Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cinematic Landscapes

Since summer and travel go hand in hand, I thought I would post a series of traveling the world via the movies in the upcoming months.

Kathie Lee and Hoda reported on a list of top iconic resorts from some of our favorite movies this past week as a result from a poll of places fans would most like to visit. See if some of your favorite films made the list:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall:  Hawaii's  Turtle Bay Resort served as the idyllic backdrop for the raucous Judd Apatow comedy starring Kristen Bell, Russell Brand and Jason Segel. Located on five miles of beachfront and just 45 minutes from Honolulu, apparently tourism increased tenfold when the movie debuted. And as art often imitates life, it was also reported that many trued to flirt their way into a free room as did Mila Kunis in the film.

The lobby of Turtle Bay Resort as seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Turtle Bay guest suites

Somewhere in Time: Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel in Michigan enjoyed its cinematic close-up in the 1980 fantasy romance starring Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer and the late Christopher Reeve. The film's time/travel story and unforgettable John Barry soundtrack play out perfectly against the relaxed yet stately atmosphere of the summer hotel. And long time devotees of the film feel the same way as there is an annual Somewhere in Time weekend held at the Grand Hotel, complete with period attire.

The legendary designer Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper, Inc.  put  his signature look of vibrant florals and stripes for the restoration of the guest rooms and the hotel boasts the world's longest front porch. I also love the fact the only transportation on the island is by horse, bicycle or foot.

Reeve and Seymour as time travel lovers in Somewhere in Time

The Grand Hotel

Varney's designs for the Masco Cottage

Carleton Varney designed guest room
The Shining: While ominous yet memorable, viewers voted Timberline Lodge as one of their top places to visit. Located in Mount Hood, Oregon, the lodge served as a third character in the Stanley Kubrick psychological horror 1980 film The Shining. Based on Stephen King's best selling novel, Jack Nicholson played a writer gone mad who eventually terrorizes his family in the process. The Timberline is actually the Overlook Hotel in the film and you won't see the famous topiary maze as seen at the end of the film as that was shot in a soundstage in England. (The labyrinth was actually a combination of matte painting techniques and artificial hedges).

Set shot for The Shining above and below

Detail shot of Timberline Lodge

Some Like It Hot: The story of cross dressing, comedy and romance shared the stage with the famed Hotel del Coronado in director Billy Wilder's 1959 comedy. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as an all-girl musical band (Curtis and Lemmon were on the lam and had to pose as women), "The Del" served as Miami where much of the action takes place. Built in 1888, the Victorian beachfront hotel is located in San Diego and named one of the top ten resorts of the world by USA Today (and the number one wedding destination according to The Travel Channel).

Monroe and Curtis on Coronado Beach

"The Del"
The Victorian lobby
And while this was not named in the poll, the Esperanza from The Heartbreak Kid would make my list of places to visit. Located in Cabo San Lucas, the resort/retreat was not only the spot for the (often gross-out) comedy remake but a popular celebrity hide-out as well. While I still haven't recovered from the scene where Ben Stiller mistakes a large rodent as a puppy, the movie is a wonderful travelogue for Mexico.

Ben Stiller and Malin Ackerman in The Heartbreak Kid above and below

Entry to Esperanza

Photo Credits: Esperanza, Hotel Del Coronado, Twentieth Century Fox, Timberline Lodge, Grand Hotel, Turtle Bay Resort, MGM, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures.