If you haven’t booked your next getaway yet, we’ve got a hot tip for you: celebrity owned hotels. If there’s anyone who knows about the art of mastering a truly luxurious trip, it’s an A-lister. So, it’s hardly surprising that hotels owned by mega-stars tend to be the cream of the crop. From Rafael Nadal’s newly-opened property in Mallorca to Francis Ford Coppola’s Italian palazzo, we’ve rounded up the most decadent hotels owned by celebrities.
The Best Celebrity Owned Hotels
The Dreaming, Wales
Owned by Charlotte Church
When it comes to celebrity owned hotels, Charlotte Church’s April opening is one of the most talked about of the year. Best known for her meteoric rise to fame in the late 90s, the singer has long been passionate about healing hospitality, and has been running informal retreats in her garden for several years. Launching her own venture, The Dreaming, in her native Wales was the next logical step. Housed in a 15th-century Cistercian monastery, Rhydoldog House, it took 18 months of renovation to bring her vision to life, creating a refined back-to-nature retreat in the rural Welsh countryside.
The retreat runs three-day retreats, designed to help guests reconnect with nature and overcome the stresses of the modern world. Sound healing is a core element of the retreat (with sessions led by Church herself during the week), and you can also expect activities like tree-planting and celestial blessings. The seven rooms each reflect Church’s passion for travel, with one inspired by colourful saris in Jaipur and another an homage to Japan, with bamboo furnishing and a sink shaped like a lotus flower. All in all, Church has managed to create a wellness getaway that stands out from the crowd thanks to clever personal touches.
Zel Hotel, Mallorca
Owned by Rafael Nadal
Not content with being one of the world’s most successful tennis players, Rafael Nadal has just added a new string to his bow: hotelier. Weeks after announcing that next year will likely be his last on the courts, the tennis maestro unveiled his new hotel brand, Zel. Opened on the Spanish island where Nadal was born and designed to encapsulate “the essence of the Mediterranean”, the 165-room property has been created in partnership with the renowned Meliá hotel group, and is just the tip of the iceberg, with Zel set to open more than 20 properties around the world in the next five years.
The vibe at the Mallorcan property, located in Palma Nova, is fun and laidback, with plenty of nods to local life in the interior design – the island’s traditional blue and white lenguas pattern can be found on fabric upholstery and cushions, and the esparto rope used by local fishing boats hangs on the walls. Glamorous Beso Beach is the place to come for sundowners and fresh seafood, accompanied by chilled Balearic beats. Just don’t expect to find any tennis courts – Nadal has consciously avoided making his presence too known here, and instead the fitness focus is on yoga and outdoorsy activities.
Owned by Andy and Kim Murray
It seems tennis stars and celebrity owned hotels really do go hand in hand, with this property helmed by none other than Andy Murray and his wife Kim. Located near Murray’s hometown of Dunblane in Scotland, the couple first bought the sprawling country manor in 2013 and it has long formed the backdrop to numerous special Murray family occasions, including Andy and Kim’s wedding in 2015. The property underwent an extensive renovation earlier this year and reopened in March to much fanfare. Kim is very much the creative force behind the venture, lending her discerning eye to everything from the fresh flowers in the hotel to upholstery and artwork.
Nestled in 34 acres of woodland and landscaped grounds, there are plenty of outdoorsy pursuits to keep you occupied, from croquet on the lawn or a game of tennis to exploring the kitchen gardens and farmland. The 15 rooms and suites are tastefully decked out in keeping with the Victorian grandeur of the property, with four-poster beds and antique furniture. Keep an eye out for artworks from Andy’s personal art collection lining the walls, including pieces by David Shrigley and Damien Hirst.
Palazzo Versace in Dubai and Australia
Owned by Donatella Versace
The fashion world’s queen of glitzy excess has not one but two hotels to her name, one in Dubai and the other on the Australian Gold Coast. Both are just as glamorously opulent as you’d expect. The Dubai property is located on the Jaddaf Waterfront and is a slice of Italian grandeur in the Middle East, complete with Roman mosaics and gleaming marble. There are plenty of Versace touches, too, from framed scarves hanging on the walls to the brand’s Medusa insignia on the lobby’s tiled floor. In the rooms, meanwhile, you’ll find Versace Home fabrics and furnishings galore.
The Gold Coast hotel is no less luxe, and was the world’s first fashion-branded hotel when it opened in 2000. The sprawling property features plenty of nods to Versace’s homeland, including towering Roman columns and a pebble mosaic that was hand-laid by six tilers brought over from Italy, along with the stones themselves. If understated luxury and minimal aesthetics are your thing, these aren’t the hotels for you, but fans of the brand will be in seventh heaven.
Palazzo Margherita, Bernalda
Owned by Francis Ford Coppola
Renowned American film director Francis Ford Coppola owns multiple hotels around the world, including properties in Belize, Guatemala and Argentina. But his favourite of them all is the Palazzo Margherita, a 19th-century mansion located in the sleepy Italian hilltop village of Bernalda, his grandfather’s hometown. When Coppola first bought the building, it was a crumbling wreck, but he’s since transformed it into an enchanting getaway, which feels more like the country house of a particularly glamorous friend than a hotel. Little wonder, then, that the Coppola family still uses it as a holiday home.
Coppola has made the most of the property’s period features, keeping the original floors and furnishings, while grand ceiling chandeliers and ceiling frescoes give it a feel of timeless grandeur. It’s an utterly romantic spot, where you can wander under wisteria-strewn walkways and explore the charming garden (the spot Francis’s daughter Sofia Coppola chose for her wedding). There are personal touches wherever you look – each of the six suites has been designed by a different member of the Coppola family, and guests can organise private cinema screenings, choosing from a selection of films hand-picked by Francis himself.
Nobu Hotels around the world
Owned by Robert De Niro
Despite the fact that Nobu hotels and restaurants are now famous the world over, it was actually the Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro who convinced famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa that he should build an empire. It all started back in 1988, when the pair first met in Matsuhisa’s LA restaurant, the original Nobu. The pair instantly hit it off and their relationship soon blossomed into a successful business partnership. Now the duo work on hotel launches all over the world, and you’ll find Nobu properties everywhere from London to Las Vegas, Seville to Santorini.
As well as Nobu Hotels, De Niro also owns luxury New York boutique property The Greenwich Hotel. Located in Tribeca, a stone’s throw from the actor’s TriBeCa Grill restaurant, the property first opened in 2008 and has been popular with fellow A-listers ever since. They love the hotel’s quirky touches, like the fact that each of the 88 rooms is styled to look completely different – one might be inspired by a Milanese palazzo, another a slick Mumbai apartment. It’s also well-known for its lantern-lit spa and indoor pool, a reassuringly tranquil space in the heart of bustling Manhattan.