James Bond Was Born Here
Estoril and James Bond
The English writer, Ian Fleming, also a journalist and a British Naval Intelligence Officer, is the author of the James Bond character, created in his first book, “Casino Royale”(1953), inspired by the spies, also Estoril Palácio Hotel guests, where Fleming was staying at the time of the World War II.
Afterwards,in the course of 1968, the Hotel was an exceptional scenario for the sixth film of James Bond saga, named “On Her Majesty´s Secret Service”, which had, as protagonists, the Australian actor, George Lazenby – the second agent of James Bond saga, after Sean Connery – and the English actress, Diana Rigg.
The exterior of the Hotel, the lobby, the pool and the rooms’ view, are an integral part of many of the scenes of the film that was released in 1969. At the time, the pool had been recently built. Other locations in Portugal, as the Guincho Beach, Lisbon and the Arrábida Mountain, were selected for some of the scenarios of that feature film.
In the movie, one can see the entrance of the Hotel – both the exterior facade and the lobby – which remains without any major changes, and the pool, framed in the garden and very recently upgraded, although with the same design.
José Diogo, still today one of the Heads of the Concierge Desk, did participate in the film when he was 18 years old. You can see him in a few scenes of the movie, handing the room key to James Bond agent.
Watch the BBC Documentary