The world’smost renowned secret agent may have exhibited tough disposition for over 50years, but ever since Ian Fleming first penned his character, 007 hasconsistently shown a soft spot for four things: posh cars, beautiful women, a good drink and luxurious hotels. Even if neck-breaking stunts are not your thing and yougenerally prefer to steer clear of trouble, you can still follow in the MI6 star agent’sfootsteps. Just go get yourself a vacation in one of those fabulous locationsfor the Bond series and at least re-enact some of the most iconic scenes in thebedroom or at the bar. How much do you have to splash out to sleep like JamesBond?
Couples Sans Souci Resort,Ocho Rios, Jamaica- “Dr No”
Jamaica is by all means atthe heart of the Bond story and a real fan of 007 should probably start offright here. Not only did Fleming include the island in the plotlines for severalbooks, but he also wrote the whole collection in his Jamaican estate, perchedon a cliff top about 20 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios. It is here at LaughingWaters beach where Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) emerges from the surf in that whitebikini and sets the romantic stage for the 22 films to follow.Miss Taro’s bungalow, now part of the epicurean Couples Sans Souci Hotel,is a dream getaway designed to put you in that traditionalJamaican ‘no worries’ (sans souci) state of mind. Mind you, it’scouples-only.
Average rate per night:$450
StokePark Hotel, Stoke Poges, Great Britain – “Goldfinger”
It is notparticularly surprising that Ian Fleming infected his pen-child with his ownpassion for golf, and it is in Goldfinger that James enters his most memorablegame and narrowlyescapes defeat. The Stoke Park mansion with its stupendous course playedhost to the epic duel between 007 and Auric Goldfinger– as usual, an unscrupulous villain and a cheat. Elite sports and etiquette aside,the hotel boasts 49 lavish accommodations and a mind-boggling spa, whose famestretches far beyond the British Isles. An indoorheated swimming pool, deep relaxation room, private atrium with five-meter tropicalaquarium, marble steam rooms and a nail bar would blunt the vigilance of eventhe foxiest Bond heroine.
Lowest rate per night: £200
Fontainebleau Miami Beach Resort, Miami, USA – “Goldfinger”
The moment the camera makesa sweeping aerial shot of the decadent Fontainebleau Hotel in the openingsequence of Goldfinger, we can be sure that James Bond is consistent in hispassion for travelling in big style. The famous curved façade embraces animpressive poolscape, complete with extravagant cabanas, children’s waterscapeplay area and comfy sunbeds. Make sure you request a room with either an unobstructed ocean view or a splendid bay panorama, with boats bobbingat the IndianCreek Marina and the lights of South Beachtwinkling in the distance.
Average rate for Ocean View Guestroom: $400
Hotel Palácio Estoril, Estoril, Portugal -“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”
Grand, whitewashed and elegant, HotelPalácio looks like it’s had a noble history. But several decades back, in theheat of the Second World War, the place was a hotbed of international espionage,hosting both eminent and infamous figures, among whom Ian Fleming foundinspiration for the good-hearted and most cunning secret agent of them all,Bond… James Bond. And indeed, we got it all in the story: a ubiquitous sense ofsuspicion, stupendous views, the role of a casino and a hotel bar in plotdevelopment, tuxedos, evening dresses and cigarette smoke drifting amidst subdued,spicy conversations. It is here that 007 falls in love for the first time andmarries the enigmatic Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (who getskilled on their wedding day in a drive-by shooting).
Best available rate for a night’s stay: €170
LVH Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, USA – “Diamonds Are Forever”
It was only a matter of time before one of theworld’s most famous gamblers landed in the Sin City. The path of intrigue inthe seventh adaptation of the James Bond series leads to Las Vegas and thelargest Hilton hotel in the world (now Las Vegas Hotel andCasino), whose exterior was featured as the Whyte House Hotel. James didnot stay at Hilton in the film (he chose Tropicana), but it is here where he makesa daring climb and tracks the bad guy. By the way, it is also where Demi Mooreblows on Robert Redford’s dice in Indecent Proposal. Make sure you request a room overlooking the Strip and take in the sinful glamour, sipping at a martini and chasing villains in your imagination.
Rate for Classic Room with Strip view: approx. $100
ThePeninsula Hong Kong, Hongkong, China – “The Man with the Golden Gun”
With its emphasison chic elegance, guest-focused technology and distinctive luxury, thePeninsula Hong Kong taps into the ultra-posh vibe pulsing through the Bondseries. Despite its cutting-edge status,the hotel is a thriving emblem of Hong Kong’s colonial heritage, with afternoontea being served in the lobby between 2 and 6 pm – a traditional accent Mr.Bond would certainly appreciate. Plus the hotel’s Rolls Royce fleet featured inthe movie is indeed at your service. Spacious, exquisite suites with majesticVictoria Harbor views, marble-clad bathrooms and corner bathtubs overlookingthe city are only some of the luxuries than the Peninsula Hong Kong unfolds tohelp you get into 007’s shoes. And if you really want to get a taste of life spystyle, request the hotel’s private helicopter to take you from the airport to the rooftoplanding pad.
Rate for Grand Deluxe Harbor View Room: approx. $1000
HotelCala di Vo
lpe, Sardinia – “The Spy Who Loved Me”
HotelCala di Volpe is truly one of a kind and you’ll have to pay through the nosefor this uniqueness. But if you’re planning to anchor in the Costa Smeralda, money is clearly noobject, so why not make the best of your stay. The fabulous design inspired by old fishing villages, with handcrafted furniture, archways, porticoes and turrets, stained glass, white stuccoand terracotta shades, but at the same time with a modern feel and focus on exquisitecomfort, is worth even inconsiderate spending. And if you add the luxury of theglittering Mediterranean backdrop, any remnants of remorse are gone. Not much has changed since 1977 when the whitewashed piano bar served as007’s suite. Today the hotel is still a playground for the bold and thebeautiful – football players, supermodels and Hollywood crème de la crème.
Deluxe suite with private terrace: € 810
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India- “Octopussy”
Justone glance at the stupendous Taj Lake Palace is enough to understand why the Bond production crew decided touse it as the headquarters of a villain. The luxurious hotel appears tofloat on the surface of Lake Pichola like an enormous water lily that temptswith its beauty but at the same time disheartens with its inaccessibility.Inside, classic Indian architecture, stained glass windows, antique wooden decorations,suites with breathtaking mountain views and exclusive butler service are all set to giveyou not only a taste of life Bond style, but also some truly royal pampering befittinga maharaja.
Luxury twin room: approx. $650
Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico,Mexico City, Mexico – “Licence to Kill”
Bond’s on a heart-throbbing mission again – a personalvendetta outside MI6’s authority. Devoid of his 00 status and his license tokill, he sets off on the hunt for a merciless drug baron, plays on both sides of the law,survives a ferocious boat chase and a hectic confrontation in the desert, stealsan airplane and rejects the advances of a beautiful woman. Quite a lot for oneman. In the meantime, he manages to drop by the exuberant Gran Hotel Ciudad deMexico, whose stained glass Tiffany roof makes the building a true pearl ofMexican architecture and perfectly taps into Bond’s luxurious taste.
Economy Queen Room: $180
One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas – “CasinoRoyale”
In an attempt to shatter an internationalterrorist organization, 007 heads to the Bahamas and to the heavenly One&Only Ocean Club, thus following the crew’stradition of only using the biggest, best and most spectacular locales forfilming. This luxurious resort with 105 spacious rooms, apartments and villasstretching along the coast is a perfect setting for a romantic stay (hopefullya little more successful than Bond’s, who is forced to leave his adorablecompanion with champagne and caviar, yet alone). Bond’s sea-view villa isavailable for rent on the One&Only Ocean Club website. The three beachfrontthree- and four-bedroom villas are among the hardest accommodations to reservebut make a great option for well-off families, at minimum $7,950 per night(excluding taxes and gratuities).
Luxury Beachfront Room: approx. $1000
Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy- “Casino Royale”
Tricky enough, the Venice hotel interiors wereshot in Prague, but Bond and his ladyfriend do moor their boat outside theindecently lavish Hotel Cipriani. This is not a place you come to on a tightbudget, that’s for sure, and you may need to get a serious loan or mortgageyour property to enjoy some of its decadent treats (such as 24-carat-gold facialor a drink of Champagne, wild berries and gold leaf). Venice itself is splendidenough but a stay at the Cipriani skyrockets the Venetian experience to a wholenew level. A proud declaration you find on the hotel’s website says: “If Venice is a theatre, the Hotel Cipriani is the Royal Box”. Enjoy the show!
Lagoon View Junior Suite: approx. €2,000
Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey- “Skyfall”
Once anOttoman palace, today ÇırağanSarayı is a five-star hotel that prvides setting for the latest James Bondflick as well as a photocall and press conference to mark the filming of Skyfall. Thecrew has done a fabulous job and Mr. Bond wouldn’t have chosen better himself. A heated infinity pool, superb spatreatments, a boutique shopping arcade, 24-hour personalized butler service andtransfers by limousine, boat or helicopter on request – Ciragan PalaceKempinski is the quintessence of five star pampering. Add the glamorouslocation on the European shores of the Bosphorus and you’ve got the vacation toremember for a lifetime. If you happen to have spare €30,000.00, make sure you request the Sultan Suite.
Studio Suite with Bosforus View: approx. €1000
Four Seasons Canary Wharf, London, Great Britain – “Skyfall”
WhenDaniel Craig takes a dip in a rooftop pool before his mission in Shanghai, he’sactually swimming in the infinity pool of Four Seasons Canary Wharf. How canthat be? After all, the camera clearly gave a bird’s eye view of the Chinese metropolis. Infact, the windows were blacked out forfilming, with Shanghai inserted digitally afterward. The crew stayed at thehote
l for 3 days, taking advantage of the brilliant five-star guest service. Mostof the 142 elegant guest rooms and suites feature large bay windows with plushleather seats so you can endlessly enjoy the marvelous views of the RiverThames and the city beyond.
Best Available Rate: £445