Where Can I Find the Real Grand Budapest Hotel?

Apr 24, 2014
Outside Magazine

Germany's Hotel Adlon is a close match for the fictitious Grand Budapest Hotel.    Photo: Allie_Caulfield/Flickr

Does it really exist?


The Grand Budapest Hotel is no more real than Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. And there’s no alpine country called the Republic of Zubrowka—where Wes Anderson’s new movie is set—either. But don’t worry: you can still find hotels that share many of the same features as the Grand Budapest. Here are three that quickly come to mind.


Grandhotel Pupp, Czech Republic

Established in 1701, but transformed into a Baroque-style “grand hotel” at the turn of the 20th Century, the Grandhotel Pupp is a lavish, 228-room resort in the hilly spa town of Karlovy Vary. It served as the shooting location for two movies in the past decade, though not The Grand Budapest Hotel. Press reports have said that the Pupp was one of the inspirations for Anderson’s film—because of its opulence, elegant ballrooms and lobby, and its intricate exterior. It boasts a wellness center, plastic surgery clinic, and six restaurants and bars. Rooms start at $250 a night.

Hotel Adlon, Germany

This 304-room, five-star hotel near the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin is the pinnacle of Old World service, decor, and snootiness—and for those reasons, it too was reportedly an inspiration for the movie. Owned by the luxury group Kempinski, it boasts its own limousine service available for city tours, and a wine shop that supposedly stores more than a half-million bottles. Built in 1907, its guests included royalty from around the world, and celebrity thinkers and artists such as Thomas Edison and Charlie Chaplin. It was located on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, though, and eventually closed. The hotel was was rebuilt in the 1990s, and during the past century, its stately, ornate lobby has appeared in more movies than Michael Caine. Rates start at $718 a night.

Closer To Home

Omni Mount Washington Resort, New Hampshire

Maybe the closest to a grand European hotel in an alpine setting that you’ll find on this side of the pond is the 200-room Mount Washington hotel in New Hampshire. Built by a railroad magnate using hundreds of Old World craftsmen in the Renaissance Revival style, it opened in 1902 as one of the world’s poshest mountain resorts, at the base of the Northeast’s tallest peak. In 1944, the World Band and International Monetary Fund were even established beneath its distinctive red roof. Now owned by Omni resorts, it has transformed into a high-end recreational retreat—complete with its own zipline tours, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and rock climbing on-property and in the surrounding White Mountain National Forest. In the winter it grooms 60 miles cross-country ski trails, and offers access to the 101 alpine trails of adjacent Bretton Woods. Rates start at $279 a night.

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