Few cinematic locations lend themselves to cinema quite like hotels do, so regularly visual shorthand for escapism.
And while you’d certainly be hard pressed to find The Grand Hotel Budapest on Expedia, there are lots of movie hotels you can check into in the real world.
So to coincide with the release of Wes Anderson's latest film, and because, frankly, drinking a Suntory dry in Tokyo’s Park Hyatt (Lost In Translation), or riding a luggage trolley into an elevator at New York's Plaza (Home Alone 2), is old hat, here we've compiled a list of cinematic guesthouses you've probably never even heard of.
Some good, some bad, some just to note down in case you're ever in the area...
No Country For Old Men - Desert Sands Motel
Address: 5000 Central Avenue, SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Judging by the grievances listed on Trip Advisor (bed bugs, crumbling aesthetics, undesirable clientele), the Coen Brothers couldn’t have picked a finer setting in which to harmonise the shady shenanigans of No Country For Old Men, where Javier Bardem’s near mythical hit-man comes across a trio of Mexican cartel men in an adjacent room to where his intended target (Josh Brolin) is staying, gunning them down in merciless fashion as the hunted man listens uneasily on the other side of the wall. We’d probably recommend a day visit to this one, mind.
Trip Advisor Rating: 1/5
Groundhog Day - Royal Victorian Manor
Address: 344 Fremont St, Woodstock Illinois, IL 60098, USA
Given that we'd happily watch Groundhog Day on repeat for 33 years and 350 days - about the same amount of time Bill Murray's misanthropic weatherman is said to have repeated the same day 24hrs for - we can think of worse ways to spend eternity than at the quaint bed-and-breakfast from the film. We don't even care that it's actually situated in Woodstock, Illinois, as opposed to Punxsutawney, Philadelphia. Be quick - it’s currently up for sale.
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5
Hot Fuzz - Swan Hotel
Address: 11 Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2RX
Think of Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright’s second chapter of the Cornetto Trilogy, and chances are you think of 'swan'. Not only was this the errant bird that causes havoc towards the film's climax, it was also the name of the lodgings checked into by maverick police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), later seen tussling with a dim-witted assailant in his room. Dating back to 1422 and now operated by Best Western, the film's cast and crew even stayed in the hotel during filming in the historic Cathedral city of Wells. And there can be no higher compliment than that.
Trip Advisor Rating: 3/5
There's Something About Mary - Cardozo Hotel
Address: Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
There's Something About Mary's most infamous moment - Ben Stiller’s hapless romantic 'cleaning the pipes', and subsequently presenting Cameron Diaz's naive date with some unorthodox hair gel - took place in the Cardozo. Owned by Gloria Estefan, boasting magnificent sea views and perched on Miami’s sun-kissed Ocean Drive, the hotel's a popular a destination in its own right - though, as you might have guessed from our inclusion on this list, the art deco aura is just a bonus when getting to relive the Farrelly Brothers' classic for real. As to what you use for your own hair product; well, that's your business.
Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5/5
Lawrence Of Arabia - Hotel Alfonso XIII
Address: Calle San Fernando, 2, 41004 Seville, Spain
Should you ever find yourself fatigued, thirsty and wandering around Seville, make a pilgrimage to the grand courtyard of The Hotel Alfonso XIII, or, as you may better know it, the officer’s club in Lawrence Of Arabia. In the film, Peter O’Toole’s nonconformist lieutenant T.E Lawrence did just that (albeit in Cairo), marching into the bar and refusing to be browbeaten by some froth-mouthed colleagues. More recently, the hotel’s exterior also doubled for Princess Amidala's 'Naboo Palace' in Star Wars, Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, though the less said about that the better.
Trip advisor Rating: 4.5/5
In Bruges - Relais Bourondisch Cruyce
Address: Wollestraat 41, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
“If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't”. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Belgian tourism, but save for those Hoovered up a coke-addled dwarf, it's the most memorable line of this pitch black comedy. If you do fancy retracing the footsteps of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s pair of aimless hit-men, who, in fairness, did take in some Flemish masterpieces at Groeningmuseum during their stay, you could do worse than stay in their splendid digs at the Relais Bourondisch Cruyce.
Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5/5
The Wicker Man - Ellangowan Hotel
Address: St John St, Creetown, Wigtownshire DG8 7JF
Brainwashed islanders carrying out pagan rituals in the name of cult? Bad for business at most remote taverns located in South West Scotland perhaps, but not where Brit Eckland pulled pints in The Wicker Man. Along with providing visitors with information about the scenes shot in the pub/hotel, the owners of the Ellangowan have been known to encourage visitors to discover more filming locations across the rural province of Creetown.
Trip Advisor Rating: 5/5
Fargo - Hitching Post Motel
Address: 23855 Forest Blvd N, Forest Lake, MN 55025, USA
Another motel immortalised on-screen by the Coens, The Hitching Post Motel in Forest Lake was employed for the pair's frost-bitten 1996 masterwork Fargo, mostly remembered for the moment Jerry’ is (William H Macy) arrested by police. But if a 90s indie thriller isn't reason enough to visit, you might be intrigued to know that the area is also home to Minnesota’s biggest black ash tree, measuring an impressive 65ft.
Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5/5
(Images: The Movie District, YouTube)