There's something cinematic about hotels. Maybe it's all the windows, or the universal sensation of being in an unfamiliar environment with strange rules. Whatever the reasons, there's no shortage of important movie hotels. Here are, why not, eleven of them.
The Hotel de Cocoanut, "Cocoanuts"
A fancy Floridian hotel makes the perfect setting for an early Marx Brothers comedy, since they're full of rich stuffed-shirts just waiting to be deflated by the Marx's anarchic comedy sensibilities.
The Grand Hotel, "Grand Hotel"
Another possible reason that hotels make great movie settings is their ability to bring people from all different walks of life together. That's the case with the hotel in this early Hollywood ensemble classic, famously starring Greta Garbo among a host of other big names.
Hotel Saint-Marc-sur-Mer, "Mr. Hulot's Holiday"
A popular French seaside destination, this hotel is mostly notable for all the comic hiinx that happen during Jaques Tati's Hulot's stay there. Unlike the Marx Brothers, Tati's humor can best be described as "gentle," but it's still an entertaining movie to watch, and a hotel you might wish you could visit.
Pine Tree Lodge, "White Christmas"
If the Christmas season is unusually warm, and there's no snow, it would be a mark of a pretty nice ski lodge if anybody at all showed up. But when the house band is Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (and it's for a good cause), why not? Skiing's boring after a couple hours anyway.
The Seminole Ritz, "Some Like It Hot"
Once again, this hotel has served as a springboard for wacky comic antics, this time in the form of a couple of broke musicians masquerading as women to escape from the mob. The hotel seems pretty nice, though—it's good enough for a bunch of old billionaires, anyway.
The Bates Motel, "Psycho"
Inarguably the most famous hotel in movie history, because of the famous "shower scene." In case you're thinking about visiting-no, the shower scene does not end with the guest toweling off and watching TV.
The Costa Verde Hotel, "Night of the Iguana"
Tropical hotels aren't just for relaxing in the sun when Tennessee Williams is involved. They're also for intense psychosexual fireworks, including a memorable scene in which Richard Burton walks around on broken glass. Ah, luxury.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior, "Avanti!"
This hotel is world-famous for its exotic mud baths, but some people actually visit (try to keep your voice down) to have affairs. Shocking, we know. But it's the basic hinge of the plot in this late Billy Wilder romantic comedy.
In the hotel business, comfort is usually the most important thing. But some customers want something a little more exotic, like an authentic old Western experience, for example. Westworld exists to give customers just that, complete with robotic cowboys they can fight, screw, and shoot at. What could go wrong?
The Overlook Hotel, "The Shining"
They have all the comforts of home and then some at The Overlook—a fully-stocked kitchen, a glamorous ballroom, and seemingly infinite space. Also, a bunch of ghosts. Don't let it drive you crazy so you chop your family up with an ax, OK?
The Afterlife, "Defending Your Life"
In Albert Brooks' alternate-dimension-romantic-comedy, the dead don't go to Heaven right away. They have to defend the decisions they've made in their lives first, before a jury of their peers. Well, before a jury anyway. And they get to stay in a snazzy hotel while they do it. Dying's not so bad.