What’s better than the silver screen? When the silver screen becomes real life. And there’s one way to relive your favourite blockbuster movie memories in real time – by staying at a famous movie hotel.
From Tokyo’s Park Hyatt in Lost In Translation to Las Vegas’ The Bellagio in pretty much everything, real-life hotels have always played big roles in Hollywood blockbusters. So, today, we’re taking a stroll through a list of iconic movie hotels you can actually stay in, both close to home and all over the globe.
Lost in Translation: The Park Hyatt, Tokyo
As tends to be the case, anything Bill Murray touches turns to gold, and this was definitely the case for 2003’s Lost in Translation. Murray’s Bob Harris – a lonely, aging movie star – put Tokyo’s Park Hyatt on the map, largely thanks to his memorable moments sharing Suntory neat alongside Scarlett Johanssen in the hotel’s high-end bar.
Our advice: slurp a few whiskeys Murray style, then relax in the lap of luxury after a night of raucous Shinjuku karaoke.
Everything, Really: The Bellagio, Las Vegas
What hasn’t the Bellagio featured in? Like Sin City itself, the Bellagio is a veteran of modern blockbuster cameos: Oceans Eleven, Oceans Thirteen, The Hangover, and countless others.
As one of the first of the new generation of Vegas megaresorts, the Bellagio’s monumental fountain frontage is a sight to behold. Stop to take a few selfies as you traverse the wild Las Vegas Strip after sunset – just be sure to get the timing right.
Pretty Woman: The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills
Cue the song! Julia Roberts’s famous on-screen love affair with Richard Gere took place in the presidential suite of the world-famous Beverly Wilshire, which is by-and-large one of the most iconic showpieces of LA’s swanky Rodeo Drive district. The fact that only the exterior was used in the film hasn’t stopped thousands of diehard fans replicating this cherished Hollywood moment for themselves.
It’s a landmark of history and glamour, and a plush overnight stay, to say the least.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York: The Plaza Hotel, New York
Alongside Las Vegas, New York City has to be one of the – if not the – most-filmed cities on the planet. To walk through the streets of the Big Apple is to be inundated with a deluge of childhood movie memories. And, of all the five-star hotels in this amazing city, The Plaza is perhaps its most enduring film star.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is arguably the hotel’s best, and most treasured, cameo. Order up a tray of massive ice cream sundaes from room service and kick back like Kevin McAllister would.
Casino Royale: One & Only Ocean Club Resort, Bahamas
For James Bond buffs, the Bahamas holds a special place in the pantheon of 007 on-location landmarks. It was here, of course, at the island’s One & Only Ocean Club Resort, that Daniel Craig’s Bond found himself in the hold of the Club’s spectacular super-villa in the 2006 Casino Royale.
Suit up spy-style, enjoy a sundownder by the beach pool, and revel in the breezy glamour of this paradise island.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Ravla Khempur, Rajasthan
The tale of a handful of English retirees bound for India for an exotic retirement stole many hearts when it came out in 2011, but it’s the titular hotel that lingers in our imaginations. Welcome to Ravla Khempur, an equestrian palace built in the 1600s, former palace of a local chieftain, and the well-worn gem of this heart-warming comedy.
Trainspotting: Royal Eagle Hotel, London
Fans of Danny Boyle’s screen adaptation of the cult novel Trainspotting will get a kick out of a night or two at Bayswater’s Royal Eagle, the scene of this gritty flick’s shady climactic scenes.
The grand Victorian houses where Sickboy and the other three bring the film to a head has since been completely renovated into a spruce three-star hotel, the perfect spot to crank Born Slippy and pay homage to one of the UKs most-cherished black comedies.
Ex Machina: Juvet Landscape Hotel, Valldal, Norway
Ex Machina was futuristic, claustrophobic, eerie and intense. It’s a brilliant film with a stunning mansion at the heart of it, which just so happens to be a real life Norwegian hotel.
Located in spectacular western Norway, the Juvet Landskaphotell is just as you remembered it from the film: an uber-modern, glass-walled, architect’s dream, surrounded by majestic Norwegian forests, rivers and white-capped mountain peaks.
(Lead image: Warner Bros.)
Planning a Hollywood-worthy getaway? There’s no better time than now. Your Qantas American Express Discovery Card is made for travel, earning you Qantas Points* on every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and is accepted at all of the above locations. Apply now.
*Must be member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program to earn and redeem points. Conditions apply.
Cam Hassard is an international penman, sax-wielder and rogue wayfarer who writes for Junkee, Carryology, Huckberry, Caddie, Fairfax Media, Carryology, Intrepid, Peregrine Adventures and Europe Up Close. He’s eaten ant salad in Laos, hauled trucks from NYC to Vegas, and destroyed himself on the Camino de Santiago. Originally from Melbourne, he currently calls Berlin home.