Sleep in the ‘homes’ of the stars
reading on Cristiano Ronaldo‘s footprints that you can see on the rug when you enter the room while listening to the ovation of the fans in the stadium. It is all part of the experience offered by the Pestana CR7 hotels, where the star is the Portuguese sports legend. There are two hotels dedicated to the football hero, in Funchal and Lisbon, and in 2017 the chain will expand to Madrid and New York.
But we are sorry to tell CR7 that he wasn’t the first person to come up with the idea; indeed, the forward of Real Madrid is far from the only celebrity to endow a hotel with their personality. When Marlon Brando arrived on the island of Tetiaroa, in Tahiti, he fell in love with the place and one of its inhabitants. He went there to film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and ended up buying the island, marrying a Haitian woman and setting up a luxury eco-resort. He wanted to safeguard the island from urban development and preserve it just as it was. Although the actor died before the building was finished, his wishes were respected. The Brando hotel runs on natural energy and the rooms are separated from each other in order to reduce human interaction as much as possible.
The first person to come up with the idea
After travelling extensively and never finding a hotel that satisfied him, in 1969 Robert Redford decided to open his own, the Sundance Resort. He was the first actor to have the idea and he set the trend. He did it in Sundance, with the aim of providing the people who attended the film festival with a comfortable and welcoming place, where they could wait until the results were announced.
Leonardo DiCaprio also demonstrates his fierce defence of the environment in his hotel, the Blackadore Caye, in Belize. This exclusive eco-resort will open its doors in 2018, with luxury and a respect for nature granted equal levels of attention. A bit like ‘The Great Gatsby’, meets ‘The Beach’. ‘The main focus is to do something that will change the world…I couldn’t have gone to Belize and built on an island and done something like this if it weren’t for the idea that it could be ground-breaking in the environmental movement.’ the actor explained to the ‘The New York Times’. In the same Central American country, and also instilled with an ecological spirit, the Coppola family has found the perfect place for establishing one of its luxury residences, Blancaneaux Lodge. When Francis Ford Coppola discovered the hotel it had been abandoned but he turned it into the family retreat. More than a decade later, in 1993, he opened it to the public.
Robert de Niro’s hotel is in the heart of the Big Apple, in the Tribeca neighbourhood. The exclusive Greenwich Hotel offers guests the chance to enjoy cutting-edge technology and gourmet food at any time of the day. And if they go with their pets, they can be sure that their furry friends will be pampered in the same way as they are, or even more so. On the outskirts of New York, mythomaniacs that seek peace and quiet can go to the Bedford Post Inn, owned by Richard Gere. This small hotel focuses on yoga and gastronomy and can make anyone feel as if they were Julia Roberts in the luxury whirlpool bath in ‘Pretty Woman’.
It’s not only actors that enjoy opening up the doors of their favourite retreats. In Dublin, The Clarence hotel is better known as ‘U2’s hotel’, and the members of the band have spent more than one ‘beautiful day’ there. In 1996 Bono and The Edge refurbished the old venue, paying special attention to the Penthouse Suite. The singer was so pleased with the result that whenever he is in his hometown he will always stays there. The restaurant chef has a Michelin star, while the Octogon Bar is one of the city’s social references, and the hotel roof has been the stage for some of the group’s recordings.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan have successfully imprinted the character of their homeland onto Miami’s most luxurious area. Their hotels, Costa d’Este (in Boca Raton) and Cardozo (in Ocean Drive) offer Cuban gastronomic specialities that are supervised by the singer herself. Meanwhile in Miami, Madonna fans can stay in her hotel called Delano South Beach, and enjoy listening to underwater classical music in the pool.
Far from the madding crowd are Olivia Newton-John, promoter of the Gaia Retreat & Spa (Brooklet, Australia) and Clint Eastwood, the owner of the Mission Ranch Hotel, located near San Francisco, in Carmel (where he used to be the mayor), and which looks like a scene out of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’. Fans of these entrepreneurial stars are in luck: they can very, very nearly slip into their homes.