Nothing beats the experience of seeing a film at the cinema, but when that cinema happens to be attached to a luxury hotel, it’s even more special. Hotels around the world are turning the traditional movie experience into a stylish one by offering private theaters. These intimate spaces feature perks like plush seating, gourmet menus and cocktail service in a beautifully designed room — or under the stars — just steps away from your guest room. Here’s a look at some of our favorite hotel cinemas around the world.
The one and only cinema on Fogo Island happens to be located at the Fogo Island Inn. The hotel’s 37-seat space screens a mix of blockbusters as well as documentaries by The National Film Board of Canada about rural life and crafts by Fogo Islanders, such as boatbuilding and quilting. This year also marks the inaugural Fogo Island Film festival, which showcases international films that examine the relationship between nature and society.
Ireland’s 13th-century Ashford Castle, formerly the home of the Guinness family, is located along the shores of Lough Corrib, tucked amid 350 wooded acres. (The landscape may look familiar to classic movie buffs because the 1952 John Wayne film “The Quiet Man” was filmed on the grounds.) The castle’s 32-seat cinema, decorated with vintage film posters, voluptuous red-velvet seats and red carpet, shows films daily, ranging from the classics to newer releases like James Bond films.
The private island resort Guana Island, in the British Virgin Islands, has an al fresco cinema overlooking the water, surrounded by vegetation. The amphitheater-style cinema accommodates up to 32 people, but a private screening can be reserved for the couple that wants to watch a romantic movie under the stars. Popcorn and cocktails are available, and films range from island-themed classics (such as “Castaway”) to recent films and family favorites.
One of the most stylish places to catch a film in London is at the One Aldwych hotel. On multiple nights of the week, the property’s Film & Fizz program allows visitors to watch a movie while enjoying a glass of Lallier Grande Réserve Champagne in the hotel’s 30-seat screening room. This year’s offerings include the Oscar-nominated “I, Tonya” and “Ladybird.” Once the movie is over, guests move on to a three-course meal at the hotel’s Indigo, an informal restaurant that is entirely gluten- and dairy-free.
The Six Senses Samui resort in Thailand is ideal for anyone looking to get away from it all. It boasts 66 villas, many with private pools, and sweeping panoramas of the ocean and surrounding islands. The feeling of exclusivity extends to the “Cool by the Pool” cinema series offered by the hotel every Tuesday and Thursday nights. Only eight seats are available to watch popular movies on the big screen while looking out across the Gulf of Thailand. Popcorn, of course, is served, but at the Six Sense Samui, it’s flavored with lemongrass, makrut lime leaves and fish sauce.
Thanks to co-owner and design director Kit Kemp, the Firmdale Hotels group is known for its whimsical use of color and textiles. That unique sensibility extends to the private cinemas at the brand’s New York hotels as well. Both The Whitby Hotel and The Crosby Street Hotel offer Film Clubs in vibrant cinemas with orange seats and purple walls. Kick off a Sunday evening with a three-course dinner or cocktails at the Crosby Bar before settling into the plush cinema for the movie of the week. Screenings skew contemporary, such as “Wonderstruck” and “Isle of Dogs.” The Whitby’s Film Club offers brunch, lunch or afternoon tea on Saturdays prior to the 6 p.m. film. Recent screenings include “Dr. Strangelove.”
Palazzo Margherita is a labor of love for owner Francis Ford Coppola. Located in the small southern Italian town of Bernalda, where Coppola’s grandfather was born, the 19th-century property has plenty of cinematic touches. The Cinecittà Bar is lined with black-and-white photos of movie stars, and the Salon — a relaxing lounge by day — becomes an intimate theater at night thanks to a pull-down screen and professional-quality acoustics. Coppola personally curated the collection of Italian film classics screened there.
The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has long been a favorite spot for the Hollywood power lunch, so it’s fitting that the hotel would also have a stunning private cinema. The Screening Room is adjacent to the Culina restaurant, and chef Denis Dello Stritto has created a menu that includes mini short-rib sliders and a dim sum cart, along with a churro ice cream sandwich station. No need to worry about balancing popcorn and a drink on your lap — the 38 reclining chairs have built-in dining trays.