Top 10

Lights, Camera, Romance - LHW in the Movies

Many Leading Hotels of the World have served as the backdrop of romantic movies (and of movie couples). Here are ten real-world properties that inspired incredible love stories-both on-screen and off.


FALL FOR this historic Old Montreal hotel-the setting for the romantic drama, Head in the Clouds-just as star Charlize Theron fell for her co-star Stuart Townsend on set.
RECREATE scenes from the Oscar-winning love story The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, filmed at this magical 13th century castle.
SENSE the glamour of the French Riviera at this Monte Carlo hotel, recognizable from Alfred Hitchcock's romantic caper To Catch a Thief.
SUMMON the charms of legendary ladies man James Bond, at this floating palace Udaipur hotel where Roger Moore filmed Octopussy.
CHECK INTO the suite used in the beloved romantic comedy Notting Hill and recall Hugh Grant's bumbling attempts to woo Julia Roberts at this legendary London hotel.
DANCE across the ballroom floor of this landmark Rio de Janeiro hotel, just as Ginger Rogers did with Fred Astaire in their 1933 hit Flying Down to Rio.
DISCOVER the romance of this renowned Portofino hotel where Richard Burton is said to have proposed to Elizabeth Taylor.
STAY at this famous Rome hotel, an Old World institution where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco spent their honeymoon.
UNDERSTAND the romance of this beautiful Lake Como hotel where Hollywood couples Clark Gable and Carol Lombard and Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra were all guests.
SLEEP at this elegant city-center hotel and get to know the beautiful city of Salzburg, made famous by the classic wartime love story The Sound of Music.

Destination...Romance

Trend: The Weddingmoon

For most couples, a two-week honeymoon is an impossible dream, but destination weddings offer a new option: the "weddingmoon" which enables them to share a celebration with family and friends, and then settle in for the relaxing honeymoon escape. Here are four Leading Hotels of the World ideal for combining a beautiful wedding setting and exotic honeymoon:

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa - Seychelles
Set on a private peninsula, this spectacular resort epitomizes a tropical hideaway. Wedding guests will be kept entertained with an array of sporting activities, the bridal party will be pampered in the Spa, and everyone can enjoy meals at the open-air restaurant. Most importantly, newlyweds can hole up in their hilltop villa, for the ultimate escape.

Shanti Maurice - Mauritius
Blending Mauritian and African culture, this resort is nestled amid landscaped gardens overlooking the sea. It boasts one of the region's largest pampering havens, the 75,000-square-foot Nira Spa, where couples can share relaxing treatments. Dining options include the romantic open-air Stars restaurant.

One & Only Reethi Rah - Maldives
For the ultimate wedding escape, this entire resort can be rented to accommodate more than 200 guests. The picture-perfect island boasts beach and over-water villas, an ESPA beauty center and three restaurants. Best of all, there's an in-house wedding planner.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba - Mexico
Located on a sun-kissed stretch of the Mayan peninsula, this resort is surrounded by acres of tropical gardens. A Romance Manager is on hand to help couples decide between a sunrise ceremony on the beach or a grand reception in the large ballroom.
Maia Luxury Resort & Spa
Guests will experience every aspect of luxury at the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa. Set on the secluded Anse Louis overlooking the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the private twelve-acre property is lushly landscaped with hibiscus, lemongrass and cinnamon. With just ten ocean-front villas and 20 panoramic villas, all with private pools, and a staff of 230, the resort insures an exceptional level of service. Pampering and wellness are also the focus at the Balinese-style spa, which offers instruction in Hatha yoga and Qigong, as well as restorative treatments performed in open-air pavilions. If guests can motivate to move beyond the resort's beautiful grounds, the variety of water-based activities available include snorkeling and canoeing, with diving and fishing at a fee.
Shanti Maurice - A Nira Resort
Located around a pristine coral sand cove on the south coast of Mauritius, Shanti Maurice - A Nira Resort is a 36-acre boutique lifestyle resort with an award-winning spa. Ocean-facing suites and villas are among the most generously proportioned in Mauritius. Villas have private pools and are surrounded by gardens, terraces and courtyards. Most of the restaurants’ ingredients are from the island’s farmers and fishermen, as well as herbs and vegetables grown on property. The signature dining venue, Stars, offers contemporary Cape cuisine; and the rustic beach-side Fish and Rhum Shack celebrates the bounty of local seas with cocktails using products from a local distillery and a village brewery. A Kids Club features a toddler’s pool and a games room complete with Play Station and Wii to keep the young guests occupied.

Round Up: Paris, Je T'Aime

Paris glows brighter on Valentine's Day as lovers bundle up against the cold for long walks along the Seine or to take in views from atop the Eiffel Tower. Experience the romance of the City of Light at one of these Leading Hotels:

Sybarites will be at home at the magnificent Hotel Le Bristol, in the stylish 8th arrondissement. Rooms boast sumptuous 18th-century furniture and original paintings, and a serene garden provides a romantic retreat. A romance package includes a Boucheron gift, roses, champagne and a meal at the Gastronomic Restaurant. Food lovers should also consider the innovative creations of chef Michel Troisgros at La Table du Lancaster within the Hotel Lancaster, an intimate petit palais that also boasts a Zen-like central garden. Guests with cause for celebration can order the petal-adorned cocktail from the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris, or request the suite where Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper flirted in the film Love in the Afternoon. Eco-conscious romantics can book the "Very Important Planet" package at the Hotel Fouquet's Barrière and celebrate with a glass of Pop Earth Champagne, exclusive to the hotel. And for couples who don't want to "see and be seen", the intimate Hotel Raphael pampers with spacious interiors and utterly discreet service. The Duplex Suite features a spiral staircase up to a sitting room that opens onto a terrace overlooking the Arc de Triomphe.
Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière
The massive transformation and expansion of Paris’ legendary Fouquet’s brasserie into a luxury hotel was overseen by architect Edouard François and interior designer Jacques Garcia. François merged seven classic Haussmann-style buildings and Garcia’s vivid style is seen in such details as oversized golden fauteuils in the lobby and walls covered in embroidered leather. Hotel Fouquets-Barrière is committed to Dignified Luxury©, which emphasizes that the environment need not be abandoned in the quest for luxury. The hotel’s lavish design, exquisite cuisine and hip location where the Champs-Élysées meets the Avenue George V, underscores its appeal to a fashionable and discerning clientele.
Hôtel Lancaster
Hôtel Lancaster has housed many a grande dame over the years. In the 1930s, Marlene Dietrich lived in one of the apartments for three years, and today the suite named after her has a grand piano in the living room. Built as a private residence in 1889, the hotel still exudes the personal ambience of a stylish home. Legendary hotelier Emile Wolf hunted for antiques across Paris’ best auction houses, and the impressive collection creates a ravishing backdrop to this day. Further enhancing the home-away-from-home vibe is the interior garden whose lush plants come from five different continents. Given the serene setting in the heart of Paris, no wonder that such presentday grandes dames and gentlemen, like Jane Fonda, Emma Thompson and Pedro Almodóvar, have all stayed here.
Le Bristol Paris
Le Bristol Paris is a unique place for its exemplary service and refinement. Located on the elegant rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the heart of the city’s arts and fashion district, the hotel has welcomed guests since 1925 and features renovated rooms and suites that are decorated in 18th century French-style. Exceptional cuisine is created in the newly designed restaurant, Epicure, which overlooks the French gardens. The luxury brasserie, 114 Faubourg offers an inviting atmosphere. Le Jardin Français welcomes guests for afternoon tea, or less formal lunch and dinner. Le Bar du Bristol is the new place to be seen in Paris on evenings. The swimming pool has panoramic views of Paris’ rooftops. The new Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie completes this exceptional palace.
Hotel Raphael
Paris is full of hidden corners that offer calm oases, and one of the prettiest is found at Hotel Raphael. Raphael La Terrasse, the hotel's rooftop restaurant, is beautifully planted and overlooks the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Classic Paris is also present in the old-world interiors, which feature rich silks, tasteful antiques and damask wallpaper. Housed in a seven-story palace that was built in 1925, the hotel preserved such original details as six-foot-tall windows and large armoires (even if guests are no longer bringing along ball gowns). In walking distance to the Champs Elysées but feeling worlds away, the hotel fosters a serene, home-like vibe, thanks to its intimate size and discreet service.
Ritz Paris
The Ritz Paris is approaching its 2015 reopening after an unprecedented restoration. The legendary hotel will open its doors with 72 suites, including 15 historic one-of-a-kind prestige suites, and 71 rooms. Renowned interior architect Thierry W. Despont is overseeing the restoration which will unveil three restaurants, three bars, including famed Bar Hemingway, and gorgeous gardens and terraces with retractable roofs and floor heating to be enjoyed year-round. École Ritz Escoffier will benefit from a third demonstration kitchen and the historic Salon Proust with its wood-burning fireplace will offer Ritz afternoon tea. The hotel’s signature Spa will feature an indoor pool and a modern fitness center with private training rooms, while a discreet tunnel will be available for completely private guest arrivals and departures.
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