As we’ve learned in the “Birth of a Hotel” series, a crucial part of a hotel’s pre-opening phase involves effectively marketing and creating “buzz” around a new or refurbished property. And when you have a celebrity in your ownership group, that job becomes just that much easier.
That’s the case with the soon-to-open Nobu Hotel (now accepting February reservations), where Robert De Niro is a critical partner in the renovation and re-branding of a tower within the Caesar’s Palace complex. An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal this past weekend discusses De Niro’s hands-on (but not obsessive) involvement with the project, as well as the brand’s planned expansion to Saudi Arabia, London and Bahrain in the coming months and years. This isn’t his first project, either. He also owns The Greenwich Hotel in New York City.
Designers have long been involved in special partnerships with hotel brands – Diane Von Furstenberg has designed several hotel suites, including a new penthouse on Australian private island Hayman, Trina Turk designed beach cabanas for the St. Regis Princeville, and Lenny Kravitz (yes, the singer) was a key collaborator on the hot new South Beach hotel SLS South Beach. That of course doesn’t exclude big fashion houses like Ferragamo, Versace and Moschino, which have collaborated in design or ownership of luxury properties throughout Europe and the Middle East.
But is De Niro the only celebrity involved in the hotel ownership craze? Not at all. The properties below are owned (in whole or in part) by big name individuals.
Trump Hotels, Worldwide
Perhaps the most famous is The Donald himself, founder and partial or full owner of many of the eponymously named Trump Hotels. While the name is technically that of a management firm, Trump does own portions of several of his properties.
The Clarence, Ireland
Rock star Bono and band mate The Edge invested in this luxurious city property in 1992 during its refurbishment. Today, the 49-room boutique hotel draws a number of well-heeled guests each year.
Sundance Resort, Utah
Purchased by Robert Redford in 1969, what was once a sleepy local ski resort called Timphaven has become a worldwide mecca for film and fun every winter.
Bedford Post Inn, New York
This recently renovated eight-room inn is a favorite of celebrities like Martha Stewart, but it also boasts a similarly A-list owner, Richard Gere. Known as much for the food as for the rooms, the Relais & Chateaux hotel also boasts an in-house yoga studio.Coppola Resorts – Belize, Argentina, Guatemala, Italy
Famed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has more than just a vision for film. His resort company has launched a number of luxury projects, including hotels in Belize, Guatemala, Argentina and Italy.
Ariel Sands, Bermuda
Imagine liking a hotel so much, you decided to buy it. That’s exactly what Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones did with this 14-acre resort in Bermuda. The couple technically owns shares of the property, not the entire thing, but they are also frequent guests.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
We all know about Richard Branson’s famed Necker Island, but what about his luxury retreat in Morocco? It should come as no shock that the Virgin founder has more than one resort at his disposal.
Hotel Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
While filming a movie here in the late 1960s, Marlon Brando purchased the property now known as Hotel Tetiaroa. An eco resort called The Brando is also being built on the site currently.
Have a favorite we missed? Leave it in the comments, below.
[Image Credit: The Clarence Hotel]