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Oprah on the balcony of the InterContinental Sydney.
Thanks to Hugh Jackman banging his face up while zip-lining onto Oprah's Sydney Opera House stage, people of all nations--not just the O-mad Aussies--know that Ms. Winfrey is in the house. But which hotels has Oprah been shacking up in while down under--and what does this mean for their futures?
We already suspected she would head to Qualia on Hamilton Island, but even we're impressed with the number of high-end hotels and resorts Oprah and her team have managed to hit up in less than a week.
Meanwhile, her 300-strong entourage that includes U.S. audience members who won the trip on her show, have bunked at the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto and Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains.
While details were kept strictly under wraps even just days before she landed in Australia last week, the local media has been following her movements breathlessly, especially in Sydney, where she's been staying at the InterContinental Sydney.
This could be Oprah.
No, that headline is not a euphemism. Did you catch that episode of Oprah where she told her audience of screaming middle-aged women that they were all going to Australia? (If not, here it is.) Well, the big trip is finally taking place next week but as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, O's visit is cloaked in secrecy. Except for the rumors that she has made a rezzie at Hamilton Island resort Qualia, that is.
This is still unconfirmed, like almost everything else about the three episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show being filmed down under--not even guest Hugh Jackman has been told what's going on!
When we think of Oprah Winfrey and hotels, our memory takes us back to 2007 when she threw down some pretty outrageous demands for a one-night stay at a hotel in Anaheim including room-temperature bottled water, restrictions on hotel employees entering her room and that her breakfast be made within 10 minutes.
Yet Oprah does have extensive hotel experience around the world and we guess she's going to draw on those experiences when she opens her own B&B in Hawaii.
The National Enquirer is reporting that O is renovating a 12-bedroom inn on the island of Maui. The place is the former site of the Silver Cloud Guest Ranch which Oprah purchased seven years ago.
"Oprah's plannning on heaving a high-end bed and breakfast for friends and wealthy customers who like the quiet of the Maui countryside," said the insider. Oprah plans to personally play hostess on the ranch when she is on the island, says the insider.
It's not just the Affinia Chicago that's celebrating Oprah's 24th season kickoff extravaganza with special rates. The Hard Rock Chicago is also getting in on the fun. Room rates for September 6 through September 9 are now $149 (as opposed to $199). The rate also includes free WiFi (so you can Facebook your status and Twitpic your party pics).
Interestingly, the rate is only available online at preferredhotelrate.com/oprah. We hopped on that site to see if those rates were good and indeed they were. Plus the rate comes with 10 percent off coupon at the hotel's China Grill. Wanna splurge for city views? Those rooms start at $179.
If budget is your concern, the Affinia Chicago is now going for $119 a night and it's actually even closer to the extravaganza than the Hard Rock. Oprah will be filming her show on Tuesday night on the Magnificent Mile at the intersection of Michigan and Ohio street. The Black-Eyed Peas and some surprise guests are expected to show. (J-Hud? Michelle O? We hope!)
Oprah tickets are harder to score than this season's new Chanel handbag, but the daytime diva is shutting down Michigan Avenue to throw a huge, free block party on Sept. 8 to celebrate the start of her TV show's 24th season.
If you don't want to have to fight crazy book club members to get into the televised event, the Affinia Chicago offers you a strategy: stay at its nearby hotel to be close to the action and you'll get a room for $109 per night.
Holy crap: It’s finally inauguration day! After endless speculation, the big day has arrived. As predicted, it’s freezing in D.C., but a bevy of celebs and, of course, “biggest-celebrity-in-the-world” Barack Obama has transformed our nation’s capitol into the hotspot of a lifetime.
But even through all the Obamarama hope-mongering, we know you’re at least secretly still interested in another A+-lister. That’s right, Oprah’s in town, and her star is not the kind to get overlooked — no matter the occasion.
As we reported way back in December, the Queen of Chat is staying five nights in the Royal Suite at the Four Seasons (at $15,000 a night). Among the suite’s perks are a personal shopping assistant, private exercise room, and “a sculptural bathtub [with a] crystal fixture elegantly draped overhead,” according to the Washington Post.
And today, Oprah will do her second live show in Washington. Yesterday’s show was at the glittering Kennedy Center, but today’s will be held at Capitol Hill’s newish Art and Soul Restaurant at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel—which makes perfect sense, considering the James Beard award-winning chef, Art Smith, was formerly personal chef to Oprah. Rumored guests include Jon Bon Jovi and Forest Whitaker. Not that you have any chance of snagging a seat at the show or anything. But hey, that’s why it’s on TV.
[Photo: Sun Times]
Oprah Winfrey has been perhaps Obama's loudest and proudest celeb supporter this year, and the rumor mill has been churning out all sorts of Oprah/Obama rumors since Barack was elected in November. We've heard that she's been planning to tape a couple of special shows in the nation's capitol from the Kennedy Center Opera House, and, thanks to a NY Post story last week, people have been buzzing about the Winfrey possibly purchasing a mansion of her own in Washington to ensure she'd be close to Obama (false).
We're not so sure about that househunting thing now that we've heard (again from the NY Post) that Winfrey is planning to shack up at the Four Seasons during Obama's inauguration week. According to Page Six, she all booked for the $15,000-a-night Royal Suite for five nights around inauguration.
Still not sure whether you're ready to join Oprah and millions of your closest friends at inauguration in January? Check out our brother site Jaunted's Inauguration 2009 complete coverage and once you've made up your mind to go, drop in and take a look at their tips on how to get there.
[Photo: Sun Times]
Oprah Winfrey, the queen of our afternoons (and owner of our souls), was all dressed up and looking radiant at a London fundraiser for Nelson Mandela last night.
And then, in a stunning display of normal-ness, she took off her designer heels because her feet were killing her. We do that too!
We were so busy relating to her that we almost forgot she was Oprah for a second there -- until we learned that she was on her way back to her suite at the Dorchester London and, uh, some of their suites can go for over $5,000 per night.
Yeah. We cannot relate.
Star magazine is reporting that during Oprah's brief visit to the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim she made crazy diva requests and put off hotel staffers, leaving them to call her "spoiled, haughty and a diva."
Oprah rented a $3,000 a night suite during the taping for one of her shows which was being shot at nearby Disneyland. She requested that her room have the following when she arrived:
· Medium Stainless Steel dog bowls
· Refrigerator stocked with 10 Cokes, 10 Diet Cokes, 10 Sprites, 10 Dasanis and 10 Perriers
· Counter stocked with 10-room temperature Dasanis
· Cheese and Crackers from Napa Rose restaurant
· Two bottles of 2004 Stony Hill Chardonnay and two bottles of 2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir
· 16 Napa Rose wineglasses
· Tea service for five guests, "please use Napa Rose china, use stainless pot for hot water"
· Welcome fruit pedestal to be placed on dining table.
Whoa, that's a lot of stuff. But apparently Oprah had other rules about hotel employees. They could not enter the room unless one of Oprah's people were there. She also made a fuss over the bottled water which was not at room-temperature. And she made her breakfast order be completed within 10 minutes.
Still despite the demands, Oprah couldn't hang in this touristy joint. She left after one night. So what do we take away from this story? If Oprah doesn't like the $3,000 suite in the hotel which is probably one of their best rooms, then we don't want to stay there either. And dammit, that water better be at room temperature.
· Grand Floridian reviews [HotelChatter]
For some reason, Oprah thought America might like to see her trekking across the country in much less luxurious terms than she's used to. The result sure wasn't pretty. As everyone knows, the most powerful woman in the country likes all things luxurious including hotels. On the road she was subjected to the regular inns of the U.S. and it left her angry and frustrated:
What is enough are the words that come straight from the O Herself during and after their journey, one that was supposed to be relatively free of celebrity treatment: "It's really fun being a celebrity." Well, yeah. Another good one was, "I'm used to being met at the door" (after not being able to find a hotel check-in desk). And, best of all, "I'm not a people person."
Get real though, you know as soon as she did find the hotel staffers that they bent over backwards to please her.