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How to Vacation Like a Celebrity

by Karen Kwan

You see photos of Diddy popping open Cristal in the Hamptons and starlets sunbathing on sleek yachts and you might think that shiny toys and fancy bubbly are the things that celeb vacays are made of (and, yes, of course, they are). But they’re also about escaping the paparazzi, and so many of the spots they choose for vacation revolve not around the bling, but the privacy.

Where to Enjoy Nature Like a Celeb

Sonora Resort is tight-lipped about which A-list celebs have stayed here, but from the level of luxury (and the fact that Michelle Pfieffer and David E. Kelley own an expansive property nearby), it’s easy to see why they’ve been to this property. First off, one of the few ways to get to Sonora is by helicopter, which in itself makes it quite remote and special (seaplane is another option).

The property itself is the only thing on Sonora Island, and guests are surrounded by nothing but fresh air, tall trees and the ocean. But you will not be roughing it when it comes to the food: the gourmet fare prepared by executive chef Terry Pichor will have you looking forward to every meal (do not miss the fish ‘n’ chips, or the signature Sonora Bar, which includes a lovely mix of sweet and savoury ingredients, for dessert).

Credit: Karen Kwan

Credit: Karen Kwan

Instead of the paparazzi, the only thing celebs here would have to worry about encountering is wildlife. On an eco adventure tour, I saw dozens of eagles, several seals, a sea lion and a few black bears (not to mention that you probably get a glimpse of Pfeiffer’s home, too, while out on the tour). If you’re a dog lover, there are three beautiful golden retrievers on the resort, Piper, Lucky and Stella, and you’re welcome to take one or two of them with you on a hike. Yes, you get your own dog here! Combine all of this with a visit to the spa and a morning yoga class, and it’s the perfect antidote to a life of being hounded by autograph seekers.

Where to Have a Beach Vacay Like a Celeb

When having your welcome tour around the property at Viceroy Riviera Maya, I dare you to not have your mouth hanging open. The chic pool is a welcome sight under the hot sun, and the handsome library screams for you to kick back and enjoy a nightcap with friends. As for the winding pathways through the property, they actually don’t offer much of a view other than the tropical trees, but that’s because the villas are über private. Bar the path to your villa’s door with the heavy rope, and you’re guaranteed not to be disturbed—a perk, I’m sure, that Molly Simms appreciated when she vacationed here with some girlfriends. With a private pool, sun deck, hammock, gorgeous outdoor shower and a Champagne-stocked minibar, there’s little reason she and her gal pals would have had to leave the villa.

Credit: Karen Kwan

Credit: Karen Kwan

Breathe in the salty air and sip on a mango mojito as you lounge on a chaise, or dine on phenomenal authentic Mexican dishes, such as the pastel azteca at breakfast. And as for the resort staff? Think secret-service-like efficiency combined with the utmost grace and warmth.

How to Organize a Trip Like a Celeb

If you’re wondering how the A-listers organize a trip, well, they leave it to someone else to do. Although Unlimited Personal Services has been around for a couple of years, this company has just now added concierge services to their offerings. Building off of their existing relationships with private jet companies, event planners, hotels and airlines, you can call Unlimited and essentially have all of your travel and itinerary needs met, from the limo pick-up at the airport to getting into the hottest party in town after the dinner reservation they’ve booked for you.

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