Christian Stan, at 18 Jun. 19, in News

“We needed something grand and elegant and iconic and we needed that Miami modern look as well… Fontainebleau® was exactly the palette we were looking for — it represented glamour, sophistication and elegance and it still carries on today”, said Eva Longoria.

Following in the footsteps of the films The Bodyguard, Goldfinger, and Scarface, Grand Hotel is a new ABC TV drama which premiered on June 17. The drama is based on the Spanish telenovela series Gran Hotel set in Spain in the early 1900s, described by many as a “Spanish Downton Abbey.” Executive produced by Eva Longoria, the filming of the pilot episode took place here at Fontainebleau® over the course of three weeks last March. “I was obsessed with the Spanish one,” Longoria said. “I thought it was so good. I wanted to make this in English.”

Longoria’s version takes place in contemporary Miami Beach at the fictional “Grand Riviera Hotel.”

The story is based on the last family-owned hotel in Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.

Creator Brian Tanen, who grew up in South Florida, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he pictured the Fontainebleau hotel when he was writing the Grand Hotel script.
“When we did our location scout in Miami to see where we could actually film and the Fontainebleau was available, we were over-the-moon excited. It is exactly the place that we imagined it,” he told the paper.
The first episode features the Fontainebleau’s iconic lobby and grounds — as well as its pools and beach. But while the real-life building will appear in exterior shots, production on the series takes place in Los Angeles, where crew constructed smaller-scale reproductions of the Fontainebleau on sets.
“We built on a sound stage basically four stories of this hotel just in the middle of Los Angeles in Manhattan Beach so that lobby that you see, the iconic Fontainebleau lobby, we recreated on a stage,” Tanen told the Sun Sentinel.

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