So many of Wes Anderson’s whimsical films have had us wanting to escape to dreamy destinations – from under-the-sea in Life Aquatic to seaside New England in Moonrise Kingdom. And with a name like The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s much-anticipated film opening this weekend, we think this one might be his most travel inspiring film yet, bringing us back to a time when travel was grand and dripping with glamour.
If you’re like us, you’re wondering, just where is this grand hotel? And when can we check in? We dug around for filming locations and this what we found:
The hotel is, in fact, not in Budapest. No surprise with Wes Anderson’s imaginative mind, but the film’s hotel is located a fictional place– the Republic of Zubrowka, an Eastern European nation ravaged by war and poverty in the 1960s. Since this isn’t a town you can look up in your history books, the film has released an interactive course for you to learn about the history of the Republic of Zubrowka and the opulent Grand Budapest Hotel.
The film was shot in Berlin and Görlitz, Germany. Görlitz, the easternmost town in Germany, is no stranger to the big screen, with its Old World charm and preserved historic architecture, it’s often used for filming locations. Inglourious Basterds and The Reader were filmed in Görlitz, as was the more recent The Book Thief.
You can’t check into The Grand Budapest Hotel. But Wes Anderson told Travel and Leisure that he did consult with real concierges at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna and Hamburg’s Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. And the pink, palatial Grand Budapest hotel was inspired by both the Grandhotel Pupp, “A pink hotel in Karlovy Vary —which used to be Carlsbad — in the Czech Republic, “ and Hotel Gellert, which is in Budapest, Anderson told The Daily Beast.
The hotel in the movie was once a department store. Built in 1910 in Görlitz, Görlitzer Warenhaus, an old rundown and abandoned department store, was scouted by Wes Anderson, and then restored it to its former glory and made over into the grand hotel you see in the film. You can take a peek inside with this miniature model of the hotel.
Ralph Fiennes was once a porter in a hotel. Maybe it was this pre-Hollywood gig that helped Ralph Fiennes channel his inner Gustave, the eccentric concierge he plays in The Grand Budapest Hotel. For 6 months, before his acting career, Ralph Fiennes worked as a porter at London’s Brown Hotel, where he even snagged an autograph from Jeremy Irons while he was polishing a chandelier.
See more wanderlust-stirring films in our list of Movies That Inspired Travel in 2014.