HOLLYWOOD star Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE has made a guest appearance at the home of Hampshire cricket to open a new Hilton hotel.

• Catherine Zeta-Jones at Ageas Bowl - in pictures >>

Catherine Zeta-Jones has given the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl the Hollywood seal of approval as she unveiled a plaque and spoke to guests assembled.

The West End hotel opened its doors back in May, but welcomed the award-winning actress for its official opening today.

Her visit came about as she is a family friend of Rod Bransgrove, the chairman of Hampshire Cricket Club.

Catherine and members of her family including her two children stayed in the hotel overnight and had an exclusive tour of the buildings.

Wearing a smart white skirt and matching top, red heels and carrying a red handbag with her hair immaculately styled to one side, Catherine made a brief speech before posing for photographs with guests.

She told guests of her 30 year friendship with Mr Bransgrove and praised the hotel, joking that she was here because of her love of cricket.

"My husband and I are huge sports fans, but I'm not here for sports.

"I'm here because my dear friends - it makes me sound old - of 30 years. I'm here to suport them because they have given me support each and every step of the way, for every dream I've ever dreamt.

"I have been lucky in my life that some of my dreams have come true and I thank God every day for that.

"I'm here today to support my friend Rod Bransgrove through his love of sport to see his dream come true.

"And I have to say it is nothing short of spectacular."

Assembled guests included cricketer Ian Botham, Saints former star Francis Benali and actress Sarah Parish as well as many Eastleigh councillors.

The 171-bed hotel, off Botley Road, in West End, is attached to the Ageas Bowl stadium and many of its rooms look out onto the cricket pitch.

Born in Swansea to a sweet factory owner and seamstress, Zeta-Jones first rose to fame in the UK with her role in the ITV series the Darling Buds of May, which also starred David Jason.

But the 45-year-old found international success in 1998 with a breakthrough role in The Mask of Zorro also starring Antonio Banderas.

Zeta-Jones received critical acclaim for her role in Traffic, which also starred her future husband, and then starred in Chicago as Velma Kelly for which she won an Oscar and Bafta for Best Supporting Actress in 2002.

In 2000 she married into Hollywood royalty with her union to actor and producer Michael Douglas, 70, the son of Spartacus actor Kirk Douglas and winner of two Oscars himself.

They have been married 14 years and have two children.

The Ageas Bowl hotel employs around 200 staff.