When Hollywood came calling, these 10 hotels were ready for their close-up—and ended up on the big screen in films that were nominated for Academy Awards. Appearing as the backdrop for key scenes, and in a few cases entire movies, these distinctive properties enjoyed star turns that became cinematic history. As this year’s Oscar ceremony approaches (tune in Sunday, Feb. 24), here’s a look at some of the world’s top hotels that held their own against Tinseltown’s most acclaimed leading ladies and men. And the Oscar goes to...
The Dolder Grand in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2011)
Overlooking Zurich and featuring 173 rooms—many offering city, lake and Alps views—The Dolder Grand was built in 1899 and added two contemporary wings in 2008. Director David Fincher shot the Daniel Craig-Rooney Mara suspense film here for two days.
Big onscreen moment: Lisbeth Salander (Mara) stays here while handling secret financial transactions in Zurich; the exterior, lobby, hallways, and Masina Suite are all featured.
Nominations: Rooney Mara for Best Actress; Film Editing (it won), and three others
Oscar-worthy room: The exclusive 1,830-square-foot Masina Suite, located on the top floor of the Spa Wing and inspired by 1950s Italian glamour.
Hotel Casa Fuster in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008)
Strikingly modernist (circa 1908) Hotel Casa Fuster, located on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia, has long been a favorite of director Woody Allen, who has played jazz clarinet in its Café Vienes. The 105-room hotel was a natural for a supporting role in this film starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.
Big onscreen moment: The hotel’s name is clearly visible in an exterior shot, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Judy (Patricia Clarkson) have a scene in the lobby, and Café Vienes also got a bit of screen time.
Nominations: Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress (she won)
Oscar-worthy room: One of the 614-square-foot Suites with circular balcony, king-sized bed and hydro-massage shower.
Hotel del Coronado in "Some Like It Hot" (1959)
Circa-1888 Hotel Del Coronado on San Diego's Coronado Island has such star quality it almost gave leading lady Marilyn Monroe some on-screen competition in this Billy Wilder-directed screwball comedy set in 1929. The film actually had three leading ladies—Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis spent most of it in drag.
Big onscreen moment: Sugar Kane (Monroe) cavorting on the hotel’s beach—but since all exterior scenes were filmed there, The Del is a certified cinematic icon.
Nominations: Best Black and White Costume Design (it won), Jack Lemmon for Best Actor, Billy Wilder for Best Director, and three others.
Oscar-worthy room: The 700-square-foot Signature Suite, located in the original Victorian Building with its ocean-view balconies, but featuring airy modern décor.
The Roosevelt Hotel in "Wall Street" (1987)
Located on New York's Madison Avenue near Grand Central Terminal, The Roosevelt Hotel dates to 1924, has 1,015 rooms, and in addition to this Oliver Stone-directed drama, can also be spotted in "Quiz Show," "Maid in Manhattan" and "Presumed Innocent."
Big onscreen moment: Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) gives his climactic "Greed is good" speech in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom.
Nominations: Michael Douglas for Best Actor (he won)
Oscar-worthy room: A one-bedroom Luxury Suite, decorated in vintage style and featuring a king-sized bed, living/dining area and kitchen.
Ashford Castle in "The Quiet Man" (1952)
John Wayne had a huge screen presence, and in this John Ford-directed drama set in Ireland and co-starring Maureen O’Hara, the sprawling grounds of Ashford Castle provide him with a grand backdrop. The castle, an 83-room luxury hotel near Cong in County Mayo, Ireland, dates to the 13th century, and while the building itself doesn't appear onscreen, the cast stayed there.
Big onscreen moment: The famous fight sequence between Sean Thornton (Wayne) and "Red" Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) was filmed on Ashford’s grounds, and the stone bridge that leads to the hotel can be seen in the opening.
Nominations: John Ford for Best Director (he won), Best Cinematography (it won) and five more.
Oscar-worthy room: Room 500, the castle’s highest Tower Room with great countryside views—John Wayne stayed here during filming.
Hotel Le Bristol in "Midnight in Paris" (2011)
Hotel Le Bristol, the 188-room luxury hotel on Paris' posh rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, is a veritable co-star to Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams since it’s where the main characters stay in this Woody Allen-directed time-travel comedy.
Big onscreen moment: The hotel’s Panoramic Suite is where Allen shot all the in-room scenes, like when Inez (McAdams) confronts Gil (Wilson) about his midnight wanderings, while its lobby and restaurant are also frequent settings.
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay (it won), Best Film and two others
Oscar-worthy room: The 1,725-square-foot Panoramic Suite with its classic Louis XVI furnishings, cheery gold and lavender décor, and small terrace.
The Pierre in "Scent of a Woman" (1992)
Although it’s never identified, The Pierre had a cameo in this buddy drama about surly blind colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino) and his young minder Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) navigating New York's streets and finding unlikely friendship. The 189-room Pierre is located near Central Park on Fifth Ave.
Big onscreen moment: Frank (Pacino) does his famous tango dance with Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) in the hotel’s balconied Cotillion Room after it was transformed by Hollywood into a restaurant. Booyah!
Nominations: Al Pacino for Best Actor (he won), Best Picture and two others.
Oscar-worthy room: Any of the individually designed 10 Luxury Grand Suites, such as the Tata, Getty or Hutton, which feature luxurious fabrics, Murano chandeliers and skyline views.
La Mamounia in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956)
This Alfred Hitchcock-directed thriller is set amid the intrigue of Marrakech as Dr. Ben McKenna (Jimmy Stewart), his wife Jo (Doris Day), and their young son check into La Mamounia. Opened in 1923, the hotel was extensively renovated in 2009 and features 207 elaborate rooms and four restaurants.
Big onscreen moment: Ben and Jo join a British couple for a dinner in the hotel’s mosaic-filled La Marocain restaurant, and a room is featured when Ben sedates his wife before telling her their son has been kidnapped.
Nominations: Best Original Song for "Que Sera, Sera" (it won)
Oscar-worthy room: One of the six spacious Signature Suites, each decorated in different palettes but all featuring stunning Moroccan décor and furnishings.
Cape Grace in "Blood Diamond" (2006)
Located on Cape Town's scenic Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, luxurious 120-room Cape Grace hosted key cast members during the filming of this intense drama set in the ‘90s during the Sierra Leone civil war and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly.
Big onscreen moment: Cape Grace wouldn’t have earned its SAG card for its "extra" role in the climactic scene that cuts back and forth between wounded ex-mercenary Danny (DiCaprio) as he talks on the phone to journalist Maddy (Connelly)—but the salmon-pink hotel can be seen behind Maddy the entire time.
Nominations: Leonard DiCaprio for Best Actor, Djimon Hounsou for Best Supporting Actor, and three others
Oscar-worthy room: A 376-square-foot Rooftop Terrace Room (with 108-square-foot terrace), decorated in soothing contemporary neutrals and overlooking the waterfront and Table Mountain.
Shutters on the Beach in "Something’s Gotta Give" (2003)
While this Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton romantic comedy was set in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, some filming was done around Los Angeles, including at the 198-room beachfront Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.
Big onscreen moment: Erica (Keaton) goes on her first date with young Dr. Julian (Keanu Reeves) at Shutter’s One Pico restaurant, which appeared to be an eatery in the Hamptons.
Nominations: Diane Keaton for Best Actress
Oscar-worthy room: One of the dozen 800-square-foot Private Suites featuring corner balconies with beach views.
Photo Credits: Le Bristol Panoramic Suite courtesy of Hotel Le Bristol; The Pierre Scent of a Woman courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World; La Mamounia La Morocain courtesy of La Mamounia; Cape Grace courtesy of Cape Grace; Shutters on the Beach one Pico courtesy of Shutters on the Beach; Dolder Grand Exterior courtesy of The Dolder Grand; Casa Fuster Cafe Vienes courtesy of Hotel Casa Fuster; Del Panoramic Retouch courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado; Roosevelt Hotel Grand Ballroom courtesy of The Roosevelt Hotel; Ashford Castle Aerial courtesy of AshfordCastle