Crazy Rich Asians: Is Calthorpe Hotel a Real Hotel in London?

Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy filmCrazy Rich Asians‘ begins with Eleanor Young, Nick Young’s mother, arriving at the Calthorpe Hotel amid a massive downpour in London. As Eleanor asks for her family to be put in the hotel’s Lancaster Suite, the receptionists are unwilling to comply. Frustrated, Eleanor calls her husband to sort out the issue while the impolite manager tries to usher her out the door. Soon, Lord Calthorpe, the hotel owner, appears and ensures Eleanor and her family have easy passage into the hotel’s living quarters. There, Calthorpe reveals his intention to sell his ancestral hotel to the Young family. The purchase of the London hotel sets up the Asian family’s status and power among the elite, which incites further inquiry into the reality behind the Calthorpe!

Calthorpe Hotel is Fictional

The Calthorpe Hotel in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is fictional. The film opens with a scene at the hotel to introduce the Young family and convey to the viewers how wealthy and powerful they are. When Eleanor walks in, the receptionist judges the Asian family through the prism of stereotypes, believing that they don’t deserve to reside in one of the most luxurious suites in the establishment. Even the hotel manager’s response is rude and dismissive toward Eleanor, as he is unwilling to let her use the hotel’s phone to call her husband. Amid the wet weather outside, Eleanor calls him from the nearby telephone booth while being drenched by the rain. The entire sequence displays the belittling of the Young family by the hotel staff, which sets up the revelation that they are its next proprietors and hold immense influence in prominent circles.

While the Calthorpe is fictional, a hotel with a similar name does exist in London, England, which is the Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington. The hotel is close to the Kensington High Street Shopping District and is equipped with executive suites, like the Lancaster in the Calthorpe, for their high-end guests. Built in 1973, the hotel is located near the National History Museum and the Kensington Palace. However, Copthorne differs from the hotel in the romantic comedy because the Calthorpe is an ancestral establishment held by Lord Calthorpe and his family for ages. That isn’t the case with the Copthorne Tara Kensington, which is owned by a real estate group named Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.


‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was filmed in Singapore and Malaysia. The production team shot the scenes set in the fictional Calthorpe at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. The colonial-style building is located at 10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, in Penang, Malaysia. It is an old establishment that was founded in 1885 and, as such, holds the ambiance and weight of Lord Calthorpe’s ancestral hotel in London. Over the years, the hotel has had significant expansion works, which have led to its growth and constant appraisal by guests. Because it also boasts a heritage of British architecture, it seamlessly mirrors the London hotel’s aesthetic. Although Eastern & Oriental Hotel stands in for the Calthorpe in the film, the latter’s existence remains confined to fiction.

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