Star struck: Experiential travel for close and personal starry experiences

The object of many a painting, the scenic scarlet red windmill in Paris is now also a venue for a memorable holiday. The Moulin Rouge is unveiling a secluded room inside the iconic red windmill that has been sumptuously designed to transport guests back in time to the late 19th century. Very few are aware of the space inside the windmill, which has never been open for public access, and is now bookable for an overnight stay on Airbnb.

The room is up for rent for three overnight stays on June 13, 20 and 27. A romantic rooftop three-course dinner prepared by resident chef Arnaud Demerville, meeting with the lead dancer and Airbnb host Claudine Van Den Bergh in her dressing room and staying inside a sumptuous boudoir are part of the unique Parisian experience.

This is not the first time that Airbnb has listed such a unique experience. Last year, in Chicago, the McCallister family’s house from the Home Alone film was available in December. In fact, actor Devin Ratray–who played Kevin McCallister’s older brother Buzz in the film – was host at the one-night stay. The stunning villa from House of Gucci was another, Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan opened their Delhi home in 2021. Barbie’s life-size Malibu Dreamhouse was available back in 2019 for $60 a night. The iconic dollhouse in Malibu, California, celebrated Barbie brand’s 60th anniversary. The house had panoramic ocean views and beachy, glamorous décor in Barbie’s signature style, besides a hobby room, personal cinema, infinity pool and outdoor meditation zone, with every corner of the house intended to reflect Barbie’s lifetime. Moulin Rouge was established as a dance hall in 1889, featuring a cabaret show that included the first Cancan performance. It was damaged by fire in 1915, but was restored, and is still a performance venue today. The space on offer includes an ‘opulent boudoir’ complete with a small paper stage as an homage to the cabaret’s spirit. A dressing area includes vintage costumes, perfume and ‘effusive letters from admirers.’ It also includes a roof top terrace.

Situated in the heart of Montmartre, the Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the French Cancan, a delightfully energetic cabaret and a performance that is symbolic to the Belle Epoque Era. When recreating the decorative and stylistic details of this celebrated time in history, Airbnb worked with the renowned 19th century French historian, Jean-Claude Yon, to authentically renovate the windmill, exactly as it would have been. “The Belle Époque era was a time when French culture and arts flourished, and no landmark is more iconic to that period than the Moulin Rouge. This secret room inside the cabaret’s famous windmill has been designed for an authentic journey back in time to experience the French capital of arts during a moment in history.”

Experiential travel is intriguing as it takes you behind the scenes, into the life and times of favourite icons, popular culture or shows like the Moulin Rouge while unravelling some not-so-known nuances. For instance, a guided tour of the mansions of popular icons like Jay Z and Beyonce, Melanie Griffith, Alfred Hitchcock, Cameron Diaz, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio and Halle Berry takes one around the world of stars, what they eat, sleep or celebrate. High-end Rodeo Drive, luxurious Beverly Hills, and star-studded Hollywood Hills in the US are homes of celebrities and a tourist attraction. An audio guide, map, and tour booking app, Action Tour Guide, is a GPS-enabled app-based tour guide that narrates information based on the location on phone, while one experiences driving and walking tours of places where these stars live, shop and party, and offer exclusive rides of popular mansions.

In India, Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, a thematic holiday destination with the largest film studio complex spreads across 2000 acres, has special tours of all the behind-the-scenes action in Tollywood and Bollywood stars picturised in studios.

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