The Beverly Hills Hotel should really get top billing next to Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks. Much of the story progresses during author Pamela “P.L.” Travers’ stay at the iconic property, in between days spent on Disney’s studio lot in Burbank hashing out the screen adaptation of her beloved Mary Poppins, and while the actual filming locations were not at the hotel (exterior and interior shots had to be recreated elsewhere to reflect the décor of the hotel at the time) a visit to the hotel itself will instantly draw you back in time to Hollywood’s Golden Age, with palm trees and pink furnishings echoing back to the glamour of yesteryear without losing its luster. And if you have a sweet tooth like mine, eventually you will find yourself hunkering down at the 19-seat Fountain Coffee Room tucked away in the middle of the hotel. One slice of chocolate cake will set you back a pretty penny, but it took me all afternoon to finish! Savor every bite while you take in the atmosphere and observe the long-time staff holding court with the locals.
The Plaza, an iconic NYC Landmark Hotel, provides the perfect setting and incredible backdrop for film. I recently had the pleasure of spending the night at the Plaza with my husband and kids for my daughters 3rd birthday and it could not have been more perfect! When your three-year-old walks down the hallway feeling like a princess (literally skipping), and enters a room filled with pink chocolates and candies, it is priceless to see the joy in her smiling face. Top that off with an Eloise at the Plaza experience and you are mom of the year.
Often times when you are asked to name an iconic hotel in New York City, you will refer to The Plaza. This is because it has been featured in many famous movies and has been deemed the luxury hotel in New York City. However, there is another iconic hotel that sometimes gets overlooked. This is known as the Waldorf-Astoria.
The original Waldorf opened its doors in 1893 and the Waldorf Astoria opened in 1931. It is also a luxury hotel in Manhattan that attracts some of the most elite and prestigious guests. So, of course, it is on the top of the list for scenery when shooting a movie that is set in The Big Apple. Some of the most well-known movies that are featured in the Waldorf Astoria are the original Great Gatsby, Serendipity, The Godfather Part III, and Maid in Manhattan.
There is nothing better than glamorously running around Manhattan only to rest your head on a plush pillow at the Waldorf Astoria. The Waldorf Astoria has kept up its originality by keeping its historic interior and old school service. You step into the main lobby and the ceilings are grand and adorned. The breakfast in the ground level restaurant is to die for (which I did every time I ate there because the food was so delicious). There is a magnificent ballroom that can take shape into many different events on any given night.
In fact, I had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria back in December 2014. Not only did I enjoy the grandeur of the Waldorf Astoria, but it was around Christmas, so it was in full swing holiday mode. The reason I was there was to attend the International Debutant Ball. It was an amazing event in which the ballroom was transformed into this gorgeous space that took your breath away. The International Debutant Ball brought together people from all over the world, which is one of the amazing things about the hotel; people from all over the world stay there because despite the differences in cultures, they are all aware of the importance of the Waldorf Astoria.
Staying at the Waldorf-Astoria was always a distant dream I had growing up, so getting to fulfill that dream was so exciting. It was one more thing marked off my bucket list. The hotel is very old school, which I love, because you feel like you are a part of history and getting to be in the space that many famous people or important figures have been before. I had that New York magical feeling. I can say that it was an experience I will never forget, especially considering that I was exploring the hotel one night and set off the hotel alarm system. I just hope they didn’t put me on a ‘no stay’ list!
I will never forget the famous scenes from the blockbuster film The Bodyguard, filmed in 1992, partly at the Fontainebleau, Miami Beach. It is only fitting that this hotel makes an appearance in so many famous movies as it is one of the most historically and architecturally significant hotels in Miami, featuring over 1500 rooms, 12 restaurants and bars, and 40,000 sq. foot spa and oceanfront poolscape.
In The Bodyguard, starring the late and great Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, one of the most unforgettable scenes was where Ms. Houston belts out “I have nothing if I don’t have you!” catching the eyes of Costner, while performing at the hotel. As the camera zooms out, we see a front shot of the famous hotel, and suddenly an explosion of fireworks as a neon sign screaming “Rachel” lights up the sky! These scenes were filmed at the Fontainebleau’s 15th floor penthouse suite, the oceanfront pool, and Tropigala ballroom (where LIV nightclub now resides).
Although many additional movies have made appearances at this world famous hotel, few will compare to the indelible impression that Houston left at the Fontainebleau, Miami Beach.