Top Ten Luxury
The Ritz, London

Starred Role: Notting Hill

In Notting Hill, A-list actor Anna Scott (played by real life A list actor Julia Roberts) stayed at the hotel during her visits to London, although The Savoy also features in the final scene depicting a press conference. The filmmakers felt that since The Ritz London is a quintessentially British icon, it would be instantly recognizable to international audiences, serving as shorthand for the upscale life of a famous Hollywood star. The hotel is mentioned by name and in one scene, Hugh Grant's character, Will, enters past the famous Ritz lights. Filming took place at the exterior of the building, the hall porter's desk, the main entry staircase, a guest floor corridor, and in the Trafalgar Suite. In a scene in which Will runs up to the hall porter's desk to ask to see Anna, the large mirror that hangs across from the desk had to be covered up to avoid any unwanted reflections of the crew. Stars Roberts and Grant stayed at the hotel during the shoot (Grant loved his room's views of  Green Park), and although the majority of guests and staff seen in the final cut were actors, two Ritz team members did make on-screen appearances: Night Porter Ray Leverett, and Head Hall Porter Michael De Cozar. Having worked at the hotel for over three decades, De Cozar is himself very well-known by hotel regulars, and when the film was released he received hundreds of congratulatory calls and faxes from around the world. The staff remembers the shoot as a fun experience, and they recall one particular instance that had the crew in stitches: At the time, there were just three phones at the front desk, and to accommodate the shoot in that area the hotel had diverted all but one line to other spots. Thanks to a persistent guest calling from Australia - who first rang to change their tea time, then again to ask for Underground directions to Harrods, then about the bus line to Harrods, then for the price of a taxi to Harrods - the scene took 14 takes to complete.

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