13:29 PM

Six Inspiring Destinations Behind the Year's Most Nominated Movies

The countdown has begun! We’ll soon know which movies, actors, directors and creatives will receive some of the filmmaking industry’s highest honors during the 94th edition of the glamorous movie awards ceremony held this year on March 27th. And with another list of incredible nominations, it’s for sure going to be a highly anticipated award ceremony that movie lovers from all over the world will tune in for. The storylines for each nomination aren’t the only reason to watch - this year’s films are also an incredible source of travel inspiration. From sleepy villages and bustling urban cityscapes to otherworldly desert locales, these beautiful backdrops will be fueling fans’ wanderlust to visit these stunning places in real life. In fact, according to our research, almost 4 in ten travelers (37%)* intend to travel to a destination that was featured in a TV show or movie they like. With that in mind, and to celebrate this year’s upcoming awards season, we share six destinations taking the spotlight in this year's most nominated movies.


Dunedin, New Zealand

One of the favorites to be crowned as this year’s best picture is a Western psychological drama set in the rugged US state of Montana in the 1920s. To authentically evoke the look and feel of the American West from the early 20th century, the film was actually mostly shot across rural Otago in New Zealand, which offers a wealth of stark and stunning scenery to bring the story to life, including mountains, vast plains and dramatic rivers. Dunedin, also known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, is Otago’s capital city and is known both for its Scottish and Maori heritage. Movie goers can catch a glimpse of the city in the film as well, with several scenes being shot here. The city is surrounded by dramatic hills and is situated at the end of a long, picturesque harbor. Historic Victorian architecture is scattered throughout the city, with the iconic Larnach Castle high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula being the most famous, particularly as it’s New Zealand's only castle. 


Where to stay: Situated on the grounds of the impressive Larnach Castle, Larnach Lodge & Stable Stay offers luxury rooms with panoramic views of the harbor and the Otago Peninsula. Adventurous guests can also join the Otago Peninsula's Coastline Driving Audio Tour, a self-guided tour to explore the inner route of the Otago Peninsula at their own pace. A stay at the lodge includes entry to Larnach Castle and the Castle Gardens. Breakfast is served in the historic stables and guests can even reserve a traditional New Zealand style dinner in the castle’s dining room. What better way to discover Dunedin’s most iconic building by actually staying in it?


Belfast, United Kingdom

Following the life of a working class family and their young son's childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital, this semi-autobiographical, black-and-white, movie is nominated for multiple awards this year. While Belfast may have had a troubled past, the city has pulled off a remarkable transformation into a contemporary, lively capital. The city offers a broad selection of restaurants, exciting nightlife, and rich cultural heritage with historic landmarks such as the Belfast Cathedral. Belfast is also the birthplace of the world's most infamous ship, the Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank in 1912. The legacy of this ill-fated voyage can be found throughout the city, including an aluminum-clad museum reminiscent of a ship’s hull, where visitors can visit a Titanic-themed exhibition exploring the city’s ship building history.

Where to stay: Situated in the Cathedral Quarter in central Belfast, a stay at The Merchant Hotel is like stepping back in time. Located in a lavishly maintained building that dates back to 1860, it’s perfect for travelers looking to explore the city by foot, as it’s near all the hustle and bustle Belfast has to offer. This Travel Sustainable property offers luxurious rooms, and has even been recognized as the Best UK Hotel in the International Hotel Awards.


Wadi Rum, Jordan

The science fiction epic about a gifted young man who must travel to the most dangerous place in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people, takes place on a desert planet with sandy landscapes and amazing rock formations. The real-life desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, provided the ideal filming location, with rugged otherworldly beauty in spades. To explore its famous red rocks and magnificent landscapes, travelers can go hiking, rock climbing or even ride a camel. They can also join a Wadi Rum Jeep Tour that will bring them to some of the most popular sites in the desert. For a truly unforgettable experience, spending the night at a desert camp in one of the most stunning stargazing locations on the planet is something for the bucket list, with dreamy sunrise desert views to boot.

Where to stay: Set among the red dunes of Wadi Rum, Hasan Zawaideh Camp offers private and shared Bedouin-style tents, decorated with lush carpets and colorful tapestries. To explore the Jordanian desert, guests can join different activities arranged by the property, including a jeep and camel tour to admire the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, or join a special tour which follows the route of Lawrence of Arabia invading Aqaba. After a day of exploring, guests can sit around the campfire and enjoy a tasting of authentic, freshly-prepared Bedouin dishes.

Hiroshima, Japan

The Japanese drama about an aging, widowed actor who gets the opportunity to direct a theatre production in Hiroshima is set and shot in this modern city in the southwest of Japan. While the city was tragically destroyed at the end of the Second World war, Hiroshima has blossomed into a vibrant, modern metropolis, while managing to retain its traditional Japanese spirit and charm. After visiting the city’s museums and monuments to soak up its history and culture, including the famous Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, visitors can indulge in some of the most delicious cuisine Japan has to offer. A treat for the taste buds, the all-inclusive Food and Culture Tour in the Night will give foodies the opportunity to discover the city’s unique culture through its cuisine, including grilled delicacies, fresh seafood and tempura.

Where to stay: The Knot Hiroshima, which was also an actual filming location for this year’s nominated movie, is situated in the heart of the city. Landmarks like the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Myoei-ji Temple are within walking distance, making it a perfect stay for travelers seeking to learn more about the city’s history and culture. Its central location is also perfect for exploring the local food scene, with the bustling downtown area and its many restaurants and bars, just a short walk away.


Spetses, Greece

The real-life vacation destination featured in the psychological drama about a professor on vacation who becomes fascinated by a young mother staying nearby is certainly one that will make your travel dreams come true. With the ocean sparkling in the sunlight and lush green trees paving the pathway down to the beach, the movie was filmed on the Greek island of Spetses. Just two hours away by ferry from Athens, the island is all about relaxation and is home to many beautiful beaches. Its picturesque main town, with Venetian mansions scattered throughout, stands out for its architecture and elegance. With restaurants and bars on every corner, there are myriad options to enjoy a refreshing drink and some fresh, traditional fare as the sun sets over the sea.

Where to stay: Located in Spetses Town and just a short walk from the beach and the port, Armata Boutique Hotel is a cozy, blue and white boutique hotel with luxury rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and a beautifully decorated shared lounge and garden. Popular historical landmarks are within walking distance, including the Bouboulina Museum, Ciné Tatina and the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, which are also filming locations from the award-nominated movie. Guests can enjoy traditional Greek cuisine in one of several nearby restaurants and end the day with a drink in a local taverna.


Barichara, Colombia

The popular animated musical fantasy about an extraordinary family, hidden away in a charmed place in the mountains of Colombia, was inspired by the country’s warm and welcoming beauty. The village from the movie is a mirror-image of Barichara, a perfectly preserved 18th-century hilltown in the Santander province. This picturesque town will make you feel transported back in time, with its cobblestone streets and whitewashed adobe homes with traditional red-tile roofs and wooden doors, not to mention all the historical buildings and churches dotted throughout the city. For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, visitors can also hike the El Camino Real route, which is a two-hour hike along an ancient, stone road between Barichara and Guane, another quaint, photogenic town. During the hike, travelers can enjoy stunning views of the region’s incredible natural beauty.


Where to stay: Situated in the highest part of the historic center of Barichara, Tocagua is a spacious, beautifully decorated family home, offering incredible views of Barichara and the gentle, green slopes of the mountains in the background. The property fits in perfectly with the architectural style of Barichara, as the holiday home was built by local artisans, working with traditional methods, materials and colors. To explore the surrounding area, guests can walk around the cobblestone streets or rent a bike, and enjoy the sprawling views of the valley.


*Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once  for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.