Hollywood and hotels
December 28, 2007 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Francis Ford Copolla owns the Blancaneaux Lodge, Clint Eastwood owns the 22-acre The Mission Ranch, John Malkovich owns The Big Sleep Hotel, Liz Hurley owns Number 11. What is it with movie people and hotels? And where are the arthouse establishments?
posted by MrMerlot (31 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What is it with movie people and hotels?

I think it has something to do with Kubrick. The Overlook. The Shining.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:39 AM on December 28, 2007


Or the Coen Brothers. Hotel Earle. Barton Fink.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 AM on December 28, 2007


After seeing No Country for Old Men, I wouldn't be surprised if the Coens owned a chain of motels.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 3:48 AM on December 28, 2007


Francis Ford Copolla owns the Blancaneaux Lodge, Clint Eastwood owns the 22-acre The Mission Ranch...

Is this phenomenon any different from John Travolta flying planes for Qantas airlines? It's just more conspicuous consumption to make the fans admire and envy the stars; owning an "arthouse establishment" doesn't quite garner the same mass admiration.


(FWIW, Atom Egoyan is part-owner of an arthouse cinema in Toronto. He's a Canadian director, so he probably doesn't count as a celebrity, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...)

posted by spoobnooble at 4:17 AM on December 28, 2007


Copolla's website is awful. I think the Turtle Inn is the place I saw in Placencia, Belize but after 5 minutes of looking at the official website I'm still not sure. (I know I could find out through Google. that's not the point.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:18 AM on December 28, 2007


Coppolla owns the Turtle Inn too
posted by MrMerlot at 4:49 AM on December 28, 2007


oh, and i just wondered if "arthouse" directors had the same hankering to open a hotel? Aki Kaurismaki used to own a Finnish lodge, but now its a recovery centre for alchoholics
posted by MrMerlot at 4:55 AM on December 28, 2007


Copolla's website is awful.

Copolla's Napa vineyard is awful, too. It is incredibly tackily appointed (replete with some horrendous Chihulys lying about here and there), and overly garish in every way. I suppose it's how he can internally justify his overpriced wines.
posted by psmealey at 5:07 AM on December 28, 2007


Or there is Musha Cay - a small gropu f several islands owned by David Copperfield that accommodate up to 20. That is where Sergey Brin got married. Lodgings allegedly went for $325,000 a week.

Rock musicians play this game too. The Lazy Meadow in the Catskills is owned by B52's Kate Pierson and looks quite fun and funky. More luxurious is Mick Jagger's Stargroves Villa in Mustique. In Dublin, Bono & The Edge own The Clarence.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:20 AM on December 28, 2007


He also owns La Lancha in Guatemala.

Was the fpp inspired by this Newsweek article?
posted by JaredSeth at 5:21 AM on December 28, 2007


Add Leslie Caron to the list. She is the proprietress of "La Lucarne aux Chouettes", an inn in Burgundy.
posted by missmerrymack at 5:43 AM on December 28, 2007


It makes total sense to me. How many times have you seen a great place ruined because the original proprietor retired and someone else came in who didn't care the same? If you had the money and could "save" a place like that that you loved, wouldn't you?
posted by smackfu at 5:55 AM on December 28, 2007


It might have something to do with the fact hotels can generate a metric shit-ton of money? What I don't understand is why pro athletes always invest in restaurants, which seems a lot more hit and miss.
posted by absalom at 5:55 AM on December 28, 2007


It might have something to do with the fact hotels can generate a metric shit-ton of money?

Shouldn't that be a metric shit-tonne?
posted by freem at 6:16 AM on December 28, 2007


I imagine these people own lots of things some of which happen to be hotels.
posted by srboisvert at 6:53 AM on December 28, 2007


I find this odd. If I was an artist with disposable cash, I'd invest it in art. I guess art wouldn't bring in the profits, so I can understand hotels and restaurants from a business point-of-view. But such investments wouldn't interest me beyond that.

I barely have enough money to produce my own shows. But if I can enough to do that with more left over, I'd spend the surplus on other people's shows.
posted by grumblebee at 7:08 AM on December 28, 2007


So you would be the rich theater producer, which is also quite a cliche.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on December 28, 2007


If you don't need the income from every last room every day, maybe owning an interesting hotel in an interesting place means your friends and family can come and visit you without actually getting in your way -- they get their nice clean beds, toilets, showers, room service, etc., all on the house, they do stuff with you, and when they leave you let the hotel staff take care of the mess as usual. No problems for anyone (unless your friends are like Keith Moon reincarnated).

And when your friends leave town, you aren't stuck with a big, empty house, you're back to making money on the rooms.
posted by pracowity at 8:00 AM on December 28, 2007


So you would be the rich theater producer, which is also quite a cliche.

Yes. But who cares? Whether or not I'm a cliche seems much less interesting/important than getting good plays produced.
posted by grumblebee at 8:05 AM on December 28, 2007


Jay-Z Plans To Open Hotel In Manhattan.
posted by liam at 9:02 AM on December 28, 2007


I think pracowity has it. It's a perfect place to entertain, even up to and including fairly large groups of people, without having some ridiculously ostentatiously big home. And when you aren't having lots of personal visitors, it could be making you money.

grumblebee : I'd invest it in art.

Who says that they don't? I would think that your own personal hotel would be an excellent place to display works that you are proud of.

Hell, I'd love to have my own little hotel/ bed and breakfast/ ranch, but I don't think that the reaction "Oooh, we might get to see quin" has the same kind of pull as maybe getting to see Hurley or Eastwood hanging out at their side business.
posted by quin at 9:12 AM on December 28, 2007


F1 driver and Monaco resident David Coulthard owns the Hotel Columbus near Casino Square.
posted by wfc123 at 9:55 AM on December 28, 2007


These guys aren't alums of SAC Capital. Hotels are vanity locations that can also be something of a cash cow. Is it the best use of their disposable cash? Can they earn their returns on something higher? Yeah, most definitely, but this is sort of a cash cow. If you had a lot of rich friends who like spending money on things like hotels and being around other rich, celebrity friends, I'd use my social capital on a hotel. It is relatively simple to own and maintain, and if you have large families (like Copolla), it makes more sense than putting everyone up at your house and having to pay servants. Sure, you don't see Liz Hurley entering into any complicate straddles when she notices the volatility skew of the Euro is off, because it is much easier to put a posh hotel in the middle of town than it is to begin worrying about skew gamma.
posted by geoff. at 10:40 AM on December 28, 2007


Vanity hotel + publicity from super-celeb ownership + blocked off suite of rooms for when the celeb wants to go on a discreet vacation == profitable awesomeness to the max.

Plus, "I own a grand hotel" is a bit more sane and sound financially and socially than "I own a huge house that I only visit a few days out of the year"
posted by davejay at 11:24 AM on December 28, 2007


I don't think these celebrities own these places in the usual sense. I think a developer says "Let me build a hotel/restaurant and we'll put your name on it. You promise to do x amount of promotion for the building and in return you get a piece of the action." Cf the now defunct Fashion Cafe.
posted by zorro astor at 12:06 PM on December 28, 2007


no i think they all own them. In the sense that they've put there own money in.
posted by MrMerlot at 1:12 PM on December 28, 2007


Rock musicians play this game, too.

Eric Clapton owns a hotel of sorts in Antigua.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:18 PM on December 28, 2007


Yes, for instance Malkovich. But he doesn't own it in the same sense that he owns a house... he's an investor with a non-controlling share.
posted by smackfu at 1:18 PM on December 28, 2007


investor, part-owner, what's the difference?
posted by MrMerlot at 2:57 PM on December 28, 2007


Whether you can tell them what to do.
posted by smackfu at 3:22 PM on December 28, 2007


I've stayed at Blancaneaux and eaten at Turtle Inn and La Lancha. I recommend them all. Blancaneaux used to be the Coppola family's vacation home and writing retreat in the Belizean rainforest, and while it's very pleasant it's neither smart nor plush... nor premium-priced. The other two are more commercial and more easily accessible, but none of them are large by European or north American standards. They are, if you like, arthouse hotels. Coppola's touch is evident throughout Blancaneaux, and not just because his wines are on the wine-list and his magazines lie on the table in the lobby.
posted by Hogshead at 4:54 PM on December 28, 2007


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