Famous Five: The Beckhams

Where do David and Victoria spend their downtime?


Words by Rowena Carr-Allinson


Amanjena, Marrakech


Allegedly the venue David chose to surprise Victoria with a vow- renewal ceremony back in 2004, we think the Amanjena is is vefy likley to be where he is throwing his 40th birthday bash this weekend. The elegant hotel, on the outskirts of Marrakech, is all pared-back luxury and that kind of discreet service where they seem to know what you want before you do.

With its 32 circular pavilions and seven maisons, ornamental fountains and indoor/outdoor living spaces - you can see why it makes the perfect party venue. The pool pavilions have their own heated pools but we think the Beckhams should check into Al Hamra – the largest of the houses with a 36 metre pool and butler service.

Amanjena, Route de Ouarzazate, Km 12, Marrakech, Morocco, 0800 2255 2626

Doubles from round £408, room only, including airport transfers.  


Aleenta, Hua Hin, Thailand

The Beckhams have been known to go the extra mile to get away from it all … This coastal hideaway near Hua Hin is just a couple of hours south of Bangkok, but feels like it’s far, far away from the rest of the world. The resort’s Thai-style rooms (including the Beckhams’ suite) come with outside showers and lovely sea views. Set among tropical plants, on the edge of white sandy beach, this intimate resort is very proud of its eco-credentials. The team grow all the food for the restaurant onsite (see for yourself with a tour around their farmlands), and they’re big on recycling and investing in the local population. Thankfully being passionate about the environment doesn’t mean having to rough it, so it’s the perfect balance between luxury and do-gooding


The best bits?  The spa, the hammocks and the fact that Ryan Gosling is a regular.

Aleenta, Pranburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, near Hua Hin, Thailand

+66 2-514-8112, aleenta.com/huahin

Doubles from £100, room only.


Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand

A legend in Bangkok, the riverside Mandarin Oriental is where all the VIPs stay, from George Bush to the Beckhams. Synonymous with luxury, the hotel is all about plush rooms, tiptop service and Asian-inspired elegance. An oasis away from the city’s chaos, it overlooks the Chao Phraya and its never-ending parade of life. The hotel’s private teakwood shuttle boats whisk you to the Thai Cooking school, the hotel’s Thai restaurant (one of eight) and the brand new Oriental Spa and Health Centre. The spa, which counts Pierce Brosnan and Goldie Hawn among its fans, has just been renovated with four new luxurious suites, and QMS Medicosmetics on tap. When you're done with pampering, indulge further with a ‘The Sense’ strawberry mojito, best sipped comfortably ensconced on the mocha and green sofas on the riverside terrace at dusk, amidst the twinkling fairy lights and frangipani trees. Sleek staff whirl around in beautiful bronze silks, flowers float in water bowls and opulence rules.


Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Ave Alley, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand, +66 (2) 659 9000 

Doubles from £312, B&B.


Rancho Las Palmas, California


The desert city of Palm Springs (check out the May issue of ELLE for more on that) became known as Hollywood’s bolthole during the Fifties, thanks to the likes of Sinatra, Marilyn and Elvis, and is still attracting the A-listers today. Victoria is a fan of the Rancho Las Palmas, in nearby Rancho Mirage, famous for its massive 20,000 square foot Spa Las Palmas.

This desert oasis has a spa courtyard, 26 treatment rooms, a sanctuary pool, soothing water features and beautiful mountain views, as well as a hammam, Vichy showers, Chroma therapy soaking tub, Finnish sauna and its own Spa Café. There’s also a brilliant shopping mall nearby, which we’re pretty sure Victoria will have checked out, and an excellent steakhouse restaurant on site: BlueEmber, just what you need for a dinner alfresco by the fire pits.

Another reason to stay here? The nearby Splashtopia water amusement park, with its river pool, slides and sand – perfect for the Beckham brood.


Rancho Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage
41000 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270, +1(760) 568-2727

Doubles from around £212, room only.

North Island, Seychelles

All about privacy, North Island – where Kate and Wills honeymooned - is a true A-listers hideaway, with perfect service and beautifully designed open-plan villas. Made for ‘barefoot luxury’, it’s an unspoiled tropical retreat, just 30km from the main island of Mahé.  With only 11 guest villas on the island, the vibe is understated, private and luxuriously laid-back.  If money is no object, book into Villa 11, a huge 750 square metres, with tiered levels cascading down to a private beach. Even better, the villas are kitted out with sustainable and ecologically sound materials, right down to the beautiful organic chandeliers made from crushed recycled glass.

When you're not lolling around in your villa, check out the library, health spa and gym, world-class dive center and the rim-flow swimming pool built into a granite rock outcrop. Out of the way on the western beach, there’s the sunset bar and restaurant – just the spot for a cheeky sundowner…

North Island, Seychelles, + 27 11 807 1800
Doubles from £4040, all inclusive.

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