Hollywood is well-known for its lavish sets and often fabricated settings. What the audience is told is an authentic 1950s New York hotel is actually a big budget manufactured film set in Los Angeles (ahem, HBO’s Mad Men). In short, movie and big budget TV locations are the stuff of day dreams. Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, for example, was shot in a disused department store in a quiet Saxony town; It looks inviting on the big screen but the reality leaves much to be desired. With this in mind, we’ve tracked down some real life hotels from the movies to make our day dreams a reality...
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (filmed at The Pearl Palace Heritage Boutique Hotel, Jaipur)
This much-anticipated sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was filmed in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, also known as ‘The Pink City’. It’s understandable why the unique Pearl Palace Heritage hotel was selected for a starring role in the film. A modern and yet authentic representation of north Indian heritage, the hotel offers artistic interiors and individual rooms that have each been decorated with a character of their own; telling a different tale of the rich heritage of this hotel and its vibrant location.
Lost in Translation (filmed at The Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo)
The Tokyo Park Hyatt can boast having hosted the unlikely Hollywood pairing of actors Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in the definitive ‘hotel movie’, Lost in Translation. The ultra sleek high-rise hotel offering stunning views over Tokyo was the hotel in which Murray’s and Johansson’s ‘lost’ characters found themselves engaging in subtle, but sexually charged exchanges. Boasting an incredible view – that spans as far as Mount Fuji - from the top fourteen floors of this fifty-two storey sky scraper, this contemporary 5* hotel is one of the best in Tokyo.
Octopussy (filmed at The Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur)
Octopussy - the 1983 James Bond film starring Roger Moore - used the Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, India, as Octopussy’s lair. Built on an island in Lake Pichola, the hotel can be spotted in the scene in which Moore swims to the ‘floating palace’ on the hunt for a priceless Faberge egg. In the film, the island is populated only by attractive women. In reality, it was actually built as a ‘pleasure palace’ for a young prince. It was turned into a hotel in 1963 and is still one of the most desired hotel destinations in India, probably because of its decadent marble facade that appears to float on the lake; not its population of attractive women.
The Great Gatsby (filmed at The Plaza Hotel, New York)
“Let’s go to the Plaza!” insists Michelle Williams’ emotionally wrought Daisy. The legendary New York hotel played host to the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, for one of the most heated and revelatory scenes in the movie (an adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel). New York’s bourgeoisie would take to The Plaza in the twenties to sink illicit cocktails in lush surrounds. Now, the hotel still hosts the city’s most refined guests.
Oceans Eleven (filmed at The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas)
Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh chose The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas as the setting for a casino heist in Oceans Eleven, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. This luxury hotel in the heart of Las Vegas boasts an eight-acre lake and fountain; perhaps the image of the hotel that most stands out from this fast-paced thriller. Still touted as one of the best places to stay in Vegas, The Bellagio is all about extravagance and decadence, from its 3,933 guest rooms and suites to its gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping.
Scarface (filmed at Fointainebleu Suites, Miami Beach)
Brian de Palma’s 1983 remake of Scarface was both set and filmed in Miami. Choosing the Fontainebleau Suites for selected scenes in the film, de Palma recreates the in-your-face glamour of 1980s Miami. The hotel situated on Miami Beach has not lost its Hollywood allure. It’s set right on the beach and boasts a number of celebrity guests including Lady Gaga. It’s also been used as a filming location for Goldfinger and Dreamgirls.
Ghostbusters (filmed at The Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles)
If Ghostbusters is up there as one of your all-time favourite films, then you may be pleased to know that you can visit the hotel in which it was filmed. It’s in the grand ballroom at the Millenium Biltmore that the Ghostbusters catch their first other-worldly apparition. The downtown LA hotel is comprised of over 600 rooms and four restaurants and bars. It has also played host to other Hollywood films including Splash!, starring Daryl Hannah and Speed, with Keanu Reeves.