If Britney Spears were to open a hotel, what would it be called? There are too many possibilities to mention here, but one thing is sure: No room would go unreserved.
Celebrities who own hotels and resorts bring not only A-list cachet to their properties, but personal touches that you’d be hard-pressed to find in bigger places. The groovy refurbished 1950s cabins at Kate Pierson’s Lazy Meadow Motel in New York’s Catskills are liberally sprinkled with the B-52s singer’s tchotchkes collected from her touring days. After Clint Eastwood bought Mission Ranch in Carmel, Calif., he enlisted master craftsmen to restore the ranch’s centerpiece, an 1850s farmhouse, to its original state.
From Jane Seymour to Mick Jagger, a number of A-listers are renting out their pied-a-terres by the week or starting up hospitality ventures. After all, they didn't get to be successful without a little business savvy.
Actor Michael Douglas, for example, is a shareholder in Ariel Sands, a resort property and hotel in Bermuda that takes its name from Shakespeare's “Tempest” and has been in the Douglas family for decades. And music industry icon Chris Blackwell, the man who introduced the world to the likes of Bob Marley and U2, owns a string of resorts in his home of Jamaica (including the exclusive Goldeneye, once owned by James Bond creator and author, Ian Fleming).
In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio purchased Blackadore Caye, a 104-acre island off the coast of Belize. The famously eco-friendly star is planning on turning the island — a 25-minute boat ride from the Belize Barrier Reef — into an exclusive resort that makes green in a green-friendly manner.
Naturally, the Caribbean is a perennial draw. Francis Ford Coppola first went to Belize while filming “Apocalypse Now.” Today the legendary director owns three resorts in the area, including two in Belize (Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux) and one further afield in the Guatemalan rainforest (La Lancha). But even more well-known is Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island, in the northeastern reaches of the British Virgin Islands. The 74-acre island is 15 minutes by boat from Virgin Gorda, and even faster by helicopter (a free ride if you've flown to the BVIs on Sir Richard's Virgin Airlines).
But not all of these celebrity-owned resorts are island paradises. Bono and The Edge own the hip Clarence Hotel in the heart of Dublin. In France, “Gigi” star Leslie Caron oversees the Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes (Owl’s Nest Inn), a country inn set amid renovated 18th-century buildings in a small village of Burgundy. Little surprises include vintage movie posters from the 1950s and, even more appealing, a great French restaurant with a menu that changes daily.