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Top 5 movie set hotels

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Who has never dreamed of visiting famous filming locations and being a movie star for one day?

Today movies have a powerful influence on travel decisions and film tourism, also called “set-jetting”, is becoming an increasingly popular holiday option. Are you interested not only in visiting film locations, but also in staying at the hotels where these movies were shot, imagining to be your favorite hero or heroine?

If you want to sleep in the same room where Audrey Hepburn was hiding during her Roman holiday, look out from the same window where Aschenbach watched Tadzio play on the Venice Lido beach, play cards like Goldfinger at the Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami, admire the peak of Mount Etna visible on the horizon of Taormina in Antonioni’s L’Avventura (The Adventure) or imagine the brown-haired Kim Novak/Judy Barton transformed into the blond Madeleine in Vertigo, here is a list of five famous breathtaking film locations you can’t miss.

1. Apartment R/134 Margutta – Rome, Italy – Roman Holiday

The apartment R/134 Margutta enjoys a very central location in Rome, on the prestigious Via Margutta, below the Pincio and not far away from the Spanish Steps. After Wyler’s film Roman Holiday, this exclusive street became home to many famous artists, such as film director Federico Fellini.

2. Hotel Des Bains – Venice, Italy – Death in Venice

The historic Belle Epoque Hotel des Bains in Venice Lido is immersed in a beautiful park and offers breathtaking views either over the sea or the flourishing green garden. Thomas Mann was a regular guest of this hotel and set his short novel Death in Venice here. Visconti chose the same hotel for the homonymous film. The Hotel Des Bains is situated in the center of the Lido, near the Palazzo del Cinema, where the annual Venice Film Festival takes place.

3. Hotel Fontainebleau Resorts – Miami Beach, Florida – Goldfinger

The luxurious Fontainebleau in Miami Beach is the perfect hotel if you want to follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous 007 spy, James Bond: it is the memorable location of Goldfinger. In the opening scenes of the film we see an aerial shot of the Fontainebleau hotel, today a landmark of Miami Beach. The vast complex is a regular movie star hangout and artists such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were frequent guests at the hotel.

4. San Domenico Palace – Taormina, Italy – L’Avventura (The Adventure)

San Domenico Palace, built around a monastery dating back to the 14th century, is a luxury hotel in the heart of Taormina and one of the settings of Antonioni’s film L’Avventura (The Adventure). The film ends with a famous scene on the hotel’s terrace. The view that can be enjoyed from here and from the pool is extraordinary. The panorama embraces the ancient Greek theater and Etna’s peak.

5. Hotel York – San Francisco, California – Vertigo

When Hitchcock first saw San Francisco, he said it would be a good place for a murder mystery. In fact he chose different locations here for his 1958 film Vertigo. Fans of the film can stay in the York Hotel in Nob Hill, near Union Square, where the character played by Kim Novak lived. The flashing green neon hotel sign that created a ghostly effect in the film was replaced when the hotel changed its name. Today guests of the York hotel can enjoy special martinis and a show in the famous cabaret-style showroom.

Goldfinger movie set picture, courtesy of Hotel Fontainebleau, Miami Beach.

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14 responses to “Top 5 movie set hotels”

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  1. Susan says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 12:18

    What about the movie “Only you” starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr that was shot in Trastevere, Rome? Any idea which hotel Faith and Kate stayed at?

  2. Mascha says:
    May 12th, 2008 at 13:06

    Hi Susan,
    The movie “Only you” was filmed in Venice, Rome and Positano. I didn’t find the hotel where Faith and Kate stayed in Rome, but I looked for the filming location in Venice. Different scenes were shot on Campo San Polo, near hotel Ca’ San Polo. Hope I’ve helped you in some way!

  3. Marion says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 10:16

    Nice post Mascha! But just one question : How could you forget the Grand Hotel di Rimini where Federico Fellini shot one of his best films, the 1973 Oscar-winning Amarcord???!!! What a shame! :-)

  4. Mascha says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 10:50

    You are right, Marion…but talking about Fellini, I bet you never heard of the Hotel Mercure La Gradisca in Rimini, totally inspired by Federico Fellini, with every room representing a scene or a character from his movies!

  5. Freshia says:
    May 26th, 2008 at 00:40

    The hotels where Kate and Faith stayed at in Venice is the beautiful hotel Danielli and in Positano they stayed in the hotel La Sirenuse, the only one that I do not know is the hotel in Rome, it looks like a Pensione. I hope this info helps.

  6. Lisa says:
    July 4th, 2008 at 23:00

    I am also looking for the name of the penzione in Rome where Faith and Kate stayed? Anyone has an idea? Ive tried searching but no luck at all.



  7. Lisa says:
    July 4th, 2008 at 23:06

    ok!!! I found it!


    I dont know if it is a real pensione but that is what t was called


  8. Vera says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 09:54

    I just watched Only You to find out the name and Lisa is right – it’s Pensione Divino Amore. I rewound and paused about 4 times! I’ve tried looking everywhere on the Internet for it as I am wanting to stay there this summer! Can’t find it – do you think that they’ve changed name since the movie was released in 1994? Is there anyone out there that can shed some light please!?

  9. Susan says:
    July 5th, 2008 at 17:07

    Hi Lisa and Vera
    Unfortunately, there is no pensione divino amore in Rome, so it must have been a made-up name for a non-existent pensione. You can however find numerous places like it in the Trastevere neighbourhood of Rome.

  10. Stephanie Figueroa says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 12:51

    Oh my God all you ladies…thank you for the information. I love the movie “Only You” and hope for one day when i get to Venice for the first time to visit Hotel Danielli. Anyone been to the that hotel? or to Venice?

  11. Stephanie says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 13:11

    another question…is Hotel Danielli, the first hotel the girls go into when they get to Italy? Also the pensione is where Kate met the business men? And it should be easy to find as the taxi in the movie goes around the plaza! So what is that plaza callled?

  12. Lizzie says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 08:28

    The first hotel in Venice is the Hotel Danielli; it is on the Riva Degli Schiavoni, one of the most beautiful spots in Venice. It faces the lagoon and the hotel is a short distance from the Piazza San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. The piazza in Rome which they drove around in the taxi on their way to the Giovanni’s shop appears to be the Piazza Navona – one of the most famous piazzas in Rome. More recently, it was the location of the Bernini fountain in “Angels & Demons” [the "other" book/movie by Dan Brown author of "The DaVinci Code"].

  13. believe458 says:
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:02

    can anyone please tell me where it is in the movie when faith gets lost and she and her sister in law are sitting by the fountain drinking the wine out of the bottle? i fell in love with that spot since i saw the movie and i actually would like to be married on the spot. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  14. David Hicks says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 22:22

    The scene where Kate and Faith sit by the fountain and drink red wine (while the car has no gas), is a mile away from the beautiful hilltop town of San Gimignano… Its in Tuscany, about an hour and a half drive from Pisa. Ciao, David

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