1. Lebua at State Tower Hotel, The Hangover II
The movie takes place all over Thailand, and one of the crucial scenes in The Hangover II took place at the Lebua at State Hotel in Bangkok. When Phil and Alan try to rescue their friend Teddy from his kidnappers, they are at the Sirocco restaurant and Sky Bar at the top of the hotel. Sirocco is the world’s highest open air restaurant, and features Mediterranean food and now a “Hangovertini” created by Lebua mixologist Alex Holzer. The Hangovertini was made to commemorate the movie, and the cast reportedly loved the drink made up of green tea liquor, Martini Rosso, green apple juice, and rosemary-infused honey. After admiring the view from the restaurant and enjoying your movie martini, you can retire to one of the Hangover suites where the production crew stayed while filming.
2. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Harry Potter series
Strictly speaking, Hogwarts isn’t real, having been comprised of a real castle and CGI effects for the Harry Potter films. But the Georgian House has created a “Wizard Chamber” to mimic the experience. The London hotel room includes four-poster beds just like in the student dormitory, as well as antique potion bottles, spell books, and vintage cauldrons. The tattered trunks, red curtains, and arching doorways are just like what you would find in the Gryffindor Common Room! The hotel has also created a Harry Potter Tour Package. In addition to your stay in the Wizard Chamber, the package includes a Muggle Walking Tour through Harry’s London. You’ll be taken through landmark sights from filming, including a stop at King’s Cross to visit Platform 9 ¾! The package also includes a trip to the Warner Brothers Studio for the studio’s The Making of Harry Potter tour.
You can also visit Alnwick Castle, the castle used to shoot the exterior and interior scenes in the Harry Potter films. It is currently occupied by a duke and his family, but the castle is open to the public in the summer.
3. The Overlook Hotel, The Shining
The hotel that actually inspired the fictional Overlook Hotel and motivated Stephen King to write The Shining was the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Part of the television mini-series was filmed here, although the movie was mostly filmed on sound stages. King was disappointed that the movie was not shot in the hotel, since its reported cases of hauntings are what inspired his novel. Still, guests of The Stanley can tune into channel 42 at any time to see the uncut version of The Shining playing on a continuous loop. Guests can also sign up for the Ghost Adventure Package (complete with a REDRUM mug), and attend The Shining Ball every October.
While the interior shots of this Stephen King adaption were shot on a soundstage, for the exterior shots filmmakers used The Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon. Fans of the movie can check in to relieve the creepiness of the movie’s opening scene, and can request room 217, which is the most popular room in the hotel.
4. Desert Sands Motel, No Country for Old Men
The Trip Advisor ratings for this motel are so low, only diehard fans of the Coen Brothers will want to stay the night. Josh Brolin was confronted by members of the Mexican cartel over a missing bag of money in this hotel scene, but he hadn’t bothered to spend the money on a five-star hotel. The bed bugs, tattered atmosphere, and “undesirable clientele” are part of what made the Albuquerque motel the perfect place for a man to hide from a hit-man, but less desirable for a vacation. The Desert Samds room rates are cheap, but since you won’t likely find $2 million hidden in the air duct, you might want to consider making it a day trip to this film site.
5. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Pretty Woman
This hotel starts as the background to Richard Gere’s unhappy rich life, but ends up being the place where he falls in love with Julia Roberts (as Vivian Ward). As an audience we are more like Vivian, who is amazed by the glamour of the grand piano and listens to Prince on her headphones in the Presidential suite’s giant bathtub. The story is about a poor prostitute being exposed to a world of money for a week, and most of that wealth is illustrated through the setting, staff, and patrons of The Beverly Wilshire. The hotel now offers a Pretty Woman For A Day package, which includes recreating key moments from the film. You can stay in the Presidential suite, shop on Rodeo Drive (without being turned away by snobby shop girls), and be driven via Rolls-Royce to a “shoeless” picnic at Greystone Mansion before a night at the Opera.
6. The Plaza, from Home Alone 2, Eloise at the Plaza, Bride Wars, and others
New York City is a popular setting for movies, and the century-old Plaza is used as a backdrop in many of them. The Plaza is a luxurious playground to little Eloise in Eloise at the Plaza, a temporary home for Kevin McCallister with the help of his dad’s credit card in Home Alone 2, and a coveted wedding venue for Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in Bride Wars. The hotel is located right next to Central Park, comes with a butler on every floor, a Champagne Bar in the lobby, and even offers babysitting services. Unlike Kevin, you won’t have to spend $967 on room service to have a good time. With cameos in Almost Famous, Funny Girl, North by Northwest, and Sleepless in Seattle, The Plaza is the perfect place for any movie buff to visit and recreate their favorite iconic scenes.
7. The Bellagio, Ocean’s Eleven
Although the film is centered on a robbery heist, the Bellagio allowed filmmakers to utilize much of the property in its filming. The hotel front lobby, guest rooms, casino, and one of its fountains are all featured in and around the complex theft. Andy Garcia stars as the owner of the Las Vegas hotel George Clooney & Co. are determined to rob, but the hotel is the real star as the actors ponder over its security and get to know the layout of the building. If you’re not a criminal, you can spend your day at the sporting club by the hotel pool before having a lunch of smoked trout with a bottle of sparkling rose. Throughout the evening you might want to visit the Fountains of Bellagio, which play a complimentary show of light, music, and water set to songs like Sinatra’s “Luck Be A Lady Tonight.”
8. Royal Victorian Manor, Groundhog Day
Although it was Bill Murray’s nightmare to wake up and relive the same day over and over, you might welcome the chance to relive a day at the Royal Victorian Manor. The manor is totally renovated with a gourmet kitchen, wrap-around porch, eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The film’s quaint bed and breakfast is located in Woodstock Illinois, not Punxsutawney, Philadelphia. It’s also for sale, and while you won’t wake up having to endlessly relive the same day, you can program your radio to play Sonny and Cher each morning in homage. But watch out for that first step – “it’s a doozie!”
9. Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Scarface
The life of a gangster may be violent and messy, but you can’t say that Scarface doesn’t have great taste in hotels. The classic gangster film shows Al Pacino’s character enjoying the extravagance of the Fontainebleau as a rich man in the fast lane. When you visit you can enjoy all of the high life perks as well, like lounging poolside by the tiki bar amidst the rich and famous. The hotel spa features a hot tub the size of a pool and a “human car wash.” You can have a sushi dinner served by the sushi chef Benny Blade, and for dessert grab gelato from the Solo Cafe and Patisserie.
10. Park Hyatt Tokyo, Lost in Translation
The Park Hyatt Tokyo is a five-star hotel overlooking Tokyo all the way to Mount Fuji. It almost wasn’t featured in Lost in Translation because the owners were reluctant to allow a movie shoot to potentially disturb its visitors. Eventually permission was granted, and the hotel hosted the story of two Americans who bring each other back to life. The hotel has a number of activities for its guests, like a tour of the fish market and visiting the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Movie buffs can sit and order a drink in the lobby where Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray’s characters first met, watching Tokyo bustle around below.
11. Hitching Post Hotel, Fargo
The Coen Brothers made another motel memorable in their film “Fargo." This time instead of hit-men, the motel plays host to the police as they arrest William H. Macy’s character trying to flee through the bathroom window. The Hitching Post Motel, in Forest Lake Minnesota, has cabin-inspired walls, and also plays host to Minnesota’s biggest black ash tree measuring 65 feet. With a 3.5 rating on Trip Advisor, this motel is vastly better-rated than the Desert Sands motel with free Wifi, daily continental breakfast, and pet-friendly rooms.
12. Oak Alley Plantation, Interview with a Vampire
Oak Alley Plantation fell into shambles after the Civil War but was restored in the 1920s, and went on to be featured in The Night Rider, Primary Colors, and Interview with A Vampire. Although Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise have to face down a mob on the plantation before being run off, today you can take a guided tour of the historic 25 acres. The tour includes a trip to the Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit and the reconstructed slave quarters. You can also take photographs of the antebellum Big House, eat southern Cajun gumbo and po-boys from the restaurant, and buy cookbooks and handmade collectibles from the gift shop. Without the angry mobs and hungry vampires, the plantation is as beautiful as it is peaceful.