The £800,000 Claridge’s hotel stay that helped Noel Gallagher get over his toxic £20mn divorce: Half went on the best part of a year in a luxury Mayfair suite – the rest on room service with £10 bottles of lager and £22 Garibaldi cocktails!thedigitalchaps


What price the cure for a broken heart? If you’re Noel Gallagher, it seems that about £800,000 should do the trick.

That extraordinary figure, friends have told me, was their estimation of the bill the former Oasis frontman recently received after checking out of the £2,500 per night Claridge’s suite he had decamped to after his marriage to PR executive Sara MacDonald collapsed.

Even for a rock star worth around £56 million, it was enough to prompt a gulp.

Noel recently revealed that he spent much of 2023 holed up in the upmarket art deco hotel, one of London’s finest.

His 700sq ft junior suite, which came with a large living space, had its own fireplace, piano and extra deep marble bath (complete with individualised Claridge’s bathing products).

Sara McDonald and Noel Gallagher during the Q Awards 2018 – the couple broke up in 2023

Claridge’s Hotel in London’s Mayfair has served as a bolthole for Gallagher as he sought to get over the breakup

Gallagher performing on stage during a Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds gig at Wembley Arena in December

Gallagher performing on stage during a Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds gig at Wembley Arena in December

Tastefully decorated in the kind of classic cream colour scheme favoured by the uber rich, with extra plush sofas and reclining chairs, each suite in the hotel is uniquely crafted by a renowned interior designer, either Michelle Wu, Pierre Yves Rochon or BOS Studio.

Residents can also make full use of the Linley-designed Map Room to conduct business meetings, with a concierge on hand 24/7 to deliver light bites from the Claridge’s kitchen. The on-site gym has wall-to-wall personal trainers, Peloton bikes and, in their downtime, guests can indulge in a swim, immersing themselves in an electrolyte-rich relaxation pool.

The hotel also has a decadent Japanese-themed spa — complete with steam rooms, saunas, and an array of treatments, from acupuncture to vitamin infusions — and even its own art gallery.

So far, so luxurious. Even so — how on earth did Noel manage to rattle up such an extraordinary bill?

I’m told that while there was some discount for his loyalty, the accommodation alone was thought to have cost him around £400,000.

As for the rest, of course, there was the bar bill — mostly room service.

Sources say that rather than enjoy the numerous opulent bars and restaurants the five star hotel has on offer, Noel was happier in his room, holding parties for his friends.

And with his bashes dominated by the hotel’s signature Garibaldi cocktail — a mix of Campari, passionfruit and lemon priced at £22, the hotel’s fine wines selected by an on-site sommelier costing as much as £600 per bottle, and the singer’s favourite tipple, lager (the hotel’s craft beer comes in at £10 a bottle), clearly the bill quickly accumulated.

Fry ups for a hangover cure the next morning also come at a significant cost — some £45 a portion. Two boiled eggs alone cost a whopping £18, served in-room for residents.

Noel himself admitted this week: ‘I had some proper f****** good times there.’

One can’t help but wonder, though, why Noel wouldn’t just rent a fabulous home or apartment in London for a year, rather than committing so much of his fortune to a vast hotel bill? That, say friends, is a mark of how discombobulated he was when his second marriage crumbled.

‘Noel was devastated at the prospect of getting divorced,’ one friend of the star tells me. ‘He loved Sara so much and thought it would be nights in front of the telly in his slippers with her for the rest of his days.

‘His heart was in bits and he didn’t quite know what to do with himself so Claridge’s seemed like a nice treat. He has the cash so why not treat himself? It was a case of giving himself a bit of TLC, some self-care, at a time when he really needed it.

‘But woah, when he realised how much it was costing him, there was a moment of “Oh my God”. But he looks back fondly on it, he needed that time.’ Even this friend admits it was a raucous period. ‘There were some big nights in that room,’ they say. ‘There were long nights of drinking with his “muso mates”.

‘Noel wanted to let his hair down and forget about what his future would look like for a short time.’

£20million divorce: Noel Gallagher and Sara MacDonald

£20million divorce: Noel Gallagher and Sara MacDonald

Gallagher and MacDonald, 52 ¿ who have sons Donovan, 16, and Sonny, 14 ¿ split last year after 22 years

Noel Gallagher and Sara McDonald The Q Awards, Roundhouse, London in October 2018

Gallagher and MacDonald, 52 – who have sons Donovan, 16, and Sonny, 14 – split last year after 22 years

Indeed, while staying at the hotel, Noel — who remains estranged from his younger brother Liam — was seen out on the town enjoying the company of attractive women. All the while, renovations for the bachelor pad of his dreams, in North West London, were being completed. Claridge’s was, then, the perfect — if pricey — stopgap.

Even without the Claridge’s bill, 2023 was an expensive year for Noel.

His bitter divorce eventually saw him handing over around £20million, a sum which includes cash and the £8 million family mansion in Hampshire where he and Sara had brought up their sons Donovan, 16, and Sonny, 14, as well as continued maintenance payments. Noel and Sara first met in Ibiza in 2000 while he was still married to his first wife, another PR executive, Meg Mathews, with whom he had daughter Anais, now 23.

A year after Noel met Sara, he and Meg split — and the couple started dating. They tied the knot in a romantic £60,000 ceremony in 2011 at the luxurious Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest.

Bagpipes were played on their big day as a special nod to Sara’s Scottish heritage. But for all the initial happiness, it wasn’t to last. Noel left the family home in January 2023.

Apparently one issue was Noel’s growing obsession with a new studio complex he had built in North London, which he would refer to as his ‘potting shed’, which was more the 56-year-old’s passion than his wife’s. Sara is four years his junior.

‘They were once both wild,’ says a friend. ‘But Noel wound down his excesses and limits himself to social drinks in the evenings.’ As for his new studio, ‘it’s the ultimate man cave,’ says a friend. ‘It has amazing original artwork by his famous friends.’

Among the paintings is one by John Squire, guitarist of The Stone Roses. The outside of the studio building features a mural of John Lennon, David Bowie and Johnny Rotten. Exhibited inside are gold discs from his own catalogue and others presented to him as gifts from pals including Paul Weller, The Stone Roses and Johnny Marr.

A lounge area is decked out with personal mementos — including a life-sized cut out of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola in one corner. Noel is famously a fan of the football club.

A comfortable sofa area allows Noel to relax between recording sessions with a beer from a fully stocked booze fridge — though more often he’ll be sipping a cup of tea prepared for him by his on-site technician.

He’s often joined there by friends — Paul Weller is a regular and recorded his own album there.

Friends say that Noel would often spend the whole day in the studio, not emerging until after dark, as he whiled the days away ‘fiddling with ideas and technical production equipment’.

Gallagher, 56, broken his silence on his divorce from ex-wife Sara McDonald earlier this week, a year after the pair split

Gallagher, 56, broken his silence on his divorce from ex-wife Sara McDonald earlier this week, a year after the pair split 

He said in an interview discussing the break-up: 'Outside my wonderful ex-wife's house and give her a little wave, and go, 'You didn't take this from me!'

He said in an interview discussing the break-up: ‘Outside my wonderful ex-wife’s house and give her a little wave, and go, ‘You didn’t take this from me!’

Elsewhere in the interview the Noel (L) shared his thoughts on reforming Oasis with estranged brother Liam (R) before claiming the band would likely 'be cancelled in an afternoon' these days (pictured in 2005)

Elsewhere in the interview the Noel (L) shared his thoughts on reforming Oasis with estranged brother Liam (R) before claiming the band would likely ‘be cancelled in an afternoon’ these days (pictured in 2005) 

Keen to save their marriage, Noel instigated a family holiday to Spain in mid 2022. Their sons came too, and they were joined by friends for some of the trip.

Pictures at the time saw Noel appearing pensive on a luxury yacht off the island of Formentera in July of that year, dressed in a stylish olive shirt and grey shorts.

Meanwhile, Sara was seen in a yellow mini dress bounding across the boat, seemingly without a care in the world.

Behind the scenes, though, friends tell me the Oasis star had already started considering the fact that he might be heading towards his 60th birthday milestone without Sara at his side.

They couple filed for divorce in late 2022, which became public in January 2023.

Noel went on to issue a candid statement which read: ‘When you get to your mid-50s, you do come to some kind of crossroads in your life. It’s not uncommon for people who have been in long-term relationships to go their separate ways in their 50s.

‘I know a lot of people in the same boat as me and Sara. Particularly after the pandemic. The midlife crisis thing is true for men and women.’

Representatives for the couple insisted they would ‘together continue to look after their children who remain their priority’.

But Noel later gave an insight into just how bitter he was about handing over so much of his cash in the settlement, suggesting things had not remained amicable.

In an interview with comedian Matt Morgan’s podcast, he took a swipe at his former wife.

Addressing the fact that he would soon be living in North West London, he said: ‘I can get on the bike and go outside my wonderful ex-wife’s house and give her a little wave — and go, “You didn’t take this from me.” ’

After a turbulent year, it seems that his expensive sojourn at Claridge’s did Noel all the good in the world.

Speaking this week about his fresh start for 2024, he confessed that he’s putting his raucous days in the hotel behind him and is now off booze for the next six months.

‘I’ve moved house over the Christmas period,’ he says. ‘I’ve been doing a lot of boozing, but I was like, “I could do with a quiet one”, which I’ve had.

‘I may have had one shindig at Christmas, and one on New Year. After Christmas there has to be a new health regime for me. I feel [terrible] if I’m honest. I’m going to try and get off the booze, actually. I’m looking forward to not doing much for the first six months of the year.’

Instead, he says, he has ‘set up his studio’ to make some new music. It seems there are no more hotel stays on the horizon, something for which his bank manager will be very relieved.