A celebrity getaway in paradise
Specialist makes dreams come true
by Jerry Hulse
Jerry Hulse is former travel editor of the Los Angeles Times. He is
based in Hawaii.
KAPAA, Hawaii -- Sleep in Charo's bed on Kauai, Sylvester Stallone's
honeymoon digs on Oahu, country singer Randy Travis' home on Maui or
the cottage on the Big Island that Kevin Costner occupied while filming
If your vacation plans call for a secret hideaway in Hawaii, an expatriate
from Los Angeles, Rob Dorman, can provide shelters ranging from $200
a day for a cottage on Kauai to the legendary Paul Mitchell estate on Oahu
Randy Travis' three-bedroom, multilevel cedar-and-redwood home overlooking
Kaanapali Beach -- including a private waterfall, swimming pool, courtyard
and soaring ceilings -- is up for grabs at $390 a day with a four-night
Another Travis property facing Front Street and the ocean in Lahaina
reached via a bridge that spans a pond. It has four bedrooms, a spa,
swimming pool and a Japanese Zen garden. Move in for $665 a night.
If all one desires is a humble shelter, Dorman can handle that, too.
Indeed he'll even put you in a treehouse.
Suffering from the Y2K blues? Dorman will book you into a condo or a
home for a two-week minimum at rates ranging from $575 to $2,000 a day,
the latter an estate on Maui with five bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, a swimming
pool, Jacuzzi and its own private waterfall.
On Oahu, the former home of Joan Kroc of McDonald's fame is also in
the rental pool. On the beach near Diamond Head, it is priced at $3,500
a day for the turn-of-the-century celebration.
In 1978, while steering Hollywood moviemakers to homes in Hawaii, Dorman
came up with the idea for the company he calls Celebrity Getaways. Copycats
have followed but none with Dorman's expertise. Besides the rich and famous,
he caters to vacationers seeking reasonable shelter. Honeymooners, lovers.
Anyone wishing to escape the daily grind for a day, a week, a month. Perhaps
Dorman, who lives on Kauai, arranges weddings as well -- barefoot affairs
on beaches with glorious sunsets, orchids showering down from a helicopter.
Once Dorman scripted the honeymoon for an Arab prince, filling a mansion
on Maui with $3,000 worth of flowers. In addition, he rounded up six limousines
and a yacht for the prince and his entourage. With one of the prince's
staff he shopped a local supermarket, filling a dozen carts with nearly
$3,500 worth of groceries. The final tab for the prince's 10-day stay came
to a trifle over $100,000.
Soon thereafter, Dorman was contacted by another Saudi prince seeking
to take advantage of the suite life on Maui. This time he secured a cluster
of villas near Kapalua with a semi-private beach, access to a couple of
championship golf courses and a shocker of a view, particularly at sunset.
It's precisely the sort of action that gets Dorman's adrenaline pumping.
An estate on Oahu's Lanikai Beach -- six bedrooms, five baths, hand-carved
doors from Bali, a dance pavilion, indoor-outdoor waterfalls, a swimming
pool, carp pond and a Japanese bathhouse -- is available for upwards of
$3,000 a day.
Dorman's a dream salesman, a genie who leads romantics to deserted beaches
with blazing sunsets -- visions to be recalled the next time one is stuck
bumper-to-bumper in Southern California traffic.
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Dorman has put together a production
he calls the Tour Le Grand that features a round-trip flight from the mainland
by private jet, a staffed, six-bedroom estate on Oahu, trips to neighbor
islands (sightseeing by helicopter and chauffeured limousine), a horse-drawn
wagon tour through the storied Waipio Valley, a private luau and the use
of a Ferrari. The whole glorious 10-day holiday prices out to $150,000.
(For an extra $1,100 a day, Dorman will put you behind the wheel of a Lamborghini.)
Once he sent rock star Rod Stewart by private jet to a luncheon engagement
on Maui -- a four-hour fest that cost a tidy $3,800, lunch and jet included.
During more than 20 years, Dorman has led the likes of Tony Bennett,
Frank Sinatra, Helen Reddy, Dave Brubeck, Willie Nelson, Robert Redford,
Norman Lear, the Osmond family and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to homes and
villas on all the islands. Once comedian Jerry Lewis sent Dorman scurrying
for a bucket of fried chicken after the local KFC closed for the night.
Dorman used his old magic and got the owner to reopen. In a wink, Lewis
got his fried chicken -- delivered personally by Dorman.
Other clients seek to go skiing on Mauna Kea and kayaking along peaceful
rivers on Kauai and Maui.
Dorman takes on all requests. When a guest on the Big Island requested
a grand piano, Dorman sent it (same day service) across the briny from
Primarily, though, he's into home rentals, serving both celebrities
fans wishing to vacation where the famous do. Some properties are staffed
with housekeepers, chefs and gardeners. Not long ago Dorman steered a vacationer
to such a manse, including staff, on the beach near Diamond Head. The tab:
$60,000 a month, service included.
Dorman greets guests at the airport with leis and hula dancers. He'll
hire the Royal Hawaiian band if requested by arrivals.
A college dropout, Dorman bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii in 1971
and has never looked back. Is he happy? You bet. He tells you flat out
that he has no intention of ever going home again.
Besides Hawaii, Rob Dorman sends vacationers to the Texas ranch of "Dallas"
television fame, Merv Griffin's estate in Ireland, Elvis Presley's former
abode in Palm Springs, Sinclair Lewis' cottage in Vermont, Oscar Hammerstein's
villa in Jamaica and the private estate of Sir Richard Branson in the British
Contact Dorman at Celebrity Getaways International, P.O. Box 1596, Kapaa,
HI 96746. Phone (808) 823-8667 or send e-mail to 4aloha@GTE.net.
Copyright Union-Tribune Publishing Co.