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A couple of months ago we reviewed some of the best movies sets in hotel environments, this time we bring you the actual sets where these and other classics of the seventh art were filmed.
We’re talking about establishments that have not only hosted renowned guests on the big screen but have also provided a spectacular setting for iconic films that have left an indelible mark on generations of viewers.
So if you want to know where The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shining, or Home Alone were filmed, keep reading!
Overlook Hotel and Timberline Lodge
We begin our tour at the spooky Overlook Hotel, made world-famous by Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece The Shining (1980). Located in the Rocky Mountains, this hotel served as the setting for the psychological horrors experienced by the Torrance family. Its endless corridors and ominous atmosphere merge with the plot, creating an unforgettable atmosphere that keeps sending shivers down the spine of the viewers.
Another spooky corner is found at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. This location was used for some exterior shots of Kubrick’s film, giving the film an even more chilling touch.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
It is impossible to list here all the filmings that it has hosted, surely the most cinematographic hotel in the world. According to IMDB, it has appeared in 204 titles and it is that being in the middle of Hollywood helps producers to pay attention to this iconic reference that has also hosted the Golden Globe Awards ceremony for decades. The actors from California Suite (1978), American Gigolo (1980), Hannah and her sisters (1986), The way we were (1973) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984) have paraded through its facilities.
The Plaza Hotel
More than 40 films have been recorded here: The Great Gatsby (2013), North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959), Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron, 1993) and Barefoot in the Park (Gene Saks, 1967). On one occasion when shooting permission was refused, they ended up recreating the interiors in a studio!
And it is that although the Plaza Hotel in New York is known for its luxury and elegance, it is also famous for its role in the Christmas comedy Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Chris Columbus, 1990). Young Kevin McCallister stays at this magnificent hotel while enjoying the Big Apple. Its luxurious suites and opulent décor add a touch of fantasy to the film.
The Beverly Wilshire
Perhaps less filmed, but this hotel has one of the most recognizable facades on the big (and small) screen. And it is not only the romance between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman (1990) that takes place in this glamorous hotel. Other movies such as Beverly Hills Cop (1994) and TV series such as Entourage (2004) or Police Story (1973) were also shot here. In the case of Garry Marshall’s film, however, the shots belonging to the lobby were recorded at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, demolished today.
Park Hyatt Tokyo
The Park Hyatt Tokyo is the main setting for the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation (2003). This luxurious hotel in the bustling city of Tokyo becomes a refuge for the characters played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Its sophisticated setting and impressive panoramic views encapsulate the feeling of isolation and connection experienced by the protagonists.
Chateau Marmont Hotel
Located on the famous Sunset Boulevard, this is one of the most famous hotels in Hollywood. Somewhere (2010) by Sofia Coppola and Four Rooms (1995) were filmed there, the hooligan project of Tarantino and his companions. In addition, he has appeared in scenes from films such as The Doors (Oliver Stone, 1991) and La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016).
From Roman Polanski to Jim Morrison have been staying in its rooms, and he is mentioned in numerous songs, comics, and books, including Hollywood, where Charles Bukowski recounted his experiences with the seventh art.
Bristol Palace Hotel
Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) is set in the fictional town of Lutz, and the hotel itself doesn’t exist either. Rather, it is a compendium of different accommodations in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
However, Grand Budapest’s imperialist exterior befits Karlovy Vary’s Bristol Palace Hotel. It was designed by two Austrian architects who brought Viennese flair to this tourist destination in the Czech Republic. Other settings in Dresden and Görlitz served to recreate other parts of the hotel, such as the Görlitz Warenhaus, a modernist building from 1912, to situate other interiors of the hotel.
Grand Hotel Pupp
We are not leaving Karlovy Vary, since very close to the Bristol Palace we find the elegance of the Grand Hotel Pupp which serves as a backdrop in James Bond’s Casino Royale (2006). This luxury hotel embodies the splendor and sophistication we expect to see in a movie about the world’s most famous secret agent.
On the other hand, this hotel also served as inspiration for the interiors of the Grand Budapest Hotel, especially in its style: festive hall, high ceilings, spacious rooms, and long corridors.”
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Located in vibrant and sunny Miami Beach, the Fontainebleau is a luxury paradise that has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema thanks to its appearance in the James Bond film Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) with the famous scene in the pool where the agent relaxes while enjoying an exotic drink. Movies like Scarface (Brian de Palma, 1983) and The Bodyguard (Mick Jackson, 1992) were also shot here.
The Bellagio in Las Vegas will undoubtedly be very familiar to you if you have seen Ocean’s Eleven (Steven Soderbergh, 2001) or The Hangover (Todd Phillips, 2009). You can see Chihuly’s magnificent glass sculptures in the lobby, the famous fountains, and other features of the hotel between the two movies. And if you have a bigger budget, the opulent rooms where George Clooney or Mike Tyson stay.
Four Seasons Resort Maui
During the COVID shutdown, director Mike White returned to one of his childhood vacation destinations to shoot White Lotus at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, Hawaii. This acclaimed HBO series of black and dark satire takes place in a tropical paradise that offers 380 rooms, three swimming pools, three restaurants (including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago), three golf courses, a spa, and a museum of art.
Soma, Byron Bay
Nine Perfect Strangers (2021) is the other series that sneaks into this list. A star-studded Amazon Prime production that takes us to the beautiful Tranquillum House. The real-life setting is Soma, a premier Vedic spa in Ewingsdale, New South Wales, Australia. Nestled in the rainforest in Byron Bay, its glass-dominated building features bare wood and lots of light, an outdoor pool, and a forest-bounded geodesic yoga dome.
Juvet Landscape Hotel
To recreate the home of reclusive billionaire Nathan Bateman from Ex-Machina (2014), played by Oscar Isaac, director Alex Garland chose the Juvet Landscape Hotel just outside the town of Valldal on Norway’s northwest coast. Nestled in a deep forest, it is separated into nine wooden pods with glass windows and private views to fully immerse yourself in the nature of your surroundings. There’s also a spa and a dining room in a reformed old barn that now serves locally sourced food. Ideal for a technology-free vacation.