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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Hotels of the Rich and Famous

in: Travel and Hospitality


Thanks to Steve Lee of the Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, I recently visited Palm Springs and attended their International Film Festival, because that’s just what us Hollywood types do. Along with spotting Kate Winslet, Steve Carrell and Johnny Depp, I got a chance to see the wonderful Indian Wells Resort Hotel (pictured here) which was founded by Hollywood legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1957. Those two were well ahead of their time, as it seems owning hotels has become quite a “thing” amongst the star studded cast of Hollywood’s A-list. Book a meeting at one of these properties and your attendees may just bump into a celebrity!

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is a wellness destination that promised to “soothe your soul and inspire you to live a healthier life.” The website says it is “Australian owned and operated,” but I happen to have found out that one of the co-owners is a rather popular Australian by the name of Hugh Jackman. Located on the Gold Coast, Gwinganna seems the perfect spot to rest up, revive and rejuvenate so you can resume the starring role in your own lifetime drama. Special note: I do not recommend the Wolverine Massage.

Bedford Post Inn (or should I say Second Best Bedford Post Inn) is located in Wechester County, NY. It’s an eight-room luxury inn and yoga studio that is also home to a couple of restaurants, The Barn and Campagna. Most rooms have a working fireplace said to enhance the “cozy and romantic feel.” Part-owner Richard Gere welcomes all, even if you are a Pretty Woman, American Gigolo or Runaway Bride.

Gaia Retreat & Spa, also in Australia, is “majestically poised on the highest point in the Byron Shire.” You won’t find Xanadu here, but you will find an intimate, boutique retreat that aims to nurture and replenish – they even promise to supply ongoing support once you get back to the real world. The cast of Gaia, one of which is Olivia Newton-John, invites you to come de-stress, de-toxify and de-Grease.

The Greenwich Hotel in New York is filled with lovely suites and penthouses. Personally, I would feel quite at home in the N. Moore Penthouse. There is also a fabulous restaurant, Locanda Verde, and a fancy spa. The website shares a neighborhood guide so you can plan where to shop and eat, during your stay. If the guide does not help you, you can always ask your Taxi Driver. Co-owned by Robert DeNiro, it’s great place to hang out with your Goodfellas or go Meet the Parents. And yes, I am talkin’ to you.

Rigsbys Guest House is located in Doncaster, England. This Site Selection Manager likes that they state upfront, “Room pricing starts from £45.00 upwards, deals can be negotiated.” (I am forever the master negotiator for all my clients!) The rooms were recently refurbished by the new owner, which just happens to be Ronald Weasley aka Rupert Grint. Wizards and Muggles are all welcome.

Blackadore Caye is coming soon to an island not near you, that being Belize. The planned opening for this eco-resort is sometime in 2018. The resort will feature beautiful villas and an infinity pool for guests, while supplying artificial reefs and fish shelters for ocean life and a nursery to grow indigenous marine grass to support the area’s manatee population. From its Inception, the resort is being called “restorative,” meaning that the resort will have zero impact on the environment and actual help the island to heal. This comes to you from a group of folks, which include Leonardo DiCaprio. No, the Titanic is no longer available for group transportation.

If your meeting group is hoping to catch some stars, these locations may just fit the bill. That’s a wrap, Meeting Planner!

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