For over 50 years the adventures of James Bond have included stays at lavish hotels and hidden island retreats. Now intrepid travellers can follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous spy, with our list of the best Bond hotels.
Sure, when we think of Bond, he’s usually jumping off one building and onto one dame, racing a luxury sportscar down perilous paths or battling it out with an endless army of henchmen, but even James needs to sleep now and then. From the iconic fictional hotels that grace the 007 stories, to the real hotels that provide a luxurious and exotic backdrop to Bond adventures, there’s as much to Bond to be found in refined houses of slumber from The Atacama to the Caribbean than there is out on the street. Here are our favourite Bond hotels, real and otherwise.
Hotel Bergland, Austria
Some of the best action scenes in Bond flick Spectre took place in Sölden, the Austrian Alps, and while you can’t stay up at the top of the peaks (although there is a great James Bond museum there), you can dine at the stunning Ice-Q gourmet restaurant on the Gaislachkogel mountain – presented in the film as the Hoffler Clinic – and you’ll be more than comfortable at Hotel Bergland, where Daniel Craig stayed in the exclusive Summit Suite during filming.
Ocean Club, Bahamas
Nipping over to the Bahamas to work on your tan – and your surveillance skills? Be sure to take your rightful place at the ultra-luxury Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, as seen in Casino Royale. Check with the desk to see if Sea View Villa no. 1085 is still booked out under James Bond’s name, because the last time he was here, he left in a hurry. Alternatively, choose from ten spacious beachfront suites, or two detached two-bedroom cottages off the Cresent Wing.
While you wait for instructions, while away days playing the par-72 Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, explore the extensive tropical gardens, the perfect place for a secret liaison, or enjoy culinary delights at Dune restaurant, overseen by internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Taj Lake Palace, India
When Bond is lured to the private island home of the mysterious and beautiful Octopussy, it’s hard to believe that the floating vision of marble on our screens is real. The breathtaking Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur was originally built as a royal summer palace, and still oozes the sophistication of yesteryear, making it a compelling Bond backdrop.
The decadent Chandra Prakash Suite, with its decorative gilt moldings, sculpted marble columns, and fine fretwork screens, was where the Maharaja held court each day, while courtesans welcomed nobility beside an ornate lily pond, where guests can now enjoy delicious Mewar fare. Between missions, make time for a sunset sail across Lake Pichola aboard the hotel’s 150-year old ceremonial barge.
Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Sardinia
Before heading off to Stromberg’s underwater hideout in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond and his cohort stay at the resplendent Hotel Cala Di Volpe, perched atop the cliffs of the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia. The resort has the charm of a Mediterranean village, but with a distinctive hint of exclusivity.
Sadly you can’t check into Bond’s room as this was actually the hotel’s Piano Bar, but for US$8,500 you could spend a night in the multi-level Presidential Suite, where celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Denzel Washington have slept. Crowned by a 250sqm rooftop terrace, this lavish residence includes three separate sleeping quarters and boasts its own private swimming pool and solarium, so you’ll look and feel your best when M calls.
Fontainebleau Miami, USA
The third Bond film, Goldfinger, opens on the lavish Fontainebleau hotel in Miami, a resort setting that would become part of cinematic history as it appeared in several blockbusters. This stylish hideaway is a spectacular blend of Golden Era glamour and modern luxury, boasting 1,504 oceanfront guest rooms and suites set on more than eight hectares of powder white sand.
It is here that Jill Masterson gets an ill-fated golden makeover from Oddjob; thankfully all you’ll get covered in at the hotel’s wellness centre is mineral-rich water in specialised hydrotherapy pools. Keep your strength up at one of the property’s twelve world-class restaurants and lounges, which include signature eateries Hakkasan and Scarpetta by Scott Conant, a James Beard award recipient famed for his Italian fine-dining creations.
Hotel Atlantic Hamburg, Germany
When Pierce Brosnan jumps from his Hamburg hotel room to evade the evil marksman Doctor Kaufman in Tomorrow Never Dies, he’s actually leaping from a guest room at the luxurious Hotel Atlantic Hamburg, on the banks of the Aussenalster Lake. A meeting point for international society since 1909, this opulent property, now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, displays Hanseatic elegance throughout its 244 rooms and suites, with gorgeous marble employed in abundance.
As the sun lowers, the hotel’s pillar-lined inner courtyard is the perfect spot for a clandestine meeting and if your spy craft is a little rusty, retire, martini in hand, to the private cinema to catch up on the spy’s antics.
Grand Hotel Pupp, Czech Republic
Disguised as the Hotel Splendide in Casino Royale, Bond really plays high stakes poker and names his concoction creation the Vesper at the Grand Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic, a landmark establishment harking back 200 years to a time of elegance and grandeur. Soaring ceilings, massive chandeliers, and grand staircases make it feel as much a palace on the inside as it looks on the outside. Be sure to book one of the corner suites with its own balcony for making those quick escapes.
For guests wishing to follow in the footsteps of Agent 007, the hotel offers private excursions by limousine to filming locations, with a stop at an indoor firing range also on the itinerary. In the evening, savour a signature Vesper cocktail whipped up in the hotel’s Becher’s Bar, before settling into for a night at regal Pupp Casino Club.
Tierra Atacama Resort, Chile
Whilst the Residencia Astronomical observatory in Chile’s forbidding Atacama Desert provided a truly unique retreat for villain Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace, in the real world only scientists are allowed to reside here. Instead, try the nearby Tierra Atacama Resort. Opt for an east-facing room and you’ll be rewarded with commanding views of the snowcapped Licancabur Volcano, which you can climb if you’re feeling energetic during your stay.
If you’d rather just relax, then look no further than the resort’s own confines, with an imaginative spa on hand and a cushion-scattered terrace ready to embrace the road-weary travelling spy. Desert breezes cool the stone buildings and the 32 sleeping quarters housed within, while at night huge torches lit by the staff will keep you warm as you sit outside and watch the brilliant colours of a desert sunset.
The Peninsula Hong Kong, Hong Kong
One of Asia’s most iconic hotels, The Peninsula Hong Kong makes a cameo in The Man with the Golden Gun as Roger Moore tails Bond girl Andrea Anders from Macau to Hong Kong. Even if you’re not travelling via Peninsula Rolls-Royce, like Anders did, every self-respecting Bondophile would check-in at The Peninsula while waiting for further instructions. The hotel has an enviable location in Tsim Sha Tsui, a fleet of luxury Rollers in the hotel group’s own shade of green, great restaurants, and one of the city’s sexiest cocktail lounges at Felix, perfect for discrete liaisons.
Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico
One hotel that’s actually made more than one Bond appearance is the Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico. Not only did it appear in Timothy Dalton’s License to Kill, but it’s also the hotel Daniel Craig, dressed as a rather dapper skeleton, enters and then leaves on his way to take out the assassin Sciarra in Spectre. If you plan to stick around a little longer, you’ll be rewarded by spacious guest rooms, iconic architecture, and staggering views across Mexico City’s Zócalo square.
Stoke Park, United Kingdom
You might not have realised it but Stoke Park played backdrop to Bond’s famed golf game and first meeting with Auric Goldfinger and his menacing manservant Oddjob. A sure contender on any best bond hotels list, the sprawling estate is home to 49 luxury guest rooms and suites, three restaurants, a 27-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a Scandinavian hot tub, and an award-winning spa, just in case you’re recovering from your round on the links.
Hotel Danieli, Italy
Another regular backdrop in Bond adventures, Venice’s Hotel Danieli, located just off St Mark’s Square, was seen in From Russia With Love, and in both Moonraker and Casino Royal. Made up of three former palaces on Riva degli Schiavoni, Hotel Danieli boasts lavishly-appointed guest rooms and suites, some with balconies overlooking the lagoon, and is also home to the famed Terrazza Danieli restaurant, a favorite with locals and visitors alike and which makes for a pretty spectacular dead drop.
The Langham London, United Kingdom
In Pierce Brosnan’s Goldeneye, the spy stays at the beautiful Grand Hotel St Petersburg – except it’s really the luxurious The Langham London, one of the city’s most coveted houses of slumber.
Despite that little discrepancy, we know Bond would be more than comfortable in the London icon, home to sublime guest rooms and suites, a stunning swimming pool and spa, the acclaimed Roux at the Landau restaurant, and Artesian, one of the most awarded hotel cocktail bars on the planet. We can just imagine the closing scene, Bond and his damsel, no longer in destress, enjoying a couple of Vespers at a corner table.
After all, we’d like to think that there’s a little Bond in all of us.
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