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Relive movies like The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Khoobsurat through the palaces that starred
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More than just a backdrop, hotels in famous films are often characters themselves. The Pataudi palace in Haryana became a romantic destination when Shah Rukh Khan carried the love of his life over its threshold in Veer Zaara. Meanwhile, Hollywood has the likes of Gorlitzer Warenhaus in Germany (or The Grand Budapest Hotel) and The Plaza NYC (where The Great Gatsby was filmed), whose popularity shot up thanks to blockbuster movies. Our pick of Bollywood favourites that make interesting getaways:
Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel, Jaipur

♦ Featured in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ♦ Must try: Laal Maas at the Peacock rooftop restaurant
This palace resort in the Pink City is the ‘unfinished hotel’ that Dev Patel wanted to buy in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Part of its lounge is still left unfinished in remembrance of the film and is already being tagged as the setting for the Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. While there, ask for a tour of their Nirvana suite that formed a significant backdrop in the film, and dine at Peacock, the rooftop restaurant that boasts of the best laal maas in town. Fox Entertainment has also declared a lucky draw, whose winners will spend seven days at the hotel, this November.
Princely Royal suites from `2,800. Details: pearlpalaceheritage.com
Laxmi Nivas Palace, Bikaner25-laxmi-niwas-palace-bikan

♦ The haveli seen in Khoobsurat ♦ Must try: Hot stone therapies
Khoobsurat (2014) boasted of two things – a brooding Fawad Khan and his royal haveli. The princely abode in the film happens to be the last standing palace of the Maharaja of Bikaner — Maharaja Ganga Singh. Once a retreat for the who’s who of the world, it is now a playhouse for period flicks and palace fables. Don’t forget to catch the sunrise at the gazebo, Sonam Kapoor’s favourite haunt in the film. Besides the possibility of bumping into celebrities here, get a feel of history as the chambers have been left untouched since the last king’s reign. Don’t miss out on the ‘luncheon’ at Swarna Mahal that doubled as the dining hall in the film. The hotel serves traditional thaalis and a special mutton cooked with gulmohar flowers.
Royal Deluxe rooms from `10,500. Details: laxminiwaspalace.com
Atlantis, Dubai

oberoi-udaivillas-2♦ Host of the world dance competition in Happy New Year ♦ Must try: Underwater afternoon tea and gala dinners
The swankiest pulp fiction of last year, Happy New Year had Atlantis The Palm playing a significant role in the second half of the film.The go-to destination for the world’s glitziest New Year galas, the hotel also housed the entire cast and crew of the film during the shoot. Enthusiasts must join the sake pairing dinner or the sushi master class at the Nobu restaurant. Raise a toast to the aquatic life that will give you company during the underwater Afternoon Tea at Ossiano. For others, the resort also presents skydiving and hot air balloon thrills which allow a bird’s eye view of the Dubai skyline.
Suites from `23,000. Details: atlantisthepalm.com
The Oberoi Udaivillas, Udaipur

♦ The destination wedding in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was filmed here ♦ Must try: High tea on a boat tour of Lake Picholapearl-palace-heritage
For those reminiscing over Kalki Koechlin’s lavish destination wedding in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, The Oberoi Udaivillas is what you are looking for. Right from the mehendi to the shoot of the wedding and the song Kabira, the resort with its intricate layout of interconnecting domes and corridors, played host to the cast and crew.  Don’t forget to take a shikaara ride ending with dinner by the Pichola lakeside, or enjoy an afternoon tasting of rare teas accompanied by homemade raisin and berry scones, on a boat. Art lovers can also sign up for a miniature painting workshop conducted in authentic Mewari style.
Premium Suites from `24,000. Details: oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-udaipur
­­—Niranjana
Hariharanandanan

Elsewhere
What was once Munnar’s celebrated Pankajam Movie Talkies, is now the Silver Tips resort. It is South India’s only resort that has 60 rooms dedicated to international, Bollywood and South Indian cinema. The lobby celebrates the historic Mughal-e-Azam, while the coffee shop is an ode to The Sound of Music. You can choose to reside in suites titled Chennai Express or Life of Pi or in rooms themed around movies like Sholay, Chemmeen or Godfather.

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