What's Floating Around

What’s Floating Around? 15 May 2017


Welcome to another week and this week we’d like to talk about hotels, which is not unusual we know, but more about hotels which are the back drop for films.

The reason for our interest in this subject is that doing a little research recently into hotel facts for Fiona’s #LittleFactsat5, we discovered some rather unusual and interesting information about film stars and hotels which got us thinking! From legendary love stories to tales of drunken and debauched behaviour, there are numerous anecdotes which we could share, but we wouldn’t want to make anyone blush so instead, we’ll look at some of the films which are almost secondary to the hotels!

A relatively recent favourite has to be the fabulous Grand Budapest Hotel, which is a stylish and funny film from director, Wes Anderson. It features the adventures of Gustave H., a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the trainee lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune.

The cities of Görlitz and Dresden in Germany, along with some other spots in Saxony, were the  main film location for the film  and although the Director took inspiration from a cocktail between Vienna, Prague and Budapest to create the city of Lutz, in the invented Republic of Zubrowka. The plot occurs in a background with clear references to the history of Central Europe, during the interwar period of the 20th century and the hotel itself – was an an old abandoned department store!

The production team did a magnificent job recreating a fictional universe, that is at the same time familiar to the public. Also the shooting locations are not very difficult to recognise for those who have been there. Many films try to mask or hide the real film locations. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, on many occasions the camera was pointing at the same perspective as postcards do:

Perhaps one of the most famous, and certainly unsettling (which means downright scary) films about a hotel is The Shining with Jack Nicholson. Based on the book  by Stephen King, Nicholson goes mad after he and his family look after a remote hotel in the Rockies and its probably one of the greatest horror films of all time. Far too scary for the team here at Cloud 9 Towers!

More up our street it has to be said is Carry On Abroad which features a very dodgy hotel, still being built, in the Spanish Resort of Elsbells. With bad weather, bad food and some very odd staff, it’s perhaps a representation of hotel that most Spanish Tourist Authorities would best forget!

Animated film Hotel Transylvania features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, and CeeLo Green, and it tells the tale of a five-star resort where monsters can go to—get this—be safe from us humans. We’re unlikely to ever make a booking here but the film is enormous fun anyway!

The Regent Beverly Wilshire in Pretty Woman features Garry Marshall’s biggest hit and although Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) doesn’t give the friendly staff the time of day, Vivian (Julia Roberts) cosies up to the bellhop, Edward’s driver, and the benevolent hotel manager, memorably played by an on-point Hector Elizondo. 

In a similar genre is Maid in Manhattan. Set in  the Waldorf Astoria in New York, it features Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) as a single mother born and bred in the boroughs of New York City, who works as a maid in a first-class Manhattan hotel. By a twist of fate and mistaken identity, Marisa meets Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), a handsome heir to a political dynasty, who believes that she is a guest at the hotel. Fate steps in and throws the unlikely pair together for one night. When Marisa’s true identity is revealed, the two find that they are worlds apart, even though the distance separating them is just a subway ride between Manhattan and the Bronx.

However a firm favourite with the team here at Cloud 9 has to be The Hotel del Coronado in Some Like it Hot (1959). When Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis assume the identities of female musicians Josephine and Daphne, their on-the-run ruse—sparked by fear of having witnessed mob killings—takes them to Miami’s fictitious Seminole Ritz resort, which was in fact California’s Hotel del Coronado. It’d be the setting for countless classic moments, from the advances of Joe E. Brown’s ageing millionaire to the beach frolics of Marilyn Monroe’s Sugar Kane, whom the lead duo observe walks like “jello on springs.”

 We bet you never think about hotels in the same way again! Have a great week!