Six Luxury Hotels Made Famous By Hollywood
Spectacular hotels are often an under-the-radar supporting act, portraying backdrops for some of our all-time favorite cinematic moments. Movie buffs who dream of rubbing elbows with stars on the red carpet can reenact unforgettable scenes at properties that made cameos on the silver screen. Read on to find out where you can cause trouble in a casino, abscond with a forbidden love or spend an afternoon in the shoes of a mob boss.
Much of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace complex played a part in “The Hangover.” The comedy was filmed almost entirely on location, including the front desk, pools and, of course, the rooftop.
Don’t risk getting locked atop the roof! Instead you can toast your wolf pack on the terrace of OMNIA, the hotel’s multi-level nightclub overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. Suite scenes were filmed on a Hollywood sound stage, but six towers offer a range of luxurious accommodations, including the Emperor’s Suite, used as a model for the bachelor party digs.
This iconic property also served as a filming location for “Rain Man,” “Dreamgirls,” “Iron Man” and “The Big Short.”
Though “Dirty Dancing” takes place in New York’s Catskill Mountains, many scenes were filmed at Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia. Renamed Kellerman’s Resort for the role, this family-friendly resort’s stone façade was used for all exterior shots and its farm-to-table restaurant, Harvest, set the stage for the legendary “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner!" scene.
Thirty years later, the exterior looks almost the same as it did in the movie, and the gazebo where dance lessons were held still stands. For the time of your life, request “Baby’s Cabin” and visit over one of the “Dirty Dancing”-themed weekends, when stays include dance lessons and film trivia.
This oceanfront Oahu resort is situated near some of Hawaii’s best surfing spots, but it might be best-known as the filming location for Jason Segel’s screenplay debut, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Keeping the hotel’s name intact, the comedy was shot in guest rooms, at the check-in counter and all over the sprawling, tropical grounds. Employees enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame as extras while the resort’s Director of Operations played the officiant in all wedding scenes.
Beach cottages clustered along the shoreline were the setting for characters’ stays, but almost every room on the premises has gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. Guests can learn to hula at the weekly luau or take surf lessons and yoga classes on site, however, Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig won’t be the instructors. Thrill seekers are only a 15-minute drive from Laie Point, the 30-foot cliff where Peter jumped -- or fell -- into the surf.
No stranger to celebrities, the AAA 4-Diamond Miami Beach hotel is as popular with filmmakers as it is with vacationing film stars. The beautiful resort’s white-sand beach, free-form pool and lavish lodgings have earned it a storied career on camera including credits in Sinatra’s “A Hole in the Head,” “Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach” and the timeless love story, “The Bodyguard.”
Convince your significant other to carry you around the hotel a la Kevin Costner’s “Bodyguard” character or splurge for the penthouse suite, where several scenes were shot. Those not traveling with a starlet’s budget (or entourage) can request their favorite Whitney Houston ballad at LIV, the nightclub that replaced the ballroom where the superstar performed “I Have Nothing.” In summertime, movies filmed on site are screened at the pool, famous on its own as the set of scenes from both “Scarface” and “Goldfinger.”
Raking in as many awards as the movies filmed within its walls, the AAA 5-Diamond hotel set the standard for luxury in NYC almost a century ago. Contemporary travelers will recognize the ballroom from the tango scene in “Scent of a Woman” as well as Little Edie’s debut in “Grey Gardens,” the real-life venue for the heiress’ debutante ball. In “For Love Or Money,” the ritzy Central Park property went undercover as The Bradbury with Michael J. Fox manning the opulent marble lobby’s concierge desk.
The hotel has hosted a regular rotation of A-Listers from Audrey Hepburn to Mick Jagger, giving guests a good chance of running into a celebrity in the elevator. To experience star treatment yourself, reserve the penthouse suite, memorable as Anthony Hopkins’ over-the-top apartment in “Meet Joe Black.”
Perched atop Nob Hill, the swanky hotel reached even greater heights on the big screen starting in 1958 when the grand façade appeared in Hitchcock’s thriller “Vertigo.” Over the years, A-List movie stars like Sean Connery, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway have filmed there.
Book a suite that might have been used in scenes from Anne Hathaway’s “The Intern,” Sean Connery’s “The Rock” or as accommodations for the biggest stars staying on set. The AAA 4-Diamond hotel has several discreet exits, making it a favorite of celebrities hoping to slip out unnoticed by paparazzi.
Elisabeth Barker is a Division 1 athlete turned globetrotter and travel writer. Based in New York City and Miami, she is the founder of @skirtandasuitcase an online community focusing on inspirational travel, fitness and healthy lifestyle habits.