Hollywood loves hotels. Maybe it’s the glamour of travel, or the fact that they bring all kinds of different people together, but hotels are a common element of some of the greatest movies ever made. Here are some of our favourite plots that revolve around actual hotels that you can visit.
It might have been set in New York’s Catskill Mountains, but you can visit the filming location of this teen classic by booking into the Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia. You can even take dancing lessons to recreate the film’s most famous scenes. You might not romance the dancing instructor, but nobody will be able to “put you in a corner” when the dancefloor fills up every evening.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson’s Oscar-nominated and deeply quirky inter-war comedy was set in a vivid pink hotel that almost stole the show on its own. Located in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, the Palace Bristol Hotel is a magnificent example of Art Nouveau hotel architecture. It’s also the ideal place to arrange a relaxing spa treatment, something Ralph Fiennes’ stressed out concierge could have done within the film itself.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
This British-made comedy starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith was set in The Ravla Khempur, about an hours drive from Udaipur. Since the films release in 2012, the crumbling hotel has been inundated with bookings. Scenes were also shot at the Taj Lake Palace hotel, built on an island in India’s Lake Pichola. The luxurious Taj Lake Palace was made to seem a little more run down than it actually is, but it won the ageing characters over in the end.
Some Like it Hot
This classic Monroe, Lemmon and Curtis comedy plays out in a beachfront Miami hotel, but the actual filming location was on the other side of America at the Hotel del Coronado in California. As Tony Curtis says at the end of the film, “nobody’s perfect”, but you can enjoy an idyllic beach holiday by making a booking.
Most of Kubrick’s stunning horror film were made just north of London, but he needed a suitable venue to capture the gothic feel of the Overlook Hotel. In Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, the bearded maestro found exactly what he needed, and the results were magical. It’s not recommended for novelists with writer’s block, but the stunning location of Timberline Lodge make it a great mountain retreat.
Bond films often featured hotels, usually visually striking ones too. But none were as beautiful as the aforementioned Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India. Guests are not required to swim to the hotel dressed as a crocodile, you’ll be happy to know, but they can order a vodka Martini, as shaken or stirred as they wish at the hotel bar.
This star-studded crime caper featuring George Clooney and friends was filmed and set in the Bellagio, one of Las Vegas’ most prestigious hotels. When you stay, try to avoid any major heists, but feel free to recreate the fountain scene when you catch your flight home.
Julia Roberts booked into the lavish Hotel Wilshire in Los Angeles for this career-making comedy co-starring Richard Gere. Why not stay there and head to a nearby park for a shoeless picnic, just like the film’s star? La Cienega Park is 10 minutes’ walk away, and there are plenty of delis waiting to serve you all the delicacies you need.
Scary films and hotels seem to go together and The Witches is a great case in point. Newquay’s Headland Hotel made a great setting for a battle between childhood innocence and the entire population of British witches. The hotel is a lot less scary for tourists, but Newquay’s famous surf will satisfy any adrenaline junkies.
Lost in Translation
The Park Hyatt Tokyo forms a classy backdrop to Sofia Coppola’s poignant tale that sees an ageing Bill Murray bond, and sometimes clash, with Scarlett Johansson the young neglected wife as both of them struggle to come to terms with Japanese culture. The Hyatt is as luxurious as Tokyo hotels get, with gorgeous night-time views and plenty of nightlife nearby.