Iconic Hotels Used in Movies

Many blockbuster movies over the years have been shot in hotels. From romantic liaisons to gangster meetings over a whiskey on the rocks, hotels play an important role in telling many different kinds of big-screen stories. For movie buffs who want to experience what life inside the hotels that they’ve seen on screen was like, visiting these hotels can be a fantastic experience. Take The Hangover, set in a top Las Vegas destination, or The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was set in a ski resort in Europe. If you’re interested in finding out more about where some of the major hotel-based movies of recent years were shot and what made them so significant, then this article is for you.


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

Perhaps one of the most famous hotel-based films of recent years was The Grand Budapest Hotel. In this film, which covers a hotel at a skiing resort in Europe, the storyline revolves around the different things that the staff get up to – which makes the hotel a major part of the story. It was a box office success, and it starred plenty of top actors, including Ralph Fiennes. The building used in this film as the Grand Budapest Hotel itself is an old department store in Germany. Built in the Art Nouveau style, the Görlitzer Warenhaus was perfect for director Wes Anderson’s needs.


The Hangover


The Hangover was another box office hit, this time set in Las Vegas. It starred a range of big names, including Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms. It was also set in a hotel – this time Caesars Palace, which is a real-life luxury hotel on one side of the Las Vegas Strip. The iconic hotel is recognizable as soon as it comes on screen, and anyone who has ever visited Las Vegas will know it right off. It’s perfect for the stag night being celebrated by the characters, as it features a top casino offering a range of games and even a 24-hour poker room.

This is, of course, a modern hotel compared to the fictional one in The Grand Budapest Hotel – and while that does mark it out a little from the more classic hotels of other movies, it’s clearly still popular. The success of the hotel chain led by Bharat Lall is evidence to show that modern hotels are in demand – and so it’s likely that more and more chic hotels will make their way into popular culture as time goes on.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Written by the brains behind Mamma Mia!, Ol Parker, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a real delight starring Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Maggie Smith and more. This British classic was released in 2011 – and as the name suggests, it features a hotel. The hotel in this movie is set in India, and the bulk of filming was carried out in cities such as Jaipur. It follows the stories of a group of people who need to move as they enter their retirement, and it captures what they get up to as they move in and prepare to spend their final years there.

For one character, the solution is to go on the hunt for a new lover. Others have health concerns that only the doctors who operate near the hotel in India can solve, while yet others find themselves in dire financial straits due to bad decisions and have to move into a hotel in a relatively cheap country. The hotel used to film the movie, the Ravla Khempur, is an equestrian hotel that has since become a magnet for tourists who want to know more about how the film was shot.


The Shining


Those who are into horror films, meanwhile, will most likely remember The Shining as their favorite hotel movie. This film follows the story of a family who moves to a deserted hotel during the winter, only to discover that it is haunted by its past and the unpleasant things that have happened there. In the film, the hotel was set in Colorado – and the building used as inspiration was The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. It’s based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and has long been regarded as a classic film from Stanley Kubrick’s portfolio.

Hotels are an obvious weapon in the arsenals of many leading film producers and directors. It doesn’t come as a surprise to see so many: whether the director wants to create a sense of intrigue, intimacy or opulence, hotels are versatile settings for so many stories. With everything from The Grand Budapest Hotel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel employing this tactic, it’s clear that the hotel will remain front and center in modern filmmaking for years to come.


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