By Briana Seftel
“What exactly do you do?”
“Oh, I travel...a sort of licensed troubleshooter.”
Ever since the publication of Ian Fleming’s first novel in 1953, James Bond has amassed countless fans for his witty one-liners, sharp suits, and shaken martinis. Bond movies have only widened this adoration; the exotic locations and luxury hotels are like virtual travel and a feast for the eyes.
If you’re a fan of Mr. Bond, a novel vacation idea is to travel to some of the locations featured in the movies! You only live once! (or twice if you're asking Mr. Bond)
1. James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan) • Thailand
From: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Ever since it was used as a hideout for Bond's antagonist Francisco Scaramanga in “The Man with the Golden Gun,” this remote island northeast of Phuket has attracted Bond fans across the world. Like in the movie, the scenery is spectacular – a number of steep limestone cliffs vertically jut out of the emerald-green water. The spot has become so well-known that locals refer to it as “James Bond Island” rather than its original name.
From: Dr. No (1962)
“Welcome to Jamaica, Mr. Bond.” That iconic line was said in the first Bond feature film “Dr. No” starring Sean Connery. In the film, Bond travels to Jamaica to solve the murder of a fellow agent and meets Honey Ryder. Ian Fleming had a long love affair with Jamaica, where he wrote all his Bond novels and spent the last years of his life. If you’re willing to shell out some major bucks, you can stay at Fleming’s former home turned luxe resort in Oracabessa Bay, Goldeneye.
3. SIS/MI6 Headquarters • London, England
From: GoldenEye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015)
Completed in 1994, the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service (also known as the MI6 Building) in London can be seen in most recent Bond films beginning with Pierce Brosnan’s GoldenEye. While you can’t go inside to visit M, Moneypenny and Q, you’ll be able to get great views of the building from the Vauxhall Bridge on the River Thames.
4. Karlovy Vary • Czech Republic
From: Casino Royale (2006)
The Czech spa town Karlovy Vary was one of the settings in Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond in "Casino Royale." Doubling for Montenegro, Karlovy Vary lives up to the hype when it comes to luxury. Head to the 228-room 5-star Grandhotel Pupp, where Bond plays in a high-stakes poker game and has dinner with the enigmatic Vesper Lynd.
5. Glencoe • Scotland
From: Skyfall (2012)
The village in the Scottish Highlands is the birthplace of Bond’s father Andrew in Fleming’s novels and was used as the setting for Bond’s childhood home in “Skyfall.” Arguably Scotland’s most famous and scenic glen, Glencoe is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery and deep valleys. Harry Potter fans will recognize Glencoe from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
6. French Quarter • New Orleans, Louisiana
From: Live and Let Die (1973)
In one of the most iconic scenes in a Bond film, Bond watches a traditional New Orleans-style funeral procession in the French Quarter only to discover that the procession is for a soon-to-be assassinated victim. New Orleans and the swampy Louisiana Bayou played important roles in the first Bond film starring Roger Moore.
7. Piz Gloria • Schilthorn, Switzerland
From: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
You can wine and dine at the legendary Piz Gloria restaurant in Schilthorn, the setting for the dramatic showdown between Blofeld and Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Location scouts discovered Piz Gloria in the midst of its construction and wound up financing the completion of the restaurant to use for filming. You can order a martini – shaken, not stirred – at the James Bond Bar and admire the stunning views of the snowy Bernese Alps from the restaurant’s 360 rotating view.