We are in the throws of award season so this month’s blog is a focus on America… with a difference. Here are a few films and box sets of the moment that are inspiring us to cross the Atlantic and experience more of what this vast and fascinating continent has to offer!
Steven Spielberg’s film The Post focuses on The Washington Post’s historic decision in 1971 to publish the Pentagon Papers, the study of US involvement in Vietnam from Harry Truman to Lyndon Johnson. The papers contained a cache of material that would be hugely damaging to the US government.
The film is obviously set mainly in Washington DC. We love this inspiring city so much. It is a fantastic place to start if you haven’t seen much of America before. It has too many big hitter monuments to mention, but include the Vietnam War Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Consider a tour of the White House Visitor’s Centre, which offers masses of information about one of the most powerful symbols of American history and politics or take a private tour with an expert historian guide to learn about the American Civil War. But for all its political seriousness and moving tributes, it is also an incredibly fun place to visit!
Where to stay in Washington DC: We would suggest either the Rosewood, which is gorgeous and in a great neighbourhood (Georgetown). Or the Hay-Adams is right next to the White House and has better access to the monuments. You could also stay at the newly refurbished, legendary Watergate Hotel.
The Disaster Artist
Countless films have been set in LA over the years but the latest takes a look at the story behind cult movie The Room. There is nothing LA loves more than a film about itself and a movie about movie making.
While there, see the sights of Hollywood, get active on Venice beach and shop in style on Rodeo Drive. LA is also increasingly rivalling New York’s cultural pull, with loads of new galleries springing up across the city.
Where to stay in LA: Stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the VIP experience or The London West Hollywood to be in the centre of it all. Visit a studio, attend a premiere and live the life the director of The Room, Tommy Wiseau, was trying to attain.
Big Little Lies
A massive hit last year, a new series of this critically acclaimed HBO series has just been announced. California has rarely looked so gorgeous as it does in Big Little Lies. The scenery is fabulous: panoramic drives along the dramatic Pacific Coast, jogs along pristine beaches, picture-perfect sunsets, all accompanied by an awesome soundtrack.
Happily, the locals are much friendlier in real life and the scenery is even more incredible than is portrayed in the show! That’s why Monterey has long been a popular stop on Californian road trips.
Locals can always be found lounging on the grass at Pacific Grove’s well-groomed 4.4-acre Lovers Point Park, which is the setting for several key scenes. Many visitors climb the rocks at the point it’s named after in order to get a spectacular view of Monterey Bay. Surfers love its reliable waves, while kayakers find it a perfect launching spot.
Where to stay on the Californian coastline: Stay at Casa Palermo or The Lodge at Pebble Beach, located on the Californian coastline between Carmel and Monterey. The Lodge will enchant you with attentive hospitality, stately architecture and breathtaking ocean views. While you are there taste wines, whale watch and hike the beautiful mountains.
Season 4 of the Affair is due to be released this summer and we are hoping for more dreamy shots of Montauk and The Hamptons. We want some of those wide costal shots, little ports, sun bleached wooden porches and stunning houses.
Where to stay in the Hamptons: We would suggest staying at Topping Rose House, understated luxury in Hamptons Heaven, and seeing the area from there. Or if you are after somewhere more relaxed, head to Rhode Island or Cape Cod…
Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld is back in April. The programme asks what ordinary folk would do if there were no consequences to their actions (answer: kill and cavort). The cast is fantastic including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton stand out – but it’s the real world locations that seize much of the limelight – the dusty and dramatic eastern Utah landscapes around Moab.
The area has been used to film countless westerns and famous films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Thelma and Louise.
Where to stay in Utah: Amangiri is no ordinary hotel or resort, but more an enclave of comfort and style in North America’s most dramatic desert landscape. Guests come here to feel remote, surrounded by striking architecture, mind-blowing nature and pampered in true Aman Resorts style. Or if you are after a little more adventure why not try glamping in safari style tents with king-size beds, private decks and rolltop baths. Paradise for active families with hiking, rafting, hot-air balloon rides and horse riding on offer.
An addictive new crime drama on Netflix starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman is filmed in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Sinner follows a young mother who, when overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a startling act of violence and to her horror has no idea why.
In 1861 the Civil War started here and the city was practically destroyed. However, Charleston has been carefully restored and is now one of the finest towns in the USA.
Where to stay in Charleston: The Dewberry or Belmond Charleston Place for the big names or at Wentworth Mansion or Zero George Street for more boutique/local charm. Charleston is one of the few places on earth where we do recommend the horse drawn carriage tour, and there are some fantastic plantations you can visit.