An Oscar-Winning Escape

And the award
goes to...

Truly a night full of stars, the annual Academy Awards celebrate the very best of the silver screen. In honour of Oscars Night, we’re looking back at some classic Oscar-winning films that you can experience first-hand on your very own Belmond getaway.
Article | 2 March 2018

Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara

Sideways (2004)

Alexander Payne’s cult comic hit sees ailing middle-aged friends Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) set off on a calamity-ridden journey through Santa Barbara wine country. Not only did their misadventures earn them a host of Oscar nominations, taking the win for best adapted screenplay, but it also created a cultural phenomenon that saw a global spike in Pinot Noir sales. After all, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving.”

Belmond El Encanto, a Forbes Five-Star Resort, is every bit as iconic as the movie. Alongside the luxury bungalows, world-class dining and spa service, our in-house experts will be happy to offer you advice on the best local wines. Head off to the nearby Urban Wine Trail, or follow in the film’s footsteps and hitch a ride down the Santa Ynez valley.

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Aerial view of Machu Picchu landscape and jungle coated mountains

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Walter Salle’s beautiful biopic follows the journey of Ernesto Guevara, who would later become the famous Marxist Che Guevara, played by the captivating Gael Garcia Bernal. His travels through Latin America all inspire his eventual political fire; no place more so than his journey through the Sacred Valley to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

Today you can make the same journey in truly timeless style aboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham train. Not only can you look forward to breathtaking views and sensational cuisine, but live music adds an extra dimension to the trip—appropriate, as the film took home an Oscar for best original song.

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Close-up of a bronze statue of a peacock on a plinth

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

John Madden’s fictionalised period comedy took the world by storm, netting seven Academy Awards including best picture. Joseph Fienne’s dashing incarnation of the famous bard falls head over heels for Gwyneth Paltrow’s captivating Viola de Lesseps, daughter of a wealthy merchant. Scenes at her stunning family home were actually filmed in Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire.

Visit the castle today, and then continue the romance back at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. From the individually-designed rooms and enchanting gardens to the two Michelin-starred cuisine, you’re sure to fall in love all over again.

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View over lively cascades, from one side of Iguassu Falls' horseshoe shape to the other, where sun dances on the spray.

The Mission (1986)

Starring the indomitable Jeremy Irons and Robert de Niro, Roland Joffé’s period drama tells the story of an 18th-century Jesuit priest. Transcending the language barrier, he uses the gifts of music and compassion to build relations with the Guarani people of the Brazilian rainforest. The stunning imagery, and the spectacular beauty of the Iguassu Falls, won the title an Oscar for best cinematography.

Today you can experience the wonder of the cascades yourself before retreating to luxury just a heartbeat away at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. In addition to stunning dawn walks, helicopter tours and Macuco safaris, you can also meet the Guarani-Mbya people at dusk for an authentic cross-cultural experience.

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Brightly coloured hot air balloon over the city skyline of Florence and Il Duomo

A Room with a View (1985)

Boasting a powerhouse cast, James Ivory’s adaptation of the beloved novel follows Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter) as she escapes the restrictive standards of Edwardian England. Eventually she finds the first sparks of romance with George (Julian Sands) in a pensione in Florence. The Renaissance skyline is a fitting backdrop to their heartfelt journey.

For the ultimate in amore, look no further than Belmond Villa San Michele. Step in through the stunning façade, attributed to Michelangelo, and let us show you to your suite. Step out and gaze down across the Fiesole hills to the beautiful terracotta spread of Florence below. It’s our take on A Room with a View.

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A street view in Forza D'Agrò shows the bell tower and roofline of Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata above a pastel terrace

The Godfather (1972)

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece is one of the world’s most famous movies. On top of winning three Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor, it is also noted as the second greatest American film according to the American Film Institute.

Many of the scenes of the Corleone family are played out against the beautiful scenery and architecture of Sicily. Stay at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, perfectly positioned in the timeless town of Taormina. Travel by Fiat 500 and Follow in Al Pacino’s footsteps, visiting Bar Vitelli and the Church of St Lucia. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.

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Colonial-style platform with a River Kwai Bridge station sign in Thai and English

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

David Lean’s powerful WWII epic follows a group of Prisoners of War as they are forced to help construct the eponymous bridge that will connect Rangoon to Bangkok. The film’s emotional plot is punctuated with stellar performances from both Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa, netting the film seven Academy Awards including best picture, best director and best actor.

Be part of cinematic history with a trip aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train. Travelling the classic route from Bangkok to Singapore, you’ll pass by the infamous bridge. You’ll also have a chance to disembark and, under the wing of an expert historian, learn more about the Thailand-Burma Railway as you take a cruise along the river.

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Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland

The Quiet Man (1952)

The Quiet Man follows Sean Thornton (John Wayne), an Irish-born American, as he leaves Pittsburgh to rediscover his home country. As he falls in love with the beautiful rolling hills and shimmering rivers, captured in glorious technicolour, he also falls for the fiery Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara). For his efforts, John Ford was awarded an Oscar for best director.

Fast forward to today, and the charms of the Emerald Isle have in no way diminished, and there is no better way to discover them than on the Belmond Grand Hibernian. Step aboard the luxury train for a two-, four- or six-night journey and visit Ireland’s best sights while being spoilt with spectacular cuisine and peerless service.

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21 Club, New York

All About Eve (1950)

A true Golden Age classic, All About Eve tells the story of aging Broadway starlet Margo (Bette Davis) whose career is thrown into jeopardy by the ambitious, young Eve (Anne Baxter). The film received a stunning 14 Academy Award nominations, scooped 6, and still holds the record for most female acting nominees from a single motion picture.

In one key scene, Margo enjoys a high-class lunch with friend Karen at New York’s exclusive ‘21’ before bumping into the problematic Eve. Today, the exclusive restaurant remains one of the city’s most star-studded hangouts. Book a table for dinner today, leave any rivalries at the door, and raise a toast with a signature cocktail—you’re guaranteed an unforgettable evening.

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