Grand hotels with bellboys and chandeliers seem like something from another epoch. However, Wes Anderson’s Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel has inspired a new appreciation for these luxurious lodgings … and one big question: Where is the real Grand Budapest Hotel? Sadly, nobody knows. Perhaps only in Anderson’s imagination. But real or not, there are a plethora of Old World hotel jewels waiting to be discovered. Here’s a list of the most Grand Budapest-est of them all.
1. Hotel Sacher Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. 2. The Grandhotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. 3. Buddha-Bar Hotel Klotild Palace, Budapest, Hungary. 4. Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte, Via dei Villini, Italy. 5. Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland. 6. Grand Hotel Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden. 7. Hotel Imperial, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. 8. The Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah. 9. Danubius Hotel Gellért, Budapest, Hungary. 10. Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary.
Elina Eronen Piper is a creative freelance writer, a curious soul and an imaginative wordsmith with a love for unique travel experiences, Scandinavian design and salty liquorice. She has written for the likes of
Expedia Finland, REVS, Costume and ELLE Finland.
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The Grandhotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic:
A backdrop for several films, including James Bond's "Casino Royale," the pale-pink Grandhotel Pupp was the heart and soul of the fictional Grand Budapest according to the film's production designer, Adam Stockhausen.
Photo by Grandhotel Pupp
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The Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah:
The Grand America Hotel is the grandest of them all. Standing out from the surrounding buildings with its 24 floors, this five-diamond seethes with yesteryear aura surrounded by a breathtaking backdrop. It's The Grand Budapest Hotel … American style.
Photo by Grand America Hotel
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Hotel Sacher Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria:
Overlooking the Salzach River, this hotel is ideal for the ultimate yesteryear feeling, with a modern twist. Good news: around the corner you can indulge with sacher cake at the Café Sacher. After all, every grand hotel needs their Mendl's.
Photo by Hotel Sacher Salzburg
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Hotel Imperial, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic:
Surrounded by mountains, Hotel Imperial is the inspiration (or so we believe) for two small, yet important, objects in Anderson's masterpiece: the majestic deer that overlooks the hotel and the observatory tower where Gustave H and Zero ponder life. Both really exist, right around Hotel Imperial.
Photo by Hotel Imperial
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Danubius Hotel Gellért, Budapest, Hungary:
Besides the exterior that's almost a mirror image of the Grand Budapest, the interior of the Hotel Gellert Budapest is the opulent home for a luxurious Art Nouveau thermal-spa bath, which no doubt inspired Anderson's equivalent.
Photo by Danubius Hotel Gellért
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Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte, Via dei Villini, Italy:
At the heart of Italy and an hour from Rome, this beauty hotel must have caught Anderson's eye. It exudes the breathtaking nostalgia and Old World opulence that Mr. Gustave so yearned.
Photo by Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte
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Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland:
Located in the Swiss Alps, the Grand Hotel Kronenhof has a strikingly similar look to the Grand Budapest. It shines blush pink in the evening, has a mountain backdrop and the interior is stunning.
Photo by Grand Hotel Kronenhof
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Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary:
Wes Anderson's lips are sealed but rumor has it that the Corinthia Hotel Budapest, which opened in 1986, could actually be the film's main inspiration. The resemblance is uncanny and the hotel promotes itself as the Grand Budapest. Who are we to deny it.
Corinthia Hotel Budapest
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Buddha-Bar Hotel Klotild Palace, Budapest, Hungary:
Fusing European architecture with Asian aesthetics, the Buddha-Bar Klotild Palace was reopened in 2012 after an eight-year renovation. The opulent building has the same touch as the concierge-proud Grand Budapest.
Photo by Buddha-Bar Klotild Palace
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Grand Hotel Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden:
Sweden's gem at the core of Stockholm has melted the hearts of its visitors since 1874. It has a waterfront locale and minimal Scandinavian sensibilities. If you want to swap Grand Budapest Hotel's spas with a relaxing sauna, this is a match made for you.