What do Olivia Newton-John, Bono and Robert De Niro have in common? They all own hotels. And these celebs know a thing or two about how to treat a guest, Leah McLennan writes.

Costa D'este Beach Resort & Spa, Vero Beach, Florida

Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio's resort is beside kilometres of pristine golden sand beaches in Florida. Each of the 94 rooms feature lavish decor and pets receive VIP treatment. There are enough pools and hot tubs to have you waterlogged in no time.

Gaia Retreat & Spa, Byron Bay, NSW

Olivia Newton-John's retreat is in the stunning hinterland of Byron Bay. It bills itself as an "unpretentious retreat" where "barefoot meets Armani". If you're looking to lose weight, detoxify, de-stress, get fit, or just find peace and serenity this place could help you. Recent guests include pyjama king Peter Alexander, fashion designer Peter Morrissey and singer Delta Goodrem, who wrote in the guestbook: "It's breathtakingly beautiful and the people are so friendly and charming, you won't want to leave".

Makepeace Island, Noosa, Queensland

This heart-shaped island is a few minutes upstream from Noosa Heads and is owned by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Blue Australia co-founder Brett Godfrey.

The island accommodates up to 22 castaways exclusively and all the attractions the Sunshine Coast has to offer are a mere boat ride away.


Bedford Post Inn, New York

Richard Gere's Bedford Post in Bedford, Westchester County, an hour north of New York, is home to an eight-room luxury inn, a yoga studio, and two restaurants.

Westchester resident Gere and two other locals in 2007 restored the historic property, which dates back to the 1860s.

The Clarence, Dublin, Ireland

U2's Bono and The Edge (with a consortium of Irish investors) bought one of their old haunts in Dublin in 1992 with a view to restoring it to its former glory. This 50-room hotel is elegant, luxurious and yet, unpretentious. It's on the River Liffey and it is no doubt where the owners would choose to stay when visiting Dublin.

Blancaneaux Resort, Belize

American film director Francis Ford Coppola has three properties in Central America - La Lancha Resort in Guatemala and Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize. In the early 1980s, Coppola visited Belize and immediately fell in love with the location. He bought the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge and used it as a family retreat before he opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993.

The lodge is tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains and is a 20-room luxury resort hotel where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy.

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Gold Coast, Queensland

Part-owned by Hugh Jackman, this 200ha Gold Coast hinterland property has luxurious accommodation and a 33-room spa surrounded by rainforest.

At Gwinganna you're encouraged to get fit, healthy, relax and switch off from the fast pace of modern life.

The Greenwich Hotel, New York

Robert De Niro's stunning hotel has 88 rooms and suites, of which no two are alike.

Furnishings draw from a wide range of cultural influences, from hand-loomed Tibetan silk rugs to English leather settees. Bathrooms are designed in unique patterns of hand-laid Moroccan tile or Italian Carrara marble.