One sure-fire way to get your product or brand noticed is when a popular celebrity makes use of it. From cosmetics to designer clothes to bags to shoes to cars, much-loved A-listers don’t have to be official endorsers. All they need to do is be seen in public donning these items, and you can be sure sales will skyrocket.
The same goes for hot spots, like restaurants and vacation destinations. Countless celebrities have put locations on the map just by being there, thanks to the paparazzi who publish their photos. Of course, most of the vacation spots they frolic in are out-of-this-world expensive and completely unattainable by the common folk. However, an occasional splurge doesn't hurt and when you decide that you're willing to blow off some money for a much-needed break, you look into going to vacation spots of the stars.
Many of these destinations were already well-visited even before the celebrities decided to make these spots their playground. Some were completely under the radar until the Hollywood big names were spotted there. In no particular order, these are the go-to vacation spots nowadays, thanks to Hollywood and the nosy paparazzi who swarm around them like flies.
10 St. Barts
The Caribbean is always a favorite vacation spot, especially by tourists from cold countries. It provides a great escape from the winter and at the same time, is only a few hours’ plane ride away. Nestled within this group of islands is St. Barthelemy or St. Barts, as many regular visitors fondly call it. A volcanic island surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, this island is predominantly French in language, culture, and cuisine. Many sailboats and yachts dot the St. Barts shoreline and no doubt some of these yachts house a celebrity or so every once in a while. The likes of Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Uma Thurman have been photographed on the secluded island.
9 Necker Island, British Virgin Isles
Within the British Virgin Islands is a small, private piece of land owned by British billionaire Richard Branson. Though it’s his own private property, the 74-acre island is run like a resort and welcomes a maximum of 28 guests at a time. Necker Island is offered as a wedding venue and vacation spot to guests who are willing to pay a hefty price for a resort that has its own private submarine. Bigwigs like Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Princess Diana have stayed there at one time or another.
8 Ipanema Beach, Brazil
Ever since the song, “The Girl from Ipanema” made waves, the beach for which the song is named after has become a popular tourist spot. With clear blue waters, fine sand, and great restaurants and hotels, it’s no wonder many a celebrity has been spotted walking along its shores, such as Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Carnival season is especially star-studded, as the likes of Gerard Butler and Madonna have been seen partying up a storm in Ipanema at that time. Many stars stay at the Fasano Hotel and are seen dining at the famous restaurant, Al Mare in the same hotel.
7 Turtle Island, Fiji
The islands in the South Pacific have some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. Fiji always seemed as remote as it was unreachable to the western world. However, Turtle Island in Fiji is now famous, thanks to some of the celebrities in the music world who have stepped onto its shores. Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline vacationed there in 2005. That’s where married couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson honeymooned, as well. The resort has 14 private beaches and allows only 14 couples at a time, that’s one couple per island!
6 Puerto Banus, Spain
Spain caters to all types of beach lovers. The party-going set can enjoy non-stop music and dancing along the shores of Ibiza. Those looking for a quiet retreat lean more towards Majorca. Then there’s the uber wealthy, yacht-owning crowd who are taken by the beauty of Puerto Banus. A marina and shopping complex with expensive shops and restaurants, Puerto Banus has been the playground of the rich and richer since the 1950's. It’s been frequented by the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and more recently, David Beckham, Bruce Willis, and Antonio Banderas.
5 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Since it’s a mere two-hour plane ride from Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas is the logical go-to place of celebrities when they want to get away from the madding crowd. Located in the southern tip of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, Cabo is known for its beaches, great scuba diving spots, and luxury resorts and spas. Due to the weather being consistently and pleasantly warm, big stars visit it all year round. Jennifer Aniston is known to fly there every other week and she’s been seen with her then-husband Brad Pitt and occasionally with her Friends co-star, Courteney Cox.
4 Las Vegas
Due to proximity, Las Vegas is another destination that many of the stars visit regularly. Just 45 minutes away from Los Angeles by plane, Sin City is the mecca of casinos, extravagant shows, resorts, parties, and all things decadent. Hotel casinos dot the strip, but it’s in Tao Beach that you’ll see the occasional celebrity soaking in the sun. Dance clubs like Surrender and XS are likewise hot spots for such celebrity party-people like Paris Hilton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lauren Conrad, and Usher.
3 Lake Como, Italy
The lake districts of Italy are some of the most beautiful tourist spots in Europe and Lake Como is probably the most well-known. Its breathtaking landscape and rich wildlife has made it a venue for renting beautiful resorts and villas, sailing, windsurfing and other water activities. The lakeside villas have stood along Como’s shores since the Roman times and they boast of beautiful gardens with fountains and sculptures. Celebrities like Madonna, George Clooney, and Sylvester Stallone own or have owned a villa on its shores at one time or another.
Ever since Elvis Presley featured his favorite vacation spot Hawaii in three of his movies, the cluster of islands has become a top tourist destination. Celebrities and common folk alike travel year-round to Hawaii, as there’s something there for everyone, whether it’s Oahu, Maui or Waikiki. Many celebrities have chosen Hawaii for their wedding destination, the most recent of who was Megan Fox when she wed Brian Austin Green. The best place to celebrity-watch is in the Four Seasons Resorts in Maui and Wailea.
1 The French Riviera
The Cote d'Azur has always been synonymous to wealth, opulence, and extravagance. How many movies have been set in this part of the world that don’t depict something of decadence? Here, it’s commonplace to see Ferraris and Lamborghinis zipping through the streets and every other woman carrying a Birkin or a Chanel. An indication of how popular this spot is among celebrities? The Cannes Film Festival is held there every year, attended by many big stars, who rent private yachts. The late Princess Diana and her sons were often seen zipping down a speed boat in Saint-Tropez and other regular vacationers are Catherine Zeta-Jones, Victoria Beckham, and Tom Cruise.