9 Hotel Experiences (Romantic) That Burst Off the Screen

Hotels have always been favored locations for directors. These settings offer a lavish backdrop, sometimes even unique, for creating the most iconic scenes in cinema.


Midnight in Paris, To Catch A Thief, Pretty Woman and Lost in Translation all share the same “enclosed place where seduction, pleasure-seeking, negotiation and ambition are all intertwined”, as Edmund Goulding’s Grand Hotel (1932) describes in its synopsis.


Since then, film-makers have seized on the hotel as a symbol of romance, capable of representing a seemingly distant destination. The intimate setting of its rooms and suites can be the pretext for the most inflamed passions, the most unavowable confidences, forbidden desires and even directly serve the film’s narrative arc. Thanks to breathtaking natural settings, they are the backdrop for cult scenes in the films we all love.


These productions are increasingly inspiring our next vacation destinations. So it is with the so-called “jet setting” trend, which consists of drawing inspiration from our latest viewings on streaming platforms – both films and series – to follow in the footsteps of our fictional heroes and heroines to a place outside time and the outside world.


In fact, a recent study coroborated by teams from online booking platform Expedia shows that TV programs – and by extension audiovisual productions – now influence our travel decisions far more than posts on Instagram.


It has to be said that since James Bond criss-crossed hotels on five continents, there’s no better way to experience a live show in which you’re the hero.


The Carlton Cannes A Regent Hotel


A large part of the cult film To Catch A Thief (1955) was shot at the Carlton Cannes A Regent Hotel, notably in the mythical room 623 for the famous fireworks scene, conceived as an allegory for the rise of desire between the two protagonists, and which has since become the “Alfred Hitchcock Suite” in homage to the film’s director and master of suspense. A lover of the French Riviera, Hitchcock chose the Carlton in Cannes as the playground for Cary Grant as John Robie, a burglar who falls in love with Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly).


Grace Kelly et Cary Grant in the movie To Catch A Thief ©  Paramount Pictures


In the same Hitchcock vein, there’s the Empire Hotel. The hotel, located in the heart of San Francisco, was renamed in homage to the director’s 1958 masterpiece, Vertigo. The necklace scene takes place in one of the hotel’s rooms, when Scottie (James Stewart) discovers Madeleine’s (Kim Novak) deception.



The Beverly Hills Wilshire A Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles


Built in 1928 in Beverly Hills, California, Hernando Courtright’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel became a Four Seasons Hotel in 1992. Two years before, the filming of Pretty Woman took place, the movie that made its leading actress, Julia Roberts, famous, playing the role of Vivian, a young and beautiful prostitute working on Hollywood Boulevard before meeting Edward Lewis, played by Richard Gere. Today, the hotel offers a Pretty Woman For a Day package, with a private tour of the Fashion Houses on Rodeo Drive with a stylist, a romantic dinner, transportation in a Mercedes Sedan included.



The Park Hyatt Tokyo


Located in the Shinjuku Park Tower, rising 52 floors, the modern hotel hosted Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray for Lost in Translation, released thirty years ago. The director, Sofia Coppola, made the place a central element of the film with its intimate atmosphere within the bustling capital, where the two insomniac Americans meet.



The Plaza Hotel New York


Located opposite Central Park, the hotel embraces the 1920s aesthetic with its marble or exotic wood surfaces, mosaics, and gold taps. The director of The Great Gatsby (2013), Baz Luhrmann, chose one of the hotel’s suites for the film’s climax inspired by the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald: the confrontation scene between Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). In his honor, the Plaza now offers a suite named after the author.



The Bristol Oetker Collection, Paris


Nestled on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, the hotel opened in 1925 has become a filming location for the movie Midnight in Paris released in 2011. Rachel McAdams (Inez) and Owen Wilson (Gil) stay there with the bride’s parents during their discovery of the City of Light. The director, Woody Allen, also used the terrace of the Hôtel Le Meurice on rue de Rivoli, near Place de la Concorde.



The Copacabana Palace A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro


This Belmond hotel in Rio de Janeiro serves as the backdrop for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the opening scene of Carioca (1933) by Thornton Freeland. “I’d like to try this thing just once,” says Fred Astaire, pointing at the dancers before joining them with his partner.



Les Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle


Jeanne du Barry (2023) is the latest film to have been shot at the Palace of Versailles by Maïwenn, who also stars as the eponymous character alongside Johnny Depp as Louis XV. The only hotel within the palace grounds, Les Airelles, offers an immersion into the life of the court, reviving the royal romance seen on the big screen.



The Savoy Hotel London


Julia Roberts is back with the Hotel Savoy, a palace located in London overlooking the Thames. As Anna Scott in Notting Hill (1999) by Roger Michell, the Hollywood actress holds a press conference that William Thacker, a bookseller played by Hugh Grant, crashes. Earlier in the film, she is also seen at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly near London.



The Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Virginia


In Pembroke, Virginia, the resort hosted the filming of Dirty Dancing (1987), where “Baby” (Jennifer Grey) falls for Johnny, the dance instructor played by Patrick Swayze. The hotel still offers Dirty Dancing-themed weekends, a chance to recreate the iconic lift to the original soundtrack (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (by Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley).




Cover Photo: ©Midnight in Paris

Curieuse et dynamique, Lhou Lagrange est constamment à la recherche de nouvelles aventures. Elle s’intéresse principalement aux nouvelles technologies, aux sciences sociales et à la géopolitique pour décrypter les tendances sociétales et rester agile. D’une âme polyvalente, elle combine ses connaissances et ses compétences pour servir sa jeune plume.


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