Travel News and Information
More and more celebrities have been investing their Hollywood money in the hospitality sector as of late–restaurants, nightclubs, and transportation services, to name a few. But it’s celebrity owned hotels that have most recently been thrust into the limelight, though not always for the most delightful of reasons. The Nobu Hotel in Manila, which is co-owned by Robert DeNiro, was recently named the world’s worst. Rigsby’s Guest House, of which Harry Potter star Rupert Grint is the sole shareholder, was closed due to poor sales. However, not all celebrities have seen such failures when dabbling within the hospitality industry: Andy Murray’s Cromlix Hotel has received consistently excellent reviews since its opening in 2014, and Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort remains one of Utah’s finest. Leonardo Dicpario made headlines with the purchase of island in Belize, where he plans to build a sprawling, eco-conscious resort, set to open in 2018.
Many hotel patrons may not realize that they’re in fact staying at a star-studded property, which is why we’ve rounded up the ultimate list of celebrity owned hotels. Book a room at one of these A-list approved destinations, and you may wind up doing yoga next to Hugh Jackman or eating breakfast next to DeNiro.
In a partnership that seemed destined for greatness, Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro joined forces with Michelin-starred chef Matsuhisa Nobu to open Nobu Hotel Manila, an opulent new property in the Philippines. However, the slam-dunk of a project has just hit a major problem: The Nobu Hotel was just named 2015’s worst new luxury hotel.
For a luxury hotel, the Nobu Hotel Manila is relatively large, with 321 rooms. And Crompton says, “while the accommodations are, in the main, impressive, it seems to be suffering from poor management.” He also said that luxury travelers expect and desire “to experience something special” and this hotel doesn’t deliver it.
The first Nobu Hotel opened within Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2103. CNN Travel dubbed it one of the hottest new hotels. The negative ratings from Luxury Travel Intelligence aren’t a good omen for the team behind the new Nobu Hotel; indeed, they are slated to open eight more luxury properties in the next two years.
What do you get when you cross a classic, contained group tour with a freewheeling backpacker jaunt? Perhaps it’s a trip with Intrepid Travel, an adventure company that includes freedom of choice in its immersive itineraries.
This Australian-based company is the original arm of Intrepid Group, founded in 1989 by Geoffrey Manchester and Darrell Wade. Longtime budget travelers, Manchester and Wade sought a way for would-be world nomads to enjoy experiential travel without taking on the headache-inducing details such a far-flung trip requires. Now the leading global adventure travel company, Intrepid Group serves young travelers, retirees, family groups and die-hard adventurers with six tour operator brands. Groups are small, averaging about 10-12 people, to decrease the impact on the country.
Intrepid core standard is a commitment to responsible travel and sustainable tourism, and its nonprofit Intrepid Foundation makes this happen through support for local NGOs in its destinations. Accommodations and dining establishments are mostly locally owned and operated, while the majority of Intrepid staff is local to their destination. The company also prioritizes having minimal impact on an economy’s imports by using local transit systems and products.
This dedication to ethical travel is paired with the benefits of a package tour; organizational details like domestic flights, itineraries, and transportation are scheduled and in advance, plus most fees are included in the booking price.
This may be why Intrepid trips appeal to a “wide demographic,” according to Manchester; guests range from 12-80 years old, while the biggest group is 25-45 years old. Part of what attracts these travelers is the company’s original itinerary model: groups stay a day or two in each location in a nod to “slow travel,” and accommodations are comfortable but often minimal, keeping costs on budget and allowing the trip’s focus to stay on the destination.
Intrepid also packs in plenty of free time to allow guests to experience the place for themselves and customize their time spent dining, shopping and sightseeing. This middle ground approach means a guide may suggest sites or restaurants of interest for this free time, or may accompany guests for an impromptu hike or wander.