What does a celebrity bring when checking into a hotel? Glamour, buzz, and sometimes, a whole lot of chaos.
Sure, hosting a famous guest can translate into great PR for a hotel, but “it can also be a mixed bag,” admits Mark Plonkey, the general manager of Denver’s Hotel Teatro. “The one thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that public persona is not always the reality behind closed doors.”
According to most hotel managers that Travel + Leisure spoke with, most conflicts with celebrities are pretty mundane, and often result from overzealous “handlers:” demands for discounts or precise requests like a bowl of single-colored M&Ms. But other hotels know that debauchery can be good for business. “We embrace the spirit of rock ’n’ roll,” says Brandon Powers, creative director of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. “They can trash their room or even take a donkey up there, so long as we don’t have to clean up after it in the casino. It takes a lot for us to ask someone to leave.”
The Incident: Did the Saturday Night Fever star really lose his spa privileges? According to an insider at New York City’s Peninsula Hotel, Travolta was banned for repeated “inappropriate behavior” at the spa in the early 2000s. Reportedly, after enough male employees complained about Travolta’s “creepy” antics during massages, the actor was banished to the “no-thigh zone.”
Still Unwelcome? The ban was lifted after about three years, claimed the Peninsula source, though Travolta’s representative declared the whole thing hogwash. Either way, the actor was reportedly seen back at the Peninsula’s fitness center in Spring 2012.
The Incident: It’s become a modern hotel-trashing classic: when staying at New York City’s Plaza in 2010, the actor supposedly had an adverse reaction to “medication” and went into an underwear-clad rage in his room—all while a recently acquainted porn actress hid in the bathroom out of fear. Sheen’s smashing of mirrors, TV, and furniture supposedly racked up $20,000 in damages before the authorities intervened.
Still Unwelcome? The Plaza has reportedly banned Sheen for life—and other Manhattan hotels have taken a similar stance: the Waldorf-Astoria and the Trump SoHo have supposedly refused to book Sheen. Sheen’s representative, meanwhile, told one reporter that the actor also has the travel obstacle of finding a hotel that will let him smoke.
Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan
The Incident: Hollywood’s Standard Hotel found itself entangled with two former child stars in the spring of 2012. First, former Nickelodeon actress Amanda Bynes was reportedly banned from entering the hotel’s nightclub Smoke & Mirrors when she arrived just hours after she’d been arrested, and then released, on suspicion of a DUI.
Lindsay Lohan, meanwhile, opted to beat the hotel to the punch. Within days of the Bynes incident, Lohan reportedly got into a fight with another patron at Smoke & Mirrors, after which Lohan reportedly banned herself from the hotel, declaring it “a curse” for her.
Still Unwelcome? The Standard would not comment, saying only that its policy is “to create a comfortable and inviting experience for their guests,” adding that any incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis.
The Incident: In 2010 the Wynn in Las Vegas issued a preemptive ban against the rapper, who arrived at the hotel for festivities after a performance at the Hard Rock Hotel. At the time, Lil Wayne was fresh off an eight-month sentence for attempted criminal possession of a weapon, and had also been legally prohibited from having alcohol for the next three years. The Wynn, according to reports, was concerned that Wayne (and the hotel) would be asking for trouble if he came inside.
Still Unwelcome? Lil Wayne took his business to The Palms instead, without incident. The Wynn had no comment.
The Incident: In 2010, just trying to check in at the Wynn got the hotel heiress both banned and facing criminal charges. As they were pulling up at the hotel, Hilton and her then boyfriend underwent a traffic stop that quickly escalated—culminating when Hilton reached for lip balm in her purse, and a bag of cocaine fell out instead. The Wynn and Encore resorts banned Hilton from staying and fired her boyfriend, who was, at that time, manager at two of the resort’s nightclubs.
Still Unwelcome? Hilton pleaded guilty to drug possession and obstructing an officer, and served a year of probation, as well as paying a $2,000 fine and serving 200 hours of community service. By the end of 2011, the Wynn reportedly reinstated Hilton as a BFF, and she’s been spotted partying at The Encore Hotel’s Surrender nightclub (“Wynning,” as TMZ.com put it).
The Incident: The Mötley Crüe rocker apparently didn’t care for the service he received at Las Vegas’s Palms in Spring 2012. Rather than fill out a customer reply card, however, he reportedly took to Twitter to vent: “OMG RUDEST STAFF EVER!! Don’t go!!” The Palms released a statement saying that Neil was asked to leave the hotel for undisclosed “behavior” and was not welcome to return: “We would prefer that Mr. Neil put his efforts toward apologizing for his conduct.”
Still Unwelcome? According to reports, Neil replied by calling the hotel staff “liars.” This hasn’t been his first clash with a Vegas hotel, either. In 2011 he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and paid a $1,000 fine, for an expletive-laced outburst at the then–Las Vegas Hilton.
The Incident: Even though the legendary Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles has a history of harboring wild celebrities, from Errol Flynn to Dennis Hopper and Lindsay Lohan, the Hollywood hangout reportedly banned Britney in 2007. The reason? Bad table manners: she was supposedly smearing her dinner on her face, inspiring several complaints from other guests.
Still Unwelcome? Other hotels reportedly followed suit during the pop star’s very public troubles that year: the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Beverly Hills Four Seasons both reportedly closed their doors to Spears’s antics. The Four Seasons ban was apparently not universal, as Spears has since been spotted at branches in Budapest and Buenos Aires.
The Incident: Be careful what you tweet. Jenn Hoffman—blogger, reporter, and 2007 contestant on "The Apprentice"—reportedly got a one-year ban from Chateau Marmont for posting on Twitter about other, more famous celebrities’ bad behavior. One night in 2011, Hoffman tweeted about Rachel Hunter, alleging that the actress and model was doing the splits and trying on other guests’ glasses.
Still Unwelcome? A representative from the Marmont would not comment on any bans, but said it is the hotel’s policy to “uphold the privacy of their guests.” Hoffman, however, wrote on her blog, “Apparently when it comes to status updates, the customer isn’t always right.”
O. J. Simpson
The Incident: In 2007, the tarnished NFL Hall of Famer was charged with 10 felony charges—including kidnapping and armed robbery—after a memorabilia sale gone bad at the Palace Station Hotel in Vegas. During the ensuing trial in Nevada, Strip mainstays such as MGM Grand, the Mirage, Harrah’s, and the Palms made it clear that they would rather the Juice not stay at their properties.
Still Unwelcome? It’s a moot point now, since Simpson was convicted and is serving a 33-year sentence in a Nevada state prison.
See more celebrities banned by top hotels