Beyonce on holiday in Jamaica. Photo: @beyonce/Twitter
The great European celebrity exodus has begun, with the rich and famous jetting off to yachts, beaches and snow-capped peaks to spend the first month of the year anywhere but home. So mass is the evacuation that diary columns are struggling for stories as all their subjects are abroad.
‘‘It’s difficult to produce coverage as all the celebrities have disappeared,’’ admits a news editor at a weekly gossip magazine.
‘‘All you’ll see on the news stands over the next few weeks are pictures of famous people in bikinis.’’
Michael Douglas hits the slopes with Catherine Zeta-Jones and his children. Photo: Michael Douglas/Facebook
Though swapping hailstorms for a heatwave may sound like paradise, an A-list holiday requires meticulous planning, timing and PR. From where to go to who to be seen with, here are 10 rules for pulling off a January getaway as stylishly as the stars.
1. Stay on the most expensive yacht around - but act as if you’re not bothered
Even a25 million dollar super-yacht moored off the coast of Mustique wasn’t sufficient for Trinny Woodall and Charles Saatchi, who dropped into conversation at a celebrity party (hosted by Kate Moss at her sprawling Caribbean home) that they were ‘‘dossing down’’ on the ship. The wealthy new couple, who joked that they were ‘‘holed up’’ on board, spent new year flitting between glamorous parties, before yachting to St Lucia for a break from all that exhausting socialising. They are expected to return on a ‘‘cramped’’ private jet.
2. Make the most of others’ hospitality
Princess Beatrice, too, has been ringing in the new year on a yacht - this one belonging to Lakshmi Mittal, the second-richest man in Britain. The Amevi, his 80-metre mega-yacht, is moored at St Barts, in the West Indies, where Beatrice has been partying with her boyfriend, Dave Clark (it’s also where Sir Paul McCartney spent Christmas with his wife, Nancy Shevell). Borrowing someone else’s yacht (or jet/mansion/island) is bang on trend, with many of our megastars enjoying January at someone else’s expense.
Mark Borkowski, the PR guru, says it’s ‘‘not unusual’’ for travel operators to pay celebrities to take a holiday at their resorts. ‘‘If they can snare a high-profile one to bask in the delights of Dubai or Florida, the budget is there,’’ he adds.
‘‘They’re often paid to tweet, Instagram or pose for paparazzi.’’
3. Show off your new toyboy
Rumours have been circulating since the recently divorced Demi Moore, 51, was photographed frolicking on a Mexican beach with Sean Friday, a 27-year-old drummer. A new year break is the perfect time to reveal a new love interest - especially if he’s half your age (and you look as good as Moore does in an itsy bitsy bikini).
4. Flaunt your post-Christmas bikini body
Mince pies and trifle don’t seem to feature in the Hollywood diet, where celebrities emerge from the festive period looking fitter than ever. So the January getaway is a prime time to strip off at every opportunity.
Abbey Clancy has shown us just what winning (UK TV show) Strictly Come Dancing did to her abs via a beach holiday in Dubai, Cara Delevingne (below) took the opportunity to flash her new tattoo in Barbados, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the face of M&S, has been gallivanting around ‘‘heavenly’’ Hawaii with her equally toned boyfriend, Jason Statham.
5. Play happy families
From Myleene Klass, who’s dolphin-spotting in Mexico with her two daughters, to Ivanka Trump, who’s been doting on her two-year-old in a Palm Beach pool, this January marks a trend towards family holidays. Katie Holmes has been sunbathing with Suri, seven, in Miami; Liz Hurley hit the slopes in St Moritz with Damian, her 11-year-old son (and old flame Hugh Grant); and the singer Rochelle Humes, of the Saturdays, has been sharing photographs of her daughter, Alaia-Mai, from the Maldives.
6. Make new friends - and keep in touch with old ones
Jennifer Aniston fuelled reports of a Friends reunion by ushering in the new year with her co-star Courtney Cox in Los Cabos, a Mexican beach resort. They shared their mansion, complete with chef, butler and spa, with Aniston’s fiance, Justin Theroux, as well as Howard Stern, the American radio and TV host, and Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian.
‘‘It’s a great time to be seen and mingle - I imagine a lot of job opportunities come up over cocktails on the beach,’’ says the magazine editor. ‘‘And they’re not missing anything back home this month - the Brits and Baftas aren’t until February.’’
7. Patch things up with your other half (and prove it by posing for photos)
After separating in May, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were on/off for most of 2013, but the new year heralded a getaway to Quebec, Canada, where they’re skiing with their children, Dylan and Carys. What better way to prove you’re back together than a family holiday - with Douglas, 69, keeping up with the kids and posting the pictures on Facebook.
X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger and her F1 driver boyfriend, Lewis Hamilton, took a more subtle approach - uploading Instagram photos of themselves, individually, snowmobiling in Aspen, and leaving it up to fans to guess whether they’re back together.
8. Be seen, preferably while surrounded by a bevy of adoring fans
Making the most of the gap between the American X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Simon Cowell is sunning himself in Barbados this month, alongside girlfriend Lauren Silverman, seven months’ pregnant with his baby. The pair are staying at the exclusive One Sandy Lane resort, accompanied by Cowell’s ex-girlfriends Sinitta and Terri Seymour.
Cowell pulled the ultimate publicity stunt last week when, wearing only tight white shorts and a life jacket, he was pounced upon by a gaggle of screaming female fans before zooming off on his jet ski. The whole encounter was, rather helpfully, captured on camera.
9. Publicise your latest film/book/TV show
It may be mere coincidence that Michael Douglas’s latest film, Last Vegas, is out now, or that the reputation-shredding trial of Charles Saatchi’s former aides has just ended - but there’s no denying that being photographed on a new year break is great publicity.
Madonna, who is skiing with her children in Gstaad, Switzerland, has been using their holiday to help launch the career of her son, Rocco Ritchie, as a filmmaker, by promoting videos he made on the slopes. She grabbed the headlines last weekend with a controversial online snap of Rocco, 13, holding a bottle of gin, beneath the caption ‘‘The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014’’.
10. Show everyone up by staying at home - but make sure you do something fabulous
This only applies, of course, if ‘‘home’’ is somewhere glamorous - Los Angeles, Miami or the Caribbean will do. While others jetted overseas, the actor Hugh Jackman returned to Australia this month, where he’s been living up to his action-man image by fishing from a Melbourne pier. Elsewhere in the country, Russell Crowe took his sons to an amusement park in Queensland - a low-key day out, except that they flew there by private jet.
‘‘Even if you don’t go away, taking a break now is good timing if you’ve got filming and recording scheduled throughout the other months,’’ says Borkowski. ‘‘Sadly, we ordinary folk can’t afford to - but it’s a great visual prompt to start us daydreaming about summer.’’
The Telegraph, London