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Blockbuster hotels: Hotels from movies

With a little imagination, you can almost see the movie magic unfolding around you.

Hotels and resorts have played important roles in some of the 20th century’s most memorable movies. Although most films are shot on Hollywood soundstages, some directors venture out to film on location at America’s various picturesque and memorable lodging properties.

The design, environment and ambiance of these places can add a luster of beauty to movies and help us recall some of our favorite scenes that took place there.

Travelers who love movies can visit hotels and resorts around the country that have impressive film resumes. Along the way, they’ll get a chance to relive some of their favorite film moments, from those of “Barefoot in the Park” to those of “Dirty Dancing.”

Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Since its construction in 1954, Fontainebleau Miami Beach has been one of the most dramatic and stylish hotel settings in this always-hip destination. That cool factor has attracted both movie stars and filmmakers throughout the years.

“The hotel was made during the Hollywood era, and the dramatic architecture and glamour make it the perfect movie set,” said Mabel DeBeunza, the hotel’s director of public relations. “In 1964, they did ‘Goldfinger’ here. ‘Scarface’ was here in 1983, and the Whitney Houston movie ‘The Bodyguard’ was here as well.”

Travelers who visit Fontainebleau will find posters and other memorabilia from the movies in the gift shop. A smartphone application offers self-guided tours of the property, highlighting areas that have been used to film movies.

The property continues to host celebrities as well as high-profile events and television shows. Recently, the hotel has been used to shoot segments for “Live With Regis and Kelly” and “Burn Notice,” as well as high-end fashion shows.

Today’s guests can enjoy luxury and glamour at the hotel’s 12 restaurants, nightclubs and shopping outlets and may even rub elbows with modern stars.

“Heidi Klum once said that you can’t swing a martini glass here without hitting a celebrity,” DeBeunza said. “You can sit at Scarpetta with Leonardo DiCaprio or have dinner next to a major recording artist. The resort just attracts that kind of clientele.”

Hotel del Coronado
San Diego
On the perpetually pleasant coastline of San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado stands as one of America’s most historic seaside Victorian resorts. Constructed in 1888, it has long enjoyed a glamorous clientele thanks to its proximity to Hollywood. But it was a certain movie that rocketed the hotel to popularity in 1959.

“‘Some Like It Hot’ was filmed here,” said hotel historian Christine Donovan. “The hotel was sort of the fourth character after Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The hotel is very prominent — they chose it because it was close to Hollywood and could pass as a 1920s resort.”

The movie has been called one of the best American comedies of all time and has attracted many visitors to the Hotel del Coronado. Although the interior shots were filmed on a soundstage, movie-lovers will find the exterior of the hotel almost exactly as it appeared in the movie and can walk the same beaches where Monroe romped in the film.

A number of other movies have been shot at the Hotel Del Coronado, including “The Married Virgin,” a 1918 silent film. The last major film shot there, called “The Stunt Man,” was released in 1980.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.