A good Bond movie requires class amidst all the action. An Aston Martin? Check. Expensive watch? Check. A slick suit? Check. Exotic locales? Check. The basic formula hasn’t changed since the Connery years, and it isn’t stopping with Daniel Craig.
Naturally, the latest Bond has had his fair share of travel, from Madagascar to Montenegro and everywhere in between. But while each destination is worthy of exploration, it would require an MI6 expense account to visit each one in the level of luxury and style 007 is used to. Given the choice of only a few, these six are the best spots in the Daniel Craig Bond universe for living it up like a “double 0” agent.
Bond at His Most Lavish
In pursuit of Alex Dimitrios, an associate of Casino Roylae main villain Le Chiffre, Bond heads to Nassau, Bahamas. He drives a considerably under-the-radar Ford Mondeo to his hotel, the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island (Connery’s Bond also visited Paradise Island in Thunderball). There Bond enjoys a dip in the ocean and faces off against Dimitrios in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, winning his Aston Martin DB5, a considerable trade-up from the Ford.
Karlov Vary, Czech Republic
Most of Casino Royale takes place in the small sovereign state of Montenegro at the fictional Hotel Splendide, where Bond faces off in a high-stakes game of Texas Hold ‘Em with Le Chiffre. In real life, it is the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. While it isn’t Montenegro, Karlov Vary is a small, beautiful spa town that’s more than suitable for anyone aspiring to agent status. If you think your poker face is as good as Bond’s, the Grandhotel Pupp does have a casino, and we’re willing to bet they’ll make you a “Vesper,” the drink he orders in the film.
Quantum of Solace
Secret Agent in the Sun
Quantum of Solace starts where Casino Royale left off, with Bond driving through Italy en route towards Sienna in an Aston Martin DBS after having captured Mr. White at his Lake Como Villa (actually Villa la Gaeta). When he gets there, he chases a double agent through the city during the Palio di Siena. If you want to visit a truly magnificent Italian location from the film, make it the Torre di Talamonaccio, a restored Medieval tower which acts as the Tuscan home for Bond’s friend René Mathis.
La Paz, Bolivia
Bond and Mathis eventually fly to La Paz, Bolivia where they are met by MI6 agent Strawberry Fields. Fields wants to take Bond back to London, but in the meantime, she looks to wait things out in a dingy hotel in La Paz. Naturally, the place doesn’t sit too well with Bond, and he insists on staying at the Gran Andean Hotel. Since the “Gran Andean” was actually shot at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura in Panama City, if you’re heading to La Paz and demand equally swanky accommodations, you should try the Casa Grande Hotel.
Keep a Low Profile
The opening scene of Skyfall sees Bond and Eve Moneypenny chasing down a stolen hard drive through the streets of Istanbul, through Eminonu Square and eventually on the rooftop of the Grand Bazaar. When Moneypenny accidentally shoots Bond, he’s presumed dead and takes it as an opportunity to have an unofficial sabbatical. He heads 300 miles south to the coastal town of Fethiye. You won’t be able to stay at his beachfront digs or drink at the same bar where he plays the scorpion drinking game, but you can visit Koca Calis Beach, where they filmed those scenes, and stay at the nearby Yacht Classic Hotel, where Daniel Craig stayed during filming.
To lay a trap for Skyfall villain Silva, Bond takes M to his childhood estate in the highlands of Scotland, near Glencoe. The estate that gets obliterated in the film was, of course, a set, but if you’re jones-ing for a weekend in the Scottish Highlands in a similarly classy estate (minus the violent showdown), the Glencoe House is a great home away from home. Along the way stop to admire the views of Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag just like Bond does in the film, though likely in something a little less extravagant than a vintage Aston Martin laden with machine guns and an ejector seat.