FROM lake-based palaces to neon-lit high rises, Asia’s hotels have featured prominently on the silver screen in some of Hollywood’s most beloved flicks.
If you want to walk the grounds that the likes of Batman and James Bond once did, be sure to mark these hotels if visiting these locations.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
The former royal summer palace of the Mewar dynasty has developed a new lease of life in more recent years as both a luxury hotel and a good backdrop for a movie.
India’s most romantic hotel, the Taj Lake Palace, has starred in the James Bond film Octopussy,The Best Exotic Gold Marigold Hotel, The Jewel in the Crown and Bollywood film Yaadein. Thanks to its location on a lake, at least during monsoon season, it makes for a superb film setting. And because it’s a hotel, a rather exclusive one though, you can actually visit the set.
Fans of The Best Exotic Gold Marigold Hotel may also be interested to discover that the hotel was used in the movie for stars like Maggie Steed and Judi Dench.
The Peninsula, Hong Kong
This colonial hotel in Kowloon dates back to 1928 and is the flagship property of The Peninsula Hotels group. It has stunning views over Victoria Harbour and the ultimate in luxury and service. It also has a private helipad that was added in 1994.
For this reason, it was chosen for scenes in the 2007 movie The Dark Knight starring Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman. Other locations in Hong Kong include Times Square at Causeway Bay and the International Finance Centre.
The hotel also featured in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun; should you visit look, out for the hotel’s collection of Rolls-Royces.
Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a place of legend with many claims to fame – writers and foreign correspondents have hung out here, the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented here, and Queen Elizabeth has stayed along with a slew of other celebrities.
The writer W Somerset Maugham was one of these guests and reportedly used the gossip he overheard at Raffles for his own tales. It makes sense then that the hotel, the very symbol of colonial elegance and opulence with chandeliers, grandfather clocks and grand pianos, should have featured in a film. It’s actually been in several.
Paradise Road starts at Raffles with scenes from an elegant party in 1942 before the fall of Singapore. It also featured in Murakami Ryu’s novel that was made into a film titled Raffles Hotel and the 1967 film Pretty Polly.
Park Hyatt, Tokyo, Japan
Lost in Translation was filmed almost entirely shot in Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Shibuya districts with classic neon-lit shots of these entertainment areas. The Park Hyatt itself plays a big role in scenes where the main characters played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson stay and meet.
Views you may recall include those overlooking Tokyo from their windows, swimming in the sky pool and visiting the incredible New York Bar. The Park Hyatt is posh, luxurious and glamorous and you can still visit without being a paying guest, but there are seating charges that might set you back and opt for the rental cost of viewing the movie instead of the actual location.