For a movie to make an impact, the producers have to think about every detail, and they have to put together a lot of many different elements. The location is almost as important as the cast, the writing and the sound, very often becoming a character of its own, especially when the movie takes place in a hotel. Hollywood has always had a soft spot for hotels. Whether it’s fictional hotels, (like in Hotel Budapest), or real hotels, the locations fuel our imagination in a way that stays with us for years. Here are 10 most iconic hotels that set the scene for some of the most famous movies, which you can experience first-hand.
1. The Plaza Hotel, NYC
Centrally located in the heart of NYC on the iconic 5th Avenue, overseeing Central Park, the magnificent Plaza Hotel doesn’t need any introduction. The 20 stories French Renaissance château–style building was designed by the legendary architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and opened its doors for guests in 1907. After years of hosting celebrities and dignitaries, and setting the scene for some of the most famous movies, the hotel was declared a landmark in 1969.
Movies shot in The Plaza include Sabrina, (played by Audrey Hepburn), Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Sleepless in Seattle, Barefoot in the Park (1967) starring Robert Redford & Jane Fonda, The Great Gatsby (again Robert redford, 1974), 101 Dalmatians, and most recently in American Hustle. But what is the first movie that comes to mind when you say The Plaza? We all remember the 10-year-old Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, checking into the iconic hotel, Suit 411.
If you want to learn the juicy secrets behind the legendary hotel, pick up a copy of the Starring the Plaza: Hollywood, Broadway, and High Society Visit the World’s Favorite Hotel by Patty Farmer.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $750/night
2. Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Located in the bustling Shinjuku district, the Park Hyatt was designed by the acclaimed architect Kenzo Tange. Open since 1994, the five-star hotel was the first luxury hotel to open in Japan, and is the capital’s second-tallest building. Sitting on top of Shinjuku Park Tower, the fabulous hotel offers soaring 360-degree views of Tokyo and Mount Fuji, and it serves as the primary setting for Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning Lost in Translation. Remember Scarlett Johansson & Bill Murray’s memorable scene shot at the property’s New York Bar? BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $620/night
3. Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles
A landmark ever since the day it was opened in 1928, The Beverly Wilshire, (now a Four Seasons property), combines history and glamour in the heart of Beverly Hills, across Rodeo Drive. For years, the hotel has been housing Hollywood celebrities and the international elite, numerous Oscars, Golden Globes, and many other events Los Angeles is synonymous for, setting the scene for some of the most famous movies. The luxury hotel was the primary filming location for the award winning Pretty Woman (1990), starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Some of the exterior filming was done on location, while the interior scenes were shot on a soundstage, but the sets were based on the actual design of the hotel at the time.
Celebrating its own cinematic history which contributed significantly to its success throughout the years, the hotel offers guests a “Pretty Woman For The Day” glamorous experience. The package, starting at $15,000, features a stay in the “Pretty Woman Suite” (the hotel’s Presidential Suite where scenes from the film were set), a personal wardrobe consultant on Rodeo Drive, a couple’s massage, a “shoeless” picnic with cuisine inspired by the movie, a lavish dinner and a night at the opera. Other famous movies shot at Beverly Wilshire include Beverly Hills Cop (1 & 3), To Live and Die in L.A., American Gigolo, Frost/Nixon, Into the Night, and more recently Sex and The City – the movie, (2008).
The luxury hotel features 395 stylish guest rooms (including 137 spacious suites), Michelin-starred restaurants, a world-class spa, and so much more.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $595/ night
4. Le Bristol Paris
In the 2011 Woody Allen film Midnight In Paris, Rachel McAdams, Owen Wilson and his parents’ characters stay in this five-star hotel during their Parisian vacation. Many of the scenes were shot on location, mostly in the spectacular Panoramic Suite. Throughout the movie you can spot the characters wearing “Le Bristol” bathrobes in the Panoramic Suite, the hotel’s entrance, and even one of the hotel’s actual doormen.
This fabulous hotel, which is soon celebrating a century, is a classic 18th century design, located on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, one of the most fashionable streets in Paris. When it opened in 1925, it was the first hotel in Paris to be designated a “Palace” (above five-star), satisfying even the pickiest visitors with its French master paintings, Louis XV furniture in rare woods, and antique mirrors.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $1, 084/ night
5. Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
The Hangover (2009), starring the 4 buddies Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha, was shot almost entirely on location at Caesars Palace. Except “The Wolfpack”, which was actually filmed on a soundstage in Hollywood, all of the hallways, elevators, pools and lobbies seen in the movie were shot on location. Located on Las Vegas’s infamous Strip, synonym for bachelor parties, the fabulous hotel was the perfect choice for this movie. Other movies featuring the hotel and casino include Rain Man, Iron Man, The Big Short, 21, and Dreamgirls.
Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino is one of the first casinos built on the strip, and one of the few originals still standing. Designed by Jay Sarno, the construction of the Roman-themed hotel began on Feb. 2, 1965 and lasted 18 months later. At the opening, the 14-story resort had 680-room. Now the hotel has almost 4,000 rooms and suites in six towers.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $99/ night
6. Marriott Marquis, Atlanta
This iconic 52-story Atlanta hotel, designed by architect John C Portman, was featured in two movies from the Hunger Games series, serving as the filming location for the Tribute Center. In Mockingjay, the hotel’s interior and futuristic elevators portray the victors’ luxurious quarter.
When the hotel opened in 1985, it was the largest atrium in the world. With 1,663 completely renovated guest rooms all featuring floor to ceiling views of the beautiful Atlanta skyline, an incredible spa and fitness center, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is an icon all on its own. For years Atlanta has been a very popular spot to filmmakers, thanks to its great weather, reasonable tax breaks, wide variety of movie resources and locations, from beaches to countryside, small towns and big cities.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $107/night
7. Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver
Known as Hollywood North, it’s no secret for the film lovers that Vancouver, BC, is a very hot location for filmmakers. Lots of shows and movies were/ and are being shot in the beautiful Canadian city, home of many stars, including Ryan Reynolds, being the third most seen location in film & TV.
, a Vancouver landmark, is a character on its own. In its 130 years of history, (77 in the current building), more than 50 movies and TV shows have been filmed on property, including 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, Age of Adeline, Twilight: Eclipse, The Bachelorette, The Good Wife, Knight Rider, Russian Roulette, even some episodes of X-Files.
In the blockbuster 50 Shades of Grey, the hotel stood in for Portland’s Heathman Hotel. In the movie, the character Christian Grey stays in the real-life Lieutenant Governor’s Suite —a multi room suite on the 14th floor. The steamy sex scene in the elevator was also filmed on location. The property often offers 50 Shades–themed packages that include a stay in the same suite, plus extras such as a designer eye mask, Champagne, and a private shopping experience at a high-end lingerie boutique.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $159/ night
8. Hotel Danieli, Venice
Remember the comedy/ love story/ drama The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp? The luxurious Grand Canal hotel where Angelina Jolie checks in upon arrival in Venice is the historical Hotel Danieli, Venice’s most prestigious address. Shot in Paris and Venice, 2 of the most beautiful faces in Hollywood falling in love in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the film truly encompases the beauty of Venice, always wrapped in romance and mystery.
The hotel overlooking the Venice Lagoon and the Grand Canal, is just steps away from Piazza San Marco, the Palazzo Ducale and from Ponte Dei Sospiri. One of the oldest and most famous hotels in the world, formerly Palazzo Dandolo, home to the Danolo dynasty, Hotel Danieli was built at the end of the 14th century. But it only became a hotel in 1822 under Giuseppe Dal Niel’s ownership, who named it Danieli (his nickname).
Today the lavish hotel features 204 rooms and suites spread over three palaces, making you feel like you’re stepping back in time. Murano crystal chandeliers, damask curtains and silk fabric touches, parquet floors and French doors opening on to julienne balconies with breathtaking views of Venice, only marble surfaces in the bathrooms, everything to make you feel like a Venetian palazzo.
The three palaces which comprise the hotel date from the 14th, 17th and 19th Centuries: Palazzo Dandolo in Venetian Gothic style, once home to the noble Dandolo family; Palazzo Casa Nuova, previously the city’s treasury; and Palazzo Danieli Excelsior, featuring guest rooms with balconies overlooking the lagoon on its upper floors. The three palaces house a rich collection of precious art and antiques that play witness to the city’s history, blended with contemporary comforts to meet the needs of cultured global travelers.
Essential to the Danieli experience is its Restaurant Terrazza Danieli and cuisine concept, a magical voyage for the senses which retraces the oriental influences of spice traders and blends them with ingredients from the lagoon.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $439/ night
9. Hotel degli Orafi, Florence
If you’ve seen the 1985 Oscar winner A Room With a View directed by James Ivory, Hotel degli Orafi and the gorgeous views of the Arno river are at the center of the story. The movie is more than a love story about Brits abroad. It is the director’s love letter to Florence. The movie got 3 Oscars, including the one for the best set design. An incredible win for the hotel! The beautiful 4-star luxury hotel is centrally located in an ancient Florentine building dating back to the 13th century, steps away from the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, and Piazza Signoria, facing the Arno river. In the 19th century, the building became the Quisisana – very popular amongst intellectuals and artists. They kept it in the movie almost identical to the original. The 42 rooms, divided into Classic, Executive and Junior Suites, offer pure Italian class and elegance. If you’d like to stay in the romantic room where Helena Bonham Carter stayed in the movie, the Pensione Bertolini, ask for Room 414. The views of the Arno river and the Ponte Vecchio are spectacular.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com, Starting at $135/ night – note the hotel will reopen in May, and their first availability is June 1, 2021, at the discounted price listed above.
10. Le Sirenuse Hotel, Positano
And finally, here is our final hotel on the top 10 hotels movie sets, which is also our favorite hotel. Le Sirenuse Hotel is a legend among legends, on the beautiful Amalfi Coast, surrounded only by top hotels. Locals will actually tell you, ‘Positano is Le Sirenuse’. That makes sense, if you consider how many times you’ve seen the images from their terrace in numerous movies and postcards.
In the 1994 romantic comedy “Only You,” soon-to-be-married Faith (Marisa Tomei) is in search of a man she thinks she’s supposed to be marrying. The action takes place first in Venice and Rome, until she arrives at Positano, on the Amalfi Coast, in the magnificent Le Sirenuse Hotel.
Before being the legendary establishment that it is today, Le Sirenuse started as a small boutique hotel in 1951, later being converted into a vacation home of the family that still owns and operates the hotel. Today, the luxury hotel with more than 50 rooms – most of which have a private terrace or balcony overlooking the beautiful bay and sea beyond, is hosting celebrities, artists and movie sets. But of course, if you can afford to pay close to $1,000/night for a room, they’ll be happy to host you as well. Until then, you can enjoy this video and dream about your staying at the fabulous Le Sirenuse Hotel.
BOOK NOW: Hotel.com, Starting at $732/ night