Monday evening, View From the Top star and cookbook author Gwyneth Paltrow posted a video of a sunset to her Instagram account. She captioned it, “La puesta del sol,” and added a Mexican flag emoji. Was she in Mexico? Where was she staying? Is Gwyneth conversational in Spanish? Two of those questions were answered Tuesday afternoon, when Paltrow posted a photo of what looked to be her and her daughter staring at a sunset. “@airbnb who knew?? Such a beautiful trip,” she wrote. “Adiós Vallarta. Hasta la próxima!”
The revelation that Gwyneth Paltrow, a woman who makes a living telling people to spend more money on theirs, participated in the sharing economy and stayed in an Airbnb like some kind of normal shocked me. I gasped at the news—gave it a hearty, “Ha!”—and decided to find out more.
Based on what I could see in the Instagram posts and what I knew about Gwyneth, this is what I knew about the rental:
- It is a short walk away from a rocky part of the beach.
- It has at least one infinity pool.
- It has a view of the ocean obstructed by one or two palm trees.
Because I don’t have Paltrow’s number on my phone (lucky Gwyn) and only see her mother outside our office once every nine months or so (lucky Blythe), I was forced to scour rentals on Airbnb’s site based on limited knowledge and a couple assumptions:
- Location: Puerto Vallarta
- Room type: Entire home/apt
- Price: $900 per night - $1000+ per night
- Amenities: Pool
After scrolling through dozens of homes, I narrowed Paltrow’s possible vacation spot down to six and sent them to Kate Dries. “These houses make me wish I were rich,” Dries said while clicking through Airbnbs that make every Airbnb I’ve ever stayed in look like a person-sized hole dug out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s compost pile. She cut my list down to three.
There was the $1758 per night Casa Caleta, but its bright orange facade felt too artificial for Paltrow’s tastes, and interior decor featured the kinds of slipcovers Gwyneth would likely forbid Moses and Apple from sitting on.
Next was the $2618 Villa Amapas Estate, whose luxurious furnishings and larger kitchen seemed more up Gwyn’s alley. It also appeared to be a shorter walk to the beach—as her Instagram posts suggested—but there was something about it that felt a little off.
Then came this 6 bedroom villa. At $8,045 per night, it was among the most expensive of the listings on the site, but the price wasn’t what sold us. It was the structure itself and everything in it. This place screamed goop:
A home made of wood and stone. Can’t you just hear Gwyneth look at this house, nod, and say, “Don’t you think a home should be made of exactly what the earth is made of?”
In this photo of the infinity pool, hints of coastal vegetation can be seen poking out from under it—just like the pool in her Instagram video.
This shower! I’m picturing Gwyneth emerging from the bathroom after her morning shower and saying to Brad Falchuk, who’s playing an iPhone game on the bed, “There’s nothing like showering while looking out at the ocean.”
“What?” he asks.
“I said there’s nothing like showering while looking out at the ocean.”
“Huh? Oh. Yeah. Right.”
Yes, yes. This must be the place, Kate and I thought. And then, late Tuesday afternoon, TMZ confirmed it. They write, “Perks of Gwyneth’s place include a private chef, yoga room, gym, and not just one, but 2 connecting infinity pools.”
“@airbnb who knew?” We did.
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Images via Instagram, Airbnb.