15 Jul 2013

Hotel Splendide / Grandhotel Pupp exterior, Part one

"I love you to M..."
The "Hotel Splendide in Montenegro" features prominently in Casino Royale where it is in the center of the action during the second half of the film. The hotel can be found in Western Bohemia, a region in the Czech Republic, and is of course the Grandhotel Pupp. It is a five star spa hotel on walking distance from the city center, with a history dating back to the early 18th century.

The big hotel complex spans over a few blocks and is situated alongside the Teplá river, with a nice view over the river and part of the surrounding city.

Bond finds his Aston Martin in the parking lot that belongs to the hotel. As a guest you can either have your car in the parking lot or along the street Goethova Stezka in front of the hotel where the more distinguished guests keep their cars. Alternatively you can park in the "gun barrel" parking at the main entrance. 
The entire hotel complex is very beautiful and with the casino building close by, probably one of the most enjoyable locations I have visited. Of course there is no ''Casino Royale'' in Karlovy Vary, but the hotel has its own casino and the building seen behind Bond houses the 'Pupp Casino Club' and 'Becher's Bar', all part of the hotel.

Upon staying at the hotel, we've learned that it actually has two separate check-in counters. This is because the hotel consists of two different sections with the right section (seen in the top picture above), apparently being the five star part of the hotel, and the left part (overlooking the car park) being the four star section. I do not know why they have made this separation.

The hotel started as just 'Saxony hall' in 1701 but after various marriages and changes in ownership, the Pupp family, who eventually became the sole owner acquired neighboring properties and incorporated them into the hotel complex. Between 1896 and 1907 the buildings were rebuilt into the neo-Baroque hotel that stands today.
On the other side of the canal, behind the parking lot to the right, is the casino building visible. One of the things that makes this location so enjoyable is the fact that ''Casino Royale" is located just as close to the hotel in reality as it is in the film. So when Bond walks over to the casino in the first scene, the real hotel is seen in the background.
Bond's parking space, to the right of the Volvo, and Casino Royale in the background.
Post World War II, in 1951, the communist government of Czechoslovakia nationalised the hotel and renamed it Grandhotel Moskva, and it was not until after 1989 that the original name was restored and the hotel was privatised again.

Later I will cover the rest of the surroundings of the hotel and eventually, some details from the stay in one of the suites - a night at the Pupp.

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