The Darjeeling Limited

Some films paint such an endearing picture of a place that before the credits start rolling you’ve already started searching up flights and city guides. So in light of awards season, while everyone else is busy discussing what will film win what, who will wear who, we’re busy perusing the archives to bring you the timeless classics that inspire those unforgettable adventures around the world.

The Talented Mr Ripley


A second film adaptation of the 1955 novel by Patricia Highsmith, award-winning director Anthony Minghella expertly brings one of the most intriguing literary characters to the big screen. The psychological thriller sees down-and-out Ripley sent on a mission to retrieve a wealthy shipbuilder’s son from Italy, all the while audiences are mesmerised with a taste of ‘la dolce vita’. Initially set in New York, the film goes on to conjure up scenes of 1950-1960’s Italy, featuring a romantic tapestry of set locations across Ischia, Naples, Positano, and Procida. All as alluring and seductive in real life as they are on screen, the quiet island of Ischia is our top pick for its untrammelled landscapes and rustic villages.

Where to Stay

Mezzatorre Resort & Spa

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Set against passionate Barcelona, New York friends Vicky and Cristina head to the Spanish city for the summer and both find themselves enamoured by the same eccentric and seductive painter. Throw in a volatile ex-wife played by Penelope Cruz and you’ve got a romantic comedy-drama that not only tells a story steeped in themes of self-discovery and love, but one that prompts a need to get to the popular European city ASAP. Expertly uncovering the best of Barcelona, director Woody Allen explores the complexities of character and romance while providing a complete itinerary of must-see sites. On your next visit, stop at the National Art Museum of Catalonia, wander the bustling Las Ramblas boulevard, admire Gaudi’s Casa Milà and of course marvel in the grandeur of the world-famous Sagrada Família.

Where to Stay

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
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Pretty Woman

Los Angeles, California

A timeless rom-com and Julia Roberts’ breakout role, we all know the story: prostitute meets wealthy businessman and said duos relationship quickly becomes less about business, and more about emotions. Aptly set in Hollywood ‘the-land-of-dreams’ Los Angeles, unlikely heroine Vivian (Julia Roberts) gets a taste of the high-life. From getting picked up by Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) on Hollywood Boulevard, being snubbed by staff at a Rodeo Drive boutique, to the famous fire escape rescue at Las Palmas Hotel, this film covers the best and worst of 1990’s LA.

Where to Stay

The NoMad Hotel, Los Angeles
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Midnight in Paris

Paris, France

Like so many of Woody Allen’s films, Midnight in Paris is another definitive guide to all the best sights the beguiling city has to offer. Opening with a montage of Paris’ world-famous monuments, ever-changing colours and dazzling lights, the film follows a screenwriter and his fiancé who have tagged along on a business trip with her parents. Tackling themes of nostalgia, romanticism and realism, Allen’s foray into Jazz Age Paris is vivid, alluring, and has us dreaming of a quick city break. Shoot locations include the luxurious Parisian Hotel Le Bristol, Monet’s Garden in Giverny (an easy day trip from Paris), The Rodin Museum, and 18th century restaurant, Le Grand Véfour.

Where to Stay

The Peninsula Paris
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Before Sunrise


The first of a trilogy, Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise sees a young American man and French woman meet on a Vienna-bound train from Budapest. They decide to meander through Vienna together, sharing one spur-of-the-moment day and night together before parting ways in the morning. All set against the backdrop of 1990’s Vienna, the Austrian capital facilitates the pairs growing intimacy with scenes at Westbahnhof station in Europaplatz, Zollamtsseg Bridge, Maria Theresian Platz, Kleines Café, Albertina Museum and more.

Where to Stay

The Guesthouse Vienna

Lost in Translation

Tokyo, Japan

This low budget, award-winning film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, expertly captures post-modern Tokyo, Japan. Evoking feelings of disorientation and bewilderment, the film follows ageing actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) as they strike up an unlikely friendship in a Tokyo hotel. Inspired by Coppola’s time in the city during her 20’s, the film unveils some of the city’s trendiest spots. From the New York Bar on Park Hyatt Tokyo’s 52nd floor, and neighbouring Juagan-Ji temple, to the quirky Harajuku district and high-end Daikanyama neighbourhood, if you hadn’t considered a visit to the forward-thinking city before, one watch of this film and you soon will.

Where to Stay

Aman Tokyo

Roman Holiday

Rome, Italy

On location shooting doesn’t strike today’s movie-goers as anything too remarkable but back in the 1950’s it was rare. Protesting against shooting on a Hollywood backlot, director William Wyler took his film to Rome, telling the story of European princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) running off with a U.S. reporter entirely against an authentic European backdrop—a first for the American film industry. Not only did it propel Hepburn to fame but it turned plenty of Oscar wins and nominations including Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Director. Over 50 years later and it continues to leave audiences pining for their own Roman Holiday with scenes filmed at the world-famous Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Colosseum.

Where to Stay

Hotel Eden, Rome
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Inspired by the 1939 short story by James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty film adaptation follows day-dreamer/Life Magazine’s negative assets manager embark on a career-saving adventure around the world. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film features scenes across New York, Los Angeles, Canada and Greenland but the leading location is undoubtedly Iceland. Rather than just serving as the other-wordly backdrop so often seen in film and television, this time the country itself takes centre stage. Providing more than one reason to visit the mesmerising destination, off-the-grid locations used in the film include the small fishing village of Garður, fjallsárlón glacier lagoon, and the Kalfafellsdalur valley.

Where to Stay

101 Hotel Reykjavik

The Darjeeling Limited


A road movie characterised by director Wes Anderson’s signature sense of whimsy affections, The Darjeeling Limited follows a trio of troubled brothers as they embark on a ‘spiritual’ journey across India. Highly aestheticized like so many of Anderson’s films, this time the stylisation comes equally from the country’s vibrant landscapes as it does the man-made setting inside a working train. Anderson, who actually travelled the country while finalising the script, ended up doing most of the shooting in Rajasthan, and has said himself ‘I have travelled widely and can’t think of any other place that is filled with colour like India.’

Where to Stay

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