For an oligarch, such a thing as a recession is no deterrent to a lavish party. Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, will be hosting what promises to be one of the most extravagant bashes anywhere to see in the new decade.
He and his girlfriend Daria Zhukova, who recently gave birth to a son, are expected to spend up to £3m on a beach party for 250 people on the Caribbean resort island of Saint Barthélemy. The singer Prince is to perform for them for a fee said to be £500,000.
As a new arrival on the island, Abramovich is keen to make his mark. He recently bought the Gouverneur Bay estate — a £54m 70-acre cove surrounded by hills that lead down to a beach. He plans to use the entire bay as a party space.
According to an informed source, the beach will be converted into a giant stage for Prince and two other performers, a flotilla of luxury vessels will crowd the the bay and at midnight fireworks will be launched off the bow of one of Abramovich’s yachts.
The budget for drinks, food and transport is believed to be £1.8m and for the performers a combined £1.2m. For those without their own transport to reach the secluded bay, a fleet of private jets will be on hand.
Guests will have the use of the swimming pool with swim-up bar, as well as an outdoor stage and cinema.
Seizing the crown for the best party on St Barts will not be easy. The six-mile-long island in the French West Indies has become a playground for jet-setters in recent years.
Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul, and Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, often hold spectacular parties there. During New Year’s Eve celebrations last year, Daniel Craig and Lily Allen mingled with guests who reportedly included Steven Spielberg.
“Roman is new to the island and wants to come in with a bang,” said the party source.
“He’s keeping the guest list a closely guarded secret but it’s going to be a mix of celebrities and business people. You can expect that an invitation will be extended to people such as Sir Philip Green, Jude Law and Simon Cowell, who are all only 40 minutes or so away by jet.”
Abramovich’s spokesman declined to comment; but his party will not be the only attraction for celebrity holidaymakers.
Green, who said last week that he was unlikely to attend the Abramovich extravaganza, will be staying at the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, where a “rich and famous” party is planned.
“Nobody knows about it. We’re not advertising it. It’s just word of mouth,” said an employee at Sandy Lane.
“If you’re a celebrity or businessman of a certain standing you’ll know about it — mostly British people from the world of entertainment; producers and so on.”
The Sandy Lane party has a £2,000 ticket price, which covers only entry. Drinks will cost extra.
Michael Winner, an habitué of Sandy Lane, has decided to grace another seaside spot this year. “I’ll actually be in South Beach, Miami, with my friend Sir Michael Caine,” he said. “I’ll go back to Sandy Lane, which is a great hotel, but I thought I’d have a change. I had a dreadful experience with the food last year.”
Back in Britain celebrations promise to be more restrained. Alistair Darling, the chancellor, and Gordon Brown will be spending Hogmanay at their homes in Edinburgh and Fife respectively. David Cameron will attend a “gathering with friends” in Oxfordshire.
More than 100,000 people will descend on Edinburgh for its annual Hogmanay street party. At midnight they will join hands for the world’s biggest rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
In London thousands of revellers are expected to crowd around the London Eye big wheel to watch fireworks being launched from barges in the Thames. SOURCE : [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] From The Sunday Times December 27, 2009