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Clooney’s done it. Piven’s done it. Even Lumley (Joanna) has done it. And now it’s your turn to make a Downton Abbey cameo – because, for the first time ever, you can now stay at Highclere Castle.
Previously, you could visit Highclere (AKA Downton) at various points over the year. But now they have opened up a cottage in the grounds – the gatehouse, to be precise. Technically, it's called London Lodge, but we shall call Hotel Downton.
Movie Set Hotels / Budapest Hotels / Corinthia Hotels / Sean MacPherson / Wes Anderson / Ralph Fiennes / → All Tags
It's the moment we've been waiting for forever. Well, actually only since last October but still, we're crazy excited to see Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel", which hits theaters in the states tomorrow.
The inspiration for the film has not been revealed, yet there's only one hotel in Budapest that could be a real contender--The Corinthia Hotel Budapest which was formerly known as the Grand Hotel Royal when it opened in 1896 and actually sports a similar facade to the fictional Grand Budapest Hotel. And naturally, the Corinthia is capitalizing on the similarities with a "Behind the Scenes' package.
The three-night stay includes a tour at the hotel, learning about the role it played in Hungarian film industry (it used to house a cinema), a walking tour of the city's most famous movie set locations, a day cruise on the Danube along with a VIP Grand Budapest movie screening from March 20 to April 9. Breakfast for two is also included. The package stars at a total of $1,150 for two people including buffet breakfast and is valid from March 20 to December 25th.
Movie Set Hotels / Wes Anderson / Hotel News / Hotel Movies / Ralph Fiennes / Edward Norton / → All Tags
Wes Anderson's upcoming movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is set to premiere in two months and being lovers of Anderson's films and hotels, we're obviously very excited for this debut. But now we've just stumbled across two clips from the movie on ContactMusic.com and we're even more intrigued.
The premise of the move is about Gustave, a concierge in a legendary hotel in 1920s Europe, played by Ralph Fiennes. He embarks on a friendship with a Lobby Boy, named Zero, who eventually becomes his protege. The movie also involves "the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century." There's also a murder, as you can tell from the second clip below.
Aside from Fiennes and Edward Norton, more bonafide stars are expected to check-into the hotel, including Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban.
The film is pure Wes Anderson all the way--quirky yet stylish and a bit of perfectionist when it comes to historical accuracy, at least as far as design and fashion are concerned. And that's what make watching the lobby scenes so thrilling for hotel geeks like us like spotting the "Reception" sign and admiring the staffer uniforms. Although, we're not really sure a hotel put the words "Lobby Boy" on a hat. Did they?
Keep reading to watch the clips from The Grand Budapest Hotel!
UPDATE, 10.16.13: Variety is now reporting that the movie will open on March 7, 2014. And the movie poster is out too!
Director Wes Anderson made train travel cool again with his movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. According to IMDB, the film will be a comedy-drama about a hotel concierge working at a legendary hotel in 1920s Europe. The concierge embarks on a friendship with younger employee who becomes his protege. But that's not all. The movie also involves "the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century." Ralph Fiennes will star as the Concierge along with a roster of bona fide starts just as Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban. Now the question is What hotel inspired this movie?
According to IMDB, the film will be a comedy-drama about a hotel concierge working at a legendary hotel in 1920s Europe. The concierge embarks on a friendship with younger employee who becomes his protege. But that's not all. The movie also involves "the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century."
Ralph Fiennes will star as the Concierge along with a roster of bona fide starts just as Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban.
Now the question is What hotel inspired this movie?
Jon Hamm has embraced Atlanta as his temporary second home while filming his new baseball movie, "Million Dollar Arm".
The “Mad Men” star was at the St. Regis Atlanta's hotel bar last Tuesday, not for a nightcap, but because the bar has been transformed (even its famous mural shown below) into a steakhouse for the film. Funny enough, Hamm isn’t staying at the St. Regis (we wonder why?), because at $440 a night, it seems pretty reasonable for an A-lister, no? Instead, we believe he's been laying his head at the Loews Atlanta Midtown, coming in at $329 a night.
Anyhoo, the day of the shoot, traffic into the St. Regis’ Buckhead area was quite a pain, but those accustomed to the ATL’s legendary traffic jams didn’t seem to mind this minor inconvenience, especially when learning it was due to Jon Hamm’s presence. After all, this is Don Draper we’re talking about—heartthrob and hero to many. Oh, and Denzel Washington (who happens to co-star in "Million Dollar Arm") and Colin Farell who was a guest, have been on site as well, so the St. Regis nabe has been a veritable celebrity-sighting scene as of late.
Traffic-schmaffick, Hollywood’s gorgeous men are in town!
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A few months ago, we told you about the new Paramount Pictures movie-themed hotel coming to Dubai. And now, we have a few more details on that project thanks to a recent interview in Hotelier Middle East.
In it, the CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts (keep in mind, this will be the company's first-ever hotel) explains that while Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movie studios around, and its films are very well-known, people usually aren't able to connect the actual movies to the company (Grease, The Godfather, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump were all Paramount movies, in case you were wondering).
Thus, the hotel will attempt to kill two birds with one stone: create the ultimate movie-lover's hotel experience, and by doing so, educate people on the impressive Paramount Pictures back catalog.
The CEO told HME:
"In-room entertainment will be home theatre surround systems inside the guestrooms as a minimum because I’m convinced that this will be a top expectation from all our guests.
We’ll look at themes for the entertainment throughout the year; give each month a theme, so in February with Valentine’s Day it could be love films. The hotels will also have a screening room; a high-end luxury theatre with lounge seating, a multi-functional environment."
In honor of Baz Luhrman's much-hyped The Great Gatsby hitting theaters tomorrow, we've put together a list of Manhattan hotels where (we think) Jay Gatsby himself would have stayed. From art deco glamor to 1920s-themed cocktails, these are a few 'great' hotels with vintage style all of their own.
This historic hotel opened in 1929 under the name "The Lexington," then for a while it became the Radisson Lexington. Now, nearing completion of a multi-million dollar renovation, it's back to being The Lexington. The new design pays homage to jazz age glamor with "brilliant gold elevator doors, and verses from Irving Berlin's Russian Lullaby…dancing through the room." Rates from $359/night.
Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio showed up at The Plaza on Wednesday night to celebrate the The Great Gatsby's premiere, which didn't surprise us at all. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were big fans of this hotel, and in their honor, a Fitzgerald Suite will debut tomorrow (starting at $2,800/night), featuring Art Deco furnishings, photos of the author as well as the cast of the 2013 film, the complete F. Scott Fitzgerald collection, and gramophone-shaped iPhone speakers.
As a bonus, the hotel teamed up with Moët & Chandon to create a Gatsby-inspired cocktail, made with Moët Imperial and a sugar cube soaked in green Chartreuse. The drink is available exclusively at the Plaza, and is a unique way to 'soak up' some history. Non-suite rates from $584/night.
Four more after the jump!
The duo haven't starred in anything together since 2004's 50 First Dates. In that one, Barrymore's character suffered from a short-term memory disorder, meaning every date was technically a "first date." And according to the WSJ, this new movie will center around "a couple who, after surviving a dreadful first date, find themselves at a family resort with the kids from their respective previous marriages."
Which tells us two things: one, they clearly have a theme going here. Second, they'll be filming at a resort.
Sure enough, an insider confirms that the entire cast and crew will be heading to Sun City Resort in six weeks to begin shooting the film. The resort, which is two hours from Johannesburg, is made up of four hotels totaling 1,301 rooms, with botanical gardens, outdoor pool, hiking trails, golf course, man-made lake, and a casino.
The Palace of the Lost City Hotel (pictured above) is modeled after a "fairytale African palace," while the Cabanas Hotel is the top choice for families (so we're guessing that's where the actors will end up doing their thing.)
Concerning the three-month shoot, Barrymore told the WSJ that she's "a little worried" about the long-haul flight and "making sure there's medevac if anything happens." We can't say we blame her—when you're that far away from home, the last thing you want to deal with is an injury. How else are you supposed to enjoy the zip slides?
Rates at the Cabanas Hotel from $165/night.
Last week, we were dismayed to hear about Johnny Jet's bad experience while staying at the Ojai Valley Inn during filming of the cheesy dating show, The Bachelorette. A five-star hotel should definitely not shaft its guests just so a production crew and reality stars can film the perfect shot.
But is there really a way where a hotel, its guests and a TV or movie production crew can all get along?
One HotelChatter commenter thinks so. He writes:
Hassle can be minimized. I've been on both sides of this type of situation. Years ago, I was Night Manager of a hotel where a movie was filmed. I had guests complain because they couldn't access the health club, indoor pool, or spa because of the movie. That was horrible because my hands were tied. I couldn't kick the film crew out; and, discounting the room didn't do much to mollify guests who expected to be able to use the hotel amenities.
Occasionally, I work on some of the TV shows shot here in South Florida. A few weeks back, we filmed in the lobby of one of the hotels in Ft. Lauderdale. The production did a great job of not inconveniencing guests. While guests were prevented from walking across the lobby, that only happened during the shot. And, the longest any guest had to wait was about 4 minutes. Since guests could stand and watch the scene, no one seemed to be bothered.
For an indie flick, the hyper-raunchy Spring Breakers did pretty well at the box office over opening weekend. Not that we're too surprised—with two former Disney stars in bikinis and James Franco playing a cornrowed rapper called 'Alien,' the movie was bound to pique a fair amount of curiosity.
Tampa Bay natives will recognize the local ice cream parlor, liquor store and police station that make cameos in the film, but for Spring Breakers' most iconic scene, director Harmony Korine rounded up a bunch of real life spring breakers drinking real life booze to stage a real life pool party. The venue of choice? An abandoned hotel located on the grounds of the Coral Reef Resort.
According to multiple TripAdvisor reviews, the "abandoned pink building" located in the front of the resort is something of an eyesore for actual guests, but for Korine's purposes, the crumbling edifice worked just fine.
He told Ain't It Cool:
"The party scenes were chaos. There were thousands of kids in abandoned hotels just destroying things...and that’s the thing about chaos, it’s chaos. It’s almost impossible to control. So that was pretty intense."
Phew. We're glad it wasn't us down in St Pete last spring. These guys make Justin Bieber antics seem almost civilized.
Movie Set Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Donna Karan / Anjelica Huston / Felicity Jones / Jack Davenport / Relais & Chateaux / Celebrity Scoop / → All Tags
What are the requirement to make a memorable short film shot entirely at The Surrey in New York City? Donna Karan knows. Get Angelica Huston to direct, throw in Felicity Jones and Jack Davenport and attach your name to it. The result is one of the best hotel video promotions ever conceived. Interestingly, that wasn't the intention. It's a film about hosiery. But it still makes a great hotel promo video.
Now, we love us some Donna Karan and we love us some Surrey, so this was a collaboration just waiting to happen. Felicity Jones and Jack Davenport play strangers that meet at the bar, and thus a romantic interlude transpires. There's a lot of things going on with Felicity's legs, as you'll notice. Hosiery, remember?
We won't tell you what happens next but it involves a candle. Or maybe it doesn't. Either way, you'll most likely be paying attention to the backdrop… The Surrey has never looked so sexy!
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One of the most classic Christmas movies, that doesn't involve Santa Claus or elves or Tim Allen, is Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life. We don't like to get too nostalgic about the 'good old days,' but we imagine it must have been pretty magical going to one of those old-time movie theaters on Christmas day in 1946 and watching it for the very first time.
As it happens, the black-and-white classic very well might have been written at a hotel.
The Press-Enterprise recently published a piece about Capra's affinity for La Quinta Resort & Club. Apparently, the guy loved the place so much, he moved there permanently with his wife when he was 84. The PE reports:
"Frank, and his wife Lucille, always stayed in the same room while vacationing at the La Quinta Hotel — Suite 136 in the San Anselmo Casita — and their room is now marked with both a memorial placard and a memorial bench."
But could this also be the place where Capra wrote the award-winning script? According to his autobiography, the hotel (which is now a part of the Waldorf-Astoria collection) was his "Shangri-La for script writing" over the years. (Not to be confused, of course, with Shangri-La Hotels.)