6 Spectacular Suites in the World’s Most Cinematic Cities
These rooms capture the magic of the movies.
A night in a luxurious hotel suite, with its endless opportunities for romance, drama and delight, can feel like a scene plucked from a film. Even without a production crew in tow, an iconic suite in a Hollywood-worthy setting lets you immerse yourself in a city’s rich cinematic history.
New York City
Midtown Manhattan is the locus classicus for some of the finest moments in New York moviemaking. There’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” shot on Fifth Avenue (1961); the original 1984 “Ghostbusters” (spoiler: Central Park plays a major role); and “West Side Story” (1961), filmed mainly on West 68th Street at a time when the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood was very much living up to its name. With a Central Park South address, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park makes the most of its location in the epicenter of the city. No other hotel room offers the panoramas that guests enjoy from the 1,900-square-foot Central Park Suite, with its 13 large windows capturing the beauty and nonstop thrum of the park and Sixth Avenue. Holly Golightly would approve.
The most populous city on the planet is home to China’s booming film industry and a spectacular setting for shoots needing ancient dwellings, teeming humanity or a magnificent skyline. This is where Steven Spielberg filmed the epic “Empire of the Sun” (1987), with actor Christian Bale in one of his first roles. Thanks to digital magic, Shanghai’s soaring towers lit up around 007 (Daniel Craig) in a rooftop pool as he awaited “further instructions” in 2012’s “Skyfall.” Director Spike Jonze saw the place as a tech utopia in the 2013 sci-fi drama “Her.” For an acclaimed throwback, watch “Shanghai Express” (1932), in which Marlene Dietrich finds her lost love on a fast train from Beijing (though, admittedly, the film was shot in California). Another classic: the 4,413-square-foot Chairman Suite atop The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong. With art deco-inspired lines, a personal study, library and dining room, and wraparound views of the Bund, Oriental Pearl Tower and beyond, it is a true scene-stealer.
The dunes, coastline and all those pointy skyscrapers make the United Arab Emirates a splashy backdrop for filmmakers the world over. At 2,583 square feet with gulf views and an in-room hammam and steam room, the Presidential Suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai reflects the way the city has embraced opulence and contemporary design with hints of Arabic classicism. That unique combination, in turn, has inspired a range of films. Dubai doubled as a Federation Starbase and USS Enterprise pitstop in “Star Trek Beyond” (2016). Matt Damon and George Clooney mixed with Arabian royalty in the 2005 thriller “Syriana.” It took more than three weeks and 400 crew members to film the scene of Tom Cruise hanging by gloved fingertips off the Burj Khalifa in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (2011). “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) brought the Force to the expanse of dunes just outside of town.
Filmmakers look for any excuse to shoot in Miami. The waves and candy-colored art deco buildings along South Beach made “Miami Vice” a hit worldwide. “Scarface” (1983) shot (and shot and shot) in Miami, too, and it’s where Sean Connery saved the world in “Thunderball” (1965). Not far from where Nathan Lane and Robin Williams cracked up each other (and the rest of us) in “The Birdcage” (1996) is the serious decadence of the E-Wow Ocean Escape Suite at the W South Beach. A sprawling three-bedroom expanse of 2,056 square feet, the suite has a private plunge pool, an elegant soaking tub in the master bedroom, and balcony views halfway to the Bahamas.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong captures the dark allure of the city by night from its perch on the 117th floor, providing a sumptuous retreat to enjoy the energy and kick of so many Hong Kong classics. If you’ve never seen a Bruce Lee flick, start with “Enter the Dragon” (1973). Lee’s statue on Avenue of the Stars, not far from the hotel, draws genuflecting legions. “The Dark Knight” (2008) finds Batman chasing baddies around Two International Financial Centre, across Victoria Harbour from The Ritz-Carlton. If you prefer your blockbusters shaken, not stirred, check out Pierce Brosnan as 007 swimming for his life toward, thanks to more digital magic, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in “Die Another Day” (2002).
The 10th-floor, five-room E-Wow Suite at the W Washington D.C. has unparalleled views of the Washington Monument, White House and Treasury Department, and an eye on movie history. Previously known as The Hotel Washington, the White House-adjacent property is featured prominently in “The Godfather: Part II” (1974), “Contact” (1997), “The Firm” (1993), “No Way Out” (1987) and “X-Men: Days of Futures Past” (2014). It’s also thought to be the only D.C. hotel that had Marilyn Monroe as a guest. Now that’s a Hollywood legend.