Glamorize the Good Old Days: Five Magical Destinations Inspired by the World’s Favorite Childhood Movies
To celebrate 100 years of the iconic film production company that started as an animation studio in 1923, what better way than to showcase destinations inspired by some of their most popular movies? With centennial celebrations commencing in January 2023, and 88% of global travelers wanting to embark on a nostalgic getaway in 2023,* we have delved into our more than 28 million listings in over 160,000 destinations across the globe to inspire travelers to rediscover the magic and adventure of childhood days.
Stretched across the slopes of Mount Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley, Laikipia is a wildlife haven and the destination that inspired the animated musical about a family of lions. Set in the African savanna, it tells the story of a young lion who is to succeed his father as King. The Laikipia Plateau is one of Kenya’s lesser known wildlife areas, and travelers will marvel at the idyllic wilderness and its impressive array of mammals from lions, elephants and leopards to endangered species such as the black rhino and imperial zebra. For the 63% of travelers who want to ensure that the money they spend on vacation goes back into the local community,** an intimate, small-scale safari at one of the ranches or conservancies that focus on protecting the animals is highly recommended.
Where to stay: Following an exhilarating day in the wild, bed down at the luxurious Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. Situated a short drive away from Laikipia, this historic property nestled in the Mount Kenya National Park offers majestic views overlooking the mountains. Guests can enjoy the rejuvenating spa with complimentary yoga sessions on offer daily, take in the landscape on the nine-hole manicured golf course or partake in one of the many surrounding activities on offer that will transport travelers back to childhood days from horse riding in the forest to visiting an animal orphanage farm.
Cocora Valley, Colombia
Venture through the vibrant and picturesque town of Salento to discover the lush green hills of the Cocora Valley, located in the Central Andes. This magical valley formed the backdrop to the recent movie about a multigenerational Colombian family who possess unique gifts of magic that help them serve their rural community. Travelers can explore the beauty of this magnificent hiking hub by foot, towered by the world’s tallest palm trees – the Quindío wax palm – which can grow to a staggering 197ft (60m) tall. No trip to Colombia is complete without a visit to discover its thriving coffee scene. Travelers can book a Finca El Ocaso Coffee Farm Experience to learn about the region’s world-famous coffee history and agricultural process followed by a tasting to identify the distinctive Colombian flavors.
Where to stay: The colorful Real House Salento offers a cozy home away from home feel, and comes complete with three bedrooms, a terrace, BBQ and fully equipped kitchen. This holiday home holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge due to its efforts in offering guests a more sustainable stay, including its ban on single-use plastic and abundance of green spaces. It’s also a short stop away from the enchanting Pereira's Botanical Garden where guests can learn about the flora and fauna of Colombia and delve into the 168 species of birds that grace its land. Travelers will also find the Pereira Art Museum nearby which is bustling with exhibitions, art and local film screenings for some true escapism.
The French capital of Paris is iconic for its romantic ambience, culinary excellence and architectural landmarks from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame Cathedral. This famous cathedral featured in the animated film adaptation of the French Gothic novel about the bell-ringer of Notre Dame and his epic tale of love, acceptance and what it means to be a hero. Unfortunately, the cathedral is temporarily closed and travelers are not able to go inside, but a Sightseeing Cruise with Audio Commentary along the River Seine gives an excellent view of this famous landmark and the moving story of its history. For the almost one-quarter (23%) of travelers who are keen to revisit places from their childhood that hold emotive memories,* a One-day Admission to Disneyland® Paris grants access to the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park that may spark fond memories for those who visited in their youth.
Where to stay: The 9Confidentiel is ideally situated just a stone’s throw away from the cathedral. This elegant hotel was designed by a famous French interior designer who took inspiration from the art deco movement of the twenties, and features pastel colors, marble basins and oak parquet flooring throughout. The bespoke, locally made furnishings contribute to the hotel’s Travel Sustainable ethos. Right in the heart of the historical Le Marais district, guests will enjoy movie-like views of the city, a breakfast buffet in a sumptuous tearoom and a cocktail bar serving up delightful concoctions.
The Great Barrier Reef is known as the world’s largest coral reef bursting with endless marine life and natural wonders, so it’s no surprise it was the inspiration for the smash hit animated movie about a young clownfish – an exhilarating adventure with lessons of acceptance, kindness and love. Cairns, a vibrant laid-back city in tropical Far North Queensland, is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and an ideal base to explore the wonderful wet tropics of Queensland. Perfect for adrenaline seekers, there’s an array of water activities on offer such as jet skiing, paddle boarding and wakeboarding. Travelers can opt for a Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling and Diving Trip and plunge into the crystal-clear waters to discover vivid corals and diverse marine life for themselves, just as the adventurous clownfish once did.
Where to stay: The contemporary waterfront hotel, Cairns Waterfront Luxury at Harbourlights is a blissful escape overlooking the marina, with easy access to a host of water adventures. Rooms are modern and come with a charming balcony where guests can soak up the sunrise before embarking on their adventures. The hotel holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge due to its efforts in offering guests a more sustainable stay including serving locally sourced produce in each of its four onsite restaurants.
Nestled high above sea level in the Andes Mountains are the ancient Inca ruins, one of the seven wonders of the world and believed to be the only pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact. Ancient Peruvian culture and the Incan empire inspired the animated movie about a young emperor who is transformed into a llama and tries to reclaim his throne with the help of a local. The captivating former capital of the Incan empire, Cusco, is a history lover’s haven, bursting with cultural heritage and architectural sites. Travelers can opt for a Machu Picchu Private Tour to take in the ancient ruins including the Temple of the Sun, or venture on a Rainbow Mountain Trek up Vinicunca, passing by grazing alpacas and llamas before arriving at the foothills of the mythical Mountain of Seven Colors for the ascent to the top.
Where to stay: Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel is a 16th century mansion in the heart of Cusco with easy access to Machu Picchu. The hotel is bursting with historical Peruvian charm, with dark wood interiors, hand carved decorative pieces and over 190 pieces of pre-Inca artwork dotted around. Guests can ask for a historical tour of the hotel to discover more about its captivating history, or learn how to make Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour, with a cocktail masterclass. Travelers can indulge in the royal treatment at this Travel Sustainable hotel, with the option to dine al fresco in the charming courtyard or start their morning with a sumptuous locally sourced breakfast accompanied by a harpist.
*Travel Predictions 2023 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,179 respondents across 32 countries and territories were polled (including 1014 from Argentina, 1006 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 504 from Belgium, 1009 from Brazil, 503 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1010 from Colombia, 505 from Croatia, 505 from Denmark, 1010 from France, 1001 from Germany, 500 from Hong Kong, 1005 from India, 504 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1008 from Italy, 1003 from Japan, 504 from Mexico, 502 from The Netherlands, 1007 from New Zealand, 1009 from Portugal, 507 from Singapore, 1008 from South Korea, 1001 from Spain, 505 from Sweden, 508 from Switzerland, 500 from Taiwan, 504 from Thailand, 1006 from the UK, 1009 from the US and 504 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2022.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 30,314 respondents across 32 countries and territories (1,000 from USA, 958 from Canada, 1,009 from Mexico, 1,001 from Colombia, 1,003 from Brazil, 1,017 from Argentina, 1,000 from Australia, 486 from New Zealand, 998 from Spain, 1,003 from Italy, 996 from France, 495 from Switzerland, 980 from the UK, 998 from Germany, 1,014 from the Netherlands, 991 from Belgium, 985 from Denmark, 984 from Sweden, 964 from Croatia, 976 from Russia, 1,008 from Israel, 1,002 from India, 1,004 from China, 925 from Hong Kong, 1,006 from Thailand, 988 from Singapore, 1,002 from Taiwan, 1,004 from Vietnam, 1,004 from South Korea, 1,003 from Japan, 1,006 from South Africa and 504 from Kenya ). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and must be planning to travel in 2022, and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in February 2022.