The stars behind these 10 glamorous luxury hotels

Most hotels are owned by faceless corporate chains and venture capital groups. But every once in a while, someone much more famous decides to give it a try. They don’t tend to linger long – the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Robert Redford, Russell Crowe and Bono have sold theirs in recent years. But sometimes the stars are not limited to the rating of the hotel…

The Greenwich Hotel

Where? New York City

Greenwich Hotel penthouse for Axel Vervoordt story by Dan Stapleton, for Icons issue 19 March 2021. TGH - PH - Drawing Room - Credit Nikolas Koenig

Photo: Supplied

The Greenwich Hotel really doesn’t mesh well with the surrounding hipster lofts in Tribeca. It relies heavily on decoration, with flowery sofas, Moorish tiling, oak parquet floors and palm trees galore. The tropics, Arabia and the Far East influence the wonderfully quirky look. And that was the opening salvo for Robert De Niro’s growing hotel empire, which includes Nobu Hotels. To see

Margherita Palace

Where? Bernarda, Italy

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De Niro’s occasional collaborator, Francis Ford Coppola, also has his fingers in the hotel business. The Palazzo Margherita in southern Italy has a godfather-worthy opulence, following Coppola’s comprehensive restoration of the 19th-century villa. There’s a pool amid sprawling gardens, and one bedroom was designed by Coppola’s daughter-in-charge, Sofia. To see

Rival Hotel

Where? Stockholm, Sweden

Credit: SUPPLIED FROM HOTEL WEBSITES Single use for travelers only DAvid Whitley Traveler

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When it opened in 2003, Hotel Rival boasted that it was Stockholm’s first boutique hotel. The rooms are deliberately colorful, with massive walls with pictures behind the beds, and the art deco cocktail bar is a delight. Most unusual, however, is the Rival’s 735-seat theatre. All the flamboyance comes into its own when you learn that co-owner is ABBA’s Benny Andersson. To see


Where? Perthshire, Scotland

DRAMATIC: The wedding venue will be the five-star hotel in Scotland owned by Andy Murray.

Photo: Cromlix House

In 2010, tennis player Andy Murray witnessed his brother’s wedding at Cromlix House, just outside his home town of Dunblane. Three years later, Murray bought the 15-bedroom Victorian mansion and turned it into a five-star hotel. Cromlix is ​​set in 34 acres of woodland and has a restaurant overseen by TV chef and Michelin Guide regular Michel Roux. To see

The Cardozo

Where? Miami Beach, United States

Hotel MiM

Photo: Supplied

This classic Art Deco hotel, built in 1939, features in films such as There’s Something About Mary and Any Given Sunday. Directly on Ocean Drive, the Cardozo is now owned by Gloria Estefan, and has undergone a major makeover to put it in the luxury category. Expect lots of white, lots of natural light, and the feeling that you’re on a film set. To see

Hotel MiM Ibiza Es Viva

Where? Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza Hotel

Photo: Supplied

The all-white art deco seems popular among celebrity owners, as exactly the same applies to football superstar Lionel Messi’s hotel in Ibiza. Rooms are small, but you can take yoga classes on the rooftop and DJs spin soft music by the pool. Messi’s hotel empire now numbers four – he also owns MiM hotels in Sitges, Mallorca and Baqueira. To see

Hotel Soccer

Where? Manchester, England

Hotel Soccer

Photo: Supplied

Not all footballer-owned hotels take the terrifically cool approach. Hotel Football in Manchester shamelessly throws football fans off. Some rooms have views of the Old Trafford football stadium, while the rooftop event space is covered in artificial grass. It’s no surprise to learn that he’s owned by five former Manchester United players – Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. To see

Musha Cay

Where? The Bahamas

EMBARGOED TO LUXURY MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2017. Discover your desire - travel article by Craig Tansley Musha Cay island?  in the Exuma Range in the southern Bahamas.  (photo for distribution, no credit, no syndication)?

Illusionist David Copperfield isn’t exactly subtle about his ownership of this upscale resort. He even renamed the nearby bay to Copperfield Bay. You can only stay if you book the whole island, which gives you a private chef, 40 beaches, a heated pool and a two kilometer sandbar all to yourself. If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. To see

Hotel Villa Angela Taormina

Where? Sicily, Italy

Hotel Villa Angel Taormina

Photo: Supplied

Romance is the sought-after vibe at this 27-room hotel in Taormina. There are splendid views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna from furnished balconies and the hilltop pool. Surprisingly enough, the owner is Jim Kerr, lead singer of rock band Simple Minds. He first visited Taormina in 1982, fell in love with the place and regularly stays at his own hotel. To see

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Where? The Gold Coast, Queensland

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat SunApr29provided wellness images

Of course, Australia has its own fair share of hotel owners far better known for something else. Hugh Jackman is the originator of this spa retreat in the Tallebudgera Valley, where the focus is on deliberate low-tech, wellness seminars and all things organic. Customers are not allowed to bring cigarettes, alcohol or even caffeinated beverages onto the premises. To see

See also: The 10 places to visit before the return of international tourists

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