Destinations / North America

6 Famous Movie Hotels and Resorts You Can Actually Stay In (And One You Can’t)

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Have you ever watched a movie and found yourself wishing that you could step into the silver screen?

While you may not be able to visit Hogwarts or the Death Star, there are plenty of real-life locations that have served as the backdrop for some of your favorite films.

From luxurious hotels and resorts to charming bed and breakfasts and historic inns, these famous hotels from movies offer travelers the chance to experience a little bit of cinematic magic in their lives.

So pack your bags and get ready to check in to some of the most iconic movie hotels and resorts around the United States, where the silver screen becomes a reality.

Lights! Camera! Action!

The Plaza Hotel, New York City

The Plaza Hotel is one of the most storied hotels in New York City. It has been featured in many movies, including Home Alone 2, The Great Gatsby, and Sleepless in Seattle

This luxury hotel offers incredible views of Central Park, a world-class spa, and of course, fine dining experiences.

In addition to its prime location and luxurious offerings, the Plaza Hotel also boasts a rich history. It was built in 1907 and has hosted numerous famous guests, including Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and the late Princess Diana.

The stunning architecture and opulent interiors have made it a popular filming location, appearing not only in the movies mentioned but also in classic films such as North by Northwest and The Way We Were.

Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu

This one is near and dear to my own heart, as seeing the stunning Turtle Bay Resort featured in Forgetting Sarah Marshall led us down the path to spending more than a month exploring Oahu! It’s set on over 800 acres of peaceful, lush beachfront on the North Shore, far from the business of Honolulu and Waikiki.

While the resort had a starring role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it’s had plenty of other great cameos. Look for flashes of the hotel and its grounds in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and more.

Even without the movie tie-ins, there are plenty of reasons you’ll love staying at Turtle Bay. For starters, there are seven different beaches on the property and they all offer different experiences from lounging in the sand to exploring tide pools to snorkeling.

When you’re ready to leave the property, you can check out the nearby Kahuku food trucks or tour Kahuku farms, or spend a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

The rooms themselves are lovely, you there’s a good reason you’ll feel like a celebrity: it’s designed so that every one of its 408 rooms has an ocean view.

Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel has a long-standing connection to the movie industry beyond its appearance in films like Pretty Woman and Clueless

Over the years its prime location in Beverly Hills, in the heart of West LA, has made it a popular choice for movie studios, producers, and celebrities. In fact, the hotel has been used as a filming location for several movies and TV shows, including Entourage, Sex and the City, and Beverly Hills Cop.

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel also plays host to various film festivals and awards ceremonies, such as the Golden Globe Awards, which has been held in the ballroom several times over the years. 

Additionally, the hotel’s Polo Lounge is a popular spot for Hollywood power lunches. Those in the know claim that plenty of movie deals and collaborations have been secured at the fabled restaurant over the years.

The hotel’s connection to the movie industry has helped cement its status as a Hollywood icon, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a luxurious oceanfront resort in Miami Beach, Florida with a long-standing connection to the movie industry over the years.

The hotel first gained recognition in the 1960s when it served as a location for the James Bond movie Goldfinger. The elegant design and luxurious amenities make it the perfect setting for legendary movie scenes, including the poolside brawl between Bond and Goldfinger.

Since then, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach has been featured in several other movies and TV shows, including Scarface and The Bodyguard.

The hotel’s glamorous reputation and beautiful design have made it a popular choice for movie studios and producers looking for a luxurious and memorable location.

Aside from its Hollywood connections, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is also known for its luxurious accommodations, including spacious rooms and suites with stunning ocean views. 

The amenities include a spa, described as, ‘the most beautiful spa in America,’ according to Martha Stewart. In addition, there are multiple pools, and several dining options, including the world-renowned Hakkasan restaurant.

Overall, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a quintessential destination that combines Hollywood glamour with a tropical beach setting, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a luxurious getaway.

Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia

Mountain Lake Lodge is a picturesque resort located in Pembroke, Virginia, nestled within the Appalachian Mountains. The hotel’s stunning natural setting and charming accommodations have made it a popular destination for travelers seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat.

However, Mountain Lake Lodge is perhaps best known for its connection to the movie industry. Anyone who was watching movies in the 1980’s will know which movie we’re talking about just by looking at the building…

Yep, the hotel was used as a filming location for the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, which has since become an absolute beloved classic. 

The idyllic location and rustic charm made it the perfect setting for the famous dance scenes and romantic storyline.

Today, visitors to Mountain Lake Lodge can still experience the magic of Dirty Dancing by taking a guided tour of the filming locations, including the gazebo where Baby and Johnny practiced their dance moves. The hotel even offers Dirty Dancing themed weekends, complete with dance lessons and other activities inspired by the movie.

In addition to its Hollywood connections, Mountain Lake Lodge is the perfect getaway from the hustle of city life – it’s 4.5 hours from Washington DC and 2.5 hours from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park. They have gorgeous hiking trails, fishing, golf, and spa treatments for their guests. The cozy accommodations including cabins and cottages, provide a comfortable and peaceful retreat from everyday life.

The Overlook Hotel, Colorado

The Overlook Hotel, also known as the Stanley Hotel, was built in 1909 and has a rich history. It has hosted numerous famous guests, including Theodore Roosevelt, and is believed to be haunted by several spirits.

The hotel’s paranormal activity inspired Stephen King to write his novel, The Shining. There is even a “Stephen King Suite” dedicated to the author that you can reserve for your visit! In 1980 the book was adapted into the iconic film by Stanley Kubrick. The hotel’s impressive exterior and creepy interiors were featured in the movie, which has become a cult classic.

Yes, it’s a real hotel located in Estes Park, Colorado – adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. And yes, it’s the hotel from The Shining movie!

The infamous “Room 217” has been renovated and is available for booking, as well as other rooms and suites. The hotel’s restaurant, Cascades, offers fine dining experiences with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. The Stanley Hotel is a must-visit destination for horror fans and history buffs alike.

The hotel offers various tours, including “The Shining Tour” which is a spooky indoor/ outdoor tour including a bit of history, a bit of Stephen King, and some eerie tales. Guests can also book a “Spirit Tour” which takes visitors to different locations on the property to hear tales of unexplained phenomena.

If you are looking for things that go ‘bump’ in the night, this hotel could certainly be it! It’s a great stop on a longer visit to Colorado too.

Thanks to its huge cult following I can’t leave out one important bonus movie hotel…

Bates Motel, California

The Bates Motel, featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho, is a fictional establishment filmed on a set in California. Even though the hotel itself does not exist, the movie’s notable scenes set at the Bates Motel have inspired several real-life locations and even a TV series.

The original Bates Motel was created for the movie, with a facade built specifically for the filming. The creepy and isolated location, along with its ominous atmosphere, played a crucial role in building the suspense of the movie. It’s quite terrifying just thinking about it!

The Bates Motel set from the movie has been preserved and is now a tourist attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, where visitors can explore the infamous motel and other sets from the movie on the studio tour. That said, some of the interior shots were filmed at a hotel in Phoenix that isn’t open to the public currently.

Read more: Universal Studios tips you NEED to read

The Bates Motel’s impact on popular culture has been significant, with its name and imagery becoming synonymous with horror and suspense. The iconic scenes set at the motel, including the infamous shower scene, have become an integral part of movie history, making the Bates Motel an enduring symbol of cinematic terror.

Since you can’t actually stay at the Bates Motel, book one of these great Los Angeles hotels instead.

And… that’s a wrap!

Staying at a hotel featured in a movie can be an exciting way to experience a little bit of the magic of the silver screen. From relaxing mountain lodges to ultimate luxury getaways, these amazing movie hotels offer you the chance to immerse yourself in the world of your favorite films, whether you’re a die-hard movie buff or just looking for a unique travel experience.

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