How To Travel Like James Bond
Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy. Photograph courtesy of Belmond
James Bond certainly knows how to travel in style. In fact, nobody does it better. Frequently flying out of London at a moment’s notice, his choice of international hotels is nevertheless as exemplary as his taste in watches, shoes and suiting. He’s gone into outer space, volcanoes and dozens of archvillains’ lairs, yet he always makes it back to his well-appointed suite safely – and usually with a willing bed-mate in tow.
With his latest globetrotting outing, No Time To Die, finally due this week, we check out the hotels 007 has checked into over the years – and how you can score Bond points when booking them yourself. The Bollinger’s on ice. Just remember to sweep the room for listening devices or assassins before popping the cork.
01. Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire, UK
Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire. Photograph courtesy of Stoke Park. Inset: Mr Harold Sakata, Sir Sean Connery and Mr Gert Frobe in Goldfinger (1964). Photograph by United Artists/Allstar
Bond checked in during… Goldfinger (1964)
James Bond creator Mr Ian Fleming had a golden eye for luxury hotels and world class golf courses – and Stoke Park ticks both boxes with a flourish. During the third film of the series, Sir Sean Connery’s Bond faces off against the eponymous villain in what is still considered to be the most famous game of golf in cinematic history. After Goldfinger’s Midas touch deserts him on the fairway, his vengeful manservant Oddjob casually decapitates a statue with his bowler hat.
The luxurious five-star hotel and country club, which sits at the heart of a sprawling 350-acre estate, is currently closed for refurbishment. But here’s hoping that when Stoke Park reopens, scheduled for 2023, it will have retained its permanent Bond Gallery, containing images from the movie, original call sheets, signed memorabilia and props (sadly, the headless statue isn’t among them). In the meantime, there’s always the fairways (see below).
Your 007 Move
Obviously, a round of golf. The club’s 27-hole golf course, known as Stoke Poges and which remains open, is routinely ranked among the top 100 courses on the planet. It inspired Sir Sean’s own passion for the sport (the actor couldn’t play golf beforehand and had to learn for Goldfinger).
02. Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy
Hotel Cipriani, Venice. Photograph courtesy of Belmond. Inset: Mr Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006). Photograph by Columbia Pictures/Alamy
Bond checked in during… Casino Royale (2006)
In Mr Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007, he docks his yacht at the private marina of this Venice hotel (the only way guests can arrive). The film crew took over the Michelin-starred restaurant of the luxury property, owned by Belmond, to film the scene, with the famous terrace also playing a role.
Located on the eastern end of Giudecca island, this elegant establishment remains one of the world’s finest hotels – Mr George Clooney also married Ms Amal Alamuddin here in 2014 – boasting sweeping views over the Venetian lagoon and St Mark’s Square beyond. An Olympic-sized pool filtered with seawater sits at the centre of its gorgeous grounds, while each of the 96 rooms and suites has its own private balcony. In true Bond-style, guests must take the hotel’s complimentary boat across to the mazy streets of Venice proper.
Your 007 Move
Head to the bar for a post-dinner nightcap, as Craig and co-star Ms Eva Green did many times while staying here during filming. Just don’t order a vodka martini – Craig’s drink of choice, according to the head barman, was a bellini.
03. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. Photograph by Mr Amrit Sagar, courtesy of Taj Hotels. Inset: Mr Louis Jourdan, Mr Kabir Bedi and Sir Roger Moore in Octopussy (1983). Photograph by United Artists/Allsatr
Bond checked in during… Octopussy (1983)
Once a maharana’s palace, this lavish 18th-century Indian hotel doubles as the lair of the bikini-clad octopus cult led by the film’s titular jewel-smuggling mastermind. Located on a private island only reachable by boat, the massive marble palace appears to float like a mirage in the middle of pretty Lake Pichola.
Consistently named one of India’s most romantic hotels, its interiors are incredibly opulent, with marble floors and lavish furnishings throughout. Bhairo, the breath-taking rooftop restaurant, offers scintillating views of the lake and its surrounding mountains, as well as a special “Cocktails of Bond” menu, including “Since 1982” – a drink specifically crafted for Sir Roger Moore on the set of Octopussy.
Your 007 Move
The Taj Lake Palace is home to the celebrated royal barge Gangaur, which was renovated especially for the film. It’s still going strong today – equipped with seven rowers, private dancers and a dedicated chef – so guests can wine and dine on board as extravagantly as Bond. Plus, you could always follow Octopussy’s example and skinny dip in the hotel’s lily pond…
04. The Peninsula, Hong Kong, China
The Peninsula, Hong Kong. Photograph courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels. Inset: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974). Photograph by United Artists
Bond checked in during… The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Following a trail of golden bullets left by million-dollar hitman Francisco Scaramanga, Sir Roger’s Bond finds himself in Hong Kong. Spotting Scaramanga’s lover getting into a green Rolls-Royce, he tracks her to the Peninsula, famed for its fleet of the vehicles.
The magnificent hotel – aka “The Grand Dame of the East” – still boasts a 14-strong garage of Peninsula green Rolls-Royces, as well as newly remodelled rooms and a Mr Philippe Starck-designed restaurant. Located on the Kowloon Peninsula – hence its name – it’s the oldest hotel in Hong Kong, and still widely considered the best.
Your 007 Move
Check into room 602, where Scaramanga’s lover, played by the superb Ms Maud Adams, is seduced by Bond. Plus, you can always take a ride in one of the famed green Rolls-Royces – or if you really want to live the life of a spy, take the hotel’s private helicopter from the airport to its rooftop landing pad.
05. Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Sardinia, Italy
Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Sardinia. Photograph courtesy of Marriott Hotels. Inset: Ms Barbara Bach and Sir Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Photograph by United Artists
Bond checked in during… The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Situated on the most strikingly romantic stretch of the sun-drenched Costa Smeralda, the Cala Di Volpe serves as Bond’s Sardinian base while tracking megalomaniac tycoon Karl Stromberg.
The first hotel ever built on the now-legendary Costa Smeralda, it remains one of the most exclusive properties on the planet, with previous guests including Sir Elton John, Ms Grace Kelly and Mr Roman Abramovich. Designed to resemble a traditional Italian fishing village, the hotel has its own private marina, as well as a private beach, six restaurants, three tennis courts, two gyms, and a saltwater swimming pool. Major additions for 2020 include 10 new suites designed by Mr Bruno Moinard and a state-of-the-art Shiseido spa.
Your 007 Move
Take the hotel’s speedboat out for a spin from the private jetty, exactly as Sir Roger Moore does in the film, and explore the surrounding area by sea. Later, have a martini, shaken not stirred, in the hotel’s iconic piano bar, which doubled on screen as the suite where 007 seduces Ms Barbara Bach’s KGB agent, “Triple X”.
Live and let’s buy
There are plenty of drainpipe-skinny legs, too, along with crystal-embellished leathers, logo tees and a range of seriously desirable accessories, including next summer’s must-have sunglasses shape, the Bug. And we’re thrilled to announce that certain items are exclusively available at MR PORTER, including one of our personal highlights, a leather varsity jacket embellished with a motif by Upstate New York artist Mr Scott Daniel Ellison – part of the collection created in collaboration with 14 of the designer’s favourite artists. As ever, Slimane may be a dreamer, but he knows exactly what people want.