CZECH REPUBLIC – Karlovy Vary, Grandhotel Pupp // Casino Royale (2006)
The Casino Royale Hotel “Splendide” was a place of luxe and lavishness. Soon, a real hotel named “Splendid” opened in Montenegro. But get not confused: The real grandezza still waits in a small spa haven in eastern Czech Republic.
Why Bond was here
After underworld financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) runs out of money, Bond (Daniel Craig) is to meet him in a high-staked poker game in Montenegro to finally end the villains cash flow. Accompanied by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a foreign liaison agent from the Treasury, Bond checks in at the Hotel Splendide – a luxury hotel right next to the casino, where the poker duel is set to happen.
The Casino Royale Hotel “Splendide” is in reality the Grandhotel Pupp in Eastern Czech city Karlovy Vary – not to be confused with a real Hotel Splendid, that opened four years after the release of Casino Royale in Montenegrian city Bečići. The conspicuous Pupp resides at a plaza on the Southern end of Karlovy Varys old town. When wandering the spas, colonnades and boutiques, almost all routes lead towards the impressive building. When coming from Karlovy Varys lower train station (dolní nádraží), where the intercity buses arrive, take a left on Doktora Davida Bechera street and then follow along river Teplá. Best agency to book a bus is national Student Agency, that offers two hour rides for 160 Czech Crowns from Prague.
Good to know
When coming from town, the first impression of the original Casino Royale Hotel “Pupp” is its main plaza with a little café to the left. The plaza had been briefly featured in the movie and is now a square of fame with renowned hotel guests from all over the world perpetuated in golden cobblestones. The plaza is quite filled, as the Grandhotel hosts the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Daniel Craig’s stone is embedded between the café and the main entrance. Behind the entrance up the stairs is the reception area, that also had been used for filming. Though the interior slightly changed, one can still imagine the elevator scene with Bond and Vesper, pardon with “Mr. Beech” and “Ms. Broadchest”.
Outside on the restaurants façade is a showcase remembering the 2006 filming and advertising for the hotels own casino bar, complete with a tuxedo pic of Daniel Craig. However, the casino hadn’t been used for the movie, but the classical exteriors of the neighboring Kaiserbad spa some 150 meters away.
As Karlovy Vary is not far away from our home country Germany, we’ve already been here twice. Best time to come is late spring, when the town and its park are in full blossom. But cold winter nights fit as well: Sit back in the lush lobby of Grandhotel Pupp with a Becherovka schnaps infused coffee and one of the towns famous oplatky wafers.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3,4), © 2006 United Artists Corporation and Danjaq, LLC (2)