Yes, most of them are very creepy, yet still iconic. The real question is which one(s) would you check in to?
WHERE: Universal Studios Hollywood
Did you know Norman Bates’ little roadside establishment in the iconic Psycho (1960) is a fake? The motel is part of a set at Universal Studios, Hollywood. According to the book on which the film is based though, the property is 20 miles outside of the fictional Fairvale, California. So, let’s put aside the facts (and the psycho and his mother who resided in a mansion on the hill behind the motel’s cabins) and think about why this place could work: it’s quiet, easily accessible, and…unique? Some of the film’s scenes were shot on Highway 99 between Fresno and Bakersfield, California–a serene drive up the California valley seems really nice right about now.
WHERE: Estes Park
This property, which served as the inspiration behind Stephen King’s classic, The Shining, is a true gem. A large, 14,000-square-foot gem, actually. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has 142 bedrooms and is just a few miles from Rocky Mountain National State Park, so there are panoramic views aplenty. The Stanley, of course, knows this and offers adventure packages to its visitors so that they may immerse themselves in the nature surrounding the property with such activities as cliff camping and lake hikes. As for treats on the property, you can’t go wrong with a meal at the hotel’s steakhouse, Cascades Restaurant, and some dessert afterward at Colorado Cherry Co., where you can sample local jams, juices, ciders, and chocolates. Oh, and one more thing: The hotel may have been the setting of one of the most famous fictional horror stories ever created, but the real-life version, allegedly has some haunts of its own. Haveagoodstaybye!
Cotton-candy luxury has never looked better than it has through Wes Anderson’s eyes, and the entire time I was watching his 2014 Academy-Award-winning film, I wanted to take up permanent residence in the establishment. For real-life comparisons, let’s take a look at the Hotel Imperial Wien. The opulent architecture of both hotels is uncanny (sans Anderson’s sepia filter), and Anderson told The Daily Beast that Ralph Fiennes’ character was based on the Hotel Imperial Wien’s concierge, Michael Moser. The film was also inspired by Stefan Zweig, an author who regularly visited the Cafe Imperial, the hotel’s cafe.
WHERE: Beverly Hills
This Four Seasons property in Beverly Hills really loves 1990’s Pretty Woman. This makes sense because it was the primary filming location for a movie that catapulted Julia Roberts into stardom. The hotel itself is airy, chic, and luxurious without being overwhelming. Well, I don’t know if I can say the same for the Pretty Woman package. That’s right—they REALLY love the movie. So much so that guests can indulge in a “Pretty Woman for a Day” package that includes a tour of Melrose with your own personal stylist and a couples massage with a Bath Butler.
WHERE: Poulsbo, Washington
Where are my Twin Peaks fans? Perhaps my favorite fictional hotel on this list, The Great Northern may be home to some odd characters, but its ambiance is incredibly welcoming. Set in a fictional town someone in northern Washington, The Great Northern is reportedly inspired by Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Washington (which now hosts a “Paint and Sip” wine class inspired by the show!). What is it about rustic decor and fir trees that are so irresistible?
WHERE: New York City
Based on another Stephen King fable, 1408, the short story follows a non-fiction writer who makes the bold choice to stay the night in an infamous room at New York’s fictional Dolphin Hotel for his next book. The suite has housed over 40 deaths (all of which were from either suicides or “natural causes”) for nearly 70 years and as the story clips along, the jaded writer really has no idea what he’s gotten himself into. The 61st Street hotel , with its mahogany furniture and its Fleur de Lis carpets, feels like classic New York luxury akin to that of the Four Seasons or The Peninsula. I could never say no to those places.
WHERE: Las Vegas
It’s Las Vegas, so like The Hangover, your time there could be a blur. If you’re visiting with that mindset, any hotel in Vegas will work. The film featured the iconic Bellagio Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, both of which can be found on the Strip. Both properties also fully encapsulate Vegas culture with loud fountains, absurdly lavish Mediterranean themes, and a heavy amount of traffic from casinos.
WHERE: Newquay, UK
Hotel banquet halls haven’t been the same since 1990’s The Witches. England’s Headland Hotel, known as Hotel Excelsior in the movie–where a great number of insidious witches let their hair down—looks like a castle, which seems like an appropriate meeting place for this group (led by Angelica Huston), I suppose. Though it wasn’t featured in the film, the hotel has a decadent spa that offers nourishing wraps and private mud rooms. Perhaps someone should’ve informed a few of the irritated, rather repugnant witches of said amenities?
WHERE: Tokyo, Japan
There are much, much worse places to be lost in translation. One of the primary settings for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning Lost in Translation, this award-winning hotel reflects the high-tech aesthetic of the sleek city around it. For relaxing times in Japan, you could (and should) post up in one of these spacious rooms with marble floors and ridiculous views. While there, you could take a note from Scarlett Johansson’s character and go for a swim in the hotel’s indoor pool where you can see Mt. Fuji.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles: A Hotel to the Stars Is a Hotel for Me (So, Yes).
WHERE: Downtown Los Angeles
Ghostbusters? Yep. Cruel Intentions? Mmmhmmm. Chinatown? You know it. This Downtown Los Angeles staple has been featured in quite a few massive Hollywood productions. Why is that? I’m going to say luxury—its Spanish-Italian architecture is complemented by high ceilings, a bevy of chandeliers, and a grand piano.