One of my favourite books that I read last month was The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor (review here) I was enthralled by this beautifully written story which takes us back in time to the 1920’s where we meet Dolly Lane, a young woman with a dream who finds employment at one of London’s finest hotels – The Savoy. But the Savoy is not the only fascinating hotel to be found on the page and on screen. As part of the blog tour, Hazel Gaynor tells us a little bit about some of her favourites…
Top five favourite hotels in books and movies
There’s something about hotels and books that goes together so well (ask anyone who has been to the fabulous Library Hotel in New York), so it was a real joy to write a novel set in the iconic Savoy hotel in London. Here are some of my favourite hotels from books and movies – and those with a great literary heritage. (You’ll forgive me for excluding the Bates Motel from Psycho. Shudders).
The Grand Budapest Hotel
I loved Wes Andersen’s movie (inspired by the writing of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig). It is a story within a story within a story, set in a fictional hotel, although The Grand Budapest Hotel of the movie was inspired by the real Bristol Hotel in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) and Gellert Hotel in Budapest (Hungary). The plot revolves around the outlandish life of Gustave H – concierge at the hotel – and his loyal assistant, Zero Moustafa. Funny, touching and beautifully shot (with more than a nod to the literary, as Zero recounts his story to a resident author) I laughed and cried, and only wish the hotel was real.
The Plaza, New York
Favoured by literary greats such as Truman Capote and F. Scott Fitzgerald (who, Hemingway suggested, should leave his heart to The Plaza), this iconic New York hotel has starred in movies as diverse as Crocodile Dundee, Home Alone 2 and, of course, The Great Gatsby. It is in a suite at The Plaza where Tom and Gatsby have their confrontation over Daisy, which leads to the novel’s tragic end. Both the original and the more recent Gatsby movies include scenes shot at The Plaza. The hotel now has a Fitzgerald Suite in honour of the author.
Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills – as seen in Pretty Woman
Who didn’t fall in love with this movie and that scene where Julia Roberts jumps onto the gigantic hotel bed? From the bubble bath scene, to the piano scene, to that wonderful scene where Vivienne wears the red dress to the opera and neither Edward, nor the hotel manager, can take their eyes off her, the Beverly Wilshire will always be synonymous with Pretty Woman and is firmly on my bucket list.
The Savoy, London – as seen in Notting Hill
The climax of Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill takes place in the Lancaster Room of the Savoy Hotel, where Julia Roberts’ character, Anna, is giving a press conference before leaving London. After racing through the West End, Hugh Grant’s William Thacker runs through the famous revolving doors and into the marble foyer where he bluffs his way through security to see Anna. A fitting location for the perfect end to the perfect rom-com.
The Bloxham Hotel – from Sophie Hannah’s ‘The Monogram Murders’
The fictional Bloxham Hotel is the setting for Hannah’s 2014 Hercule Poirot mystery. The hotel has its own website, with fictional footage of the hotel manager and those involved in the discovery of a body in one of the rooms. As part of the book’s marketing campaign, rooms at The Ritz were staged as those of The Bloxham. The hotel even has its own Twitter account and Facebook page. Art Deco elegance to die for. Literally.
Thank you to Hazel for joining me on my blog. You can check out the rest of The Girl From The Savoy blog tour on the dates and blogs below!