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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Celebrity Owned Resorts
Lowell, restored an 18th-century house and barn into a small luxury hotel called the Bedford Post Inn, which opened in July 2009. Located in the tony enclave of Westchester, N.Y., just 45 minutes from Manhattan, the inn has eight guest rooms, an on-site gourmet restaurant and yoga and meditation studios frequented by Gere.
Donatella Versace’s glittering Palazzo Versace in Queensland, Australia, is as stylish and chic as you’d expect from a fashion designer. White, stately Italian columns and palm trees under the Gold Coast sun lure sun-seekers from around the world.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has developed a luxurious private game reserve, Ulusaba, near the border of Kruger National Park in South Africa. When you’re not traveling by Jeep looking for lions, buffaloes, leopards, elephants and rhinoceroses, you can kick back in style in the reserve’s two lodges, built high on hills with amazing views. For extra fun, walk on swinging bridges between the treehouse-style rooms of the Safari Lodge. Tennis, swimming and a spa are also available, as is a daily bush walk for those who really want to get up close to wildlife.
This wilderness area near the New Mexico-Colorado border has been a recreational retreat since 1902 and over the years has been host to President Herbert Hoover, director Cecil B. DeMille and actor Douglas Fairbanks, to name just a few. CNN founder Ted Turner purchased the 920 square miles around Vermejo Park Ranch in 1996 and began multiple conservation programs designed to reintroduce endangered species and restore forest and prairie ecosystems. Today, visitors can see herds of elk, bison, antelope and deer — as well as their predators, bears and mountain lions — in their natural habitat. The ranch caters to nature-lovers, fishermen and hunters out to bag an elk, deer or bison.
When a vacant lot opened next to his office in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, actor Robert De Niro seized the opportunity and created The Greenwich Hotel, which opened in 2008. De Niro, who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival and the film studio Tribeca Productions, among other ventures in the lower Manhattan neighborhood, wanted to build a property that represented the historic architecture of the area. The result is an eight-story building housing 88 rooms and suites. Reclaimed wood was used for the floors and doors, and the spa features a 250-year-old pine-and-bamboo house transported from Kyoto, Japan, which was reconstructed in the building.
The Mission Ranch, on California’s Monterey Peninsula, was bought and restored by Academy Award-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood in 1986. The barn dates back to the 1850s, and the 22-acre ranch was the site of one of California’s first creameries. It is adorned with gardens, cypress and eucalyptus trees and has sweeping views of the surrounding meadows and coastline.