The hotels that found fame on the silver screen — with a little help from James Bond, Marilyn Monroe and more

Hotels and Hollywood go hand in hand, and right now is the best time to enjoy the former from the comfort of your own home. Rosie Paterson compiles a list of the ones that had starring roles in some of your favourite films

Paris — Hotel Plaza Athénée

As seen in: Sex & The City (2003-4) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Both are set in New York City, but it’s their respective stints in Paris that inspire.

The Hotel Plaza Athénée made appearances in both: In the final ever episodes of Sex & The City (not a film, but we won’t tell if you don’t), Carrie Bradshaw herself was a guest. The iconic scene, where she stood on a balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower, in a monochrome striped outfit, was filmed in room 609.


New York — The Plaza Hotel

As seen in: North by Northwest (1959), The Way We Were (1973), The Front (1976), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Eloise in the Plaza (2003), Bride Wars (2009), The Great Gatsby (2013) and American Hustle (2013) 

The Plaza Hotel in New York, is the undisputed leader of this list—by the year 2000 it was New York’s most popular film site.

The French chateau-style building first opened in 1907, and was declared a landmark in 1967.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Cary Grant is kidnapped from the hotel’s Oak Bar; in the film adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, director Baz Luhrman chose the Plaza for the final, climatic scene.


Los Angeles — The Beverly Wilshire Hotel

As seen in: Pretty Woman (1990)

Bev Wilshire hotel facade

Pretty Woman needs little introduction — unsurprisingly, it was the third-highest-grossing film of 1990.

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel was the primary backdrop, but multiple interior scenes were shot at the nearby, now defunct, Ambassador Hotel. The Beverly Wilshire was referred to in the film as the Regent Beverly Wilshire and, in real life, Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and John Lennon also enjoyed lengthy stints as guests.


San Diego — Hotel del Coronado

As seen in: Some Like It Hot (1959)

The historic beachfront hotel Hotel del Coronado, appeared in Some Like It Hot as the Seminole Ritz Hotel. It’s the second largest wooden structure in the United States and was designated a California Historical Landmark in 1970 and a National Historic Landmark, seven years later.

The film’s critical and commercial success aside — it won six Oscars — Some Like It Hot also helped to encourage tolerance of previously taboo topics on screen, including sexuality.


London — The Royal Lancaster

The Italian Job (1969)

When character Charlie Crocker (played by Michael Caine) is released from prison, he heads to The Royal Lancaster to celebrate his ‘coming out’—in room 1720.

The hotel, which had only opened a year before filming—and two when it was released—went on to host The Beatles’ and Cary Grant—the latter married the hotel’s PR executive, Barbara Harris.

Thanks to an recent £80m refit, The Royal Lancaster is still going strong. Miniature Minis decorate some of the rooms in homage to the film.


Los Angeles — The Beverly Hills Hotel

As seen in: Saving Mr Banks (2013)

The Beverly Hills Hotel has long had roots in Hollywood — in fact the city was built around the hotel. Hollywood’s most famous residents have flocked there for over 100 years and Marilyn Monroe even lived there at one point.

Multiple films have been shot there over the years, but Saving Mr Banks, which features the hotel’s blush façade is one of our all time favourites.


Maryland — Inn at Perry Cabin

As seen in: Wedding Crashers (2005)

 Wedding Crashers was credited for renewing interest in adult-themed comedies, when it hit cinemas in 2005.

The Inn at Perry Cabin (now with Preferred Hotels), in Maryland — the setting for the Cleary family wedding — was also thrust into the limelight. Its waterfront location is popular with real-life brides and grooms, but you don’t have to be getting married to stay.


India — Taj Lake Palace

As seen in: Octopussy (1983) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

Taj Lake Palace hotel

Not two films you’d necessarily place together — but both used the Taj Lake Palace hotel, in Udaipur, India.

However, this is one hotel that was already famous (and still is) in its own right. Dating back to the 18th century, the hotel appears to float, untethered on Lake Pichola, delighting visitors, onlookers and Instagram.

Filming for Octopussy (1973) took place inside the hotel, which doubled for Octopussy’s female-only island lair; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel used the hotel as a backdrop for the scene where the group enjoy a rooftop drink, overlooking the lake.

Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Judi Dench and Celia Imrie in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.