Celebrities' Secret Winter Vacation Spots
Courtesy of Eden Rock Hotel
Here’s where to find Brad and Angelina, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Jerry Seinfeld, Fergie,
and other A-list celebrities in the wintertime.
Question: If you’re Jennifer Lopez (the ninth-richest woman in entertainment with a net
worth of $110 million), you have a $350 million fragrance and fashion empire, and your husband just
bought ownership in the Miami Dolphins, where do you spend your winter vacations?
It’s not surprising why: the luxurious Las Ventanas has the perfect formula for any
traveler looking to escape a dreary winter. There’s a long, crowdless, milky-white beach that
stretches for miles; giant suites with private Jacuzzis on big balconies overlooking the sea; and
Mini Cooper convertibles and fully loaded Kindles to borrow.
But what really draws JLo (and fellow superstars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Adam
Sandler, Fergie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Brad Pitt) is that the resort is private and remote. It
doesn’t even have a sign. And when it comes to a getaway, “the number one thing
celebrities look for is seclusion and privacy—places out of the reach of the
paparazzi,” says noted wedding planner Mindy Weiss, who has organized nuptials for Jessica
Simpson, Gwen Stefani, and Adam Sandler. Privacy at Las Ventanas begins at check-in, where
there’s not even a desk. It’s handled in rooms so stars can come and go without being
Privacy is essential in cold-weather destinations, too, and part of Aspen’s appeal is that
celebrities can just blend in—especially at places like the Little Nell. Right at the base
of Aspen Mountain, the resort has been a celebrity hot spot for two decades, attracting the likes
of Mariah Carey and Kate Hudson, who can mix in with minimal rubbernecking. “The celebrities
really don’t stand out,” says Carol Hooper, the Little Nell’s head concierge, who
has seen her share of A-listers eating burgers and going unnoticed during après ski, like any
other guest. “They hang out in the lobby; they have lunch in the restaurants. They feel very
comfortable here,” she says.
Another important element for stars: hotels that can handle any request. At the fashionable Setai in South Beach, which has played host
to celebrities like Bono, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Leonardo DiCaprio, there’s a dedicated team of sales managers whose sole responsibility is to look after famous guests and be in
touch with assistants and publicists. It’s one-stop shopping for anything the celebrity
That person proved helpful a couple years ago, when an A-lister asked if one of the bedrooms
could be converted into an exercise studio. No problem. And could the hotel bring a giant exercise
ball? Done. And could that exercise ball be pink? Of course. The world’s best hotels get a
lot of odd requests (see our story on outrageous concierge requests)
but do their best to take care of their clientele—especially big names who are hibernating
there for the winter.