Sights from the from the Silver Screen
We explore the most iconic film locations to visit and stay in, perfect for the ultimate movie obsessive to add to your travel bucket list
Writer: Ed Budds
Whether you’re looking to pay homage to ‘The Godfather’ in the villages of Savoca and Forza D’agro in Sicily, recreate a scene from ‘Mamma Mia’ amongst the simple white houses and gorgeous ocean views of the small Greek island of Skiathos, or simply catch a glimpse of the McCallister’s’ house from ‘Home Alone’ in Chicago, there are countless seminal film locations to be discovered worldwide. So, if you’ve ever been curious about where some of your favourite films were shot, we explore five iconic Hollywood locations to inspire any movie lover’s next pilgrimage.
DESTINATION: New York, US
FILM: When Harry Met Sally
At 205 E. Houston St. in Manhattan sits Katz’s Delicatessen, as featured in the truly unforgettable,“I’ll have what she’s having” scene from the classic romantic comedy ‘When Harry Met Sally’. This legendary lunch location has become one of America’s most iconic restaurants, both for its famed pastrami on rye sandwich, and as the exact place where Meg Ryan sat opposite Billy Crystal for the hilarious set piece that has since been continually recreated.
DESTINATION: Oregon, US
FILM: The Shining
One of America’s most culturally vital, historic, and ultimately chilling on-screen hotels, The Overlook Hotel was brought to life at Timberline Lodge, a mountainous estate on the south side of Clackamas County, Oregon.
Filmed here, ‘The Shining’, Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, is set in the fictional grounds of The Overlook Hotel. Historically, guests would be reluctant to stay in the film’s haunted room 217, so the management eventually requested that the room number be changed permanently. The lodge and its extensive grounds host a ski resort, open for skiers, snowboarders, climbers, hikers, and of course film buffs, for all 12 months of the year.
The Peninsula Hotel
DESTINATION: Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
FILM: The Man with the Golden Gun
A premium hotel chain, The Peninsula’s flagship hotel in Hong Kong has often been referred to as the best, most luxurious hotel in the world. As a result, it was inevitably featured as a classic James Bond location. In ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, Roger Moore’s international spy witnesses a fellow agent being collected by one of the famous “Peninsula-green” Rolls-Royces, part of the hotel’s lavish fleet of courtesy cars. Recently, the cars were updated from Rolls Royce Silver Spurs to 14 long-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms, and you can still stay here to this day.
Hotel Sidi Idriss
DESTINATION: Matmata, Tunisia
FILM: Star Wars: A New Hope
George Lucas chose the sandy, winding caverns of Hotel Sidi Idriss as the set for Luke Skywalker’s childhood home in the very first ‘Star Wars’ movie. Packed with a plethora of memorabilia, and ripe with potential photo opportunities to recreate classic scenes, the hotel remains open to guests. If a little short on luxury amenities, the rugged, arid environment promises to transport you into the very heart of the desert planet Tatooine.
Hotel Sidi Idriss allows you to experience life underground with its selection of 20 private grottos. The extremely affordable guestrooms also include a traditional breakfast each morning in the communal dining room.
Görlitz Department Store
DESTINATION: Görlitz, Germany
FILM: The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Görlitz Department Store, located in the German state of Saxony, was one of the longest-running stores of its kind worldwide, operating out of a breathtakingly beautiful art nouveau building between 1913 and 2009. It was then handpicked and renovated by Wes Anderson as the main set for the 2014 masterpiece ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, which was awarded an Academy Award for best production design. The intricate and exquisite architecture is now only open for special tour days, allowing visitors to stroll through its majestic halls in the style of Ralph Fiennes’ ‘M. Gustave’.