As we know, many of Hollywood’s greatest blockbusters are filmed inside tin-roofed studios in California, worlds away from their supposed settings. However, some films are shot onsite, meaning that many of the magnificent settings you see in the backdrop of your favourite movies are real, visitable places.
These five hotels starred in some of Hollywood’s most famous films, and you can still stay in them today.
Beverly Wilshire, Pretty Woman
This Four Seasons hotel served as the main backdrop for the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman. Since opening in 1928, the legendary hotel in the heart of Beverly Hills has housed its fair share of celebrities, high rollers and even royalty. If you want to live out your own Pretty Woman fantasy, you can stay at the hotel and indulge in all the luxuries that so excited the young Julia Roberts. In fact, the Beverly Wilshire offers its very own ‘Pretty Woman for a day’ experience, that allows you to spend two nights in one of the hotel’s Specialty Suites and includes a couple’s massage, a behind the scenes tour in Rodeo Drive fashion houses with your very own personal stylist and a dining experience at THE Blvd.
Kiana Lodge, Twin Peaks
While Twin Peaks may take place in a fictional town, the Great Northern Hotel is inspired by Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Washington. The body of fictional character Laura Palmer is discovered in the very first episode of Twin Peaks, just outside the Great Northern, which is featured throughout the series. The lodge’s connection to the hit series has attracted visitors from around the world, some coming just to admire the settings and snap some pictures, while others wrap themselves in plastic for shore-side photoshoots (a reference fans of the show will understand).
The Hotel Imperial Wien, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson’s whimsical 2014 Academy Award-winning film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is set in an imagined hotel in a fictional European country, Zubrowka. However, the film and the design of the hotel were inspired by the equally opulent Hotel Imperial Wien, Vienna. Stefan Zweig, a writer who frequented the Café Imperial at the Hotel Imperial Wien, and Michael Moser, the hotel’s concierge, both inspired Anderson when writing the film. The hotel invited guests to “become a prince or a princess” for the duration of their stay in the historic, luxury suites. The hotel itself was originally built in 1863 as the Vienna residence of the Prince of Wuerttemberg, and now hosts politicians and members of royal families. It may be the perfect lavish accommodation for a European adventure of your own.
The Stanley Hotel, The Shining
If you are a fan of classic horror movies, you might want to spend a night in the Stanley Hotel, better known as ‘The Overlook’ in Stephen King’s The Shining. The Stanley Hotel, a 1300sq/m structure with 142 bedrooms in Estes Park in Colorado, a few kilometres away from Rocky Mountain National State Park, inspired King’s classic. If you don’t want to spend the entirety of your stay wandering down eerie corridors waiting for a set of creepy twins to invite you to play, the hotel also offers a range of outdoor adventures including lake hikes and cliff camping, and even has its own steakhouse.
Caesars Palace, The Hangover
‘Did Caesar really live here?’ If you haven’t already seen this 2009 comedy, it’s worth a watch. The premise is simple. A group of groomsmen wake up after a bachelor party with no memories of the night before and are forced to retrace their steps in order to find the missing groom in time for his big day. The movie features the iconic Bellagio Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, two venues that epitomise grandiose, high-end Vegas.
Which of these hotels would you choose to stay in and why? Which fictional destination would you most like to visit if it were possible?
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