Tag: Celebrity Travel Watch

Famous Writers Wrote Here

Over at National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog, Charles Kulander has a roundup of eight hotels where big-name writers—from Graham Greene to Louis L’Amour to Hemingway—did their work. Some of the entries even include specific room numbers for traveling writers looking to borrow some leftover inspiration.

He writes:

The greatest hotels—those places that summon up the culture, history, and character of a destination—are the modern equivalent of a muse, inspiring writers and guests alike to look at the world from a new perspective.

Paparazzi Fishing at the Baggage Claim

The Los Angeles Times covers the work habits of celebrity photographers who camp out at LAX:

If tips are scarce, photographers make their own luck by “fishing”—strolling the terminal baggage claims and entrances for shots. Airport paparazzi scour crowds less for actual famous people than for signs that actual famous people are about to appear. A shiny black Escalade with tinted windows. A muscle-bound man with an earpiece. And, above all, the “star greeter,” hired by movie studios and other companies to whisk VIPs through lines at the airport. Airport photographers tend to memorize the greeters’ faces, walks, wardrobes and client lists.

Cruise the Middle East with James A. Baker and Bill Moyers

You don’t see too many cruises with such an impressive roster of intellectual heavyweights aboard (with the notable exception, of course, of the historic 2007 “Gimme Three Days” Concert Cruise featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special).

It’s called the World Leaders Symposium Middle East. From the Abercrombie & Kent release that landed in my in-box this morning:

Abercrombie & Kent presents the World Leaders Symposium Middle East, an extraordinary journey through countries that remain a mystery to many Westerners, in the company of those who know it best, including former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III; former Egyptian first lady Jehan Sadat and veteran journalist Bill Moyers. Travel beyond the headlines on this once-in-a-lifetime trip (December 29, 2010-January 12, 2011) to engage in dynamic discussions with these and other experts who offer authoritative analysis and personal perspectives on the rich culture of the Middle East; the current political situation; and the ideas, people and possibilities shaping the future.

Designed for travellers who seek a deeper knowledge and appreciation of this complex region, this Marco Polo Club Invitational features a seven-night cruise aboard the luxurious ‘Silver Wind’ that originates in Dubai and includes stops in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Prices start at a cool $19,990.

Travel Predictions for 2010

This just in: The Jersey shore will become the new Hamptons!

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David Lynch: ‘Interview Project’

David Lynch’s excellent travel web series, Interview Project, follows a team of filmmakers (led by Austin Lynch, David’s son, and Jason S.) as they take a 20,000-mile road trip across the States and back, talking with local folks. The resulting webisodes each feature one subject and function like intimate four-minute character studies.

We think a lot about how liberating a journey can be for the traveler, but often that liberation is contagious, and people we meet on the road open up to us in ways they normally wouldn’t. This project is a lovely example of the unique exchange between the traveler and the local. As Lynch puts it in his intro “it’s something that’s human, and you can’t stay away from it.”

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Update: Eating in Rome With Julia Roberts

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Update: Eating in Rome With Julia Roberts Photo by fotologic via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by fotologic via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The actress has been spotted at restaurants and markets around the city as filming for the first phase of Eat, Pray, Love gets under way. Meanwhile, since our last update, Billy Crudup, Viola Davis and (rumor has it) James Franco have all signed on to the project—fine additions to an already outstanding supporting cast.

Beirut: It’s Hot Again!

What do Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton and the members of Keane have in common? According to Global Post, they’re among the celebrities who’ve popped up in Beirut this summer, part of the city’s resurgence as “the party and cultural headquarters of the Middle East” after three years of violence and turmoil. And, happily for the Lebanese economy, the tourists are following in Snoop Dogg’s footsteps—in record numbers.

Shakira Says There’s no Such Thing as a Worst Trip

So she tells Dorinda Elliott at Conde Nast Traveler. Right on, Shakira.

Dr. Phil Hops Aboard the Acela

Dr. Phil Hops Aboard the Acela Photo by Danielle Scott via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Danielle Scott via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The talk show host and self-help kingpin will film a special episode on Amtrak’s Acela Express on September 9, Gawker reports. According to the press release, Dr. Phil will be “speaking with Amtrak customers about everyday problems.” Somebody see if he can do something about those rubbery, microwaved turkey sandwiches, OK?

A Trip to Comic-Con in Celebrity Tweets

I’ll admit, I’ve never paid much attention to Comic-Con, San Diego’s annual geekfest spectacular. In fact, I’d never even heard of it until the teenage characters on “The O.C.” used it as a pretext for an illicit Tijuana road trip. But for thousands of people from across the U.S., and even around the world, it’s the travel event of the year—and this time around I too found myself following along, through the tweets of my favorite Hollywood celebrities.

Herewith, a brief, vicarious trip through the wacky world of the Con, from departure to exhausted arrival home:

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Sam Neill: ‘You Can’t Beat a Flat Bed’

Sam Neill: ‘You Can’t Beat a Flat Bed’ Publicity still from "Jurassic Park" via Hollywood.com
Publicity still from “Jurassic Park” via Hollywood.com

The Kiwi actor, best known for his roles in “The Piano” and “Jurassic Park,” recently shared some funny and thoughtful travel reflections with the Independent. Among the highlights? Neill looks for “a sense of enquiry and wonder” in his travel companions, he finds grand old hotels “uncomfortable, patronising and with hideous furniture,” and he firmly believes that a first-class reclining seat is worth it on the red-eye: “You can’t beat a flat bed. It’s hardly a profound thought, but if you can sleep on a plane, you can function at the other end ... I know I should be waxing lyrical about other cultures, but the bed takes precedence, I’m afraid.”

Canadians in the U.S.: What Do They Miss About Canada?

Here’s a Canada Day treat from the New York Times: Eleven Canadians living in the United States talk about missing, among other things, hockey highlights, universal health coverage, the Canadian Mosaic and the “u” in color.

Australia’s Prime Minister: ‘Hotter Than Obama’

Australia’s Prime Minister: ‘Hotter Than Obama’ Publicity still via IGN
Publicity still via IGN

That was the verdict from Bruno, comedian Sasha Baron Cohen’s gay Austrian alter ego, during a visit to Sydney for his movie‘s Australian premiere. Said the ostensible fashion TV reporter after meeting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: “That guy is like, uber-cute. I thought Obama was like the hottest guy in the world until I met Kevin.”

Ooh. Them’s fighting words, Bruno. President Obama, care to respond?

When the President Goes to Vegas: Hail Obama?

When the President Goes to Vegas: Hail Obama? Photo by Alexander Basek
Inside Caesars Palace. Photo by Alexander Basek

It’s easy to ignore the language surrounding hotel stays. Spas have therapists and there’s a concierge or a butler for your pillow and your bath. In fact, it gets to be difficult when you need something but don’t know whom you’re supposed to talk to about it. Does an order for ice fall under the purview of the cooling concierge or the cocktail consultant? We may never know the answer.

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Puerto Rico

Hunter S. Thompson’s Puerto Rico Photo by Oquendo via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Oquendo via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Johnny Depp’s been on the Puerto Rico set of “The Rum Diary” for about a month now, and interest is building in the film, an adaptation of an early Hunter S. Thompson novel. The story follows journalist Paul Kemp (played by Depp) as he flees New York City for a small newspaper on the island, where hard drinking and treacherous expat intrigues ensue.

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Noel Gallagher on ‘This Swine Flu Malarky’

Noel Gallagher on ‘This Swine Flu Malarky’ Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Sarihuella via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Some days, I honestly don’t know how we ever got along without celebrity bloggers weighing in on the news of the day. The latest celeb-turned-citizen-journalist? Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, who reports from the Caracas airport about swine flu paranoia.

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Hello? Is it Greece You’re Looking For?

Hello? Is it Greece You’re Looking For? Photo by jonrawlinson via Flickr (Creative Commons)

With a new album on the way, Lionel Richie is making the media rounds—and he’s landed in the pages of the Telegraph travel section, dishing on his best and worst travel memories.

Turns out, the R&B/easy listening legend is itching to get to Greece, he dreads being spotted mid-meal at a restaurant (“all I need is if the pianist starts playing ‘Three Times a Lady’”) and his favorite hotel is Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace. (“Now I know why I couldn’t get the marble for my house—they have it all. I couldn’t find the bougainvillea I wanted—they have it. Everything I needed for my house in California, they have it.”) The average traveler may not be able to relate to his experiences or advice—remember: “don’t let your entourage pack for you”—but they still make for an entertaining read.

Hollywood Heads to Bollywood

Hollywood Heads to Bollywood Photo by Meanest Indian via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Turns out, it really is a small world after all. Kylie Minogue has wrapped up filming for an upcoming Bollywood flick, “Blue,” making her one of the first big-name Western stars to land on a Mumbai sound stage. “I don’t feel that I’m necessarily at the forefront of a Hollywood-Bollywood crossover because I don’t consider myself Hollywood,” Minogue told the Telegraph. “But I do think this could be the start of something. The fact that I’m here shows it could be the start of something.”

Early signs suggest she’s right—Sylvester Stallone is set to do the Bollywood thing later this year. And—rumor has it!—Arnold Schwarzenegger will be joining him. Could the Bolly/Hollywood fusion become another wonder of our shrinking planet?

I’m all for it.

Richard Gere: World-Changing Innkeeper

The Hollywood superstar recently bought and restored a derelict 18th-century Westchester inn, and—as he and his wife recently told New York magazine—they’re hoping to make it into much more than a spot for a good meal or a night’s rest. “I want this to be a place where the minds of people who could change the world would meet,” said Gere. (Via NewYorkology)

And the Eco-Vacation Oscar Goes to ...

And the Eco-Vacation Oscar Goes to ... Photo by dagpeak via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Host Hugh Jackman and the losers! As part of a sweet “Everybody Wins at the Oscars!” deal, tour operator Lindblad Expeditions will host Jackman, all the non-winning acting nominees and best director nominees on a 10-day trip to the Galapagos, National Geographic Adventure reports.

I’m dying of jealousy, and not because I want to hang with Brangelina and the rest of the glitterati—but with the ancient tortoises and Galapagos penguins! Hope, too, that this announcement doesn’t mean a crush of paparazzi and crazed fans trampling on these fragile enchanted islands.

How about if Lindblad just sends me and my little footprints instead?