Economic slowdown or not, there are still people who can afford to jet off to anywhere their hearts desire: celebrities. Whether they’re from Hollywood, the sports scene, or the modelling world, these people can conquer any corner of the planet without batting an eyelash. Here are their top destinations of choice.
Barbados. The birthplace of singer Rihanna, this Caribbean island conjures up images of snorkelling in turquoise waters, sipping cocktails by the pool, and cruising through glittering seas.
- Hot spot: Saint Lawrence Gap is the place for live music and great food. DJs spin and bands play while celebrities dance until dawn.
- Celeb Sightings: Sting, David and Victoria Beckham, Will Smith, Tiger Woods
Dubai. Moderation is not an operative word in the “star of the Middle East.” Gold souks, shopping malls, and upscale hotels dot the place, while historic sites offer a change of view.
- Hot spot: Burj Al Arab, the “Best Hotel in the World” of the World Travel Awards 2007. A 321-metre tall building shaped like a ship’s sail, this seven-star hotel’s helipad is where Andre Agassi and Roger Federer had a tennis match. Guests are driven around the hotel in a BMW or Rolls-Royce.
- Celeb Sightings: Claudia Schiffer, Michael Schumacher, David and Victoria Beckham, Serena and Venus Williams
Hawaii. A blindingly blue ocean meets lush vegetation in Hawaii, the celebrity’s perpetual favourite. And why not, with the hula, the surfing, and the swimming!
- Hot spot: Humpback whales are not the only frequent visitors to Maui. Stars love its beaches, waterfalls, and sunrises. It was even named “Best Pacific Island” by Condé Nast Traveler.
- Celeb Sightings: Sacha Baron Cohen, Denise Richards, Britney Spears, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oprah Winfrey
Italy. The food, the wine, the architecture… Italy draws millions of visitors every year. Its allure comes in the form of cathedrals, canals, and ancient relics, as well as its fashion houses, piazzas, and museums.
- Hot spot: Home to the gorgeous Blue Grotto, Capri, with its secret coves and bays, is an enchanting place.
- Celeb Sightings: Sylvester Stallone, George Clooney (who owns Villa Oleandra in Lake Como), Eva Longoria and Tony Parker
Las Vegas. Joey Tribbiani was right to get all excited. Welcome to “Vegas Baby!”, with its wild gambling, flamboyant shows, and over-the-top attractions. Las Vegas is no doubt every celebrity’s playground.
- Hot spot: The stars roll the dice at MGM Grand Hotel, which has the largest casino in Nevada. By night they can be found lounging in the bars Rouge, Studio 54, and Tabú. Acrobatics by Cirque du Soleil and meals by Wolfgang Puck are provided.
- Celeb Sightings: Hugh Hefner, Pamela Anderson, Ben Affleck, Celine Dion, Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey, Nicholas Cage
French Riviera. Its name just rolls off the tongue, but its aquamarine seas stay etched in memory forever. Tourists may flock to its shores, but celebrities hold their own parties in private beaches.
- Hot spot: It’s a lazy holiday in Saint Tropez, where the stars lounge on their yachts, have a drink, or go sunbathing. Johnny Depp was so enamoured with the place that he bought a home there.
- Celeb Sightings: Lily Allen, Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (plus their brood of six)
Mexico. While Ugly Betty left it for New York, celebrities fly into the warm waters and palm tree-lined beaches of Mexico for a quick getaway. They might not grab an enchilada, but a drink at the nightclubs is perfect.
- Hot spot: Cabo San Lucas has loads of water activities to offer, like banana boating, jet skiing, and parasailing. The night scene is as action-packed, with congas and tequilas keeping the stars happy.
- Celeb Sightings: Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer
Miami. Celebrities have made their homes in sunny Miami one time or another. Known as “America’s Playground,” speedboats, sailing ships, and cruise liners frequent its shores.
- Hot spot: South Beach, where the shores are never empty. Stars can go club-hopping all night long, grooving to Latin beats, jazz tunes, and the blues.
- Celeb Sightings: Estelle, Shakira, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Rio de Janeiro. There’s no better place to get away from it all than the city of festivity, Rio. Whether celebrities are off to the flamboyant Carnaval, to a raucous football match, or to the beach to do a samba on the sand, Rio always guarantees them a good time.
- Hot spot: A hotel by Ipanema Beach, Fasano, has a 1950s vibe and all the modern comforts expected of a luxury accommodation designed by Philippe Starck. Its restaurant, Fasano Al Mare, boasts of an award-winning chef that cooks up Mediterranean delights.
- Celeb Sightings: Naomi Campbell, Calvin Klein, Mick Jagger, Gisele Bündchen
Paris. When in the mood for romance, celebrity couples head to the City of Lights—a place as glamorous, fashionable, and impressive as they are. Part of the agenda in the city are shopping, eating, and touring its striking museums.
- Hot spot: It’s all about the clothes, the models, and the star-studded audience at Fashion Week. With labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chloé, Dior, Gucci, and Chanel putting on a show, how could the rich and famous miss it? Designer duds can be bought at posh Triangle d’Or.
- Celeb Sightings: Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, Katy Perry, Dita Von Teese, Emma Watson