Starring… Leading Hotels

Lights, Camera, Leading!

Some films, from romantic comedies or action-packed thrillers, are remembered most for their location. Who can think of Notting Hill without seeing the charming Portobello Road market or Vicky Cristina Barcelona without imagining the city's Gaudí architecture? These Leading Hotels, all based in memorable locales, played starring roles in some of the all time greatest films.
ADMIRE...
the surrounding lake of this Udaipur floating palace, which was the fictional home of Octopussy in the 1983 Bond film.
HOLE UP...
in a suite at this ultra-glam Marrakech sanctuary, just as Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day did in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.
STROLL...
home to this 18th-century mansion hotel on Green Park after a romantic dinner, like Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill.
FEEL...
the excitement at this iconic 150-acre Miami resort that was featured in The Specialist, a 1990s thriller starring Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone.
SIP...
a glass of Rioja at the bar of this Art Nouveau–style former private home, like the heroines of Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona.
ABSORB...
the multi-layered history of South Africa from this grand hotel on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, featured in the award-winning film Blood Diamond.
CHECK-IN...
to the Peter Sellers suite, which boasts a private Jacuzzi and hamam at this glitzy hotel in the Dolomites, the set for the classic film The Pink Panther.
SING IN THE SHOWER...
in the suite that was once Verdi's apartment. The grand Milan property was also used in the Sophia Loren film Il Viaggio.
CHANNEL...
your inner Northern European investigative journalist and check into this Sir Norman Foster–redesigned Zurich property, which was featured in the acclaimed U.S. version of The Girl with the Dragon ...
SWIM...
in a pool that boasts an underwater sound system at this fashion-forward London hotel, featured in Woody Allen's film Cassandra's Dream.
Celebrities spend much of their time in international hotels – while on set, on exhaustive press junkets, or on vacation. Regardless of whether or not they're working, stars relish privacy, discretion and ultimate luxury. These Leading Hotels in Germany and Italy have proven to be favorites.

Leading Spa Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Hamburg, Germany

In the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg has a world-class property that can hold its own with the best of Europe’s grand hotels. Housed in a 19th-century mansion, the hotel exudes history (it first opened in 1897). The lobby, which is under monument protection, is especially awe-inspiring; when magician David Copperfield arrived, he insisted on taking some photographs of the grand space before checking into his room. Realizing the importance of fusing past and future, interiors are traditional but innovative, and none of the rooms and suites are alike. The personalized service here is legendary, and families are made to feel particularly welcome, with kids receiving such special welcome gifts as baby bathrobes, stuffed animals and drawing books.

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Hassler Roma

Rome, Italy

Sitting at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Hotel Hassler, owned and managed by Roberto E. Wirth, is one of city's most iconic properties and nearly as photographed as the famous attraction itself. The original 1885 building was reconstructed in 1938 in time for the US army to set up its World War II headquarters here. Today, however,the interiors recall the stately elegance of the interwar years, with Pompeian red and ocher furnishings and ubiquitous gold detailing. Imàgo restaurant boasts panoramic views of the Pantheon,Aventino Hill and the Borghese Gardens through picture-frame windows on the sixth floor. Nestled in the heart of the hotel is the romantic Palm Court Garden, an open-air courtyard that is perfect for sitting with a chilled Italian wine while feeling art of Roman history at this venerable property.

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Grand Hotel Miramare

Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy

Located in the heart of Italy’s Riviera, in Santa Margherita Ligure, the Grand Hotel Miramare overlooks the sparkling sapphire waters of the Tigullio Gulf. Owned for seventy years by the Fustinoni family, the hotel has a gleaming white façade painted with trompe l’oeil frescoes reminiscent of the early 1900’s. The elegantly furnished terraces, polished Barracuda Piano Bar and flowering Mediterranean gardens with large saltwater pool create a decidedly old-world vibe. Within walking distance of the boutiques of charming Santa Margherita Ligure and just three miles from gemlike Portofino, the Grand Hotel is a luxe base from which to tour the surrounding sites, such as Italy’s famous cliffside Cinque Terre towns, and for enjoying the exceptional Italian Riviera beaches.

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Leading Golf Villa la Massa

Candeli, Italy

Surrounded by twenty-two acres of gardens, olive and lemon groves, Villa La Massa, part of Villa d'Este Hotels, rises out of Tuscany's bucolic splendor like a Renaissance fantasy. The renowned property is located just outside of Florence, but feels worlds away. Built in the 16th century for a member of the Medicis, Villa La Massa is composed of three classic ochre-and-pink colored villas with rooms and suites that feature authentic Florentine decor, locally crafted canopy beds and serene Arno river views. While known as a romantic hideaway, with a traditional Italian and Tuscan restaurant and a 400-bottle wine list, Villa La Massa also features a newly created Iris collection garden, the chef's organic garden and the new ARNO SPA featuring products of the Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.

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Private cinemas in hotels are all the rage with guests—especially with the under-sixteen set. Parents can host movie viewing parties, private screenings and even slumber parties in the spectacular screening rooms at these Leading Hotels.

Leading Spa Bayerischer Hof

Munich, Germany

Originally conceived by King Ludwig I, the Bayerischer Hof is one of Munich's most legendary hotels. History and contemporary flair mingle with easy elegance. Its iconic Blue Spa, offering barbecues in summer and an unique ice bar in winter with views of Munich, and was created by Andrée Putman. The newest restaurants, Atelier and Garden, are by interior designer Axel Vervoordt, who also devised the Cinema Lounge; complete with its own Night Club with live Jazz, five restaurants, six bars and the theatre, it is a self-contained haven that draws celebrities and heads-of-state. Guest rooms are in a variety of styles, designed by famous architects. Top-floor suites have breathtaking views, private spa access, terraces or open fireplaces. Voted in numerous rankings as one of the best grand hotels in Europe.

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Leading Spa Whiteface Lodge

Lake Placid, United States

Considered by many one of the best hotels of its kind in the country, Whiteface Lodge is nestled in Adirondack Park. This six-million-acre recreation area in upstate New York has drawn nature lovers for decades (visitors have included Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Vanderbilts and Marjorie Merriweather Post). In the heart of the park on Lake Placid, the lodge evokes the region's 19th-century heyday with a wood-beamed exterior, cozy carpet-strewn sitting rooms and cast-iron fireplaces. Amenities and services are decidedly 21st-century, as is the focus on family travel. The resort offers every imaginable activity for kids, including scavenger hunts, bowling and canoeing, and Kanu restaurant has an extensive menu for its little guests—the next generation of Adirondack converts.

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Carlisle Bay

St. Mary's, Antigua

It’s the sounds of Carlisle Bay that stay with guests long after they have left: the song of the birds, the whispering of waves, the swoosh of the palm trees. In a spectacular location on the island’s southern coast, Carlisle Bay is part of the CampbellGray Hotels collection. The hotel features spacious Ocean and Garden Suites for couples which are quite separate from the family-friendly Beach and Carlisle Suites. All have ocean views and cool calm interiors. Guests can enjoy tennis, the large gym, a long list of water sports and classes (yoga in the tropical gardens is popular), while those looking to unwind can chill out in the hip library or spa. Carlisle Bay excels at looking after families of all ages with a highly acclaimed kid’s club.

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Leading Spa Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa

Johannesburg, South Africa

The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is a luxurious oasis on ten landscaped acres in Johannesburg’s neighborhood of Sandhurst, known for its quiet tree-lined avenues. Its proximity to Sandton makes it ideal for business travelers, but it is equally favored by those en route to safari destinations. Johannesburgers know The Saxon as an exclusive retreat with an award-winning spa and elegant dining in the restaurant or more intimate wine cellars. The suite and villa accommodations evoke a sense of calm and measure 860 square feet and up, with many overlooking the massive pool. Perhaps the hotel’s proudest boast, however, is that the former South African president and Nobel Prize-winner Nelson Mandela chose the Saxon as his sanctuary in which to complete his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

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