Posts tagged ‘Ralph Lauren’

Tom Cruise enjoys secluded Colorado ghost town

In the 1890s, the town of Dunton, Colorado, had a population of 500, most of whom worked the nearby mines. By 1918, the mine had shut down and Dunton, like many Colorado towns, became a ghost town. Although it had a short reincarnation in the 1970s as a hangout for hippies, bikers, and nude volleyball types who traded beers for dips in the hot springs, its bordello, saloon, and cabins basically sat boarded up for 75 years.

Then in 1994, a couple Europeans who were skiing in nearby Telluride heard that the entire town was for sale at about the same price as a condo in Aspen. Fifteen minutes after finding the place (it’s a good 45 minutes from the nearest non-ghost town), the friends decided to snatch it up, battered façade be damned.

After funneling $3 million into the 187-acre place (each of the 12 cabins is decorated by a Munich art dealer with a monstrous budget and extremely good taste), they found that they’d fallen so madly in love with their “vild vest” ghost town that, rather than sell lots, as they had originally intended, they’d rent them out. Before long, they opened their ghost town spa to individual guests such as Darryl Hannah, Tom Cruise, and Ralph Lauren, who happens to own a vast acreage nearby.

The yoga room is a former Pony Express stop, the bath house still has bullet holes in it, the library is an old barn furnished with distressed-leather armchairs and bearskin rugs, one of the four hot springs (two indoors, two out) is located in a tepee, and the dining hall is the town’s old saloon with a long wooden bar scratched with names of people who have tipped the bottle there. Butch Cassidy, who allegedly stayed in Dunton after robbing his first bank in Telluride, provided one of the autographs.

Each of the 12 restored cabins, although imperfect on the outside, is tremendously luxurious on the inside, with African textiles, baronial antiques, broadband internet, radiant floor heating, and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of art.

Dunton Hot Springs, which can only be reached via a 22-mile dirt road, is a perfect hideout for camera-shy celebs.

The other Beverly Hills

Punta del Este, Uruguay, often called the Riviera of South America, attracts so many vacationing A-listers that there’s now a Hollywood bus tour.

Stops include the hotel where George Bush stayed (it’s also a popular spot for international summits), the beach where Naomi Campbell was caught sunbathing nude, the bar where Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack drank martinis and the chic just-down-the-road village of La Barra where Ralph Lauren paid $12,000 a day to rent a villa. Oh, yeah, and did I mention there’s a section of town called Beverly Hills.

With 20 miles of beaches, three casinos, all-night discos, a popular yacht harbor (others prefer to fly into the helipad) and Calle 20 where designer-brand stores are as ubiquitous as pizza joints, this ultra-chic peninsula at the mouth of the Rio del la Plata has long been an exclusive getaway for well-heeled South Americans.

But then in the 60’s, the Rat Pack showed up, high-rise hotels and international attention followed and this once-sleepy fishing village became the “it” spot for such luminaries as Robert DeNiro, Princess Di and Fergie, Pablo Neruda and Leonard DiCaprio. Even happily-married Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon have been known to slip away to this glittery Latin American outpost for a bit of sunbathing, shopping and snogging.

When not partying hearty, Punta del Este’s holiday crowd amuses itself shark-fishing, surfing and oogling the 200,000 southern fur seals on nearby Isla de Lobos.

Another popular spot is Casapueblo, a whale-watching promontory outside of town where Uruguayan painter, sculptor, musician and all-around artistic treasure Carlo Paez Vilaro built a home and studio. It’s open to the public with a museum, hotel and a fascinating homage to what Vilaro calls “his personal war against the right angle.”

Also unique in Punte del Este are street signs sponsored by Visa, official parades of bikini-wearing models and restaurants serving seaweed omelettes.

But the most glamorous of all, if you can score it, is an invitation to power-boat racer Laith Pharaon’s annual end-of-the year bash. Held at Estancia El Noor, a rustic 280-acre property near La Barra, the party draws film stars, fashionistas, the world’s best DJ’s and other party people

Starting December 23 and continuing through Easter, Punta Del Este features 25 hours a day of shameless, shallow and tremendous fun.