3 of a Kind
Hotels owned by musicians
HOTEL VILLA ANGELA, SICILY
Via Leonardo Da Vinci, Taormina, Sicily, Italy, tel: 0039-0942-28513, hotelvillaangela.com
Lead singer of Simple Minds, Jim Kerr, fell for Sicily and its people so hard when the Scottish band toured Italy that he opened a hotel there.
Hotel Villa Angela is above the historic town of Taormina and explosive views from the terrace encompass Mount Etna volcano and the Ionian Sea. The decor draws on the locality, with wrought iron, carved chestnut and Caltagirone ceramics.
“Hotel Villa Angela has become a huge part of my life,” said Kerr. “I find a surge of inspiration while I am there. As well as the surrounding array of colours and perfumes, there is just something in the air that makes me feel that I am in a place that I always wanted to be.”
Rooms: Each room has a furnished terrace, and they include “deluxe rooms” with views of the Etna volcano and the sea. “Deluxe superior” rooms have canopy beds and whirlpool baths, the junior suite has a king-size bed and whirlpool bath and the Etna suite has two bedrooms, a whirlpool bath and shower. The largest is a romantically styled Leonardo da Vinci suite. Doubles from €145.
COSTA D’ESTE, FLORIDA
3244 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, Florida, USA, tel: 001 772-562-9919, costadeste.com
Singer Gloria Estéfan and her producer husband, Emilio – who married in 1978 – diversified into hotels and restaurants in the 1990s, having made their money in the music business. As a child Gloria was photographed outside the Cardozo Hotel in South Beach, Miami, and when it came on the market she snapped it up.
The duo now have another, the Costa d’Este, in Vero Beach, Florida, about 200km north of Miami. The Miami-based couple – who naturally have stayed in many hotels in their touring career – wanted to bring homeliness to their hotels and, in this case, a taste of their own home. “Emilio and I love dark teak wood and incorporated the design element in the guestrooms,” Gloria told USA Today. “The teak wood gives the rooms a warm, cosy feeling, like in our own home. The linens are top-of-the-line Egyptian cotton, just like I use at home. We burn incense all day at home to create a relaxed atmosphere and do the same at Costa d’Este, and the Cardozo Hotel.” The hotel flows onto a beach of white sand and rolling surf, and has its own infinity pool.
Rooms: there are 94 rooms in various configurations, including four suites, some with sea views and balconies. Some bathrooms have marble baths and glass-walled showers with waterfall and rain settings, and two showerheads. Rooms from $140 (€114).
HOTEL RIVAL AB, STOCKHOLM
Mariatorget 3, Stockholm, Sweden, tel: 0046 8 545 789 00, rival.se
Benny Andersson of Abba owns this hotel but, while it has a theatrical air, it is in the form of an exciting contemporary look – enriched by an art deco and classical core – rather than an ode to satin-coated, glitter-splattered 1970s Europop. This former cinema, on central, pretty Mariatorget (locally called Maria) Square, was turned into a hotel in 2003 (with the help of interior designer Karin Ahlgren and architect Anders Bergkrantz). In the Persian-carpeted bistro the wall panels are made from pictures of actors, authors and artists.
The hotel also houses a 700-seater theatre and hosts music evenings, and there’s a cinema in the cocktail bar, while huge black-and-white film stills add drama to bedrooms. Glass lifts, chandeliers and lamps by Philippe Starck add to the dazzle. And – this being Sweden – there’s lots of well-appointed wood, including oak floors.
Rooms: There are 99 rooms, including standard to upgraded doubles, four singles and two suites. There’s a pillow menu to aid sleep and Crabtree Evelyn goodies for bathing. Among the selection of CDs to choose from in the rooms is, naturally, a copy of Abba Gold, but there are at least four things you will not find, from the hotel’s no-P list: “No pornographic movies, no pissoirs, no parasol in your drink and no praline on your pillow.” Doubles from SEK 1,495 (€121).