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Hotels Made Famous by Hollywood

From Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to Ireland's Parknasilla Resort, these hotels have played a leading role on the big screen

The best movies transport the viewer: to a different time, a different place, a different life. And sometimes, to a different room. The following hotels are as much the stars of the movies they appear in as the actors.

Ex Machina

Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway

This Academy Award-winning cerebral sci-fi thriller took six weeks to shoot, including two weeks at the architectural masterpiece that is the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal, Norway. Several of the hotel’s buildings form billionaire Nathan Bateman’s remote mansion, the movie’s main setting. Locations include the property’s dining room and the spa’s riverside outdoor deck. The hotel is Europe’s first ‘landscape hotel’ – built to blend in with and celebrate the natural surroundings while ensuring minimal impact on the environment. The hotel is set in a nature reserve and consists of nine detached rooms, each offering a unique, breathtaking perspective on the landscape through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. You’ll have to supply your own androids, though.

The Lobster

Parknasilla Resort & Spa, Ireland

Credit: Barry Murphy

Yorgos Lanthimos’ distinctly weird dystopian rom-com The Lobster is set in a beautiful country hotel where people have 45 days to find a partner before they’re turned into animals. The hotel in question? Parknasilla Resort & Spa in Sneem, County Kerry. Dating back to 1895, the luxury property offers a classic country getaway, surrounded by mountains and overlooking the gorgeous Kenmare Bay. A key part of the hotel’s appeal is the 200 hectares of encompassing natural beauty, including islands, inlets and hidden beaches. If you spent 45 days here, you’d be sure to find a partner – but if not, life as a lobster in Kenmare Bay wouldn’t be such a poor fate.

Credit: Barry Murphy

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Ravla Khempur, India

The heartwarming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel featured an all-star cast as a group of British retirees who go to live in India, and was largely filmed at the Ravla Khempur in Rajasthan. The hotel fit perfectly with director John Madden’s vision of a hotel that had to ‘have gone downhill, but nevertheless be aspiring to a former glory’. Once the palatial home of a village chieftain dating back to 1628, it is now owned by a descendant, a talented equestrian – and there are plenty of horseback riding activities on offer. Those who know the film will recognise elements left behind by the filmmakers – the carved marigold in the courtyard, and the sign out front welcoming ‘the elderly and the beautiful’. With only 12 rooms, it offers an intimate stay and it doesn’t take much for the heart to be warmed.

The Hangover

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Credit: Caesars Palace

In the 2009 hit The Hangover, the central cast wakes up in a trashed suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, complete with a chicken, a tiger and baby no one recognises. That scene was filmed on a soundstage, but much of the movie was filmed on location at the hotel, which has seen a bump in visitor numbers as a result. According to some reports, fans still quote the line, ‘Did Caesar live here?’ when checking in. As one of the largest and best-known hotels and casinos on the infamous Strip, the nearly 4,000-room property remains a popular choice for high rollers and tourists alike – though you may not be able to arrange a tiger in your suite.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

The Plaza Hotel, New York City

Credit: Corey Stovin/© 2017 VRX Studios

The sequel to the hit family comedy finds young Kevin all alone in New York and checked in to the quintessential NYC hotel: The Plaza. In addition to the lobby and reception areas, the most memorable scenes shot in the prestigious property are set in Kevin’s spacious accommodation, suite 411. The film is so popular with guests that The Plaza offers a special family Home Alone 2 package, which includes accommodation and movie-themed items upon arrival, as well as a copy of the film to watch. Then there’s the over-the-top 10-scoop ice cream sundae delivered straight to your bed, and a personal shopping experience with a US$100 (HK$780) gift card to legendary toy store FAO Schwarz – every home alone child’s dream.

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