3 of a kind: Movie stars' hotels
BIG SLEEP HOTEL, ENGLAND, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne.Tel:0044-1323-722676, thebigsleephotel.com
The Killing Fieldsand Dangerous Liaisonsstar John Malkovich has a bit of edge about him – something that moved Charlie Kaufman to write the film Being John Malkovich– so it comes as no surprise that the hotel chain he is involved with is a bit quirky. The Big Sleep group has three hotels in Britain, with a low-budget, high-style remit. Big Sleep in Eastbourne (pictured), the Regency coastal town complete with pier, has 50 bedrooms, some with sea views. The chic interior includes wallpaper and upholstery by Orla Kiely. The Cardiff hotel has 81 rooms and the Cheltenham one has 60. Perhaps this is a new departure for Malkovich who once said: “I still don’t know if I made the right decision when I went into acting. I have driven school buses, sold egg rolls and painted houses, and I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn’t gone into acting. Mind you, it’s a great life, going around pretending you’re other people and getting paid ridiculous sums of money for it.”
Rooms:Singles, doubles, twins, family suites, studio apartments and a dedicated disabled access room. All are en suite and some have wet areas. They start at £25 (€30) a night, including breakfast.
BLANCANEAUX LODGE, BELIZE
Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Central Farm, Cayo District. Tel: 00501-8244914, coppolaresorts.com
When asked about creating remote resorts in jungle areas of the Caribbean, director Francis Ford Coppola said he wasn’t fazed: “It’s like being on location for a movie – you bring everything with you or build it yourself.” He has a number of resorts in Belize and Guatemala. His Blancaneaux Lodge resort is in a remote part of Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. It comprises comfortable cabanas, whose thatched roofs, outdoor living space and hammocks blend with the surrounding countryside. This includes tropical trees, ancient shrubs, ravines, waterfalls and gushing rivers and resonated with the Godfather director’s experience of filming Apocalypse Now in lush areas of the Philippines.
Rooms:There are 10 cabins and seven villas on stilts, with high ceilings, Japanese tubs, local fabrics and phones made from conch shells (or “shellphones”). Rooms are in various sizes. Prices from $255 (€199) a cabin a night.
THE GREENWICH HOTEL, US
377 Greenwich Street, New York.
Tel: 001-212-941 8900, thegreenwichhotel.com
Taxi Driverand Raging Bullactor Robert De Niro co-owns this hotel in TriBeCa. De Niro and his partners (including his son Raphael) wanted a warm hotel made from hand-crafted materials; that feel starts in the lobby where there are leaded glass windows and reclaimed oak beams creating the ambience of a traditional club.
They scoured the world for craftspeople and reclaimed natural materials. Rescued items include beams from a Civil War-era factory due for demolition, door-pulls from the demolished Philadelphia Convention Center, doors made from New England barn floors and mirrors made from antique glass salvaged from the landmark Flatiron Building. All of the furniture was custom-made and includes leather pieces by English company Beaumont Fletcher.
De Niro, whose father was half Irish, is a committed New Yorker. “Some people say, ‘New York’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there’. I say that about other places. I like New York because I can still walk the streets and sit down in a bar or restaurant and observe people. If you can’t properly observe, as an actor, you’re finished.”
Rooms: There are 88 rooms, all decorated individually, with hand-loomed Tibetan silk rugs, Moroccan tiles and handmade Italian terracotta floors. All rooms have Dux beds, oak floors, soaking tubs, and libraries. Some have saunas and fireplaces. There are two duplex suites and a penthouse apartment. From $450 (€350.50) a night.