James Bond Have You Inspired? Travel Here Now
Itching for an adventurous getaway worthy of an Oscar? We're spying on these film-famous destinations for a James Bond-inspired vacation.
James Bond is back at it again with his globetrotting spy adventures in the highly anticipated blockbuster, No Time to Die. And just as Bond was coaxed from his peaceful seclusion at home to return to active service to save a kidnapped scientist and to battle a powerful adversary, so are we invited to embark on adventures around the world once more—though maybe involving fewer battle scenes and more beaches instead.
The Bond films are notorious for being shot around the world in exotic locales and newly-bustling cities. And though the adrenaline-fueled storylines have us hooked, the pictured destinations left a significant impression—travel inspiration for getaways to far-flung locales full of culture and glamour.
Pour a martini—shaken, not stirred. Here are a few bucket list vacation spots to visit now if it is an adventure (and yes, some relaxation) you seek.
TAJ 51 BUCKINGHAM GATE | LONDON
Rich history meets modern times in the city of London. Filled with landmarks from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to ancient castles and the iconic Eye, there’s no shortage of sights to see—and streets to shop. Grab a pint at a local pub to share the tales of your day. Be sure to pass by Hammersmith Bridge, which makes an appearance in the new film, and wander past Bond’s flat at 1 Stanley Gardens in West London’s Notting Hill.
So where to stay? The Club's two-bedroom luxury suites at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate in London are spacious, especially by European standards. A staff of trained butlers are at the ready to deliver valet service for a quick getaway car and freshly-ironed newspapers arrive daily—because Bond always needs to be in the know. After an exciting day, dine on Southwest coastal Indian cuisine at Michelin-starred Quilon, and unwind with a massage at Taj's award-winning Jiva Spa.
MASSERIA L’OLIVO | PUGLIA
A highly-coveted beach destination and still largely tourist-free, Puglia is where Italians go to get away. Lounge on the beaches or discover 800-year-old churches and ancient ruins from Greek and Roman colonizations. Bond makes a daring leap off the 17th century bridge, Ponte dell’Acquedotto of Gravina, a highlight of the No Time to Die trailer.
Centered around two courtyards and a luxurious private pool, traditional-made-modern villa Masseria L’Olivo is worthy of a Bond villain. Uncork a bottle of wine, drizzle local olive oil on fresh bread, and hide out between sightseeing and beach lounging. If you dare entertain, large living and dining areas—plus five bedrooms—mean space for everyone.
VILLA PENDIO | LAKE COMO
Set in the shadow of the Alps, Lake Como—with its pure blue water and colorful waterfront mansions—seems straight out of a fairytale. Its surrounding towns have become a warm-weather playground for the rich and famous. It also makes a star-studded appearance in many films, including the 2016 Bond flick Casino Royale.
Live your own fairytale at this luxury international vacation hotspot. Located on the hilly "Gold Coast" town of Argegno on the western shores, five-bedroom Villa Pendio is blessed with breathtaking lake views. The sunroom is the perfect spot for an apertivo, or opt to sip Italian wines from your cellar in the garden, on the lake-view terrace, or by the private pool.
BAHA MAR | NASSAU
Casino Royale famously features Bond on a tropical getaway to Nassau in The Bahamas, where he stays in a luxurious beachfront hotel. Step away from the spotlight and stay in Exclusive Resorts' private, intimate Rosewood villas, with access to private beaches and multiple pools. Baha Mar's main resort area is a short golf cart ride away, with a wellness spa, range of dining options, and grand casino where you can test your luck while sipping a martini.
Snorkel and SCUBA lovers, make a splash around the island's reefs and seascapes where underwater scenes were shot for The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and For Your Eyes Only. Advanced Bond-fan divers, be sure to explore the fascinating shipwreck where a classic underwater fight scene played out in Thunderball.
BANYAN TREE | KYOTO
This former imperial capital is the quintessential example of old-world Japan, well-preserved despite modern day comforts quietly blended in. Kyoto puts forth an air of mysticism yet charms you like a friendly geisha serving up some tea or sake. Start off with a Zazen meditation before dining on a traditional meal at a teahouse in Gion during the performance of a Maiko, a Geisha's apprentice. For the perfect day trip, throw it back to Sean Connery’s 1967 James Bond installment, You Only Live Twice, which features Bond at ninja training school at the stunning 17th century Himeji Castle—a one-hour train ride from Kyoto.
After the day’s excursions, return to the comfort of our Kyoto residence for a Japanese meal and maybe a visit to the spa. Saving the world is taxing, after all.