Yet another Hollywood star is playing a lead role into the hospitality industry. Iberostar has Antonio Banderas as its brand ambassador. Now, Richard Gere, actor and innkeeper of the Bedford Post, has a new leading role as the 2011 Ambassador of Relais & Châteaux. The Bedford Post, located an hour north of New York City, also was named a new member of Relais & Châteaux.
Gere, his wife Carey Lowell, and their business partner, Russell Hernandez, undertook the restoration project of the property as an act of preservation in order to provide a gathering place for his local community and transformed it into a picturesque inn with two restaurants and a yoga loft.
The Bedford Post is one of 36 new members that were approved after a rigorous selection process, bringing the membership of the organization to more than 500 hotels and restaurants in nearly 60 countries. The 2011 Guide includes six new destinations: Vanuatu, Estonia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Chile and Hong Kong.
Each establishment, whether historic or contemporary, located in the city or the countryside, is individually owned and reflects its local culture in architecture, cuisine and interiors. The properties, with an average of 30 rooms, are often family enterprises, and each convey the innkeeper’s character and personality.
In his forward to the 2011 Relais & Châteaux Guide, Gere notes: “In my long career, I’ve played many challenging and demanding characters, but believe me, none more so than my real life role as innkeeper. We share a kindred spirit with the other Relais & Châteaux innkeepers: a genuine commitment to serve, a rather insane attention to detail, a passion for beauty in all its forms and a personal aspiration to make our world a little better for us having been here.”
Other hotels added to Relais & Châteaux include:
* Glenmere Mansion, a Tuscan-style retreat in New York’s Hudson Valley, with formal gardens and a contemporary art collection;
* The Jefferson Hotel, in Washington, D.C., that boasts a dumbwaiter fashioned from Thomas Jefferson’s own invention that conveys wine from the cellar to the private dining room;
* Westglow Resort & Spa, in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a restored Greek Revival mansion and a former artist’s studio;
* The Addison, in San Diego, featuring an artisanal approach to cooking by Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux William Bradley, and a 36,000 bottle wine collection
* Villa Maria Cristina, a French 19th century townhouse in Guanajuato, Mexico, in the Sierra Madre Oriental.