Where the rich and famous go on holiday

From Madeira to Mauritius, Ruth Jackson looks at where the pampered elite check in.

Formula One driver Mark Webber is a fan of the "pretty exceptional" Four Seasons hotels. "They've got a really great knack for knowing what the guests want," he tells The Independent.

"They're not over the top, they're not ringing your doorbell every two seconds to give you a grape and a bit of chocolate, they're just friendly." The Four Seasons in Budapest (00 36 1 268 6000) offers "fantastic food and a nice view over the Danube".

Helen George, one of the stars of Call the Midwife, a BBC period drama, recommends Madeira. "The island is full of colour, and has a smell that I can only describe as pure, fresh air," she tells The Sunday Times.

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Chef Tom Aikens recommends an adventure on a traditional safari. "I once did a horseback safari through the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, riding for six hours a day through water up to my thighs and galloping across endless plains," he says in The Sunday Times.

"We came across huge herds of zebra and giraffes, and it proved to be a totally different experience from the usual 4x4 safari. Being on horses meant the animals reacted differently to us, so we were able to get a lot closer." It wasn't an entirely perfect holiday "I was quite saddle-sore by the end of the trip" but the scenery and wildlife were "well worth the pain".

Opera singer Lesley Garrett loves Sydney, "one of the world's great cities", she tells The Daily Telegraph.

"I have so many wonderful memories of Sydney. I spent my 50th birthday there... I climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge the views from the top are spectacular and I looked down on the Opera House and sang Puccini's One Fine Day."

Garrett recommends staying at the Park Hyatt (00 61 2 9256 1234).

It is "incredible" with "amazing views of the harbour, a really good spa and a contemporary restaurant". For something with a touch more history, try boutique hotel Simpsons of Potts Point (00 61 2 9356 2199), which is "olde worlde, sympathetically restored beautiful. The whole area is historic with lots of Art Deco touches."

Former professional rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ben Cohen has visited Mauritius nine times.

"I stayed at a new hotel called Long Beach (main picture - 00 230 402 0110) on my last trip," he says in The Independent. "All the facilities were really up to date and the food was absolutely outstanding. I can be a fussy customer sometimes, but that ticked all the boxes."


She tips Four Seasons hotel The Beverly Wilshire (001 310 275 5200). "The rooms are just fantastic, with luxurious linen and very large, super comfortable beds. It has an amazing restaurant, Cut... the steaks are to die for."

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings accounts and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping, among many other titles both online and offline.