Why do stars flock to one hotel and shun another? Because some cater better to their peculiar needs.
Stars, after all, suffer wear and tear. A film personality on a press tour may spend weeks traveling across continents to promote a new film, chatting with journalists, attending premieres, making television appearances—without a minute's break in between. Tokyo one day, Hong Kong the next. Exhaustion and jet-lag take their toll.
What the weary A-lister craves is peace and quiet and a bit of pampering in the right hotel room.
Brad Wilson, partner and CEO of the James Hotel in Chicago, says the midsized spot proves popular with celebrities because of its luxury amenities, including 24-hour full service gym and 24-hour concierge service, and for the ultimate refresher, a selection of in-room spa treatments.
"We like to think our main draw is our friendly, genuine and intuitive service," he says.
Sure, great service and pretty pampering help. However, Wilson believes what celebrities value most about the James is that their privacy is always respected.
Celebrity travel agent Bill Fischer, who charges a $100,000 entry fee for his services, says that privacy is the major factor when setting up hotel rooms for famous names.
"What these people want most is to avoid the paparazzi," he says.
The secluded location of London's Soho Hotel, hidden away on a Soho side street, helps explain its popularity with such stars as Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. Amenities include pop-art-filled walls, on-site screening rooms and a hush-hush hotel staff.
Even when they're close to home, Hollywood royalty sometimes need a place to get away for a couple of nights. That's why big guns like George Clooney and Eva Longoria check into the Sofitel Los Angeles, famed for its soothing and restorative "SoBed," a king-sized sleeper with feather and down duvet. The hotel is home to the swanky SIMON LA restaurant, an outpost of Rande Gerber's Stone Rose Lounge, and to luxury treatment center LeSpa.
For stars traveling to New York, Midtown's Chambers Hotel is an urban oasis. It boasts its own art gallery, with original works by John Waters and Roberta Smith. Guests can take advantage of 24-hour butler service and an on-call masseuse. Immediately at hand are an Exhale spa, a John Barrett salon, and luxury department store, Henri Bendel, for personal shopping.
A-list spots for A-list stars, indeed.