Where Katy Perry, Francis Ford Coppola Hang Out in South America
Phil Rosenthal, Mark Zuckerberg and James Gunn are also among those who have been spotted at these VIP hangouts.
Buenos Aires' culinary scene may not have been why Oscar Isaac, Madonna, Mickey Rourke and Ben Kingsley flew south, but once there, the food impresses mightily. Celebrity chef Francis Mallmann's Patagonia Sur in La Boca is popular, but Don Carlos is the spot where he and Francis Ford Coppola take friends like the late Anthony Bourdain and Gwyneth Paltrow, who sampled grilled pork flank. Writer-host-producer Phil Rosenthal — who noshed on short-rib pastrami at Mishiguene, Lucciano's artisanal ice cream and skirt steak at Don Julio Parilla — tells THR: "One of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires or anywhere is Narda Lepes' innovative, delicious Narda Comedor. She makes what may be the world's greatest fruit salad, which stemmed from her hatred of fruit salads. We called it 'Fuck You Fruit Salad.' "
After filming in B.A., Coppola bought a home that became boutique hotel BE Jardin Escondido by Coppola (rooms from $171). The Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires — whose 1920 La Mansión has a private entrance and elevator and a gold-clad Presidential Suite bathroom — is a favorite stay (from $525) for musicians on tour, including Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Harry Styles and Coldplay. A VIP concierge will queue up private tango classes and exclusive cooking classes with one of their star chefs. Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (from $455) is in demand, and Faena Hotel (from $369) has hosted Margot Robbie, while its famous Rojo Tango show has lured Katy Perry and Sting. Last Christmas, Scarlett Johansson and fiance Colin Jost were spotted in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo after visiting Patagonia's Perito Moreno Glacier.
Cartagena, the Caribbean city with charming technicolor facades, is where Jaden Smith made a music video while dad Will filmed Ang Lee's Gemini Man; Darren Aronofsky reportedly ended evenings on the dance floor; and Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen enjoyed their Long Shot shoot. Producer Michael Fitzgerald stayed at Cartagena's luxury boutique Hotel Casa San Agustín (from $329), made up of a trio of exquisite, restored 17th-century homes. Fear the Walking Dead's Danay García tells THR that the Cartagena's historic colonial area "is like traveling back in time." On a six-hour "culinary journey" to the fisherman's village of Santa Marta, Garcia sampled "many small towns, each [with] different types of food," getting "a real taste of Colombia." Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita celebrated an anniversary with boat rides and paddleboarding, crediting the idea to his Colombian native co-star Sofía Vergara (who frequents her secret island idyll, Casa Chipi Chipi, with husband Joe Manganiello).
When in José Ignacio, perhaps South America's most expensive, VIP-friendly fishing village, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Zuckerberg hit La Huella, a see-and-be-seen beachfront boite to sip vino and eat grilled just-caught fish. Tech moguls abound: The Facebook founder had all the furniture replaced when he borrowed a vacation home in nearby Punta del Este for eight days, while Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and Sean Parker have made trips. Fashion designer Jason Wu so loved the local artwork in his suite at bucolic boutique property Estancia Vik (also known for its horse stables; from $380) that the staff arranged a visit with artist Marcelo Legrand. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck recently dropped by to cook a meal over open flames at the state-of-the-art Uruguayan winery Bodega Garzón and recommends: "The wines everyone should try are Bodega Garzón Single Vineyard Tannat 2016, Single Vineyard Petit Verdot 2016 and Albariño 2017." Also preferred by George Clooney, the winery destination just launched a private club for members to blend, age and bottle their own barrel of wine as well as play golf at the ultraprivate course designed by 2009 Masters champion Ángel Cabrera.
This story first appeared in the June 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.