Holiday like a movie star: historic hotels on screen

Everyone loves a little bit of history and so does the film industry. Why recreate historic scenes for film when there are perfectly preserved locations if you know where to look? A number of hotels, which are part of the Historic Hotels of Europe, have been used as film locations. This article introduces you to some of those hotels, and the films they have appeared in.

The Waldhaus Sils, Switzerland

The beautiful and historically significant The Waldhaus Sils hotel has seen many important people walk through its century-year-old front doors. Notable names would include Albert Einstein and Richard Strauss, among others. If the grand walls of The Waldhaus could talk then their voices would be filled with the tales of years gone by, the drama and above all the people who have loved and enjoyed their stay within its walls.

2013 was an extra special year for The Waldhaus as Hollywood stars rolled into town for the shooting of the critically acclaimed drama Clouds of Sils which took the Cannes Film Festival by storm. Starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz, charts the life of a successful actress who struggles to find her place in the world after a younger rising starlet re-enacts the role that brought her fame and recognition. The film has been nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

This appearance in a big Hollywood film is another notch on the bedpost of history as this great hotel continues to play an active role in the present. The staff and everyone at The Waldhaus is proud and overjoyed at the opportunity to be written again in history books, albeit rendered immortal in film.

Hotel & Restaurant Schwarzer Bock, Germany

It’s not difficult to feel like you’re walking onto a film set at the Hotel & Restaurant Schwarzer Bock, where modern living and medieval flair exist together to create a stunning location. This boutique hotel has 17 perfectly-formed rooms and has welcomed not only guests but many a film cast. Located in the charming city of Ansbach, means this Bavarian bolthole is in the heart of a city celebrated for it’s culture and developing talent in the media industry.

This historically significant hotel has provided a backdrop for many visual treats including Sanfter Engel, a shortfilm that touches on relationships and later life. Commissioned by the University Of Applied Science Ansbach, this 10-minute short packs a punch with beautifully shot scenes and moving dialogue between the two main characters. 

You’ll be in great company with a stay at the Hotel & Restaurant Schwarzer Bock as talents including Adriaan van Veen, star of Die Chefin a popular German TV series, and Don Duncan Adams, an emerging theatre and film actor, have both been hosted by this unique family-run hotel.

Aigialos Hotel Santorini, Greece

We conclude our journey across HHE member hotels and their roles in TV and film by visiting the Aigialos Hotel Santorini. Voted the “Most Romantic Historic Hotel” of 2014, one of Greece’s leading hotels also has another claim to fame, featuring in the highly successful 2003 blockbuster Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The opening scene of the film is set on the Island and features the hotel, restored with local volcanic stone in the traditional construction style and provides the ideal backdrop for the film with its medieval character. The architecture preserves and brings to the forefront the island hotel’s past life as home to the nobility. Built on the rim of the Aegean Caldera the hotel commands a stunning view of the cool blue waters of the Mediterranean. Relax in the splendour of this Mediterranean haven’s exotic yet modern furnishings and fine dining experiences.

That brings to a close our little trip to the films, exploring the roles Historic Hotels have played in TV series and Hollywood blockbusters. From The Waldhaus Sils to the jewel of the Mediterranean Aigialos Hotel Santorini we saw how the film and TV industries appreciate the history and beauty behind historic hotels. It is by no accident these places are top movie locations and you need to visit each in turn to experience the beauty within their walls. 


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