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Don't know whether to laugh or tear my hair out and run around screaming 'the end is nigh' for surely when we get to the stage of building private swimming pools for celebrities, civilisation has come to an end. I mean, the Roman empire collapsed under far less decadence, no? Ok, maybe it's just me then.
This, from Miami Herald:
This, from Miami Herald:
VIP? There’s a Very Important Pool for you
A handful of Miami-Dade hotels offers secluded sunbathing and swim time for the paparazzi-shy.
• Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach: The Tresor penthouse pool is 16 feet long and three to six feet deep; the Sorrento penthouse pool is 36 feet long and three feet deep. Both cost $5,000 a night. The Tresor tower main pool is 56 feet long and five feet deep; the Sorrento pool is 50 feet long and the same depth. Celebrities can ask to use these pools, accessible through private entrances and open only to owners of units in the towers, for no extra fee if they want more privacy than the main pool allows.
BY HANNAH SAMPSON
19 December 2010
All you want is to take a dip in the pool and catch some sun in peace. But if your last name is DiCaprio, Kardashian or Z (as in Jay-), that’s not so easy to do, thanks to a curious public and vigilant pack of paparazzi.
Enter hotels like the Shore Club and Fontainebleau, which have private pool areas set aside for the famous … or just well-to-do and private.
Later this month, the W South Beach Hotel & Residences will become the latest local hotel to offer a pool for VIP use, complete with tall hedges, gates that secure the area and a Beverly Hills-inspired mural.
The relative surge in VIP pools over the last few years offers another glimpse into the highly competitive hotel market in South Florida, where celebrities add a luster that can bring hotels a posh reputation … and the clientele and rates that follow. Some pools are available to high-profile guests at no extra fee, while others are mere perks for spending between $10,000-$30,000 a night on top accommodations.
Since the W South Beach opened in 2009, it has hosted a slew of movie, sports, television and music stars, including LeBron James for the celebration after he announced his move to the Miami Heat. Celebrities who wanted privacy before had to make do with small plunge pools in some units. “Sometimes they like to be in a very public setting,’’ said manager George Cozonis. “You often have celebrities who want a more exclusive, private, secluded area.’’
Pools provide a background for party scenes … and photo ops … all over the country, including celebrity hangouts like New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Some hotels, like The Mirage in Las Vegas, have separate pools that can be roped off. But many … like the W Hollywood and both Gansevoort hotels in Manhattan … say privacy is available in VIP cabanas or sitting areas rather than individual pools.
While some celebrities guarantee privacy by vacationing on secluded islands or even security-heavy Fisher Island in Miami-Dade, hotels in Miami Beach make their private grounds strict paparazzi-free zones, while acknowledging they can’t control access to adjacent public areas and beaches.
“The paparazzi are very well versed in being able to peek their head over the fence,’’ said Eric Gavin, regional marketing director for Morgans Hotel Group, which includes the Shore Club. “They all manage to get into the bushes, get the higher ground, shoot through the bushes,’’ said Seth Browarnik, a celebrity photographer with official access at hot spots around Miami Beach. “If they want their shots, they typically get them.’’
Browarnik, whose photos are published in magazines, in The Miami Herald and on his blog, worldredeye.com, said that while some famous visitors are fine with being spotted in public, private pools are good options for A-list stars like Beyonce and hubby Jay-Z, and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
“Naomi Campbell I don’t think you’re going to see sitting outside at the Fontainebleau pool with 3,000 other people,’’ he said. “I think Naomi Campbell wants to be a little more exclusive and hidden.’’
For Naomi or anyone else who wants to take a discreet swim, the Fontainebleau has four private options: pools in two penthouse suites (cost: $5,000-a-night) as well as one each in the Tresor and Sorrento towers … no extra fee for As an added amenity, the towers have a private entrance as well. Presidents past and present as well as stars including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and George Clooney have taken advantage of those privacy options, the hotel said.
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Gee, if I could swim, I'd pay $5000 to go there - NOT!!!!
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