When I was a kid, my friend, David M. used to go to his grandparent’s hotel from time to time. In my head, it was exactly like the Overlook Hotel of Stephen King’s The Shining. In actuality, I was told, it was nothing of the kind – much more like a roadside inn – but that’s not important.
In the Shining, the Overlook Hotel stands tall as a major character in the story. It embodies other characters as well, like facets of a gemstone, but all bound together as the one greater presence. The inspiration for the Overlook came from the reputedly haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado, where King did much of the writing for his book.
The outside footage used in the film actually comes from another hotel, The Timberline Lodge. I can’t say that I really know why they chose the Timberline. Perhaps it just worked better for the snowfall required to jump out of the bathroom window…?
Interiors were a different story altogether. Although Kubrick liked the Ahwahnee Lodge interiors, he also wanted complete control of the set, so instead of using the interiors there, Kubrick had them rebuilt as a set in England. If you’d like to see the original spaces, you can get a bargain : Rooms at the Ahwahnee start at jet $471 / night.
In Twin Peaks, the story also takes place in a hotel – although this one is certainly not a character in its own right, the way the Overlook is. Twin Peaks is served, instead, by the Great Northern Hotel, where Agent Cooper stays during the investigation. It is the place where he meets Audrey Horne, the Giant, and many other characters. Unfortunately for Cooper, it is also where he is shot.
Like The Shining, the exterior and interior of the hotels were completely different. For the Exterior, the historic Snoqualmie Falls Lodge (now the Salish Lodge). The interior shots were all done in the Kiana Lodge, resulting in odd visiting experiences to each place for Twin Peaks Fans.