Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: The resort where Jennifer, George and Cameron love to stay
She may have been unlucky in love, but Jennifer Aniston seems extremely fortunate in her choice of favourite holiday destination. Regular students of celebrity magazines could be forgiven for thinking that she hardly ever leaves the fabulous Mexican hideaway of Las Ventanas Al Paraiso. Indeed, she has been known to visit five times in one year.
Heading south: Jennifer Aniston is a frequent visitor to Las Ventanas Al Paraiso
Our Jen was introduced to the pleasures of Las Ventanas by former husband Brad Pitt (who subsequently revealed its glories to his next partner Angelina Jolie). Jen celebrated her 41st birthday there last February with a star-studded cast including best friend Courteney Cox and rumoured boyfriend at the time (do try to keep up) Gerard Butler.
Then she was back again for Thanksgiving - along with her new best friend, the improbably named Chelsea Handler, who sounds as if she might be Frank Lampard's agent but is actually a stand-up comic and American TV host.
So what exactly is the appeal of Las Ventanas Al Paraiso? Well, when a hotel is named 'Window to Paradise', clearly you can expect an experience rather more substantial than a night at a suburban Holiday Inn. It pays, however, to be suspicious of hotels with fabulous names. In my experience you do best to steer clear of places that call themselves the Hotel Eden or The Heavenly Inn - they are usually anything but divine.
But this extraordinary holiday resort will exceed your highest expectations, even if it is in Mexico, the country that Top Gear's presenters recently assured us is the home of perpetual laziness and where lunch is 'refried sick'.
Rest assured, Las Ventanas Al Paraiso has 'ultimate holiday resort' written all the way through it. Situated in Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, it has been at the top of many A-Listers' holiday wish-lists since opening 14 years ago.
Cool reflections: The resort offers a peaceful get-away-from-it-all vibe
It is owned by Beanie Babies toy billionaire Ty Warner and managed by the exclusive Rosewood group. Just like Disney World, which is built over a series of subterranean passageways to hide the humdrum 'off-stage' business of supplying fun, Las Ventanas has underground pathways that allow staff seemingly to materialise from nowhere with precious supplies of exquisite chablis or - more to the taste of spindly celebs - plates of diet canapes.
Simon Cowell may know little about buying elegant trousers but he can be judged an expert on luxury hotels. He freely admits an unbridled passion for Las Ventanas. When he's not at his beloved Sandy Lane resort in Barbados he can be found at the Las Ventanas Sea Grill, enjoying the ocean view over a glass of merlot.
Come here during the next couple of months and the view will include the spectacular sight of whales and their newly-born calves breaching the blue waters of the Pacific as they prepare for their annual trek back to Alaska. 'How do you manage to get the whales to come here?' guests have been known to ask bemused hotel staff, certain that this whale show has been specially arranged for their benefit.
The hotel has thoughtfully installed telescopes in visitors' rooms to allow them to enjoy viewing the passing wildlife, although one imagines that the spyglasses are more frequently used to snoop on fellow guests. Barely a day goes by when a superstar isn't 'papped' lolling beside one of the seven swimming pools.
Jennifer Lopez, to name but one, regularly graces the sunloungers with her famous rear. Diane Kruger, Jessica Alba, Sheryl Crow and swimwear model Bar Refaeli have also been spotted recently.
And the hotel has been in the news with photographs of Cameron Diaz and her new boyfriend, baseball star Alex Rodriguez, who were snapped on the beach greeting George Clooney with a cheery hug. Clooney is said to love the area so much he's even building his own beachfront home here - a new pad that could well lure him away permanently from his celebrated Lake Como palazzo.
Stardust: Diane Kruger (left, with Joshua Jackson) and Jessica Alba have holidayed at Las Ventanas
So why, if you are part of a gilded elite that can charter a jet to just about anywhere in the world, would you choose a holiday destination that's really only just down the road from Los Angeles? It's easy. Hollywood stars are never keen to stray far from their home base and here they just have to nip across the Mexican border.
There are plenty of other glitzy resorts in Cabo, all vying for the honour of hosting the mega-rich, but up to now Las Ventanas has managed to keep ahead of the competition.
The open-plan resort is designed and decorated to perfection. Traditional without looking gaudy, incredibly plush without losing any of its rustic charm and with exquisitely presented landscapes, the setting could barely be any more beautiful.
The reception, the three restaurants (the Sea Grill on the beachfront, a more traditional restaurant and the oddly combined sushi and tequila bar) and walkways around the hotel are all open to the elements. Baking heat (Cabo boasts 350 days of sunshine a year), sea views and whitewashed walls are a prerequisite for any tropical destination.
The lure of Las Ventanas is its well-honed service and ultra-slick style. Guests are welcomed at the nearby airport by a chauffeur-driven Mercedes - the driver has some traditional sweets to chew on as you are whisked through the cactus-strewn desert.
Model behaviour: Supermodel Bar Refaeli has soaked up the sun at the exclusive resort
Any Mexican stereotypes are thrown out of the window as soon as you arrive at the hotel. That said, it has a way of subtly reminding you that you're in Mexico at every step - the offer of an expensive shot of tequila, the multi-coloured decorations hanging in the trees, even a few carefully positioned trident cartoon cacti standing on the pathways.
And of course there's the food. Don't make the mistake of ordering the traditional Mexican fare of nachos as a pre-dinner snack. One enormous plate of indulgent corn chips, cheese, guacamole and salsa later, you run the risk of sinking into a contented slumber for the rest of the evening. Stick with the lighter fresh fish and local vegetables.
For guests who aren't avoiding the paparazzi, a visit into the town is made easier by the Porsche Boxster and convertible Mini Cooper that are available to hire. Turn left and make the short drive to Cabo San Lucas itself. Cabo has risen in popularity as a mainstream tourist destination only since the Seventies. Until then it was a hotspot for American sport fishing fans. And despite the fact that since the Second World War Hollywood stars like Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and Dezi Arnaz had caught on to the tiny village's charms and started to build hotels in the area, it was really accessible only by dirt track until 1974.
Apart from the sublime seaside setting and sumptuous five-star service, what brings the famous and the well-heeled to Ventanas? The surrounding area, it has to be said, is largely forgettable.
Neighbouring places including the resort of Cabo San Lucas are never likely to be mistaken for St Tropez or Portofino. The only nod to an A-list clientele is The Shoppes at Palmilla, where Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas all been spotted browsing local artwork.
Otherwise, Cabo San Lucas might not glamorous town you are expecting. It has rather too many tacky souvenir shops and a surprising number of dubious pharmacies offering cut-price Viagra. There is, however, a Hard Rock Cafe and the infamous Senor Frogs (an all-you-can-drink bar).
A rive back down the highway to San Jose Del Cabo reveals a slightly more authentic village with craft stores and art galleries.
Wide-eyed: The resort has telescopes dotted at intervals to let guests gaze at passing whales
It's hard to drag yourself from the resort, though. A luxury spa, 24-hour butler service, an infinity pool just a moment's walk each hotel room (there is a lagoon-like formation of swimming pools throughout the hotel) and even chilled Evian spray proffered the moment you break into a sweat while sunbathing - you can start to enjoy the A-list lifestyle.
With advance booking it's possible to have your very own personal cinema arranged on the beach, with a flat-screen television, fire pit and gourmet snacks laid on for the evening (beats the Odeon in Camden any day).
I have to admit, when I was there just before Christmas I did keep one eye open for Jen, or any celebrity for that matter. But after the first few hours I genuinely stopped caring who was on the next sunlounger. I was more concerned about what time the next tequila shot was coming round...
Seven nights at Las Ventanas Al Paraiso costs from £2,945 per person, based on two people sharing a Garden View Junior Suite on a bed and breakfast basis, economy flights from Heathrow with American Airlines including transfers.
For further information, contact Elegant Resorts Reservations (01244 897515, www.elegantresorts.co.uk).
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