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6 Popular Films Featuring Vacation Resorts

6 Popular Films Featuring Vacation Resorts

Movies and vacations seem to go together. They both allow us to escape from the day-to-day routine and show us places we’d rather be or would like to visit someday.

It’s no surprise, then, that many films are set in vacation resorts. These movies transport us to another place and, often, another time. We end up wanting to go to the places where the movie characters are.

While we can’t step into the actual movies, the hotels and resorts featured in well-known films are popular destinations for movie buffs who want to share some of the big-screen magic. Here are six famous films that feature vacation resorts.

1. The Shining

This iconic horror movie was set in a Colorado mountain resort. For the outside of the fictitious Overlook Hotel, director Stanley Kubrick filmed the exterior of the Timberline Lodge, located on the slopes of Mount Hood in Oregon.

Kubrick had his assistants scour the U.S. and photograph a wide range of hotels, lodges, apartments, and other locations. He selected the Timberline Lodge because he found it “genuinely frightening.” The images of the hotel have today become synonymous with horror movie excellence.

2. Home Alone 2

6 Popular Films Featuring Vacation Resorts

The original Home Alone movie has become a Christmas classic. The sequel is set in the Plaza Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in New York City, and was filmed partly on location.

In the movie, Kevin hears commercials touting the Plaza Hotel and, after being separated from his family, checks into a luxury suite at the Plaza by using his father’s credit card and imitating his father’s voice on the phone.

For fans of the Home Alone movies, the Plaza Hotel offers a Home Alone package that includes a limousine ride around New York City, a large cheese pizza, and a Home Alone sundae.

3. Pretty Woman

6 Popular Films Featuring Vacation Resorts

Since Los Angeles is the home of the American movie industry, it makes sense that so many films are set in L.A. Pretty Woman, the romantic comedy that arguably launched Julia Roberts’s movie career, was set in the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Rodeo Drive. It was at this hotel that the Richard Gere and Roberts characters fell head over heels for each other. Real-life guests at the hotel have included Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Barack Obama.

The Beverly Wilshire offers a couples package that enables customers to be “Pretty Woman for a Day” and includes shopping on Rodeo Drive and a romantic dinner.

4. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is the story of Francis “Baby” Houseman, played by Jennifer Gray, who falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle, played by Patrick Swayze, at a vacation resort. The movie was filmed at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia. The lodge’s picturesque location served as the backdrop for many scenes, including Baby and Johnny practicing their dance routines beside a lake.

The lodge offers a Dirty Dancing-themed weekend package that enables couples to recreate familiar scenes from the movie, including dance lessons and dance parties.

5. Ocean’s Eleven

This 2001 remake of a 1960 film features Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, and his accomplices, who plan to break into the vault of the famous Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The film crew was allowed to use parts of the actual Bellagio for the movie. These included the casino floor, the conservatory, and the iconic Bellagio dancing fountains.

The movie was among the first to be filmed at a working hotel and casino. It attracted many fans to the hotel since Clooney and other cast members stayed there during filming.

6. Goldfinger

The 1964 classic James Bond movie was filmed partly at the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami’s landmark resort. Several scenes feature the property, including the sweeping aerial shot that follows the opening credits.

Located on the beach east of downtown, the Fontainebleau offers a picturesque backdrop for many films. Other well-known movies that were set at the resort include The Bodyguard, Scarface, and The Bellboy. In 2023, to mark the 40th anniversary of Scarface’s release, the Fontainebleau hosted “Experience with Al Pacino,” a black-tie event with the legendary actor.

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