You probably know the feeling: you’re watching a great movie, enjoying each scene, and suddenly the characters are staying in a resort or hotel room that looks like a little slice of heaven. It’s not unusual by any means. Entertainment frequently shows us living spaces that are out of this world, whether it’s a 25-year-old bachelor having a 1,500 square foot apartment in New York City or a couple in a romantic comedy staying at what appears to be an entire vineyard in Napa Valley. Sometimes though the places movie characters are staying are quite real, and – at least in theory – accessible.
The following are some of those places, which you may recognize from famous films and which you can actually stay at in real life.
1. The Plaza – New York, New York
The Plaza hotel in New York City is iconic in its own right, and perhaps not surprisingly has been used in several noteworthy films. The most recent of those was American Hustle, but it was also used in The Great Gatsby, North By Northwest, Almost Famous, and perhaps most famously Home Alone 2. Incidentally, The Plaza tends to be mentioned among the best hotels in New York simply on its own merits, but once you’re there it’s a thrill to think about all the cinematic history that’s played out there. Plus, with its location on 5th Avenue at the southern end of Central Park, it’s about as good a home base as you could have for exploring Manhattan.
2. St. Regis Princeville – Kauai, Hawaii
The St. Regis Princeville isn’t quite as famous for appearing in films but has one significant, fairly recent release to its credit. The Descendants, which starred George Clooney and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, was filmed at least in part at the resort. And since that happens to be one of the most beautiful films of the last decade, it seems like a worthy inclusion. The St. Regis is an incredibly luxurious place on Hanalei Bay in Kauai, and while there are countless incredible places to stay in Hawaii, it’s as good or better than any.
3. The Bellagio – Las Vegas, Nevada
We’re sticking with George Clooney for this one, given that the famous 2001 film Ocean’s 11 intimately involved the Bellagio. In this case, the resort wasn’t just a filming location but rather a key part of the plot, given that the protagonists were trying to rob its vault! But anyone who isn’t really familiar with Las Vegas might be interested to know, that it’s a very real resort and one of the best in a town famous for them. If you’ve seen the movie you may remember the scene toward the end in which the characters lined up to watch the fountains erupt in front of the resort. Well, consider that none other than Time Magazine named the Bellagio fountains as the best thing to do in all of Las Vegas. There really is a magic to them (though to be fair you can stay at any of the other resorts and still stroll by to enjoy the show).
4. One & Only Ocean Club – Nassau, Bahamas
When you think of famous places to stay in the Bahamas these days, it’s the towering Atlantis resort that first comes to mind. Just recently an Irish casino site said it was just the ticket for those looking for a casino getaway this summer, and it’s easy to understand why. But for a quieter brand of luxury, look to Nassau and the One & Only Ocean Club resort. It’s beautiful, serene accommodation where you can book your own villa – just as James Bond did in 2006’s Casino Royale. Bond films have shot in the Bahamas on numerous occasions, but in this case they actually used the name of the resort, enhancing its reputation all the more.
5. Park Hyatt – Tokyo, Japan
The Park Hyatt in Tokyo is truly an otherworldly place to stay. That’s because it essentially comprises the top of a skyscraper in one of the world’s biggest and busiest cities. With all the luxury and comfort of the hotel, you can feel like you’re staying in something of a palace on top of Tokyo (with views of Mt. Fuji as well). And it’s quite a treat for film fans as well given that 2003’s Lost In Translation, a very famous film by Sofia Coppola, was largely filmed there.