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How to holiday like a celebrity on a public servant salary

Tenele Conway

Let me take a guess here.

Your butt has never “broken” the internet, the closest thing you have to an entourage is your posse of pets and your ‘drug habit’ extends to a Friday night wine on the couch with reruns of Sex and the City.

Despite preferring your quiet life in Canberra there is one aspect of the celebrity lifestyle that is enviable — they holiday like it is perpetually 1999 (well, not my 1999 which involved underage drinking resulting in a decade-long hangover) but Prince’s 1999. Leonardo DiCaprio’s 1999. Madonna’s 1999.

I know what you’re thinking. Celebrities have millions of dollars and I’m just a public servant. I’ll never holiday in Cannes, on a yacht, with Leo.

Well, I can’t guarantee you Leo, but I can promise you private villas, private yachts and one hell of a holiday. Who needs Leo anyway?

So just where can you holiday like a celebrity without the price tag?

Here are my top picks.

A villa in Bali

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Image via www.villapantulanbali.com

Bali is the number one destination for luxury on a budget and is one of the few places in the world where you can rent a private villa with staff for you and your family and friends for less than the cost of a few hotel rooms.

There are countless villas in that Seminyak region of Bali that will give you the seclusion you seek but if you are going to rock star level you need to amp it up a little. This is where private villas like the Villa Pantulan come in.

Hidden away in a small village on the outskirts of Ubud when you rent this property you get the whole shebang. This is more of a compound than a villa. Hidden behind a high wall at the front and open to the rice paddies at the back you have a complex of pavilions that house 10 people comfortably. The pavilions are connected by pristine marble walkways, expansive reflection pools, and tropical gardens. Bathrooms are open air but very private and there is a separate massage pavilion where you can arrange your own masseuse.

The rentals come a staff of 12 including chefs, security, drivers, barmen and cleaners and they are all there to take care of your every need. Corral your friends and family to keep the per person cost of this holiday down and you will be sunning yourself like a Kardashian in no time.

Find out more at www.villapantulanbali.com

Cruise the Whitsundays in a private yacht

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Image via www.whitsundayholidays.com.au

It may not be Cannes but Australia’s Whitsunday coastlines dotted with secluded bays and private islands are arguably better. You can charter your own yacht from 4 to 8 berth for little over $100 per person per night giving you the freedom to evade the paparazzi like it’s nobody’s business.

There is a long list of companies who will rent you a yacht or even provide you with a crew for a few extra dollars so don’t break the internet with your googling and start right here.

Try these: www.charteryachtsaustralia.com.auwww.whitsundayholidays.com.au

Lara Croft your way through Siem Reap

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Image via shintamani.com

If you want a destination that is exotic, steeped in history and where your dollar will go a long way then you can’t go past Siem Reap in Cambodia. This is the very place Angelina Jolie chose to start her brood with the adoption of her son Maddox. You can roam ancient ruins swallowed by the jungle during the day and at night retire to pure luxury that won’t break the bank. A good place to start is the Shinta Mani Club, these secluded villas are separate to the main resort and are known for their high levels of service, peaceful private courtyards, and their unbeatable location right in the heart of town

If you want adventure like Lara Croft or the superstar lifestyle like Angelina you can be anyone you want in Siem Reap.

Find out more here: shintamani.com

Have your own “Out of Africa” experience

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Image via www.lionsands.com

Sprawled on the banks of the Sabie River in Kruger National Park you will find the Lion Sands Game Reserve. No, we’re not going rogue here and hunting wildlife – this is purely the wildlife viewing experience of a lifetime and one worthy of the celebrity in all of us.

We’re talking private plunge pools out on a deck overlooking the bushland, treehouses where you can sleep under the stars, roaring fireplaces in old world lodges and the world’s best wildlife experiences. Each stay includes game viewing drives in open-air vehicles both morning and afternoon, hurtling through the bush in search of the Big 5 so you can feel like Indiana Jones. Meanwhile at night, tucked back up in your canopied bed you will feel more like a pampered Gisele Bundchen. This type of luxury will set you back more than a trip to South East Asia but is still within reach of any celebrity wanna be.

Find out more here: www.lionsands.com

If you can’t beat them, join them at the Chateau Marmont Hollywood

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Image via www.chateaumarmont.com

You won’t need to linger long in the hallowed halls of the Chateau Marmont to spot a celebrity and based on the stories that leak out of the castle-like walls you can be sure it is a celebrity behaving badly. Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have both been booted from the famous hotel for their antics, John Belushi died in the Chateau after a wild all night party, John Bonham rode a motorcycle through the lobby and old Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable have forever left their print on this iconic piece of Hollywood real estate.

Be sure to leave your cameras at home and do your best to blend in with the LA natives – you don’t want to stand out like Terry Tourist at this establishment. But buyer beware, if the song based on the Chateau is to be believed “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”.

Find out more here: www.chateaumarmont.com

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Tenele Conway

Tenele Conway is a veteran of the Canberra Travel industry having worked in retail travel stores around the city for well over decade. Taking full advantage of the perks of the job she has travelled the world primarily at the expense of others and when she isn’t zip lining in Guatemala or cruising the Nile she is bringing together her two passions of world cuisines and travel on her blog www.hungryplanetblog.com. With a cookbook collection worthy of an episode of 'Hoarders' she sees a future as a travelling cookbook author, look out Rick Stein. More about the Author

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