Stay in a hotel with a cinema and you can travel to even more distant lands: to the past, into a strange faraway future, through a love story, tragedy or comical caper… From New York art-house dens to sunset screenings on the sand, we’ve picked the luxury and boutique hotels around the world for on-the-go cinephiles, where classics, cult flicks and repeats of Casablanca are shown in the most atmospheric settings.
So, pack your popcorn, get settled in and let the lights, camera and action take you far, far away…
For gents and geezers… Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London
This historic, stiff-upper-lip stay has donned many hats in its role as a setting for Brit period pieces: specifically, a bowler hat and whatever the protagonists of a Guy Ritchie film put on their noggins. The former council building has served as the backdrop for Poirot’s potboilers and prestige flicks such as Edge of Love.
What’s on? The hotel’s incredible art deco council chamber no longer rings with ‘hear, hear’ and gavel raps; it’s now the setting for film screenings of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Atonement (17 and 18 June), both of which star the hotel.
Tickets are £50 a person, including a three-course lunch, cocktail in the Peg + Patriot bar and a Mast chocolate bar made specially for the hotel.
For the hopeless romantic… Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains
Of all the citadels, in all the Atlas Mountains, in all of Morocco, Kasbah Tamadot might be our favourite for open-air film screenings. Tents for two, with cosy trappings (cushions, kilim rugs…) are scattered over a hillside overlooking the pool. After dark a screen is erected for showings of Moroccan-inspired films.
What’s on? Casablanca, of course. You may be a little south of the titular setting, but this perennial favourite is a recurring feature in the hotel’s programme. Play it again – and again – Kasbah Tamadot…
Screenings are free for guests and are dependent on the weather. Showtimes vary.
For cool kids… Roxy Hotel, New York
New York’s swagger is built in handsome red brick in the Roxy Hotel, whose neon-lit frontage looks somewhat like a retro cinema itself. Its intimate screen has just 99 seats, and ushers peddle gourmet snacks and craft cocktails. Its programme is impressively au fait – film geeks can catch cult, world and lesser-known movies in 35mm prints and pleasingly clear digital projections.
What’s on? The carefully curated movies change each month; past picks include Connery-era Bond Dr No, Sofia Coppola’s indie reverie The Virgin Suicides and quirky doc Grey Gardens.
Tickets are $10 a person.
For post-beach programming… The Island House, Nassau
Set amid elegant Bahamian villas, some of this petite hotel cinema’s 48 seats are comfy sofas, each with a footrest. No run-of-the-mill multiplex – this theatre has top tech and a bar, so you can sip a lychee martini while you feed your cultural appetite.
What’s on? Blockbusters and more niche arthouse films. Recent showings include Trainspotting 2 and French-Mexican family drama The Empty Box.
Seats from US$15; US$40 for a sofa.
For a sundowner… Six Senses Samui, Koh Samui
The best seats in the – well, any – house are a pair of cushioned sunloungers perched on a platform facing the sunset side of Thailand’s paradise isle. Six Senses Samui resort’s Cinema Paradiso events take place under the stars, as servers ferry five flavours of popcorn, ice creams and drinks discreetly back and forth.
What’s on? Mostly classic movies with a soppy storyline to set the mood. However, the setup is so swooningly romantic that even a screening of the entire canon of The Fast and the Furious would feel like the most loved-up of date nights.
Movie nights are free for guests. They take place weekly, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, from 9pm.