10 Christmas Destinations of the Rich and Famous
Looking to heat up your Christmas vacation? Find out how much some celebrities are paying for the world’s most exotic and luxurious Christmas destinations.
Relax like a celebrity at these luxe Christmas destinations
While for most Canadians, the winter holidays are about gathering around the tree with family and friends, for glittering celebrities, this time of year often involves jetting to lavish locations to luxuriate in sun and fun. Here are the top 10 Christmas destinations of the rich and famous.
(Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Christmas destinations: Encore, Las Vegas
How Much?: $3,000 a night
Why?: Steve Wynn’s legendary Encore hotel is regarded as the most luxurious in a town that’s well-known for its over-the-top luxury. The Encore’s new 60,000 square foot beach club brings together indoor/outdoor dance floors, nightclub, restaurant, luxury cabanas and a 60,000 square foot pool. It’s the kind of place where you might find Justin Bieber hanging out in one of the three-bedroom suites, which feature 70-inch TVs, a full-size pool table, a massage room, and almost 6,000 square feet of space (for more then $3,000 a night). Now that’s one Christmas destination that won’t be a “silent night!”
(Photo courtesy RickChung.com/Flickr)
Christmas destinations: Jerusalem/Bethlehem
How Much?: $4,200 a night.
Why?: Those looking for a real Christmas holiday head straight to the Holy Land for one of the more traditional Christmas destinations. And you can do it in style-the $4,200 a night Royal Suite at the world-famous King David Hotel includes a dining room with enough room for 16 people, so whomever rents it-say, a Jewish celeb like Eugene Levy or Howie Mandel, in town for Hanukkah-will have plenty of room for their entourage.
(Photo courtesy by Tim Johnson)
Holiday destinations: Blancaneux Lodge, Belize
How Much?: $1,800 a night.
Why?: Built more than two decades ago by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, Blancaneux is perhaps the world’s most celeb-friendly eco-lodge, a place that’s hosted the likes of Reese Witherspoon (on her honeymoon, no less), amongst others. David Suzuki, for one, would approve of the riverfront cabanas, the hikes to local waterfalls (staff are happy to pack picnic lunches) and maybe even the cadre of Thai massage therapists who stand at the ready in the spa. The price, on the other hand, he might not be such a fan of, with the property’s top suite renting for $1,800 a night, making it an elite holiday destination.
(Photo courtesy of Saucy Salad/Flickr)
Spicy Christmas destination: Marrakech, Morocco
How Much?: $1,100 a night
Why?: This imperial city in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains has long been a celeb favourite destination for the holidays, drawing everyone from Winston Churchill to P. Diddy, who flew more than 300 of his closest friends to this exotic city for his birthday. Its mosques, gardens and famous souks seem like a perfect fit for a Christmas visit by Ryan Gosling-who, after all, co-owns a Moroccan restaurant in Beverley Hills. The Ksar Char Bagh, an ultra-luxe, mega-exotic spot just a short helicopter ride from the airport, features olive groves, 12 suites and a sumptuous apartment (rate starts at $1,100 per night) and on-site hammam, might just be a great home away from home.
(Photo courtesy of Uriolat/Flickr)
Christmas Downunder: Bondi Beach, Australia
How Much?: Free! (sort of)
Why?: While Canadians think of bells on bobtail, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and falling snow around Christmas, for those Down Under, the holidays are about sun, sandy beaches, and putting another shrimp on the barbie. And the best place to do that? Bondi Beach, near Sydney, a one-kilometre strip of heaven where surfers catch some of the best waves in New South Wales-perfect for a skater/surfer like Avril Lavigne, who has been spotted around the world on her board(s). Since Australia enjoys reverse seasonal temperatures from North America, it’s long been a favourite Christmas holiday destination.
(Photo courtesy of Kudumomo/Flickr)
Spiritual destination: Goa, India
How Much?: $800 a night
Why?: Goa brings together the mystical, spiritual wonders of the subcontinent with the pleasures of sitting by the beach near a palm-frond bar, hat tipped low over your eyes, Kingfisher in hand. Build sandcastles instead of snowmen in this holiday destination. Perfect for a modern-day hippie like Alanis Morissette, going to Goa doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep in the sand-instead, you can rent out the $800-a-night Vista Suite at the local Park Hyatt, which includes all the comforts of home (and then some) in this exotic location.
(Photo by Tim Johnson)
Star-sighting destinations: St. Barthélemy
How Much?: $500,000+ a week
Why?: Just 20 square kilometres in size, this tiny island in the flashing blue waters of the Caribbean packs a big celebrity punch. Every year, during “the season” (the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s), the horseshoe-shaped harbour in St. Barth is a pretty Christmas destination as it fills with mega-yachts carrying megawatt stars. With the cost of chartering a yacht sometimes running over half a mill for the week, you pretty much have to be a celeb with plenty of bucks in the bank, like Jim Carrey (who has almost half a bill in his account).
(Photo by Tim Johnson)
Holiday destinations: Wakaya Island, Fiji
How Much?: $7,000 a night
Why?: Canadian gold-mining entrepreneur David Gilmour rolls out the red carpet at this exclusive Christmas destination for the world’s biggest A-Listers at this private island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti Archipelago. Everyone from George Lucas to Tom Cruise and Steve Jobs have ponied up more than $7,000 a night to stay at his resort, Wakaya Club and Spa, which has just 10 luxury bungalows but more than 300 staff and four private beaches.
(Photo coutesy of Paul and Jill/Flickr)
Sunny holiday destinations: Palm Springs
How Much?: $1,000,000 and up
Why?: Set in the hot Southern California desert not far from Los Angeles, this favourite golf and spa destination has long been a magnet for Hollywood figures during the holiday season. With everyone from classic actors and singers (including Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe), to presidents like Dwight Eisenhower owning homes here, and the Springs still drawing current A-List stars to its luxurious homes (price tags routinely run into the millions), one wouldn’t be surprised to see a Hollywood kingpin like James Cameron out on the golf course or floating in a nearby pool. These Christmas destinations mixes old Hollywood glamour with resort charm.
(Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Holiday travel destinations: Buzios, Brazil
How Much?: $1,700 a night
Why?: Just a couple hours outside glamorous Rio de Janeiro, this charming place-set on a beautiful peninsula dotted with 26 beaches-was once the temporary home of Bridgette Bardot. The French femme fatale fled to these calmer shores and ended up staying for months. It wouldn’t be surprising to find someone who values their privacy, like songstresses Shania Twain or Celine Dion, soaking up the sun, then bedding down at Insolitos Boutique Hotel, whose $1,700 per night top suite includes distinctively Brazilian touches and a whirlpool out on the veranda, to take in the sunset. Why not make Brazil your holiday destination and stay for Christmas and New Years?
(Photo by Tim Johnson)
Looking to book a holiday getaway yourself? Check out our countdown of the 10 Most Festive Cities in the World!
Explore Reader’s Digest Canada.