The release of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel has me ready for a vacation. Preferably one where I don’t have to sleep with Ralph Fiennes. Fortuantely, a century of movies has offered a reasonable amount of alternatives by way of postcard porn.
On the lam, on the case or on holiday, there are a lot of films that take us away from our normal lives and into the sweet embrace of resort living — in places real and fictitious.
Since it’s the weekend, let’s all grab some sunglasses and an animal mask for a little virtual getaway.
7. Lost In Translation’s Park Hyatt Tokyo
With this and the Chateau Marmont in Somewhere, Sofia Coppola has a nice pattern of filming in gorgeous temporary residences. Of course, this one has a slight edge because you have a better chance of being greeted at your door by a bathrobed Bill Murray. Or Scarlett Johansson if you’re into people who refuse to wear pants.
That skyline is absurd, and the hotel’s guestrooms are actually all above the 41st floor, so they come equipped with visuals. Thing is, you might need to be shooting a whiskey commercial for the honor because rooms start around $450 a night.
6. Grand Hotel‘s Grand Hotel
The spiritual godfather of Anderson’s new flick, this 1932 bit of complicated magic from director Edmund Goulding set a standard for a massive bundle of plots and characters happening in an interlocked location. Art director Cedric Gibbons also set a standard for impeccable work that changed shooting techniques by opening up full spaces.
The movie won Best Picture and heralded a stellar cast led by Greta Garbo, but the hotel itself was a major character that came to life through design and the colorful, black & white people that rented its space.
5. The Innkeepers‘ Yankee Pedlar Inn
Not many hotels come with a ghost in them. Plenty claim to, but Ti West’s thoughtful (terrifying) bed and breakfast took its cues from the real-life Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington, Connecticut. It’s got a long history of ghost sightings, and West ran with it.
The great thing is that the ghosts seem to be everywhere. In rooms, in beds, in the cellar. Since they aren’t real, it would still be fun to get rustic, but it would be an even greater jolt to stay in the movie’s version.
4. Some Like It Hot‘s Hotel del Coronado
Wherever a billionaire version of Joe E. Brown is hanging out, that’s where I want to be. The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego is sprawling, gorgeous and it’s in San Diego. Repeat: San Diego. This would make a hell of a landing pad during Comic-Con, especially because it would give you a solid reason for avoiding Comic-Con altogether.
There’s also an odds-on chance that you’ll fall in love with a jazz band singer or a fake yacht-owner. In San Diego.
3. The Wicker Man‘s Ellangowan Hotel
This is both a fan’s dream/nightmare and what looks like an absolutely charming spot. In the real world, the Ellangowan is a B&B in Dumfries, Scotland (not Summerisle, since that’s fictional) that surprisingly doesn’t stock every room with Britt Ekland.
If you go, hopefully it’ll be during festival season!
Jokes aside, Dumfries as a fantastical spot where you can see Robert Burns’ old digs, and if the festival season you land on is their Folk ‘n Ale Fest (read it Scottishly), you’ll be drunkenly happy the whole weekend.
2. North by Northwest‘s Plaza Hotel
Hitchcock shot a lot at the Plaza Hotel, and with Cary Grant as an accessory, he made the entire existence look unbelievably swanky. In fact, Grant lived in the hotel while they were shooting. Naturally. It’s a place where you could sip martinis into oblivion.
Beyond trains, Hitch was a big hotel fan, and it turns out the hotel where he shot Vertigo rebranded itself as The Vertigo Hotel. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of options for Hitchcock tourism in very, very comfortable surroundings.
1. Octopussy‘s Taj Lake Palace
Not only is it where Octopussy lived, it’s palatial and located in the picturesque Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India. You didn’t think the #1 spot would go to The Overlook, did you? Of course, you could pick almost any hotel from Bond movies (Hotel Splendide from Casino Royale is a favorite), but this one is the kind of place that royalty might hang.
The good news? If you’re not royalty (or a jewel smuggler) you can always visit on a screen.