The Grand Budapest Hotel Lobby Travels Back in Time

Inside Criterion / Production Notes — Apr 29, 2020

Perched high above the spa town of Nebelsbad, amid the snow-capped Alpine peaks of the Republic of Zubrowka, sits a sprawling resort that in its old-world heyday served as the epitome of European luxury. For the historical caper The Grand Budapest Hotel, which takes its title from this fictional getaway, director Wes Anderson, production designer Adam Stockhausen, and their teams lavished attention on every square inch of the film’s central setting. Drawing on extensive research into Europe’s grand hotels, which included a deep dive into the unique fin de siècle scenes on display in the Library of Congress’s collection of souvenir “photocrom” prints, Stockhausen eventually settled on the Grandhotel Pupp—a palatial structure, dating to 1701, that overlooks the Czech town of Karlovy Vary—as the chief inspiration for the look of the Grand Budapest.

Once on location in Görlitz, Germany, the crew set up shop at a former department store, shooting much of the film, including the hotel-lobby sequences, within its walls. The time-lapse video above, taken in Görlitz, gives a glimpse of Stockhausen’s Oscar-winning designs being brought to glorious life, as the Grand Budapest Hotel’s foyer is transformed from its faded glory in one of the film’s timelines (the 1960s) to its peak opulence in another (the 1930s).