1. Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas, Los Angeles, California, US
Spotted: Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Miranda Kerr, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola
Nestled in the quiet tree-lined backstreets of West Hollywood just off L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip is where you’ll find the Sunset Marquis Hotel. This classic Hollywood hideaway has been welcoming all sorts of La La Land luvvies, including writers, actors and fashion designers, since 1963. Perhaps its most famous guests, however, have been the kind hoteliers fear the most: party-hard rock stars. The hotel’s most famous, and surprisingly well-behaved, musical check-ins have included The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones and Sheryl Crow. The staff at the Sunset Marquis are famously discreet, which must come in handy when you’re dealing with rock royalty, and the stars keep coming back to enjoy their own private villa and a day in the hotel spa. And if they can’t bear to be parted from their work, there’s an on-site recording studio in which they can blast out their next chart-topper.
2. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
Spotted: Selena Gomez, Roger Federer
From big screen sirens to famous athletes, the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel, is the ultimate in luxury A-list living. Catwalk superstars Claudia Schiffer and Gigi Hadid, as well as tennis ace Roger Federer and actress Selena Gomez, are just a handful of the many celebs to have stayed in this iconic sail-shaped building while holidaying in Dubai. Built on an artificial island, it’s about 300 metres from Jumeirah Beach and connected to the mainland by a private bridge. From the surreal to the sublime, resort facilities include a gold-plated iPad upon check-in, use of a chauffeured Rolls Royce for the duration of your stay and a private reception on each floor. With a staff to suite ratio of eight to one, there are plenty of white-gloved butlers on hand to help make your stay unforgettable. The hotel’s most opulent accommodation is the Royal Suite, situated on the 25th floor, complete with a cinema room, private dining space for twelve and a library – at almost £5,500* a night, you’d have to be royalty to afford a night’s kip here!
Things to do in Dubai
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3. Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spotted: Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber
Whether they’re there to party at the carnival or sun their hot bods on Brazil’s beautiful beaches, when the rich and famous head to Rio the Belmond Copacabana Hotel is their preferred holiday residence. This is where Will Smith likes to spend his summertime – take time to sit back and unwind in the designer Louis Vuitton lobby, or chill out in one of Rio’s largest swimming pools. Other famous faces who have stayed in this lavish Art Deco hotel include Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and Helen Mirren. Naturally, their room of choice is usually the penthouse apartment on the sixth floor, which overlooks Copacabana Beach and comes with marble bathrooms, a private pool and butler service included in the room price. To book these swish suites, you'll need to call for a quote.
4. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
Spotted: Colin Firth, Cate Blanchett
Celebs looking for a slice of sophisticated south-of-France chic flock to this elegant retreat set in secluded Riviera parkland. The 117 suites, spread across the main hotel, the original Villa Soliel, the Eden Roc Pavilion and Les Deux Fontaines Residence, are all finished to the same flawless standard, with spectacular views across the sparkling waters of the Cote d’Azure or the sweeping vistas of La Grande Allée. This time of year is possibly one of the busiest for the hotel, which hosts many of the stars attending the Cannes Film Festival – you can easily get from your private terrace to the red carpet across the Croisette by speedboat. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to spot Colin Firth, Johnny Depp or Jennifer Lopez lounging in the hotel bar, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is soon to hit the big screen in the upcoming film Miss Dior, starring Natalie Portman.
Things to do in France
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5. Hassler Roma, Rome, Italy
Spotted: Victoria and David Beckham
Right in the heart of Rome, Hassler Roma is the five-star city break stay of choice for the Beckhams, who were spotted here while visiting the Italian capital for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding in 2006. The Hassler has 82 rooms, the most luxurious being the penthouse suites on the seventh floor, which are lavishly decorated with floral fabrics and plush 18th-century furniture. The interiors are great, but what really makes this place is the setting; at the top of the Spanish Steps you’re within spitting distance of the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. Celebs not wanting to be papped while stuffing their faces with all of the delicious (but figure killing) carbs Italy is famous for need not worry – the hotel houses its very own Michelin-starred restaurant, Imàgo. Head chef Francesco Apreda makes sure the kitchen turns out the best bowls of risotto and parmesan cheese ravioli in the whole of Rome.
Things to do in Rome
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6. St. Regis Hotel, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Spotted: the Kardashians, Eva Longoria
Once you’ve seen the overwater love nests and palm-fringed shores of the turquoise lagoon on which the 44-acre resort sits, you’ll understand why this is the hottest celeb spot south of the equator. This Polynesian paradise was Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s honeymoon destination back in 2006; other famous guests include Eva Longoria and the Kardashians. When you’re sick of sunning yourself on your own private terrace overlooking neighbouring islands Raiatea and Taha’a, head to the hotel’s luxury Clarins spa for a spot of South Pacific pampering. Standard amenities in all of the five-star suites include Bose DVD and CD sound systems, 24-hour room service and in-room massage on request. With several dining options, from an American-style buffet breakfast to an on-site sushi restaurant, you’re not likely to starve on this luxury castaway island.
Things to do in Bora Bora
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7. Huka Lodge, North Island, New Zealand
Spotted: Kate Winslet, Michael Douglas, Diana Ross
Nestled on the quiet banks of the Waikato River in New Zealand’s South Island, this super-secluded hotel appeals to celebrities wishing to escape the limelight – although if you’re after full disclosure, Huka Lodge proudly lists their famous check-ins on their website. Seventeen acres of well-manicured gardens help to provide some privacy for guests staying in one of the 25 suites available at the Lodge. A-listers love the Owner’s Cottage; built in 1937, it’s tucked away behind a copse of pine trees, downstream from the spectacular Huka Falls. With a den, a personal chef and a heated spa pool, this is the retreat of choice for the likes of Diana Ross and Michael Douglas. The Junior Lodge Suite starts at about £327* per person per night, while the going rate for one suite (sleeps two) in the Owner’s Cottage is £870 a night.
Things to do
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8. The Lanesborough, London, UK
Spotted: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West
Hang out with the Sloanies and socialites at the Lanesborough hotel, which overlooks London’s Hyde Park in the affluent area of Knightsbridge. Newly refurbished, this hotel reopened in spring 2015 under the management of the Oetker Collection, who also look after number 4 on this list. The iconic London landmark has been frequented by many famous faces, including Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kanye West, and it mixes Georgian grandeur with 21st-century technology – so you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in The Garden Room before catching up on the headlines with your in-room Sony tablet. All the rooms are fitted with Italian marble bathrooms and come with free WiFi.
Things to do
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9. Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia
Spotted: Rhianna and Zac Efron
You won’t get a room with a better view than at the Park Hyatt in Sydney. Its 155 spacious suites feel more like city apartments, and because it overlooks the harbour, it offers some stunning panoramas of the Opera House lit up at night or surrounded by luxury yachts cruising the harbour by day. This must be what attracted Rhianna, Lady Gaga and Chris Hemsworth – just a few of the celebs who’ve stayed here. It could be the views, but it could also be something to do with the rooftop pool, the 24-hour butler service or the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, The Dining Room, which serves Aussie classics like kangaroo steak and bluefin tuna. The Park Hyatt turns 25 this year, so look out for some celebratory promotions and discounts on accommodation from now until the end of July.
Things to do in Sydney
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10. Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
Spotted: Sarah Jessica Parker
Sex in the City fans will recognise this extravagant Art Nouveau abode from the final episode of the hit TV series – it would seem that SJP’s love for the place is as enduring as Carrie and Big’s romance. Since filming there, this famous fashionista has become the hotel’s biggest ambassador, using her own unique, haute couture style to help promote it. Since opening in 1913, guests have enjoyed Michelin-starred al fresco dining in the hotel’s charming courtyard, exclusive spa treatments in the Dior Institute, as well as dramatic views over the Eiffel Tower from the comfort of their superior suite. Top tip: save a few euros and swap the Royal Suite for the eighth-floor Signature Eiffel Suite, which is smaller but has much better views of the city at a fraction of the cost.
Things to do in Paris
By Private Jet Charter
11. One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Spotted: Lewis Hamilton; Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
Legendary talents looking to let their hair down in Los Cabos have been coming here since 1956, including John Wayne and Bing Crosby, and when love’s young dream (well, more cougar crush) was still flourishing, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore came here for a romantic holiday. Not even the most cunning paparazzo can creep up on guests staying in One&Only’s exclusive accommodation, the Villa Cortez. This modern hacienda hideaway is located on its own private beach, with a private infinity pool, four bedrooms, a gym and a 12-seater cinema room. With a round-the-clock butler – you’ve got an in-room iPhone to beckon them – there’s no need to lift a finger, not even to unpack your luggage, as staff will take care of this for you upon arrival.
Things to do in Mexico City
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12. The Clarence, Dublin, Ireland
Spotted: Bono and The Edge from U2
Get in bed with Bono, or at least a bed he owns. Dublin’s most rock ‘n’ roll hotel, The Clarence, is owned by the Irish frontman and his U2 band mate, lead guitarist The Edge. Unlike the others on the list, this city hotel is a four star (how could you reduce yourself to such a low!) boutique hotel, rather than a grand affair. Nonetheless, it’s a modern, stylish bolthole in the heart of Dublin. The interiors were custom designed by local Irish artists, featuring rich carpets and heavy drapes. Each of the 50 bedrooms and suites comes with WiFi and a flat-screen TV as standard, but it’s the penthouse that has the greatest celebrity appeal. Let your inner Mozart loose on the baby grand piano in this two-storey apartment, or spend the morning admiring the views across the city after waking up in your super-king-sized bed and sipping fresh coffee courtesy of the in-room Nespresso machine. If the €899 (£638)* a night price tag puts the penthouse out of your rice range, then the classic room is more affordable at €129 (£91) a night based on two people sharing one room.
Things to do in Dublin/Best bars in Dublin
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13. The Carlyle, New York, US
Spotted: Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge
A Rosewood Hotel, The Carlyle is a classic sleep in New York City. It’s another that has featured on the Beckham’s holiday hit-list, and other celebs who have graced its elegant suites include Mick Jagger and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this sophisticated 193-room property was named after the British essayist Thomas Carlyle, and it remains popular with Brits visiting the Big Apple. It’s the perfect base for exploring some of NYC’s iconic landmarks; the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Plaza are all within walking distance. That is if you can tear yourself away from your hotel room – with luxury interiors, complimentary Kiehl’s toiletries, an iPod docking station and cable TV, you might struggle. If you don’t fancy going far, then the hotel’s restaurant, café and bar serves delicious international food and some of the finest Manhattan cocktails in New York.
Things to do in New York
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Where to go on Holiday in October. Lanzarote. If your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed. Flights to Lanzarote
Where to go on Holiday in October. Big Sur, California. Jagged cliffs pummeled by surf line the Pacific Coast Highway along Big Sur, creating some of California's most memorable ocean vistas between Carmel and the northern tip of San Luis Obispo County. Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller found inspiration in its fog-banked canyons and meadows. grey whales migrate past twice a year, and elephant seals bask on the sandy shores. Luxury hotels, restaurants and art galleries cluster in a six-mile strip, giving way to redwood-filled state parks on either side. Flights to Big Sur, CA
Where to Stay in Venice. Stunning architecture. Mysterious passageways. And of course, the canals. Venice is one of the most alluring cities in the world—the type of place where, as a visitor, you'll welcome getting lost (as you inevitably will). Relax in Piazza San Marco, take a moonlit gondola ride or taste the original Bellini at Harry's Bar. Or just wander. No matter where you go, you'll find history, beauty and romance. Save up to 30% Off on Hotels worldwide.
It’s not just for spring-breakers. Cancun, with its golden beaches and perfect climate, is the premiere coastal destination in Mexico. And while there is certainly a 365-day party available for college students, resorts cater well to families and to those seeking solitude. This Yucatan paradise is also the gateway to the ruins of Tulum and Chichén Itzá. Cancun, Mexico Deals. Save up to 30%
We’ve spent time waxing lyrical about Ibiza and its culinary and cultural treasures on our blog before, however we feel that Amante Beach Club is deserving of it own mention as it opens for the summer 2016 season.
With an idyllic position on a dramatic cliff top overlooking the beautiful Sol D’en Serra bay, the restaurant is beautifully presented along simplistic, stylish, yet contemporary lines and offers one of the best selections of fresh Mediterranean fare on the island. Coupled with one of their stunning signature cocktails, temptingly comfortable day beds with quintessential Balearic views out over the Mediterranean, and terraced access down to a private beach with typically crystalline azure water, and it’s a miracle that any of their customers manage to leave.
For those heading to Ibiza this summer, if you are in need of a luxurious, relaxing and perfectly pampered lunch guaranteed to re-energise you after a tiring few days, then Amante Beach simply has to be on your agenda. Equally if you are looking for a romantic, quiet and secluded spot in which to spend some time with your beloved, then we can’t recommend a better restaurant from which you can watch the moon rise, and see its ghostly light shimmer out over the sea as you have your dinner.
For private jet charter to Ibiza this summer, contact Villiers Jet Charter for a quote.
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Roland Garros (or the French Open) is the premier clay court tennis championship event in the world and the second of four annual Grand Slam tournaments, the other three being the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam event held on clay and ends the clay court season.
Because of the slow-playing surface and the five-set men's singles matches without a tiebreak in the final set, the event is widely considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world.
Get all your information regarding tickets here.
Holiday Rentals in Paris
Stadium layout and access to the venue site
Summer is almost officially here, so beaches around the world will soon be filled with swimming fanatics. And the European Environment Agency has good news for travelers who want to dip a toe in some of the continent's bathing spots: The water at Europe's beaches, rivers and lakes was rated at (generally) high quality in 2013, with 95 percent of these sites meeting minimum requirements. The data indicate that coastal sites performed slightly better than inland bathing waters.
All the bathing sites in Cyprus and Luxembourg were deemed "excellent." These countries were followed by Malta (99 percent deemed excellent), Croatia (95 percent) and Greece (93 percent). At the other end of the scale, European Union Member States with the highest proportion of sites with a 'poor' status were Estonia (6 percent), the Netherlands (5 percent), Belgium (4 percent), France (3 percent), Spain (3 percent) and Ireland (3 percent).
The annual bathing water quality report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) tracks the water quality at 22,000 bathing sites across the EU, Switzerland and, for the first time, Albania. Alongside the report, the EEA has published an interactive map showing how each bathing site performed in 2013.
"It's good that the quality of European bathing waters continues to be of a high standard," Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik in a statement. "But we cannot afford to be complacent with such a precious resource as water. We must continue to ensure that our bathing and drinking water as well as our aquatic ecosystems are fully protected."
"Europe's bathing water has improved over the last two decades," added Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director. "We are no longer discharging such high quantities of sewage directly into water bodies. Today's challenge comes from short-term pollution loads during heavy rain and flooding. This can overflow sewage systems and wash faecal bacteria from farmland into the rivers and seas."
Local authorities monitor the samples at local beaches, collecting samples in the spring and throughout the bathing season. Bathing waters can be rated 'excellent', 'good', 'sufficient' or 'poor.' The ratings are based on levels of two types of bacteria which indicate pollution from sewage or livestock.
Bathing water ratings do not consider litter, pollution and other aspects harming the natural environment. While most bathing sites are clean enough to protect human health, many of the ecosystems in Europe's water bodies are in a worrying state. This is evident in Europe's seas – a recent assessment found that Europe's marine ecosystems are threatened by climate change, pollution, overfishing and acidification. Many of these pressures are set to increase.
While 95 percent of bathing sites met the minimum requirements, 83 percent met the more stringent 'excellent' level. Only 2 percent were rated as poor.
The proportion of sites passing the minimum requirements in 2013 was roughly the same as 2012. However, the proportion of 'excellent' sites increased from 79 percent in 2012 to 83 percent in 2013.
At coastal beaches, water quality was slightly better, with 85 % of sites classified as excellent. All coastal beaches in Slovenia and Cyprus were classified as excellent.
Inland, bathing water quality seems to have been slightly lower than the average. Luxembourg was the only country to receive 'excellent' for all its inland bathing sites, with Denmark close behind with 94 percent rated excellent. Germany achieved this top rating at 92 percent of almost 2,000 inland bathing sites.
Acknowledgement: Travel Agent Central
Wealthy and intrepid travellers are being offered the chance to ascend 20 miles above the surface of the earth attached to a balloon.
For $75,000 (£45,000) – less than a third of what it costs to secure a place on one of Virgin Galactic’s proposed space flights – passengers will be provided with similar views to those seen by Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver who leapt back to Earth from 24 miles up.
Up to eight passengers will board a capsule, attached to a high altitude balloon. It will ultimately detach from the balloon and float back to Earth by parachute. They will spend around two hours floating at peak altitude, and will be able to share their experience with friends and family thanks to on board internet access.
World View’s “Voyager” experience was announced last October, but tickets did not go on sale until this week. A $5,000 (£2,987) deposit is required to secure a reservation, with the inaugural flight planned for 2016.
“A luxury experience from launch to landing with the same ease as traveling via commercial airline, Voyagers will board a stylish, fully pressurized space capsule for a gentle ascent to 20 miles above Earth,” the Arizona-based company said in a statement. “Passengers will marvel at Earth in all its glory, seeing the world in a way that only astronauts have – suspended against the backdrop of a vast, black and infinite universe.”
Jane Poynter, president of World View, offered some reassurances to nervous fliers back in October. "There are balloons this size that have already flown up many, many times for decades," she told Telegraph Travel. "From a technical point of view this is incredibly doable, low risk."
Although the capsule will not actually reach “space” – which is commonly said to begin at the Kármán line, around 60 miles from Earth - the Federal Aviation Administration, the US equivalent of the Civil Aviation Authority, has classified it as a spacecraft, according to the company.
It is the latest in a series of “space tourism” projects.
Virgin Galactic, created by Sir Richard Branson, aims to begin flights to the edge of space in 2014. It has already sold nearly 650 tickets, with prices rising from an original $200,000 (£124,000) per person to $250,000 (£155,000). It hopes to take passengers beyond the Kármán line. They will, according to the firm, experience approximately six minutes of weightlessness during what will be a two-hour flight.
This week Sir Richard said he would be "very disappointed" if Virgin Galatic's first flight didn't happen this year.
Meanwhile, Xcor Aerospace is developing a Lynx spacecraft which it says will take passengers on a half-hour suborbital flight to the edge of space and back. A ticket aboard Lynx Mark I is $95,000 (£56,753) per flight and Lynx Mark II is $100,000 (£59,740) per flight, including medical screening and G-Force training at one of its operating locations.
Oliver Smith, The Daily Telegraph, May 15, 2014
Peter Jackson’s Gulfstream 650 is now being used in the search effort to to find the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 aircraft.
The Lord of the Rings film director has donated the use of his aircraft to support the search in the Indian Ocean, which is now in its second week.
Given the challenging and time-sensitive conditions of this search, the Gulfstream G650 is ideally suited to the job.
The aircraft is one of the fastest and most technologically advanced business jets in the world, with a top speed of 0.925 Mach, and a range of 7000 nautical miles.
This means that the G650 aircraft will be able to reach the search area quickly from the nearest airport in Perth, with enough fuel left for hours of search time.
Due to the remote and vast location of the search zone in the Indian Ocean, many of the military aircraft are burning significant fuel just to get there, before needing to turn back to refuel again.
The aircraft also has sixteen large, oval windows which will allow optimal viewing on board for those looking for sightings of aircraft debris.
Other private jets have also been involved in the search. On 21 March it was announced that a Bombardier Global Express had been dispatched from Perth.
Like the G650, the Global Express has a long range capacity, allowing it to fly for 5320 nautical miles non-stop.
This isn’t the first time that private jet owners have loaned their aircraft for emergency support.
During the Haiti Earthquake disaster in January 2010, many private jet owners in the USA donated their aircraft to get doctors and medical supplies to the disaster zone as soon as possible.
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