The year was 1962 and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were crazy in love. Fresh off the filming of “Cleopatra,” the couple reportedly needed a romantic hideaway. (Especially since Taylor was married to Eddie Fisher at the time.)
They rented all the rooms at the Old Drovers Inn, an English-style country manor with a bucolic landscape, 80 miles north of Manhattan. Set in a converted farmhouse built in 1730, the inn offered an idyllic and secret haven for the duo who ultimately married (and divorced and married and divorced).
“Celebrities looking for a place to escape the spotlight and have a romantic tête-à-tête will pick an intimate property that's off the beaten path, where they can truly connect with each other by disconnecting from the world,” explains Karen Schaler, author of the new book, “Travel Therapy” and creator of Traveltherapytrips.com. “This way they can truly relax and get off the papparazzi's radar.”
In fact, when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were filming “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” they often stayed in the presidential suite at the Pacific Palms Resort, 23 miles from downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and were mostly unnoticed. The 650-acre resort lies on top of a hill and a quarter mile above street level so it was hard to track them down.
But curiously enough, sometimes celebrities pick more popular terrain for their trysts. They find it works in their favor. “A celebrity might choose a more high-profile, well-known hotel because they believe that paparrazi will assume they’re not doing anything wrong,” says Samantha Daniels of SamanthasTable.com, a noted professional matchmaker and dating expert whose clientele includes celebrities.
“Because, if they were, wouldn't they be doing it in a more private spot? Some celebrities might think that by acting as if everything is normal, they might throw the press off their scent. The more obvious someone is, the more unlikely it seems that something is illicit.”
That may explain why the Beverly Hills Hotel, the celebrity watering hole, has been a notorious spot for famous hook ups for decades. During the 1930s, Carole Lombard secretly met a married Clark Gable in Bungalow 4. In 1960, when they filmed “Let’s Make Love,” French actor Yves Montand, who was married to actress Simone Signoret, entertained Marilyn Monroe in Bungalows 20 and 21. And during the '50s and '60s, longtime lovers Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy carried on in the hotel as if they were married. (He was legally married to his wife who refused to divorce him.) Hepburn took daily tennis lessons at the hotel while Tracy held court at the Polo Lounge.
Modern-day stars can be more demonstrative about their hotel dalliances. Last year, when they were first discovered as an item, John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston were discovered poolside at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami — canoodling like cute teenagers. The hotel proved the perfect backdrop to show the world that our indomitable Jen was recovering just fine, thank you. Vince who? Brad what?
So with the eyes of the world upon them, celebrities have flocked to these hotels in search of their love nests.