The 20 greatest hotels in movies

Posted by
Stylist Team
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If The Eagles are to be believed (and let's face it, they're as trustworthy as any other 70s rock band) there's a hotel somewhere probably on America's west coast, where you can check out any time, but you can never leave.

Doesn't sound like an ideal scenario. However when researching this gallery of Hollywood Hotels we couldn't help but think about The Eagles' eerie lyric. Why? Well movie motels, B&Bs and hotels tend to fall into one of two categories.

1. The ones we never want to leave

2. The ones we would check out of instantly, but could probably never really forget

Whichever of the two categories these 20 silverscreen hotels fall into, one thing's for sure - they're great creations - either for positive or deeply, deeply terrifyingly, hopelessly negative reasons. Norman Bates, looking at you here.

(Images: Rex, YouTube)

  • Mountain Lake Hotel (Dirty Dancing)

    The following sentence is sad-making. On August 21st Dirty Dancing turned 26 years old. Feeling youthful?

    Anyway, you can actually visit the location where a lot of the film was shot: the real-life Kellerman Resort - Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia.

    A quick glance down the activities that you can do at Mountain Lake. There's hiking, biking, disc golf (no, no idea), bocce ball (ditto), tetherball (this is getting ridiculous) mountain biking, tennis, yoga and... wait for it... Dance classes!

    Pros: Erm, bocce ball?

    Cons: While the exterior shots and cabin scenes were filmed at Mountain Lake, the lake 'lift' scene was actually at Lake Lure in North Carolina.

  • Empire Hotel (Vertigo)

    Back when it was The York, the San Francisco-based hotel played a cameo role in Hitchock’s classic Vertigo. These days it's called The Vertigo Hotel and the film plays on a loop in the lobby. The website reckons the hotel’s baroque-modern sensibility represents a head-spinning union of old and new.

    Pros: You can never ever want for the movie Vertigo

    Cons: The hotels motto is "Equilibrium is overrated." And when you're in a hotel, it's definitely not.

  • Hotel Splendide (Casino Royale)

    The Grandhotel Pupp was a major location for the 2006 movie Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah. Anyone? No?

    Well It also appears in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale as Hotel Splendide in Montenegro (despite being in Karlovy Vary, Carlsbad, Czech Republic).

    Pros: Brings back memories of Daniel Craig. Lovely, lovely Daniel Craig

    Cons: Finding the $5 million Texas Hold 'Em buy in

  • Park Hyatt (Lost In Translation)

    Suffice to say space is at a premium in Tokyo, but occupying the top 14 floors of Shinjuku Park Tower the Park Hyatt's 500 sq ft rooms are big enough to swing a cafe full of cats. Much of the interior decor is made of their rare 2,000-year-old Hokkaido water elm paneling. The 47th-floor swimming pool boasts a glass roof and the the Park View Room has vistas in two directions with a deep soaking bathtub that overlooks the city. So book that if you're a billionaire.

    Pros - Director Sofia Coppola described this hotel as one of her "favourite places in the world."

    Cons - Bill Murray isn't guaranteed

  • Beverly Wilshere (Pretty Woman)

    Located at 9500 Wilshire Boulevard on the east side of South Rodeo (pronounced "Roh-Day-Ohh")Drive in Beverly Hills, California, it boasts immaculate 1920s decor throughout, an Olympic-sized pool and championship tennis courts. Hotel manager Barnard Thompson is a lovely chap who'll even help your brush up on dining etiquette and the bath tubs alone will make you want to visit here with a suitcase full of imperial leather.

    Pros - Location, location, location.

    Cons - The grand piano is a little out of tune, if you know what we mean?

  • The Dolphin Hotel (1408)

    According to star of the 2007 psychological horror, John Cusack, the Roosevelt Hotel in New York was used for some of the exterior shots of the Dolphin, while the lobby scenes were filmed at the Reform Club in London. So take your pick if you fancy a visit. And by take your pick we mean GO TO NEW YORK!

    Pros: There is no such thing as room 1408. So chances of psychological trauma are minimal.

    Cons: Or is there...?

  • The Overlook Hotel (The Shining)

    The Shining was actually inspired by The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, but most of the exterior shots were filmed at Timberline Lodge, a mountain lodge on the south side of Mount Hood in Oregon, about 60 miles east of Portland. It’'s perched at 6000 feet and was built at the height of the Great Depression. At Halloween a large Portland corporation has been known to purchase the entire hotel to host a private, Shining-themed night in which, among many things, twins are brought-in to roam the hallways.

    Pros: Stunning mountain vistas

    Cons: Axe-wielding lunatics

  • Hotel Transylvania (Hotel Transylvania)

    It's a five star hotel which is nice, but like many a holiday it's the other guests that can ruin it. An invisible man is tough to keep tabs on and the werewolf couple can be unpredictable. Oh and they've only ever had one human guest, so you may find some prying eyes while you eat breakfast.

    Pros: Talking 'do not disturb' signs

    Cons: Bigfoot has clogged the toilet in room 348.

  • Hotel Earle (Barton Fink)

    Lonely, empty corridors, a creepy elevator, and walls that are prone to fire, none of it really screams of this year's holiday. "We wanted an art deco stylization," director Joel Coen explained in a 1991 interview, "and a place that was falling into ruin after having seen better days.". They certainly found it. If you haven't seen this movie, rectify immediately.

    Pros: Plenty of inspiration for writer's block

    Cons Some critics suggest that Hotel Earle is symbolic of hell itself. Which isn't good.

  • Seminole Ritz (Some Like It Hot)

    The the fictitious "Seminole Ritz, Florida" was actually filmed at the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California. Filmed in 1958, the Del’s iconic Victorian architecture made it the perfect backdrop for the film’s 1929 setting. Says author and scholar Laurence Maslon: “There have been a lot of movies shot on a lot of locations, but only a few marriages of celluloid and place can be considered truly legendary. Chief among those magical moments is the sight of Marilyn Monroe cavorting on the beautiful beach at the footsteps of the Hotel del Coronado.”

    Pros: The hotel’s 1888 Queen Anne Revival-style architecture tends towards the fanciful, with rambling white clapboard, lazy verandas and red-turreted roofs. Beautiful.

    Cons: Some like it a little cooler

  • Pinewood Motel (Vacancy)

    Cockroaches and brown water from the taps are the least of your worries. It's the snuff movie by the VCR and the camera hidden in the air con you want to worry about.

    Pros: No discernible positives.

    Cons. All the stuff we just said.

  • The Bellagio (Ocean's 11)

    Remember the plan? Simultaneously robbing three Last Vegas casinos - The Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand. Of the three, The Bellagio, location for the stunning final scene with the fountains, is the finest hotel. The fountain lake is ten acres in size and holds 27 million gallons of water. And if the film is to be believed, which is it isn't, the casino vault can hold $150 million.

    Pros: The hotel has its own Museum of Fine Arts. It stores the work of such painters as Claude Manet, Marc Chagall and Paul Cezanne.

    Cons: Elegant Julia Roberts impressions are limited since the curved staircase that Tess Ocean (played by Roberts) descended was removed during a 2003 remodel.

  • Flealands (Babe II: Pig in the City)

    The only hotel in Metropolis that will accept a pig. That says all we need to know.

    Pros: Bacon.

    Cons: Cleanliness of the kitchen where it's cooked.

  • Sedgewick Hotel (Ghostbusters)

    A five star hotel, but that probably doesn't make up for the ugly, slimy green specter spotted on the twelfth floor. Most of the hotel is prestine and spotless, except for the ballroom that has been blasted all to hell by four men carrying proton packs.

    Pros: The room service is excellent

    Cons: Slimer likes to intercept room service.

  • The Excelsior Hotel (The Witches)

    The Headland Hotel in Cornwall played the role of The Excelsior to perfection, and their website is charmingly proud of that fact. Try and book the Fistral Suite, which is the room Luke and his grandmother stayed, and if the place becomes riddled with mice (the Excelsior, not The Headland) you're advised to leave at your earliest convenience.

    Pros: Plenty of space for conferences

    Cons: The picture above? Or this. Or this. Take your pick really.

  • Mon Signor Hotel (Four Rooms)

    Where to begin? A coven of witches, fantasy hostage situations, walls scribbled with lipstick, smoking children and bellhops that will cut your little finger off. And that's only in four of the 200 rooms.

    Pros: If it's good enough for famous fictional Hollywood director Chester Rush, it's good enough for you.

    Cons: There might be a dead prostitute under your mattress.

  • The Ritz (Notting Hill)

    Large portions of the 1999 romantic comedy were filmed in and around the Ritz. The building is neoclassical in the Louis XVI manner, built during the Belle Époque to resemble a stylish Parisian block of flats, over arcades that consciously evoked the Rue de Rivoli. Julia Roberts suite is one of many that overlook St James's Park.

    Pros: High tea - King Edward VII, Charlie Chaplin, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Noël Coward, Judy Garland, Evelyn Waugh and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, have all had it

    Cons: May need to pretend to be a writer for Horse & Hound Magazine to get in.

  • Bates Motel (Psycho)

    A remote lodging that has recently, and sadly, lost business due to a diversion of the main highway - so there's plenty of rooms free. The proprietor is a youthful but nervous young man named Norman, who's very, erm, keen to help.

    Family business. Norman's mother ("Oh gaahd mother") still keeps an eye on day-to-day operations.

    Interesting tidbit - Edward Hopper's The House by the Railroad was used as inspiration for the look of the Bates house.

    Pros - The showers are to die for

    Cons - The showers are to die for

  • The Marigold Hotel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

    In India they have a saying, "everything will be alright in the end." So put up with the pigeons in the bedrooms, the broken chairs and the failing telephones. Put up with the fact that it's not how it looked in the brochure, and start living.

    Pros: Everything will be alright in the end.

    Cons: You need to be over 65.

  • Lebua Tower (The Hangover 2)

    You know it, the rooftop scene (pictured). Sirocco, rumoured to be the world’s highest open-air rooftop restaurant on the 63rd floor offers jaw-dropping views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya river. Tourists flock t it for sunset.

    You can actually pay about $2,000 for The Hangover 2 package which includes accommodation in a two-bedroom suite in Lebua’s Tower Club, located on the 54th-59th floors, with 1800-square-foot suites.

    Pros: The hotel is the home of the Hangovertini cocktail a brilliant drink created for the film and made with green tea liquor, Martini Rosso, green apple juice, rosemary infused honey. The first Hangovertini was served to director Todd Phillips.

    Cons: The hangover.