This weekend, the Academy Awards will celebrate films that tell impactful stories and bring new worlds to life. These worlds are created through imagination, acting and often times, a great location. Many epic films and classic stories like “Harry Potter” and “The Jungle Book” come to life at sites around the world.
Here are some places to help inspire and enchant your next trip:
JOURNEY TO A SECRET CHAMBER
In “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” Harry and Ron famously fly past King’s Cross Station in the Weasley family’s Ford Anglia. Here’s the real secret, though: that Gothic Revival façade is actually the nearby St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Indeed, the Victorian landmark has appeared in numerous hit films, including “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Batman Begins.” A breathtaking restoration has elevated the hotel’s famous staircase to look grander than ever, while the underground spa provides an oasis of calm with its indulgent journey treatments —like a British garden-inspired scrub and massage. Skilled mixologists conjure up tasty potions behind the Booking Office Bar and Restaurant’s 100-foot-long bar.
DISCOVER MIDDLE EARTH
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy enthusiasts can take a trip to Bilbo Baggins’ house in Hobbiton, the movie set featured in the popular films. Located in Matamata, New Zealand, about two hours from Auckland, “The Shire” set comprises 12 bucolic acres of rolling hillsides and hobbit holes; wander the meandering paths and grab a cold brew in the Green Dragon Inn before returning to the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. This upscale lifestyle hotel exudes a chic, French sophistication with Juliet balconies in every room and a private marina on Waitemata Harbour; the interior water display absolutely dazzles at night.
VISITING WITH THE VON TRAPPS
The Austrian city of Salzburg is veritably synonymous with “The Sound of Music.” Countless fans have followed the von Trapps to movie locations across the vicinity, dancing to Do-Re-Mi around the fountain in Mirabell Gardens and visiting Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria married the Captain. Celebrate Austria’s most famous clan with a stay in the only family-run and privately owned hotel in Salzburg: Hotel Sacher Salzburg. This luxurious property is set on the banks of the river Salzach, adorned with rich woods, silk-lined walls, antiques and original artwork; enjoy complimentary dinner in the gourmet Zirbelzimmer restaurant, followed by a decadent slice of chocolate Original Sacher-Torte. At Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg , there’s a country-house charm in what has been deemed one of the world’s first luxury hotels (dating back from 1407). A former goldsmith’s shop has been transformed into the atmospheric s’Herzl Restaurant, where you can taste regional dishes.
ADVENTURES WITH MOWGLI
Generations of children have been inspired by Mowgli, the wolf-raised star of “The Jungle Book.” The beloved animated film was based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of animal tales and inspired by the author’s own adventures in India’s Ranthambore National Park. Once a royal hunting ground, this region is now a designated tiger sanctuary and one of the best places on Earth to see the Royal Bengal Tiger in its natural habitat. Jungle safaris and other exclusive experiences are available at The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, where guests find much more than the bare necessities. Set in 20 acres of landscaped gardens, 25 elegant and spacious tents blend seamlessly into their serene surroundings. Nestled amidst these are spa suites to enjoy rejuvenating therapies incorporating ancient Ayurvedic principles, aromatherapy and Western techniques by skillful therapists.
JEDI & COUNTRY JAUNTS
Ireland’s dramatic natural scenery is on full display along the Wild Atlantic Way. The 1,550-mile-long route has a starring role in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” when Rey finds Luke Skywalker on precipitous Skellig Michael. The jagged, UNESCO-designated rock — home to a medieval monastery — also appears prominently in the latest film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Positioned on the Iveragh Peninsula in southwestern County Kerry, the Skellig Islands are accessible by boat or helicopter from your private countryside retreat at Sheen Falls Lodge.
WHY RESERVE WITH US?
We can help you live our your own storybook adventures. Our Hotels & Resorts Collection includes more than 1,000 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts, lodges, spas and unique places to stay. Benefit from our exclusive privileges such as daily breakfast for two and a special amenity that varies by property, as well as upgrades, early check-in and late check-out when available. To book a trip, give us a call, or request a quote.