Are you fascinated by the world of the cinema? Do you watch the Oscars every year? If you answered yes to both questions, then you will be interested in this post.
There is a hotel in Majorca that has been visited by illustrious guests since time immemorial: the Hotel Barceló Formentor.
The guest list of Hotel Formentor has been extensive, prestigious and abounding in celebrities from its beginnings to the present day. In the Hotel’s guest book, names of international power-brokers, illustrious royalty, and no less illustrious but uncrowned royalty: painters, muses, musicians, and of course, stars of the big screen, stand out.
A DESTINATION FILM
In the photo we can see Princess Grace Kelly (Philadelphia, 1929 – Montecarlo, 1982) on her arrival at Formentor in April 1956, four days after her wedding to Rainier of Monaco.
For many of its guests, Formentor was and continues to be something like a delicious specialty dish that you cannot resist sampling again and again as long as your taste buds are intact, and therefore year after year the faithful strive to come back to refresh their spirit with the calm, the placidity of the landscape and the exquisite attention of the hotel staff.
The procession of royalty was and still is usual at Hotel Formentor. The previous Queen of Spain, Sofía, decided to show the hotel to her daughter-in-law, Princess Letizia, shortly after her wedding. She took the present Queen of Spain to lunch at Formentor, on one of the monarch’s first trips to Majorca, so that she could admire one of the places that Queen Sofía considers among her favorites.
In addition, the great icons of the history of fashion have passed through the Hotel.
In the photo we can see Jane Birkin (London, 1946), the actress in Evil under the Sun, a movie directed by Guy Hamilton in 1982, and shot at various locations on Majorca, among them, Formentor. To the right, we see Lucía Bosé (Milan, 1931) with her children Miguel and Lucía at the Hotel Formentor (c. 1958).
The American actress Joan Fontaine stayed at Hotel Formentor around 1945, when she was already famous after the shooting of Rebecca and Suspicion, both directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
It is not only actresses who have passed through this paradisiacal hotel.
The actor, director and composer, Charles Chaplin (London, 1889-1977) and his wife Oona O’Neill, daughter of the writer Eugene O’Neill, stayed at Hotel Formentor on various occasions. In 1959 he decided to rent a house in Formentor.
In December 1935 it was Winston Churchill, accompanied by his wife and his secretary, who arrived at Formentor intending to write and to paint. He guessed that the fine climate would help him continue with the biography of the Duke of Marlborough, the third volume of which he was currently working on.
When the former President of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, was here with his family, security booths with awnings were installed in the garden. In addition to being used for surveillance, they served for the children of Suárez and other children, including those of Miguel Buadas and his wife Beatriz Tellechea, who were then in charge of the Hotel, to use them in their games.
Some of the Arab sheiks, such as the Emir of Abu Dhabi, stayed in suite 113. Their bodyguards kept watch night and day at the entryways and next to their door. It caused a sensation that, without leaving their posts, the bodyguards changed clothing according to the time of day, and their diet consisted only of shrimp and Coca-Cola. The entourage occupied one floor of the Hotel, and the sheik, who loved the locality, had the idea of purchasing the Formentor peninsula and building a bridge to connect it to the little islet.
The most recent appearance of Formentor on big screens throughout the world took place with the shooting and launch of the Hollywood super production Cloud Atlas (with Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant). It is not surprising that the Wachowski siblings (the makers of the Matrix trilogy), surrendered to the beauty of this landscape, which had seduced other directors before them in search of inspiring locations for their films.
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Charles Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Peter Ustinov, John Wayne, Claudia Cardinale, Jane Birkin… the list of film stars who have passed through the Hotel is infinite. And this makes the Hotel part of a highly influential trend: cinema tourism, which inspires more 40 million travelers through the world. There are studies* that indicate that 10% of tourists choose their destination for a getaway under the influence of a film.
* Report drafted by the consulting company TCI Research