Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features
Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features

15 Famous Movie Hotels You Can Visit in Real Life

Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features
Yoshio Sato - © 2003 Focus Features

While there are a number of memorable fictional movie hotels (the Grand Budapest Hotel, the Bates Motel, and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are a few that come to mind) there are many more that are real, working businesses that offer guests a chance to experience some of their favorite movie locations, while also offering a great night’s sleep. Here are 15 movie hotels you can book in real life.

1. PARK HYATT TOKYO // TOKYO

Located in the heart of the city, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is the five-star hotel at the center of Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning Lost In Translation. Along with its spectacular views of the neon lights of downtown Tokyo and Mount Fuji in the distance, you can also order a glass of Suntory Whisky at the New York Bar in the 52-story skyscraper where Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) first met and began their wild adventure through Japan.

2. MOUNTAIN LAKE LODGE // PEMBROKE, VIRGINIA

Mountain Lake Lodge

Although it takes place at the fictional Kellerman's Resort in New York's Catskill Mountains, Dirty Dancing (1987) was actually filmed at two locations: Lake Lure in North Carolina and the Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia, which is still a popular vacation spot. The hotel hosts Dirty Dancing weekends with group dance lessons, a tour of the filming locations, and a watermelon toss. The resort even features the Virginia Cottage (or “Baby’s Cabin”), where the Houseman Family stayed in the film. It’s also where “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner!"

3. THE PLAZA HOTEL // NEW YORK

Getty Images

New York City's Plaza Hotel is a famed shooting location for many Hollywood movies, including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) stayed at the luxury hotel when he was separated from the rest of his family (again) in this 1992 sequel. The legendary hotel also served as the new home for Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) when he came to New York from Australia in Crocodile Dundee (1986), as well as the location where William Miller (Patrick Fugit) finds Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), who almost overdosed at the end of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000).

Other movies that were filmed at The Plaza include North by Northwest (1959), Arthur (1981), American Hustle (2013), and The Great Gatsby (2013).

4. BEVERLY WILSHIRE // BEVERLY HILLS

Beverly Wilshire

The primary filming location for Pretty Woman (1990) was the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The luxury hotel even offers guests a glamorous “Pretty Woman For The Day” package, which starts at $15,000 and features a stay in the “Pretty Woman Suite” (the hotel’s Presidential Suite), a personal shopper on Rodeo Drive, a couple’s massage, a “shoeless” picnic with cuisine inspired by the movie, and a night at the Los Angeles Opera. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel also made appearances in Clueless (1995), Sex and the City: The Movie (2008), and Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971).

5. HOTEL DEGLI ORAFI // FLORENCE

Hotel Degli Orafi

If you’d like to stay in the beautiful and romantic room from James Ivory’s A Room with a View (1985), ask for Room 414 on the fourth floor in the Hotel Degli Orafi in Florence, Italy. It’s true, the room has an amazing view of the Arno river and the Ponte Vecchio.

6. CHATEAU MARMONT // LOS ANGELES

Getty Images

Sofia Coppola shot her fourth film, 2010's Somewhere, almost entirely on location at Los Angeles's Chateau Marmont, a luxury hotel known for its celebrity guests and residents. In fact, the film’s star, Stephen Dorff, stayed at the hotel during production to get into the mindset of his character and to easily get to set every day.

"I was living in Paris, and I was homesick," Coppola explained to LA Weekly of why she shot the film at the hotel. "In France, it's so different, and I was thinking about L.A., how it seems like our whole pop culture is so interested in celebrity, and now people all know about the Chateau Marmont. There have been iconic L.A. movies that I always loved, and I thought, 'We haven't had one showing today, this era of L.A.' "

Many L.A.-based artists and writers such as Billy Wilder, Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tim Burton have all stayed and worked within the Chateau Marmont at one time during their careers, while The Doors' frontman Jim Morrison took up a brief residence at the hotel. Unfortunately, John Belushi also died of a drug overdose in one of its rooms in 1982. At the end of La La Land, Oscar winner Emma Stone's Mia Dolan finds herself at the legendary hotel.

7. CAESARS PALACE // LAS VEGAS

The Hangover (2009) was shot almost entirely on location at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (and no, Caesar didn’t really live there). Aside from the Wolfpack’s villa—which was a sound stage in Hollywood—a majority of the hotel and casino were used for filming, including the front desk, lobby, entrance driveway, pools, corridors, elevators, and the infamous rooftop, where Doug (Justin Bartha) was found at the end of the comedy. Other movies that were filmed at Caesars Palace include Rain Man (1988), Iron Man (2008), Dreamgirls (2006), and The Big Short (2015).

8. FONTAINEBLEAU MIAMI BEACH // MIAMI BEACH

Fontainebleau Miami Beach/Facebook

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is featured at the beginning of Goldfinger (1965) and is where James Bond (Sean Connery) first met the villainous Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe). It was also the location of the iconic scene where Bond discovers the dead body of the character Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) after the lethal henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) suffocated her by painting her in gold.

In addition, the luxury hotel was also the setting for Jerry Lewis’s The Bellboy (1960) and Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988).

9. PLAZA HOTEL // LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO

Historic Plaza Hotel/Facebook

Founded in 1882, the Plaza Hotel is an historical landmark in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The Coen brothers renamed the hotel The Eagle Pass Hotel in No Country For Old Men (2007). The hotel is where the heart-stopping shootout between Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) took place.

10. TIMBERLINE LODGE // MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, OREGON

Just outside of Portland, Oregon and near the peak of Mount Hood rests the Timberline Lodge, which was featured in The Shining (1980). While its interiors were filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, director Stanley Kubrick used the Timberline Lodge for the exteriors of The Overlook Hotel. Although the hotel doesn’t have a Room 237, the hotel’s most requested room is number 217—the mysterious and haunted room from Stephen King’s best-selling novel, on which the film is based. King also used the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado as inspiration for the book.

Today, the Timberline Lodge is a popular vacation spot for its amazing ski slopes and snowboarding. There's also an annual Overlook Film Festival, which showcases the strangest and brightest films in horror.

11. JUVET LANDSCAPE HOTEL // VALLDAL, NORWAY

Knut Bry/Juvet Landscape Hotel

Located in the side of a mountain in northern Norway, the modernist Juvet Landscape Hotel was the filming location for tech billionaire Nathan Bateman’s (Oscar Isaac) isolated home in 2015's Ex Machina. While Norwegian architects Jensen & Skodvin designed the hotel with the idea of simplistic modern design in a tranquil setting, producers chose the scenic location to emphasize the character’s power and good taste. 

“We wanted it to be among nature, we wanted it to be stunning, and we wanted it to be exclusive,” Ex Machina’s production designer, Mark Digby, told Vanity Fair. “We felt someone as powerful, as rich as this, and as intellectually competent as him, would have a good sense of design.”

12. HOTEL DEL CORONADO // CORONADO, CALIFORNIA

One of the greatest comedies in American cinema history, a number of scenes from Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1958)—which follows two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who flee town after witnessing a mob hit and later disguise themselves as women to join an all-female band—was filmed at the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California. The historic hotel, which appeared as the Seminole Ritz Hotel in Miami, was selected because it fit the film’s 1920s era setting with its Victorian architecture.

Fun Fact: Author L. Frank Baum wrote three books in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz series at the Hotel del Coronado during the early 20th century. He designed elements of the Emerald City based on the hotel.

13. RELAIS BOURGONDISCH CRUYCE // BRUGGE, BELGIUM

In In Bruges (2008), Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are sent to Belgium and hole up at the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, which is located at the intersection of two canals in Brugge, until the two hit men get further instructions from their crime boss (Ralph Fiennes). The boutique hotel is considered one of the most romantic hotels in Europe, while Lonely Planet even called the bed-and-breakfast, "The very epitome of a Bruges experience."

14. MILLENNIUM BILTMORE HOTEL // LOS ANGELES

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

First opening its doors in 1923, Hollywood has long had a fascination with Los Angeles's Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The historic hotel has appeared in a number of big movie productions, from The Sting (1973) and Chinatown (1974), which filmed in its Gold Room and Limousine/VIP Ramp, respectively, to Ghostbusters (1984) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984), which used its Music Room and Rendezvous Court, respectively, as filming locations. The hotel has also appeared in many other movies, including Bachelor Party (1984), Splash (1984), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), and Cruel Intentions (1999).

As legend has it, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel was also the last place Elizabeth Short (a.k.a. the Black Dahlia) was seen before her dead body was discovered bisected in a vacant lot in 1947.

15. SANDTON HOTEL DE FILOSOOF // AMSTERDAM

James Bridges - © TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved

The whirlwind romance between Augustus (Ansel Elgort) and Hazel (Shailene Woodley) in The Fault in Our Stars (2014) took place at the Hotel de Filosoof in Amsterdam, where author John Green wrote the novel on which the film is based. Although the couple stayed at the hotel, its interiors were actually filmed at the American Hotel across town.

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iStock
18 Smart Products To Help You Kick Off Summer
iStock
iStock

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your backyard barbeque or cultivate your green thumb, these summertime gadgets will help you celebrate the season from solstice to the dog days.

1. ROSÉ WINE GLASSES; $60

Rosé Wine Glass
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Wine not? When the temperature rises and beer isn’t your thing, reach for the rosé. Riedel’s machine-blown SST (see, smell, taste) wine glasses will give the sparkly stuff ample room to breathe, making every refreshing sip worthwhile.

Find It: Amazon

2. NERF N-STRIKE ELITE SURGEFIRE; $25

Nerf SurgeFire
Hasbro

Why It’s Cool: The N-Strike Elite SurgeFire (say that five-times-fast) sports a pump-action rotating drum for maximum foam-based firepower and holds up to 15 Nerf darts in its arsenal.

Find It: Hasbro Toy Shop

3. BUSHEL & BERRY PLANTS; $34

plant
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: You don’t need to have a green thumb to create a brag-worthy garden this summer. Besides producing snackable mid-season berries, these open-growing bushes can be planted immediately for easy set-up to make you look like a botanical pro.

Find It: Amazon

4. INFLATABLE DONUT; $17

Doughnut float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When the only dunking you’re doing is taking a dip in the pool, a 48-inch inflatable donut is the perfect way to stay afloat.

Find It: Amazon

5. STAR SPANGLED SPATULA; $21

American flag spatula
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: O say can you see by your grill’s charcoal light / Meats so proudly we cooked ... with a star spangled spatula. Depending on the specific model, these all-American grilling tools (designed in New Jersey and made in Chicago) are made of a combination of walnut and stainless steel or nylon. As an added bonus: 5 percent of the proceeds go to the Penn Abramson Cancer Center.

Find It: Amazon

6. MLB HOT DOG BRANDERS; $8 AND UP

MLB San Diego Padres Hot Dog BBQ Brander
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Take your hot dogs, sausages, brats, and more out to the ballgame without ever leaving your grill. These branders from Pangea Brands are dishwasher-safe and made of ceramic-coated cast iron.

Find It: Amazon

7. UNA GRILL; $139

grill
MoMA Shop

Why It’s Cool: This portable charcoal-heated grill is as efficient as it is stylish. The compact size lets you cook at the park, after hitting up MoMA, or anywhere in between.

Find It: MoMa Shop

8. HAMBURGER GRILLING BASKET; $21


Why It’s Cool: Made of steel and finished with a non-stick coating, this grilling tool flips four burgers at once and maintains perfect burger proportions to guarantee nobody stays hungry for long.

Find It: Amazon

9. COPPER FIRE PIT; $121

metal fire pit
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: The grill isn’t the only place for a roaring fire this summer. This 100 percent solid copper fire pit makes for the perfect gathering spot at your next BBQ, or just to warm up after a cool summer evening.

Find It: Amazon

10. BENDY STRAW POOL NOODLE FLOAT; $10

Bendy Straw Inflatable Pool Float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Inflatable pool floats shouldn’t be boring, and this bendy straw float definitely does not suck. This unique spin on traditional pool noodles is sure to make for some cheesy jokes, but at least you’ll be comfortable floating in the pool or at the beach.

Find It: Amazon

11. GRIDDLER DELUXE; $111

Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for some serious panini power, this griddler offers up a versatile lineup of six cooking options in one. And with dual-zone functions you can sling burgers while searing filets and sautéeing vegetables all at the same time.

Find It: Amazon

12. VINTAGE SNOW CONE MAKER; $30

Vintage Snow Cone Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: With its old-timey design, dual cone shelf, and endless flavor options, this snow cone maker is guaranteed create a cool treat.

Find It: Amazon

13. DACHSHUND CORN ON THE COB HOLDERS; $7

Dog Corn Holders
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: While meat-lovers will inevitably scarf down a lot of hot dogs this summer, vegetarians who happen to love another kind of dog will be smitten with these stainless steel, Dachshund-shaped corn on the cob prongs. They’re a fun spin on a summer grilling favorite.

Find It: Amazon

14. ICE CREAM SANDWICH MAKER; $16

Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Four sandwiches are better than one, especially when they're of the ice cream variety. Make four ice cream sandwiches at once with this homemade spin on a classic cold treat.

Find It: Amazon

15. UE WONDERBOOM; $68

Bluetooth speaker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Besides delicious food and great company, some memorable tunes are required for the quintessential barbeque. This portable bluetooth speaker offers up some booming sound in a small package, and with a battery power of 10 hours on a single charge you can keep the party going all night.

Find It: Amazon

16. ROLLORS GAME; $38

Rollors Backyard Game
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When you’re sick of bocce, hate horseshoes, and you’re over cornhole, you might want to take up “rollors,” a family-friendly game that combines your favorite traditional backyard festivities into one game for people of all ages.

Find It: Amazon

17. HAMMOCK; $174

hammock
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Rest easy knowing that this 100 percent hand-woven and hand-dyed cotton hammock contributes to artisan job-creation in Thailand.

Find It: Amazon

18. VSSL SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS; $59

Emergency Survival Tent Outdoors
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Compact, convenient, and durable, the VSSL Shelter can come in handy when things don’t go quite as planned. The device—which features a lightweight emergency shelter all within the handle of a compact, weather-resistant aluminum LED flashlight—is designed to keep you safe under the worst conditions.

Find It: Amazon

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Illustration by Mental Floss. Image: Rischgitz, Getty Images
11 Things You Might Not Know About Johann Sebastian Bach
Illustration by Mental Floss. Image: Rischgitz, Getty Images
Illustration by Mental Floss. Image: Rischgitz, Getty Images

Johann Sebastian Bach is everywhere. Weddings? Bach. Haunted houses? Bach. Church? Bach. Shredding electric guitar solos? Look, it’s Bach! The Baroque composer produced more than 1100 works, from liturgical organ pieces to secular cantatas for orchestra, and his ideas about musical form and harmony continue to influence generations of music-makers. Here are 11 things you might not know about the man behind the music.

1. PEOPLE DISAGREE ABOUT WHEN TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY.

Some people celebrate Bach’s birthday on March 21. Other people light the candles on March 31. The correct date depends on whom you ask. Bach was born in Thuringia in 1685, when the German state was still observing the Julian calendar. Today, we use the Gregorian calendar, which shifted the dates by 11 days. And while most biographies opt for the March 31 date, Bach scholar Christopher Wolff firmly roots for Team 21. “True, his life was actually 11 days longer because Protestant Germany adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1700,” he told Classical MPR, “but with the legal stipulation that all dates prior to Dec. 31, 1699, remain valid.”

2. HE WAS THE CENTER OF A MUSICAL DYNASTY.

Bach’s great-grandfather was a piper. His grandfather was a court musician. His father was a violinist, organist, court trumpeter, and kettledrum player. At least two of his uncles were composers. He had five brothers—all named Johann—and the three who lived to adulthood became musicians. J.S. Bach also had 20 children, and, of those who lived past childhood, at least five became professional composers. According to the Nekrolog, an obituary written by Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, "[S]tarting with Veit Bach, the founding father of this family, all his descendants, down to the seventh generation, have dedicated themselves to the profession of music, with only a few exceptions."

3. BACH TOOK A MUSICAL PILGRIMAGE THAT PUTS EVERY ROAD TRIP TO WOODSTOCK TO SHAME.

In 1705, 20-year-old Bach walked 280 miles—that's right, walked—from the city of Arnstadt to Lübeck in northern Germany to hear a concert by the influential organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude. He stuck around for four months to study with the musician [PDF]. Bach hoped to succeed Buxtehude as the organist of Lübeck's St. Mary's Church, but marriage to one of Buxtehude's daughters was a prerequisite to taking over the job. Bach declined, and walked back home.

4. HE BRAWLED WITH HIS STUDENTS.

One of Bach’s first jobs was as a church organist in Arnstadt. When he signed up for the role, nobody told him he also had to teach a student choir and orchestra, a responsibility Bach hated. Not one to mince words, Bach one day lost patience with a error-prone bassoonist, Johann Geyersbach, and called him a zippelfagottist—that is, a “nanny-goat bassoonist.” Those were fighting words. Days later, Geyersbach attacked Bach with a walking stick. Bach pulled a dagger. The rumble escalated into a full-blown scrum that required the two be pulled apart.

5. BACH SPENT 30 DAYS IN JAIL FOR QUITTING HIS JOB.

When Bach took a job in 1708 as a chamber musician in the court of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, he once again assumed a slew of responsibilities that he never signed up for. This time, he took it in stride, believing his hard work would lead to his promotion to kapellmeister (music director). But after five years, the top job was handed to the former kapellmeister’s son. Furious, Bach resigned and joined a rival court. As retribution, the duke jailed him for four weeks. Bach spent his time in the slammer writing preludes for organ.

6. THE BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS WERE A FAILED JOB APPLICATION.

Around 1721, Bach was the head of court music for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen. Unfortunately, the composer reportedly didn’t get along with the prince’s new wife, and he started looking for a new gig. (Notice a pattern?) Bach polished some manuscripts that had been sitting around and mailed them to a potential employer, Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. That package, which included the Brandenburg Concertos—now considered some of the most important orchestral compositions of the Baroque era—failed to get Bach the job [PDF].

7. HE WROTE ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST COFFEE JINGLES.

Bach apparently loved coffee enough to write a song about it: "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht" ("Be still, stop chattering"). Performed in 1735 at Zimmerman’s coffee house in Leipzig, the song is about a coffee-obsessed woman whose father wants her to stop drinking the caffeinated stuff. She rebels and sings this stanza:

Ah! How sweet coffee tastes
More delicious than a thousand kisses
Milder than muscatel wine.
Coffee, I have to have coffee,
And, if someone wants to pamper me,
Ah, then bring me coffee as a gift!

8. IF BACH CHALLENGED YOU TO A KEYBOARD DUEL, YOU WERE GUARANTEED TO BE EMBARRASSED.

In 1717, Louis Marchand, a harpsichordist from France, was invited to play for Augustus, Elector of Saxony, and performed so well that he was offered a position playing for the court. This annoyed the court’s concertmaster, who found Marchand arrogant and insufferable. To scare the French harpsichordist away, the concertmaster hatched a plan with his friend, J.S. Bach: a keyboard duel. Bach and Marchand would improvise over a number of different styles, and the winner would take home 500 talers. But when Marchand learned just how talented Bach was, he hightailed it out of town.

9. SOME OF HIS MUSIC MAY HAVE BEEN COMPOSED TO HELP INSOMNIA.

Some people are ashamed to admit that classical music, especially the Baroque style, makes them sleepy. Be ashamed no more! According to Bach’s earliest biographer, the Goldberg Variations were composed to help Count Hermann Karl von Keyserling overcome insomnia. (This story, to be fair, is disputed.) Whatever the truth, it hasn’t stopped the Andersson Dance troupe from presenting a fantastic Goldberg-based tour of performances called “Ternary Patterns for Insomnia.” Sleep researchers have also suggested studying the tunes’ effects on sleeplessness [PDF].

10. HE WAS BLINDED BY BOTCHED EYE SURGERY.

When Bach was 65, he had eye surgery. The “couching” procedure, which was performed by a traveling surgeon named John Taylor, involved shoving the cataract deep into the eye with a blunt instrument. Post-op, Taylor gave the composer eye drops that contained pigeon blood, mercury, and pulverized sugar. It didn’t work. Bach went blind and died shortly after. Meanwhile, Taylor moved on to botch more musical surgeries. He would perform the same procedure on the composer George Frideric Handel, who also went blind.

11. NOBODY IS 100 PERCENT CONFIDENT THAT BACH IS BURIED IN HIS GRAVE.

In 1894, the pastor of St. John’s Church in Leipzig wanted to move the composer’s body out of the church graveyard to a more dignified setting. There was one small problem: Bach had been buried in an unmarked grave, as was common for regular folks at the time. According to craniologist Wilhelm His, a dig crew tried its best to find the composer but instead found “heaps of bones, some in many layers lying on top of each other, some mixed in with the remains of coffins, others already smashed by the hacking of the diggers.” The team later claimed to find Bach’s box, but there’s doubt they found the right (de)composer. Today, Bach supposedly resides in Leipzig’s St. Thomas Church.

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