While most of us will never live the glamorous, jetset-style life of celebrities, we can still book a room like one. The following eight hotels have all played host to Old Hollywood celebrities, musicians and literary luminaries. Best of all, they’re all still open to the public and just waiting for you to check in.
Bring up Elizabeth Taylor or Richard Burton in Puerto Vallarta, and you’re sure to hear a few tales about the famous couple that turned this Mexico city into their hideaway. The couple even purchased palatial homes across from one another, connected by a bridge, on Calle Zaragoza. Since then, their Puerto Vallarta digs have been turned into an actual hotel, Casa Kimberly, where you can stay in the Elizabeth Taylor Suite (her old room) or eight other accommodations. Rooms boast views of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the cityscape of Puerto Vallarta, while amenities include rain forest showers and private Jacuzzis.
The site of the first Academy Awards, it’s no wonder The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s history has been especially star-studded. Situated along the Walk of Fame and across from the TCL Chinese Theatre, the property has played host to celebrities as varied as Marilyn Monroe (who actually called the hotel home), Montgomery Clift, Charlie Chaplin and Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, who have their own eponymous suite. Thanks to the legendary clientele, the hotel also has quite a few ghost stories swimming around, some involving the more famous names that have graced the lobby.
The story behind this property—a recognizable name for any James Bond fans—is tied to both 007’s creator Ian Fleming, as well as Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Fleming bought the property after having been stationed in Jamaica during his service in World War II and built it up, eventually writing the James Bond novels while living there. Later on, Blackwell would turn the estate into an actual hotel, expanding it from just 19 acres to 52 acres. If you’re looking for a place to order your martini shaken, not stirred, look no further than this luxury resort.
This famed Swiss hotel has been frequented by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich. Since its inception, the property has been known to cater to the likes of the obscenely rich and famous, and offers insanely luxe amenities like a cocktail containing an actual diamond, marble bathtubs and even horse races on top of a frozen lake.
Hotel Alfonso XIII kicked off with a banquet attended by King Alfonso XIII himself and Queen Victoria Eugenie, so it’s no wonder celebrities were clamoring to book a room. Starlets like Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren have both stayed at the Seville hotel, as have Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. Parts of Lawrence of Arabia were even filmed at the resort. With its Moorish and Andalusian architecture, amazing location within the historic city and its wide variety of amenities, you’ll want to book a room here, too.
Another of Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly’s favorites, as well as stars such as Rock Hudson and Romy Schneider, Hotel Zoo Berlin dates back all the way to 1891. Formerly a private residence, the space was turned into a hotel in 1911, becoming the place to be for guests of the Berlin International Film Festival. While there aren’t actually animals at the hotel—although it is close to the Berlin Zoo—topiary takes the shape of giraffes and you can find nods to all sorts of species throughout the property.
This New York hotel has been graced by Ernest Hemingway (who stayed for three weeks before his service in World War I) and musicians like Albert King, Joan Baez, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. For those looking to be musically-inspired, this hip hotel is definitely the place to be.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for writing inspiration, head to Havana and check in at Hotel Ambos Mundos. It’s in Room 511 that Ernest Hemingway began writing For Whom the Bell Tolls. The room has since been preserved and you can take a gander at various Hemingway memorabilia, including his typewriter and even an old bill from the bar.