Luxury Hotels


Yes, you are right – the image shows George Clooney and Julia Roberts with Ol Parker (image courtesy Universal Studios). Cambridge-educated Parker directed such winners as Mama Mia! and his latest movie is Ticket To Paradise, released three weeks ago. David Cotton (George Clooney) and  his ex-wife,Georgia Cotton, (Julia Roberts) race to Bali to stop their daughter Lily from marrying a seaweed farmer. As they desperately try to sabotage the wedding, the bickering duo soon find themselves rekindling old feelings that once made them happy together.

We all know the hype that any presence on a screen creates.  Downton Abbey was shot partly at England’s Highclere Castle –  handy when staying at FOUR SEASONS HAMPSHIRE – and Inverary Castle, in Scotland. Similarly, handful of scenes in Ticket to Paradise were filmed in the Whitsundays, at QUALIA, which on 20th October won Amour’s top Romantic Resort Asia-Pacific, at the black-tie gala in Cascais. Rushes for the movie included the resort’s Long Pavilion, featured in a scene where David is lamenting life. Qualia is also a place to escape people. With 60 individual villas, Qualia’s secluded yet central location on Hamilton Island means stars – and others – can relax in the privacy of their own villa on a breathtaking promontory overlooking the Whitsunday Passage.

Let’s switch to privacy on the water. Come May 2023, Belmond adds a river boat, Coquelicot (formerly the Hirondelle barge), for cinematic journeys of the Champagne area. The boat, now designed by Humbert & Poyet, has three spacious cabins with ensuite facilities, an indoor salon with a champagne bar, and an extensive outdoor deck. There are three ensuite double cabins. An indoor lounge has a Champagne bar – stocked with your preferred labels. Coquelicot’s top deck, with potted local herbs and indigenous wildflowers that root the space in the locale, is social centre to unwind as the boat meanders calm waterways.

Ruinart is onboard Champagne, and that House hosts a private tasting lunch by its Chef In Residence Valérie Radou – there’s  a guided tour of the historic Taissy vineyard, sighting of a new art installation by German visual artist Nils-Udo, and latest sustainability initiatives are explained. You also hear how Maison Ruinart, in partnership with Reforest’Action and the University of Reims, launched a pioneering viti-forestry project in 2021 to preserve and regenerate forests to restore biodiversity.  he vineyard. Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat is available for week-long private charters.

Listen again to the current MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, featuring excitement of hospitality legend Albert Herrera: