Fearsome fictional lodgings you should watch out for on Trip Advisor
5. Hotel Oldboy Staying at Hotel Oldboy might not be the worst thing ever; Joe (Josh Brolin) is a money-hungry yuppie working his sleazy way to the top of the fiscal food chain in last year’s remake of the 2003 Korean classic, who’s ready to let others take the fall in order to make his buck. But one day, following a particularly hedonistic night, he mysteriously awakens in a hotel room (three stars, we’d imagine from the décor). It all looks rather lovely; double bed, all the TV you want, and regular meals of Chinese food via a free room service delivered through a slot in the door. It’s all rather cozy, except for one small detail; the door is locked, and permanently. The check-out time? In twenty years. Joe has obviously made someone out there very angry for them to do this to him; so be a bit nicer to people than Joe is, or you may end up staying longer than you expected.
4. The Dolphin Hotel John Cusack’s gutsy Mike Enslin, a specialist in debunking paranormal occurrences in ‘haunted’ hotels, gets more than he bargained for when he checks into the Dolphin Hotel in 2007’s 1408. Despite the establishment’s boss (played by Samuel L. Jackson) warning him many times to stay in any room except the fabled 1408, from which many horror stories have surfaced, Enslin laughs at what he assumes is just overzealous superstition, and begins his night within what appears to be a perfectly normal set of four walls. ‘Normal’, as he soon finds out after suffering ghostly visitations in an enclosed space that has no regard for the physics of our dimension, is most certainly not a word you would use to describe this room. We recommend you bunk up in 1407, or perhaps even 1409. In fact, it might be better to just skip the Dolphin Hotel entirely – even if the staff are helpful.
3. The Hotel Earle In the Coen Brothers’ 1991 minor masterpiece Barton Fink, the eponymous playwright (John Turturro) is looking for some inspiration to help churn out his first Hollywood screenplay. Enticed by the lights and glamour of the movies, he struggles for (what he assumes to be) artistic credibility when he’s holed up by the film studio in the Hotel Earle, a slimy-walled excuse for a place that’s as structurally sound as Fink’s own neuroses. Even as the wallpaper literally begins to slide off the walls as he sweats away at his typewriter, he finds some kind of respite in the form of fellow Earle guest Charlie Meadows, who provides him with life perspectives as slanted as the hotel beds. Even though Barton Fink does eventually find his inspiration, we couldn’t promise a stay here would be similarly rewarding.
2. The Bates Motel Just keep driving. That’s our advice when you spot the flickering neon sign spelling out ‘Bates Motel: Vacancy’ on the highway; in perhaps Hitchcock’s finest hour (and a half), 1960’s Psycho revamped the entire horror genre just by inviting us to stay a night or two in one of these delightful-looking cabins. Run by an adorable – if quirky – mother-and-son team in the picturesque backwoods of Phoenix, Arizona, Norman and Norma Bates’ secluded resort is sure to ease your mind after a long drive - especially if you’ve just stolen $40,000 in cash such as Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) has from her employer, and are making a dash for it across the state. Iconic plot twists and suspiciously unhealthy relationships aside, it’s the expertly designed layout of the motel that leaves the biggest impression; but in our more pragmatic review of the facilities, try not to use the showers.
1. The Overlook Hotel By far and away the worst hotel you could possibly stay at in the movies, The Overlook well and truly deserves a one-star rating on Trip Advisor. The Shining, torn from the pages of horror maestro Stephen King and magicked onto the big screen via the chilly genius of director Stanley Kubrick, was first unleashed upon audiences in 1980 who reacted by screaming their lungs up and scratching their heads in equal measure. It’s easy to see why this hotel has had such an indelible impression on cinemagoers; the architect’s nightmare of shifting corridors and blood-filled elevators; the regular cameos from gut-clenching apparitions; the murderous madness that’ll first grip your mind before leading you to grip an axe. All work and no play might make Jack a dull boy (and Jack Nicholson is anything but dull in his maniacal role here), but The Overlook is a place for neither; the real-life Timberline Lodge, Oregon, which is used for the hotel’s exterior shots, looks the same and would be a better substitute – and it’s not built on an ancient American Indian burial ground, either.