Monday, September 02, 2013

Boston hotelier drops in on Kennedy via red float plane

HYANNIS — You never know whom you'll see in the air or on the water on the Cape.

On Sunday afternoon, hotelier Andre Balazs landed his red float plane in Hyannis Harbor for a brief visit with Cape resident Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist and the son of Robert F. Kennedy.

Reached by telephone on Sunday, Kennedy confirmed he had picked up Balazs, president and CEO of Andre Balazs Properties, at the plane, which was parked on the famous family's mooring.

Balazs visited with the Kennedy family for several hours before flying off with his crew again, Kennedy said.

The plane, a Cessna 208 built in 2000, has transported some famous passengers in recent years.

In September 2012, Pippa Middleton, the sister of Catherine "Kate" Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, took the float plane from New York City to Balazs' luxurious Sunset Beach hotel on Shelter Island, N.Y.

Float planes, which are outfitted with pontoons to provide buoyancy, are ideal for environments where airstrips are limited and water is plentiful.

Balazs, who has been linked romantically to actress Uma Thurman and comedienne Chelsea Handler, launched his seaplane service StndAIR in the summer of 2011. According to the service's website, flights are offered between East Hampton, N.Y., and New York City for $525 one way.

Balazs owns The Standard Hotels, a collection of boutique hotels across the United States, as well as The Mercer Hotel in New York City and the famed Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, Calif.

"We are very proud of Andre because he is a Boston kid who has become a success," Kennedy said by phone Sunday.

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