Have you ever spotted a standout hotel in a movie and wondered where it was? Well now we solve that mystery and pinpoint those accommodations that may well have perplexed you all these years;
Mountain Lake Hotel, Pembroke, Virginia
I’m a HUGE fan of cult-classic Dirty Dancing from 1987 but didn’t realise that the Kellerman’s Resort was actually a real hotel, aka the Mountain Lake Hotel. Stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey filmed at this hotel which was originally built in the 1850s and rebuilt in 1938. The most famous scenes were set here including those in the dining room, under the gazebo, the kitchen and the most famous practice lift shots, although the rest were filmed off-set. The Mountain Lake Hotel is situated in the New River Valley in the stunning Appalachian Mountains. As well as the beautiful scenery the hotel also offers ‘Dirty Dancing’ themed weekend packages with karaoke, special dance lessons and an on-location film set tour as well. Nobody puts baby in the corner!
Hôtel Regina, Paris, France
An essential setting for the 2002 film The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon, the Hotel Regina is a chic luxury Parisienne 5 floor hotel constructed in 1900 and situated on the city’s famous Place des Pyramides. The hotel offers not only the finest rooms for a city stay; it is also opposite the Rue de Rivoli and the Jardin des Tuileries a right down the street from the Louvre Museum and just minutes’ walk from the Tulieres Gardens. Taking a room in this historic hotel, renovated in 2010, places you in the center of Paris, within walking distance the Seine river and only 45 minutes from the airport. Charming cafes can be found throughout the neighbourhood. Opera lovers will appreciate that the Opera of Paris is nearby as well.
Hotel de la Reconquista, Oviedo, Spain
Taking an exotic break from his usual New York City settings, Woody Allen chose the Hotel de la Reconquista in Oviedo, Spain as part of his setting for his 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This eighteenth century hotel, named a historical monument, is host to the yearly Principe de Asturias prize ceremony that celebrates achievements in science, culture and humanities. Located in the city center of Oviedo, guests can find ample opportunities for dining, shopping and enjoying Spain’s typical street terrace bar night life.
Iron Man 2 from 2010 took advantage of the magnificent Hotel de Paris in Monaco as part of the setting. Film stars Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow filmed at this five-star hotel will not only impress with its magnificent columns and decoration, guests visiting will find luxury amenities, from a heliport to a business center as well as round-the-clock room and concierge services. An elegant place to stay in this small country, known for its quality of life, beaches and gaming establishments. The 1948 film The Red Shoes, the 2011 film Monte Carlo and two James Bond movies Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye were also both set here.
Hotel 71, Chicago, Illinois USA
This impressive city hotel, right in downtown Chicago, was part of the settings in the 2008 film The Dark Knight starring Heath Ledger. In fact the film’s setting has contributed some 45 million USD worth of business to the city of Chicago, thanks to scenes shot all over Chicago. The Dark Knight has placed the old Brach’s factory, Navy Pier and the Van Buren Street Post Office firmly on the tourist trail. The Penthouse at the hotel actually starred as Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) penthouse. Standing at 39 storeys, Hotel 71 used to be a residential block and also stars in Transformers 3. A classy, luxury boutique hotel, the 71 is perfect for a shopping vacation, being just minutes from Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile”. It is also within in walking distance of attractions such as Navy Pier, with its 15 story Ferris wheel, and Millennium Park, which hosts outdoor concerts and dining. Rooms can offer views of the Chicago River and theatre lovers are only a short walk from the historic Chicago Theatre which offers a wide variety of programming including dance, concerts, opera and theatre.
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada USA
The 2009 movie, The Hangover, starring Bradley Cooper, took full advantage of the bacchanalian atmosphere available at Caesar’s Palace, in Paradise, Las Vegas, as a backdrop. Despite the glitter of being one of Vegas’ best known hotel and casino, guests are welcomed and treated with care. Caesar’s Palace even has a special offer for dog owners who have brought their pet on vacation: moderate price upgrading allows you to have your mascot with you during your stay. A weekend in Caesars Palace can seem like a movie fantasy, with gambling galore, bright lights, fountains and all the excitement that “The Strip” has to offer.
The popular movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back, from 1998 and starring Whoopi Goldberg catapulted the Round Hill Resort in Jamaica firmly into the spotlight. Set in Montego Bay the hotel has now become popular with Americans seeking a famous wedding and honeymoon destination, including the actor Dulé Hill in real life.
Timberline Lodge, Oregon, USA
Stanley Kubrick’s now classic 1980 suspense film, The Shining, took advantage of the imposing facade of the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon and became Overlook Hotel for the duration of the movie. Timberline Lodge is a popular ski resort and stands at some 6,000 feet (1,900m) within the Mount Hood National Forest. Constructed during the Great Depression, guests today choose this rustic hotel for a mountain vacation will immediately realize that the interior scenes and the hedge maze shots were not done here but rather on sets in England. This is a classic mountain resort hotel, with imposing wooden beams and an earthy warmth that welcomes red-faced ski-bums after a day on the slopes. Mount Hood is the highest peak in this part of Oregon and offers breathtaking views for alpine lovers.
Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia
The homestead featured in the Star Wars movies, including the original 1977 Star Wars was a real hotel in Tunisia. The Hotel Sidi Driss starred in both the original and film sequels and the Tunisian hotek is still open to visitors with some original decorations still retained.
Jimmy Stewart’s head spun in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, 1958 thriller Vertigo, with scenes filmed in the aptly named Vertigo Hotel in San Francisco. The Rock from 1996 starring Sean Connery was also shot at the Fairmont Hotel. In fact this Californian hotel is said to personify San Francisco itself and 1974’s Towering Inferno, Clint Eastwood’s 1983 crime thriller Sudden Impact and the 1994 comedy Junior, starting Arnold Schwarzenegger were also set here. Previously known as The York, then named after the movie during a 2009 renovation, this hotel in San Francisco’s Nob Hill district plants you close to many of the city’s more popular attractions, such as pedestrian and bike-friendly Fisherman’s Wharf. Union Square, where shopping, dining and entertainment abound, is only a few minutes’ walk away.
Park Hyatt, Tokyo, Japan
The 2003 blockbuster move, Lost In Translation, starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray was set extensively in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. Director Sofia Coppola in fact won an Oscar for this film which has now placed the hotel firmly on the Japanese tourist trail. The hotel now attracts visitors from around the world keen to eat in the New York Bar and Grill which featured in several scenes. Tourists want snaps of themselves in ‘Bill Murray’s’ chair and the LIT (aka Lost in Translation) cocktail goes down a storm, containing cherry blossom liqueur, sake and cranberry juice.
Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, California, USA
The 1990 smash Pretty Woman showcased the Regent Beverly Wilshire, which is simply just named the Beverly Wilshire. Set on 9500 Wilshire Boulevard and open since 1928 on the eastern side of South Rodeo Drive, this is one hotel with excellent pedigree. Right in the heart of the famous boutiques on Rodeo Drive (baby) and built in Italian Renaissance style, this hotel offers a luxury stay for both film fans and shopaholics. It’s also featured in the Beverly Hills Cop films and 1998’s Bulworth directed by Warren Beatty. It’d be a mistake not to visit this hotel for a snap, BIG mistake!
By Julie Bowman