Richard Gere’s new starring role: Relais & Chateaux Ambassador

Richard Gere has come a long way since his smooth talking, multi-millionaire role in Pretty Women and his tap-dancing debut in Chicago. The acclaimed actor is also a passionate innkeeper, and his taking his love for the bed and breakfast to the big screen (sort of).

Gere is the innkeeper of the Bedford Post – a Relais & Chateaux property located an hour north of New York City – and will become the 2011 Ambassador for the brand. The Bedford Post was recently named a new member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group.

Gere and his wife, Carey Lowell, and their business partner, Russell Hernandez, undertook the restoration project of the Bedford Post as an act of preservation and turned it into an 8-room inn with two restaurants and a yoga loft.

The Bedford Post is one of 36 new members of the Relais & Chateaux group for 2011, bringing the membership of the organization to more than 500 hotels and restaurants in nearly 60 countries. The 2011 Guide includes six new destinations: Vanuatu, Estonia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Chile and Hong Kong. The beauty of these properties: each one is individually owned and reflects its local culture in architecture, cuisine and interiors. Most have an average of 30 rooms, are often family enterprises, and each convey the innkeeper’s character and personality.

Gere says playing the role of innkeeper can be tougher than Hollywood:

“In my long career, I’ve played many challenging and demanding characters, but believe me, none more so than my real life role as innkeeper. We share a kindred spirit with the other Relais & Chateaux innkeepers: a genuine commitment to serve, a rather insane attention to detail, a passion for beauty in all its forms and a personal aspiration to make our world a little better for us having been here.”