuristic political thriller “Elysium.” And Charlie Sheen tweeted from the spot, “Much like myself, don’t believe what you read or hear about Mexico. It’s paradise down here.” You can get a private villa at the Four Seasons for $2,495 a night, complete with security.
Croatia’s Dubrovnik, on the Adriatic Sea, has attracted the likes of Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, John Malkovich, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and Beyonce, Bon Jovi and Mickey Rourke with its medieval architecture and sweeping ocean views. However, the city is crowded, especially during high tourist season.
Perhaps the tiny island of Hvar, Croatia, is more suitable? Beyonce and Blue Ivy were named honorary citizens after the superstar told the world that the inspiration for her baby’s name came from a blue tree she spotted while on vacation there. Tom Cruise, too, spent some time on the island after his breakup with Katie Holmes. It’s a perfect spot to anchor your yacht for a few days of fun.
So, of course, is long-time celebrity destination St. Tropez, the Mediterranean port made famous by Brigitte Bardot, known for its turquoise waters, pink-tinged architecture and tree-lined squares. Last year the high wattage guest list included Ryan Seacrest, Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John, Zac Efron, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber. Rent a yacht for $5,000 a day and up.
Susan Sarandon is among the stars who have hidden away at the Pink Sands in the Bahamas, where a guest home in the summer time goes for up to $11,305 a week.
Pierce Brosnan and clan — of course — are among the well-heeled who’ve found a haven at Goldeneye in Oracabessa, Jamaica, site of 007 author Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye Estate. (The town boasts Ian Fleming Airport and James Bond Beach.) Rent a five bedroom villa for $5,500 a night with your friends. Most Jamaican rental villas come with a full staff, consisting of cook, maid, and laundress. A private cook will prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner — meals that you choose based on your own personal tastes.
Celebs who’ve escaped to the heavenly surroundings of Bali include Anna Faris and Chris Pratt, who honeymooned there. The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay is a gorgeous retreat with luxurious 2,000-square-foot villas with gardens and plunge pools that have attracted the likes of Cindy Crawford and the late Whitney Houston.
For those who prefer to stay stateside, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Redford and Brad Pitt are just a few of the many celebs who have nested in the rustic Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. Amenities include morning yoga, guided hikes or saunters, stargazing with a celestial telescope, whale watching – and, reportedly, shaministic services including illumination, soul retrieval, divination, and fire and drum ceremonies. Adults only, it’s so popular it’s booked far in advance, with rates in the $1,500-$2,000 range for eco-fabulous accommodations.
Of course, Hawaii is always a top draw. Maui’s Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa is just one example of a luxurious retreat visited by stars. Names including Jodie Foster and Janet Jackson have enjoyed this slice of paradise, with amenities such as a 50,000 square foot spa with more than 100 massage and beauty treatments from which to choose. In addition, the spa also houses a fitness center with personal trainers. Nice!
Those are just a few of the many getaways that feature seclusion and sybaritic surroundings the stars favor. But they should be good for starters for those who can afford to live it up like a star — if but only for a brief period.