Imagine watching a classic movie whilst the stars shine above and the seas lap upon the shores nearby…
If this thought appeals to you, then we’ve thought of several destinations that might just jump to the top of your travel bucket list.
We’ve selected eight of our favourite al fresco screens that we believe are the most bucket-list-worthy (plus an extra recommendation for film buffs at the end).
We’ve also added in some suggested viewing, with a film for each cinema so you can learn more about each destination’s history, culture… or simply get in the mood to watch a movie.
Our favourite cinematic resorts are:
- Soneva Fushi, Maldives
- Soneva Kiri, Thailand
- Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
- Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, Mexico
- Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
- St Nicholas Bay, Crete
- Sugar Beach, St Lucia
- Soneva Jani, Maldives
Cinema Paradiso at Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Located at Soneva Fushi, Cinema Paradiso offers guests an exceptional outdoor cinema. Indulge yourself as you lounge under the stars and experience old-time classic movies. You can even enjoy complimentary popcorn and chilled cocktails on request. Perfect for foodies, Soneva Fushi also offers a chef-crafted menu during cinema screenings, so you can treat yourself to the best comfort food the Maldives has to offer!
Film Inspiration: The Island President – this 2011 documentary outlines the challenges and actions that the then President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed took on to tackle the effects of climate change on the Maldives.
Soneva Kiri’s Cinema Paradiso, Thailand
One of the best outdoor cinemas Thailand has to offer is Cinema Paradiso in Soneva Kiri. Reserve your place here to bask in incredible scenery: the open-air auditorium is perfectly nestled amongst a beautiful Thai jungle. Enjoy delicious hot buttered popcorn and perhaps indulge in the luxurious cocktail service as you settle in to watch your movie whilst admiring the starry sky.
Film Inspiration: Cinema Paradiso – This cinema’s namesake won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990 and follows a filmmaker as he recalls falling in love with cinema as a child.
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Boasting all-villa accommodation, a beautiful spa and private pools this Oman resort is the peak of luxury. With all of this grandeur, you might be wondering whether watching a film is the best use of your time… trust us, you don’t want to miss the cinema here. As the summer evenings cool, settle down on lounge chairs and watch a movie surrounded by the most calming and luxurious ambience. And if you get hungry, there is always decadent ice cream, cooling drinks and, of course, plenty of popcorn on hand.
Film Inspiration: Operation Oman – This documentary outlines the Dhofar Rebellion and Britain’s role in that war. It’s a good starting point to understand the recent history of Oman. It will certainly make you appreciate the luxury that now exists.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso
Las Ventanas al Paraíso’s deluxe outdoor Beach Cinema truly represents how stunning Mexico is. This fantastic cinematic experience is accompanied by breathtaking views, private dinners and the serene sound of the ocean just a short distance behind the screen. Guests can sit back and relax as they indulge in the comfort of the resort’s lounges whilst being served refreshing beverages and delightful food by a private butler… truly an unforgettable experience.
Film Inspiration: Frida – An immersive biopic of Frido Kahlo starring Salma Hayek that will make you want to delve further into her life and work.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Located in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, it’s no surprise that the spectacular Kasbah Tamadot features on countless bucket lists. The luxe hotel provides remarkable mountain views and amazing entertainment facilities to suit any type of guest!
Twice a week the Kasbah Tamadot team organises Moroccan-themed movie nights in the hotel’s outdoor cinema. The beautiful facility overlooks the pool and provides guests with ultimate comfort, complete with plush seating and wireless earphones for the best sound experience possible.
Film Inspiration: Casablanca – Could we have picked anything else? Of all the outdoor cinemas in all the hotels in all the world… you should definitely try this one.
St Nicholas Bay, Crete
If you want an open-air cinema that is only a short flight away, then look no further than the one at this lovely boutique hotel in Crete. As well as a plethora of other activities for the active and the cultured alike, the open-air cinema here provides an opportunity to unwind as the sun sets and take in a classic piece of cinema with a refreshing beverage in hand.
Film Inspiration: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – whilst actually being set on Kefalonia, this is still a good introduction to the beauty of Greece and its recent history, with an added sprinkling of romance.
Sugar Beach, St Lucia
This Viceroy resort provides ample opportunities to relax and unwind. This classic St Lucian resort has tennis courts, fitness classes, yoga and a spa that helps you to switch off. But to add to this there is also the delights of an outdoor cinema. Once a week, beanbags and popcorn are provided whilst you enjoy classic films with the Pitons in the background. Don’t worry if it rains, the hotel will even provide umbrellas.
Film Inspiration: Doctor Dolittle – The 1967 version of this classic tale had scenes in Marigot Bay. Now a nearby resort, the Marigot Bay hotel has Dolittle’s Restaurant and the Pink Snail Champagne Bar in honour of this film.
Soneva Jani, Maldives
It seems that everywhere you look in the Maldives you’ll find outstanding views and incredible hotels (many with cinemas). But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the outstanding cinema from this resort. The sister resort of Soneva Fushi comprises five islands on a 5.6-kilometre private lagoon. It epitomises the natural beauty that exists in the Maldives and the opulence that these hotels provide. Nowhere is this better encapsulated than the outdoor cinema. Set into the lagoon with nothing but the stars for company, you’ll be able to watch classic films in utter luxury here. With complimentary ice cream and popcorn to boot, you’ll want to go back again and again.
Insider Tip: You can even upgrade the experience by booking a private viewing with private chefs. Ideal for that romantic anniversary date night or honeymoon!
Okay, so there isn’t an outdoor cinema here but if you are a real film buff you shouldn’t miss out on this resort. The iconic name is not a coincidence; originally owned by author Ian Fleming, this is the birthplace of James Bond. All 13 of his 007 books were written at Goldeneye, and three were actually set in Jamaica. So a trip here will really place you in the middle of cinema history.
As you can see, across the world there are outstanding hotels with outdoor cinemas to wow you.
If you’re looking for a beach view, then you can’t go wrong with Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. Moreover, Soneva Kiri’s Cinema Paradiso and Sugar Beach in St Lucia invites you to watch a classic with a jungle backdrop.
Plus, of course, there are plenty more besides. Film buffs can jet off on a globetrotting tour and still not miss out on any viewing time.
So, grab some popcorn, get a drink and relax!