International Film Festivals

Hotel Madeline Telluride



Film fanatics looking to rub elbows with A-list celebs may want to check out this year’s lineup of international film festivals. Luxury Travel Advisor has the skinny on some of the world’s best, and we’ve included how your VIP clients can arrive and stay in style.

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Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival draws in some of the world’s biggest celebrities.

The 69th Venice Film Festival kicks off August 29 and will run through September 8. This year’s event will feature some exciting changes for avid attendees. Notably, the existing facilities have been renovated, including the restoration of the Sala Grande in 2011. The film festival’s Board of Directors has also approved the beginning of construction for a new, larger and more functional foyer in the Palazzo del Cinema. The renovations also include two historic screening rooms, the Pasinetti and Zorzi, which will receive an additional 50 seats. Other changes include the introduction of the Venice Film Market, and the Biennale College-Cinema, a workshop open to young filmmakers on the production of low-budget films.

Heralded as the world’s oldest film festival (the inaugural event took place in 1932), this star-studded event pulled in approximately 50,000 viewers in 2011. Interesting Fact: We hear that the event was the brainchild of Benito Mussolini, who saw movies as a way to promote fascism.

George Clooney
George Clooney at the Telluride Film Festival.

Where to stay: Venice is home to its fair share of stunning five-star hotels, but we say your clients will feel most like stars of the silver screen when staying at Hotel Cipriani, an Orient-Express hotel. The hotel is set on Giudecca Island across the lagoon from the Piazza San Marco.

No doubt the star of this hotel is the Palladio Suite. This posh palace has 180-degree views over the Venetian lagoon through its floor-to-ceiling windows. The living room gives way to its own private balcony, while the dining area allows guests to entertain. Guests of the suite are able to access a terrace with an outdoor plunge pool and Jacuzzi.

Top Touch: For your clients who crave the highest level of discretion, we recommend they arrive by boat at the Palladio Suite’s private dock.

Reach out to Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Orient-Express Italy Junas Moncada ([email protected]) with special requests.

The discreet crowd will want to head to Colorado at the end of the summer for the Telluride Film Festival. Held from August 31 through September 3, this confab is one of the world’s most scenic, as it is hosted among the mountains. The festival showcases a small selection of features, documentaries and more. Although the event is not as hyped up or glammed out as other festivals, it is a big draw for fans of the understated and elegant. Last year, it was estimated that 4,000 attended.

Fun Fact: Both The Descendants and Brokeback Mountain made their premieres at past Telluride Film Festivals.

Guests can purchase one of four passes: Cinephile, Acme, Festival and Patron, each of which offers a different level of admittance.

Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest film festival, is a star-studded event.

While in town, we suggest booking a stay at Hotel Madeline Telluride, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The luxury boutique hotel is just outside historic Telluride with ski-in/ski-out facilities. Your VIPs will feel most at home in one of the 12 Madeline Suites, which are one and two bedrooms and come with kitchens. All accommodations have 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod connectors, a DVD library (with films featured at the Telluride Film Festival) and refrigerators stocked with complimentary beverages.

Be sure to visit Spa Linnea, which has an oxygen therapy lounge. In fact, oxygen therapy is included in many of Spa Linnea’s transformational treatments to restore, rehydrate and reenergize.

Tip: Hotel Madeline Telluride is pet-friendly. Guests with furry friends in tow will receive water bowls, tennis balls, Frisbees and other dog-friendly amenities.

For special bookings, reach out to Director of Sales Angela Cava ([email protected]; 970-369-8973).

Hotel Madeline Telluride
Hotel Madeline Telluride’s Madeline Suites are one and two bedrooms in size.

Arguably the Super Bowl of film festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival ( is the must-not-miss cinematic event of the year. The festival screens over 300 films from over 60 countries, and last year attracted about 400,000 guests. This year’s event will be held September 6 through September 16. The 10-day event has all the fixings for the high-society crowd (think red carpet glam and Hollywood-style galas).

Consider a stay at the very new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, set to debut this summer. We hear that the hotel is now accepting reservations for October 1 and beyond, so be sure to snag a coveted spot.

Upon opening, the hotel will sit in the heart of Yorkville, a short walk to high-end shops, restaurants and galleries. The landmark hotel will have a two-story spa, and Café Boulud and dbar, both helmed by Chef Daniel Boulud, and more.

The spa will have 30,000 square feet of space, housing 17 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, relaxation pool, fitness center and yoga studio.

Luxury travel advisors can contact Director of Sales Robert Whalen ([email protected]).

Adventure enthusiasts and film buffs collide in Banff, Alberta, every year for the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. The nine-day extravaganza began back in 1976, when mountain climbers decided to get together at the end of the day to watch mountaineering films. Of course, the breadth and scope of the festival has expanded since then (we hear that 2011 saw 11,000 people in attendance). This year’s event will be held October 27 through November 4.

We recommend checking your clients into The Fairmont Banff Springs. Check your regal clients into the Royal Suite, which has 1,500 square feet of space and offers 360-degree views of the Bow Valley, Spray Valley, Banff Springs Golf Course and Bow Falls. The suite features a reception foyer, living room, grand piano, library and master bedroom. Nice Touch: The suite is situated in the pinnacle of a castle peak.

For bookings, contact Director of Leisure Sales Kathy Dales ([email protected]; 403-762-1722).

The Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs is situated in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The artsy crowd will love the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, held this year from November 14 through November 25. This unique film program, IDFA, is one of the leading festivals in the world of creative documentaries. The festival was founded in 1988, and last year attracted about 200,000 visitors. Add to this the presence of filmmakers, discussions and debates, workshops, master classes and more.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stay at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. Be sure to book the best suite in the house for your film buffs: The Opera Suite. This 807-square-foot space is complete with a king-size bed, separate living room, butler service and garden view. Note: The Prestige Suite is slightly smaller, at 592 square feet, but has views of the canal.

We suggest booking clients a reservation at Bridges Raw Bar, where they can snag oysters, Carpaccios, tartars, lobster and more. Night owls can then flock to Bridges Cocktail Bar, which is open until 3 a.m., and serves up classic cocktails, champagnes and wines.

Sofitel’s So SPA & So FIT provides two hammams, two spa baths and five treatment rooms, along with an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.

Contact Director of Sales and Marketing Kees Hogetoorn ([email protected]; 011-31-0-20-555-32-60) with questions.

Lastly, kick off 2013 with Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Opening next year from January 17 through January 27, this 10-day event was founded in 1985 by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Each year the festival receives about 9,000 submissions and selects approximately 200 to be featured over the festival’s duration. Set in the ultra-luxe ski town, Sundance draws in some of the world’s biggest celebrities. This year’s festival brought in 50,000 attendees.

Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival venue has undergone renovation bringing about exciting changes.

Your VIP jet-setters will feel at home at Montage Deer Valley, one of the newer five-star resorts to open in the area. We love that each of the rooms and suites has its own gas fireplace and either mountain or valley views.

The resort has ski-in/ski-out capability as well as its own ski concierge and valet services, which will store and prepare all equipment, warm boots and arrange lift tickets and lessons.

The resort has its own 35,000-square-foot spa, where guests can unwind in the steam room, sauna, whirlpools or deluge showers. There are 29 treatment rooms, as well, including two Vichy shower rooms, two hydrotherapy rooms and two couples’ massage rooms.

We hear that Vanity Fair magazine singled out the resort as the best locale for parties at Sundance 2012. Guests were treated to a series of surprise “pop up” concerts in the Vista Lounge throughout the festival, featuring the lead singers from the bands OAR, Barenaked Ladies and Guster. The resort’s newest dining venue, Yama Sushi, also debuted during last year’s festival and we hear that it was so popular that they have already received inquiries for private bookings for Sundance 2013.

Reach out to Director of Sales Chris Hamaway ([email protected]; 435-604-1330) with inquiries.

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