Travel Inspiration for Wes Anderson Lovers

Let’s face it, who hasn’t wished they could live in a Wes Anderson film, even if only temporarily? From real-life film locations to Anderson-inspired breaks, our travel suggestions will transport you into the director’s quirky, colourful and ever-so-slightly dysfunctional world.

Bar Luce, Milan, Italy
Designed by Wes Anderson, every detail of Bar Luce – from its candy-coloured formica furniture down to its pink and white sugar sachets – is unsurprisingly perfect (and eminently Instagrammable). Anderson’s aim was to create the sort of place where he’d happily while away an afternoon and it’s easy to do this here. Pay a visit to the Fondazione Prada and then relax with a cappuccino and exquisite piece of cake, play some records on the vintage jukebox, and try your hand on the Steve Zissou pinball machine.

The Royal Tenenbaums house, 339 Convent Avenue, New York, USA
Wes Anderson rented this distinctive house for the production of The Royal Tenenbaums and, with the help of his art department, turned it into the unconventional Tenenbaum home. Now a private residence, it can only be viewed from a respectful distance. Follow up with stop-offs at other filming locations including the Waldorf-Astoria (Royal’s subsequent residence, the Lindberg Palace Hotel), the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House (the Public Archives where young Margot and Richie camp out) and the West Side Tennis Court (the setting for Richie’s post-match breakdown). Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Hall (where Royal treats Margot to ice cream) is only accessible if you’re attending an event, but if you’re in the mood for a butterscotch sundae, head to the Noho Star for their classic take on Margot’s favourite.

Palace on Wheels, India
Explore India in the style of The Darjeeling Limited aboard the Palace on Wheels, the original Indian luxury sleeper train. Starting in Delhi, its route takes in a number of Darjeeling Limited locations across Rajasthan including the stunning lake city of Udaipur and the blue city of Jodhpur.
Image: Vacaso Voyages.

Hotel Raphael, Avenue Kleber, Paris
The Darjeeling Limited prologue The Hotel Chevalier was shot on location in the elegant Hotel Raphael, using props from Anderson’s Paris apartment. Enjoy the hotel’s superb collection of art and antiques over a cocktail in the English Bar. The Raphael has a fine Hollywood pedigree too: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn have all stayed here.
Image: Hotel Raphael Paris.

Naushon and Cuttyhunk Islands, Elizabeth Islands, Massachusetts, USA
Naushon Island was the original inspiration for Moonrise Kingdom’s New Penzance Island. While Naushon is largely private, some beaches are open to visitors for part of the year. Stay on Cuttyhunk and charter a boat to take you across to Naushon, ideally planning your day trip to coincide with the annual public tour of the Tarpaulin Cove Lighthouse. Food-wise, Cuttyhunk has plenty of delicious summer eateries serving dishes such as grilled shrimp, hot clam chowder and local oysters, while the Avalon Inn provides a kitchen and BBQ so guests can cook their own freshly-caught fish.
Image: Jeremy D’Entremont.

Camp Wandawega, Wisconsin, USA
If you’d like an alternative take on Moonrise Kingdom, consider a stint at Camp Wandawega, an outdoorsy, all-American retreat with a retro aesthetic and self-declared ‘no thrills vibe’. There are log cabins, teepees and vintage Boy Scouts of America tents, as well a treehouse (which is almost certainly safer than the one that features in the film). Activities on offer include Khaki Scout classics such as fishing, archery and canoeing and, in a touch that Anderson would no doubt relish – hatchet throwing.

Corinthia Hotel, Budapest
Anderson and his team visited the former Grand Hotel Royal Budapest as part of their extensive research for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Like the Grand Budapest, the Hotel Royal fell into decline after World War II. It had stints as an office building and a Communist-era cinema before finally closing down in the 1990s. Happily, the building was restored and re-opened as the Corinthia in 2004. The hotel now hosts a permanent exhibition about its history and offers behind-the-scenes tours run by its longest-serving staff member.
Image: @zastrozhins.

Görlitz, Germany
Frequently touted as Germany’s most beautiful city, Görlitz served as the location for the central European Republic of Zubrowka in The Grand Budapest Hotel. A closed-down Art Nouveau department store was magically transformed into the Grand Budapest Hotel by Anderson and his team (watch more here), and the film’s signature pastry – the Courtesan au Chocolat – was created by local patissier Anenome Müller from Cafe CaRe. Make reservations at the pastel-pink Hotel Borse (where cast and crew stayed during production) and check out some of Görlitz’s other attractions including the Toy Museum and Museum of Natural History.
Image: @leichtsinn.und.ueberm.

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Nathalie Morris

Nathalie is a writer, curator and film historian....

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