As set-jetting becomes a travel trend, Navigator takes a look at the top on-location destinations working their way into our travel plans.
The term “set-jetting” is now listed in the Collins English Dictionary, where it is described as “the practice of visiting places used as locations in feature films.” And it’s not just film settings that are tempting viewers to visit; it seems that television has taken over from Instagram as a key travel influencer as travelers are increasingly inspired by their favorite shows.
According to Netflix, 70 percent of programs viewed on the streaming channel were filmed in a foreign setting, many of which were in some of our favorite vacation hot spots. The halo effect of hit shows has turned many of these stunning filming locations into exciting holiday destinations. From Paris to Sicily, Rome to Montana, take inspiration and add a touch of set-jetting to your travel plans.
The sun-drenched filming location of Sicily served as the backdrop for the second season of The White Lotus. Transporting us to the charming Sicilian resort town of Taormina, the hit series shows off the glamor of the Italian island, putting it high on our travel wish list. The majority of the show is set in the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace. Spend a few nights here, visiting the scene-stealing baroque town of Noto, the beach at Cefalù, and Sicily’s capital, Palermo.
Bask in old-world grandeur at the landmark Four Seasons San Domenico Palace. Perched on a clifftop along Sicily’s east coast, the former 14th-century convent boasts spectacular views across Mount Etna, Taormina Bay and the Ionian Sea below. Contemporary chic interiors complement timeless architectural relics, complete with impeccable service and a diverse selection of dining options.
One of the most popular series of 2022, Yellowstone has put the aesthetically perfect state of Montana firmly on the tourist map. Follow in the saddle of the show’s Dutton family and immerse yourself in the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park – America’s first and largest national park. From breathtaking river canyons to mountains, forests and great plains, Yellowstone is home to some of the country’s most notorious wildlife, including wolves, bears and bison. It is a must-visit destination for every outdoor lover’s bucket list.
Located on the banks of the Yellowstone River, just half an hour from Yellowstone National Park, Sage Lodge offers an authentic Yellowstone experience. Spend the day fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding or any other ranch endeavor. Reward your efforts with a sundowner by a firepit overlooking the beautiful Yellowstone River and Paradise Valley or treat yourself at the spa before dinner at The Grill. Retire to your private ranch house with four guest rooms or stay in one of the rooms and suites in the main lodge.
Some locations around the world instantly bring to mind iconic moments on screen. James Bond has been to most, but one that stands out for its stunning backdrop is Lake Como. In Casino Royale, we see Daniel Craig visiting Lake Como’s western shore while the glamorous lake also features in Ocean’s 12, but it is the HBO series Succession that brings Italy back to the top of set-jetting lists. The Waystar RoyCo crew head to Tuscany for the last few episodes of the third season, where Roy takes over an estate near the medieval city of Siena. No stranger to the big screen, Siena’s central piazza, Piazza del Campo, is also featured in Bond’s Quantum of Solace. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by stunning estates, including Villa Cetinale, which served as the backdrop to film matriarch Caroline’s wedding. The shores of Lake Como also make an appearance as Roy and Roman cruise across the water to a lakeside villa. Rumors have it that the Norwegian fjords are destined to be the next set-jetting destination after starring in the new season of Succession.
Built on the ruins of a 10th-century castle, Castello di Casole has been restored to a boutique hotel west of Siena. Sitting in the middle of a 4,200-acre wine estate, the imposing property features the hotel’s suites, while the surrounding estate buildings provide further accommodation. A large infinity pool offers what must be one of the most spectacular settings for sunset views over the stunning Tuscan countryside, framed by lines of cypress trees. A cocktail bar, restaurant and spa complete the picture. The latter is situated under the barrelvaulted ceilings and offers vino treatments that are inspired by the surroundings.
Lake Como recently welcomed a new property to its shores in the form of a restored private villa. A showcase of Italian artisanship, the villa’s twelve suites feature original frescoes and carved ceilings, restored floors, stucco and priceless art. A further eight suites are housed in transformed stables and a four-suite property sits right by the lake. With its amber façade and sage shutters, the property is a stunning backdrop to the hotel’s swimming pool and seven acres of manicured, terraced gardens. A 200-year-old greenhouse provides refreshments for the pool area, while the restaurant serves traditional Italian dishes in a relaxed setting.
The BAFTA-winning thriller Killing Eve, now in its fourth season, has featured many of Europe’s finest cities. From Barcelona and Amsterdam to Paris and Rome, the scenestealing properties are as grand and grandiose as the main character, Villanelle, herself. One of the most iconic Killing Eve locations is Paris’ Place Vendôme in the 1st arrondissement. The city’s most famous and beautiful neoclassical square is the perfect spot for an afternoon spent browsing the prestigious jewelry stores and designer boutiques, including Dior, Chanel and Cartier. In Season 2, Villanelle takes in the beautiful canals and coffee houses of Amsterdam. Stroll the canals, rent a bike and cycle to the Rijksmuseum for an afternoon of culture filled with Rembrandts and Vermeers. Ancient Rome also plays host to a number of Killing Eve filming locations. The pink facades and cobblestone streets of the Italian capital provide the perfect dramatic backdrop with their Roman ruins. Follow in the footsteps of Villanelle and wander around Rome’s Regola district – the twisted medieval alleyways are the perfect place to find yourself by getting lost in the crowd.
The quintessentially Parisian Le Bristol is one of the greatest grand dame hotels in the French capital. Located close to the Élysée Palace, the property – which was originally built in 1925 – recently underwent a top-to-toe facelift that leaves it with a classic and conservative style that is warm and welcoming without being too prim. A number of the stunning rooms overlook the property’s enclosed garden, Le Jardin Français, where guests can relax just steps away from the bustling streets. The hotel’s La Prairie spa opens onto another interior garden and features eight treatment rooms, while the rooftop pool and outdoor sundeck is located on the hotel’s 6th floor. Here, guests can relax with views over Paris’ iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. As for the gourmands, Le Bristol hosts four Michelin stars under one roof, including the three-star fine dining restaurant Epicure and the one-star 114 Faubourg.
Located in the heart of Rome’s Old City, between the Villa Borghese Gardens and Via Veneto, Hotel Eden is housed in a renovated 19th-century property. Part of the Dorchester Collection, the décor combines a modern style with historic touches. Frescoes, sculpted marble and original artworks can be found throughout the 98-room property. The latter are sumptuous – especially the Bellavista Penthouse Suite, which provides superb views over the city from its wall of windows. The Michelin-starred La Terrazza is complemented by the less formal Il Giardino Ristorante, while a rooftop bar provides the perfect setting for a sundowner.