Spate of Luxury Travel Experts Cater to Stars Like Oprah, Justin Bieber and Jessica Alba

When Oprah Winfrey gets wanderlust and sets her sights on a European jaunt, she calls friend and luxury travel expert Simone Amorico, CEO and co-founder of the Rome-based tour company Access Italy.

“We took Oprah to Sicily to see the ‘Godfather’s’ house from the movie,” says Amorico. “We took her to Rome to see the Appian Way, the old Roman roads, which she loved, it was very rustic. You feel like you’re in a Fellini movie. We took Oprah and Gayle [King] truffle hunting in Umbria with a group of truffle hunters and their pack of dogs.”

And yes, rare white truffles were procured on Winfrey’s truffle hunting excursion.

“Now, after all these years and her close relationship with my dad, Angelo, Oprah is a friend,” says Amorico. “We stay at her place in Montecito.”

Amorico, alongside his father and brother, operates Access Italy as a way to provide entertainment industry figures —Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Aaron Paul and Jessica Alba are also clients — and various other well-heeled travelers (think: Jeremy Stoppelman, the CEO of Yelp) with a personalized curated tourism experience that goes above and beyond what one would get procuring the services of your typical travel agent.

Whether it’s taking a helicopter wine tour of Tuscany or hopping on board a yacht bound for Ponza Island and the Amalfi Coast, Access Italy can arrange all that and more. All while preserving the privacy of the high-profile celebrity.

“Jessica Alba came to Italy at the end of June with her family for a last-minute trip, which was during the busiest time of the year,” says Amorico, who arranged for Alba and family to stay at Rome’s posh Gran Melia hotel. “Our job is to make sure that these high-end profile celebrities don’t feel that it’s very high season, so we were able to have them go visit the Colosseum through the Gladiator Entrance, which was very exclusive. We also have access to behind-the-scene tours of museums and the Vatican and Sistine Chapel when they are closed to the general public. The pope was there and [Alba] got to see him pass by after his morning Mass. He said ‘Hi’ to us. I know his timing.”

Access Italy is only one company amidst a wave of travel experts and resort destinations catering to celebrity jetsetters looking for a vacation that exceeds the average humdrum holiday.

At the Ocean Club Bahamas, a Four Seasons Resort, located on Paradise Island — the property did not incur damage during Hurricane Dorian — those looking to pack light can take part in its no-luggage-required program, paying anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000 for a custom-selected designer wardrobe, from boxer shorts to workout wear to purses and jewelry, which will outfit them during their entire stay. And they get to keep the clothes.

“Most of our guests are high-end travelers from New York, because it’s so easy to get here from there,” says Kristen Whyly, resort manager at the Ocean Club. “If you want a weekend away from the city, you can be here in less time than you would spend sitting in traffic driving to the Hamptons.”

For celebrities seeking out a more far-flung adventure, there is the Four Seasons Bora Bora. From its over-the-water bungalows, with plunge pools, to private snorkeling and diving excursions with a local marine biologist, the French Polynesian hideaway attracts the likes of Justin Bieber.

“The main thing celebrity guests are looking for when with us is the absolute assurance of privacy and comfort,” says Diego Stembert, general manager of the resort. “Our private island setting provides us with geographic privacy, and our security team handles the rest. As many industry guests arrive by private jet, we will either pick them up at the Bora Bora Airport via private yacht or helicopter and bring them directly to the resort.”

Stembert refers to the Four Seasons Bora Bora (pictured) as a “stunning South Pacific sanctuary.” Just an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, and in the same time zone as Hawaii, Bora Bora is a natural choice, he says, for “a luxury island escape.”

And should a notable big-screen name wish to check in using a don de plume? No problem, says Stembert.

“For guests wanting to stay totally anonymous, we can provide an alias and cater to them directly in their villa, from meals to spa treatments, and arrange private excursions to ensure the utmost privacy as they explore Bora Bora,” he says. “Our team is adept at hosting high-profile guests, so discretion and service are always at the highest level, allowing these guests to simply relax and enjoy themselves in a beautiful place.”

More Biz

  • Shanghai Disneyland

    Shanghai Disneyland Closes in Response to China Virus Outbreak

    Shanghai Disneyland will close its doors Saturday as a reaction to the spread of a form of coronavirus that has now killed 26 people in mainland China. The resort complex, which normally operates 365 days per year and welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually, announced Friday afternoon local time that it will shutter the [...]

  • Why the Oscars, Emmys Shouldn't Try

    Grammys Deny Allegations of ‘Rigging’ Nominations

    Among the many allegations in ousted Recording Academy chief Deborah Dugan’s bombshell complaint Tuesday was a claim that the nominations are marred by what she has described as “rigging.” The example in the complaint points to the 2019 Best Song category, where an unidentified artist who was represented by a board member moved from the [...]

  • Annabella Sciorra

    Weinstein Lawyer Aims to Poke Holes in Annabella Sciorra's Account

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney sought to poke holes in Annabella Sciorra’s testimony on Thursday, highlighting her training as an actor in a bid to undermine her credibility. Attorney Donna Rotunno had previewed that line of argument in a CNN interview before the trial, which prompted the prosecution to accuse her of disparaging the witness. “In [...]

  • Lindsey Elfenbein Variety

    Lindsey Elfenbein Promoted to Variety's Managing Director, Global Summits and Strategic Partnerships

    Variety has promoted Lindsey Elfenbein to managing director, global summits and strategic partnerships. Elfenbein joined the trade publication in 2014, where she has exponentially grown the conference business. Elfenbein is responsible for driving global revenue across Variety’s summit series. Her contributions have led to the creation of new ventures including the Silicon Valleywood Summit with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content