Hoping to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous on your next trip? Unfortunately for any aspiring celeb-spotter, those celebs are stealthy types and really aren’t interested in being spotted, so while some getaway locales never change, new under-the-radar destinations keep popping up around the globe. Even if you couldn’t care less about the A-listers, it never hurts to know where the rich and famous are deciding to spend their vacation time, as privacy and luxury are the hallmarks of any great celebrity getaway. From the classic to the up-and-coming, here are the top 10 spots for celeb spotting around the world:
2. Gstaad, Switzerland
Synonymous with the international jet set, this Swiss wintertime resort appears smaller than its lionised reputation. Renowned as a haunt of Bond actors, Euro royalty, heirs and various hangers-on, Gstaad is a picturesque but tiny village crouched beneath the hilltop turrets of its pre-eminent hotel, the undeniably palatial Gstaad Palace. The actual skiing here is disappointing – far better are the après-ski activities such as seeing and being seen, partying in A-list establishments, and window shopping at the chi-chi boutiques lining the main street. Gstaad is famous for fondue (it’s a stylish kitsch thing) and the best is at Saagi Stübli, in the basement of Hotel Gstaaderhof.
4. St Barts, Caribbean
When it comes to the islands of the Caribbean, the label ‘playground of the rich and famous’ gets quite a workout. Clearly, then, this is no average playground. It is, in fact, one giant theme park for the glitterati. It’s no surprise that Saint-Barthélemy (St Barts to its friends) is the preferred retreat of the pampered and poised – this beachy bombshell fulfi ls every fantasy of a vacation in paradise. Perfectly positioned bays are backdrops for fancy-pants restaurants, rolling hills demand rambling villas, and the Gustavia harbour is simply perfect for all the megayachts. And the celebs who have holidayed in St Barts? Well, it’s probably easier to list who hasn’t, dahling… Celebrities have stressful lives, hence their requirement for constant pampering – follow suit at exclusive Guanahani Hotel & Spa which offers indulgent week-long treatments.
5. Wakaya, Fiji
Any wannabe celeb worth their salt has dreamed of owning their own island. But what to build on it once you’ve made the big purchase? If you’re Canadian entrepreneur David Gilmour, the answer is obvious – one of the world’s most luxurious and exclusive resorts. Gilmour purchased the 8-sq-km Fijian island of Wakaya in 1973 and kindly lets the little people enjoy his stunning tropical hideaway. Well, little people who think nothing of blowing from US$2000 per night on a bure (traditional house) or up to US$7600 per night on the Vale O villa (Wakaya’s 1100-sq-metre royal suite). And who might be sitting on a nearby sun lounge? Maybe returning guests Bill Gates, Keith Richards, Nicole Kidman or Russell Crowe. If those prices mean you’re more Ow!-List list than A-List, sneak a peek at Wakaya from the sky; Island Hoppers offers flights from FJ$99.
6. Goldeneye Resort, Jamaica
If you’ve a spy novel just itching to be written, head to Goldeneye for inspiration. This is where author Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels in the 1950s and ’60s (while entertaining literary and silverscreen greats from the era). What was once Fleming’s holiday estate, divinely positioned in the crystal clear Caribbean, has been bought and expanded by Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell, and there are now a handful of smaller villas to rent alongside Fleming’s original three-bedroom pad. Share your martini at the resort bar with a present-day guest list that has included Johnny Depp, Sting, Scarlett Johansson, Bono and Kate Moss. Would anyone mind if we packed Daniel Craig too…? Suave old James is a dab hand at leaving a phone receiver dangling while edging his latest love slowly bedwards – practice…