Celebrity homes are up for rent everywhere, from Hollywood actor Ava Gardner’s former property in California at £56 a night to James Corden’s London pad for £15,000 a month. But do big names add a premium? Or does it simply come down to size and location?
Anyone willing to part with between £20,000 and £200,000 for a week’s holiday can live in the homes of the rich and famous while they are away, order their staff around, and make use of their cars, tennis courts and swimming pools.
“Major celebrities tend to ask for a slight premium because their properties often offer special amenities, such as entertaining spaces, screening rooms, recording studios [even golf courses]. The bigger the celebrity, the bigger the estate or compound may be,” says Kofi Nartey of Los Angeles-based luxury property company The Agency.
Those willing to lower their celebrity sights and budgets can stay in the likes of Sting’s estate in the hills of Florence, offering stunning views and a tennis court for around £8,000 for five guests for a week.
But there are lots of more affordable minor celebrity properties, such as TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp’s Devon mansion, which sleeps 14, for £3,500 a week. But the best bet for most people looking to brush with fame is to stay in homes previously lived in by major celebrities, including President Obama’s student digs in New York, Jimi Hendrix’s “gingerbread house” in Hawaii, and Kurt Cobain’s graffiti-riddled LA flat where he recorded Heart-shaped Box, all for as little as £100 a night.
“A boring house in Richmond can be enlivened by a paragraph about a celebrity attached to the property,” says Gemma Shah of Savills. “We’ve had houses with rock’n’roll connections going back 30/40 years, and you get a lot of fans and fanatics viewing them, but few are willing to pay a premium for the pleasure. It’s just bricks and mortar at the end of the day.”
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