Feel Like a Movie Star at These Cinematic Hotels

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Feel Like a Movie Star at These Cinematic Hotels
What makes a hotel worthy of the big screen? Whether it’s a certain vibe or a distinct style, it takes something special for a property to make it into a film. From Lost in Translation inside the Park Hyatt Tokyo to the bathtub scene in Pretty Woman at the Beverly Wilshire, we’ve rounded up some of the most cinematic hotels worldwide (plus a treat for James Bond fans at the end). Because let’s face it—we live vicariously through movies. With so many iconic films scenes shot inside working hotels, a stay at one can make you feel like a movie star yourself.
By Nicoletta Richardson, AFAR Staff
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    1. The Langham, London
    Anyone with a food fetish (isn’t that everyone?) can appreciate the culinary art on display in Burnt starring Bradley Cooper as a gifted, albeit temperamental, chef. Well, in case you’re wondering where some of those scenes were shot, you might want to take a peek at the fine dining within Roux at the Landau, the Langham Londons renowned restaurant.

    The Langham’s exterior has also doubled as the exterior for St. Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe in the James Bond pic GoldenEye and has also been used for Red starring Helen Mirren, among other movies.

    Photo courtesy of The Langham, London/Facebook
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    2. The Waldorf Astoria New York
    There’s something truly romantic about The Waldorf Astoria New York, and Hollywood has noticed, casting the hotel as a backdrop for romantic films ever since Week-End at the Waldorf in 1945 with Ginger Rogers and Lana Turner, which features a dinner scene that was shot in the Starlight Roof.

    Then there’s the tango scene in 1992’s Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino, filmed in the hotel’s Vanderbilt Room, and 2001’s Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, who ride in the Grand Ballroom’s elevator cars. Other romantic films shot at The Waldorf include Maid in Manhattan, Two Weeks Notice, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Great Gatsby, plus such memorable titles as Broadway Danny Rose, The Royal Tenenbaums, Analyze ThisThe Hoax, The Adjustment Bureau, and The Intern.

    Photo courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria New York
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    3. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
    This hotel might not have an obvious kinky edge, but the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has been prominently featured in the 50 Shades of Grey film, with the elevator, Lieutenant Governor Suite, and British Columbia Ballroom doubling for the Heathman Hotel in Portland, which is mentioned in the book. Unsurprisingly, the book’s author E. L. James stayed at the hotel during the shoot. While specifics are under wraps, we hear that the cast and crew returned to the scene of the crime for the sequel Fifty Shades Darker, shooting in The Roof (a former hotel restaurant turned catering space).

    For guests wanting their very own 50-Shades-inspired passion and pleasure experience, the hotel offers a Champagne & Chantilly Lace Romance package that includes bubbles, chocolate-dipped strawberries, a feather and couturier silk mask crafted from French Chantilly lace by Vancouver-based Christine Lingerie, valet parking, and in-room breakfast for the morning after. Oh, and in case you want to, um, sleep in…you get a late check out.

    True 50 Shades of Grey fans can even upgrade to the Mr. Grey Package and stay at the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite used in the movie, get a bottle of Dom Perignon, and a private shopping experience at Christine Lingerie with BMW car transfers.

    But the hotel’s cinematic history goes well beyond 50 Shades of Grey. Age of Adaline and Blade are among the films shot there, along with TV series such as The Good Wife, Unreal, The Man in the High Castleand Arrow.

    Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 
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    4. Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills
    Nobody can forget the hotel that was the epitome of elegant luxury, and that set the scene for one of the most memorable romantic comedies of the 90s—Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Evidently, the film’s director Garry Marshall couldn’t pass by the opportunity to return to the Beverly Wilshire to film Valentine's Day in 2010, with Roberts in tow. Over the years, the Beverly Wilshire has starred in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Clueless, and Sex and the City: The Movie. But it will forever be embedded in our collective memories as the hotel where a pretty woman took a bubble bath while listening to a walkman, and Héctor Elizondo stole the spotlight as the hotel’s manager.

    Unsurprisingly, over the years, the hotel has drawn in the Hollywood elite, as well as Elvis Presley, John Lennon, the British royal family, and even the Dalai Lama.

    Photo courtesy of Beverly Wilshire Hotel
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    5. El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
    There’s a dramatic quality to El Conquistador Resort, which is set atop a 300-foot bluff on the eastern tip of Puerto Rico and spread across 500 acres that overlook the azure Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It is also the setting for the upcoming action comedy, Masterminds, starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig, out in theatres in September. The marina and beach scenes, filled with all sorts of comedic shenanigans, were shot there.

    Guests might also recognize the resort from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Remember that scene where Jack Sparrow leaves Angelica stranded on a desert island? That’s actually a small island set off the mainland of the resort’s 100-acre private Palomino Island.

    Photo courtesy of El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 
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    6. Park Hyatt Tokyo
    Sometimes it only takes one movie to put a hotel on the map. Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, was that movie. The Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Diplomat Suite, pool, and New York Bar provided the backdrop to a story about two lost souls finding solace in each other, if only for a short time.

    Director Sofia Coppola was so determined to film in the hotel, which she describes as a “silent floating island” in a chaotic city, that she agreed to only shooting in public spaces after-hours to avoid disturbing the guests, which may indicate how much the hotel values them. If you watch carefully, some 10 to 15 actual staff members appear in the film. So if you’re looking to be lost, albeit temporarily, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is a good place for that. Who knows, you might just find Bill Murray listening to jazz at the bar.

    Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo
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    Extra James Bond Action
    Want to live like the world’s most infamous spy? Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg lent its Presidential suite (also now dubbed The James Bond Suite) to Pierce Brosnan’s daring escape from the movie’s villain in Tomorrow Never Dies.

    Fontainebleau Miami Beach has also seen some Bond action. Its 6,500-square-foot pool in a three-story structure was used in a famous scene in Goldfinger, where 007 challenges his nemesis to a game of gin rummy.

    Fontainebleau has also been used in The Bodyguard, Dreamgirls, and Scarface. Since opening in 1954, it has drawn in the likes of glitterati such as The Rat Pack, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, and Jerry Lewis.

    Photo courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach
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    Photo courtesy of andBeyond Benguerra