Charlotte Foster

Travel Tips

Inside the eerie hotel that’s like being inside Squid Game

Inside the eerie hotel that’s like being inside Squid Game

If you’re one of the 111 million people who have watched the popular Korean Netflix thriller Squid Game, you will probably have the brightly coloured set memorised. 

While many international fans of the show are finding their own ways to pay homage to the show, some are turning their attention to the architectural feats of the set. 

Eagle-eyed fans have discovered the likeness between key set pieces of the dystopian world to a very real hotel on the cliffs of Spain’s east coast. 

Designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, the La Muralla Roja hotel was built back in the 1960s to overlook the Mediterranean Sea. 

Located five hours east of Madrid, travellers can get their own taste for the Squid Game experience (without the possibility of death or winning millions of dollars) for as little as $395 a night. 

La Muralla Roja translates to “The Red Wall” in English, and it's easy to find the comparisons between the picturesque hotel and the haunting set of Squid Game. 

Both the hotel and the Netflix set feature mazes of colourful staircases that show a striking juxtaposition between the gentleness of the Spanish coast and the terrifying fate of those in Squid Game

A central staircase in La Muralla Roja. Image credit: Ricardo Bofill

A key set from Squid Game. Image credit: Netflix

La Muralla Roja appears like a fortress on the edge of the Spanish region of Calpe, with its bright coloured walls surrounding the peaceful courtyards.

Architectural photographer Sebastian Weiss photographed the estate in 2019 on his travels to Spain. 

“I think the remarkable aspects are the enormous geometrical reduction, the radical simplicity and visual severity of the building, considering the growing mass tourism on the Spanish coast at that time – it was completed in 1973,” Mr Weiss said.

“It kind of represents a fortress, which seals itself off from the public and in which the inner courtyards and lanes resemble the confusing layouts of the old souks of north Africa."

At the time of his visit, Mr Weiss said the estate felt like moving through the “set of a movie production” and had the feel of a high-concept thriller, which is what Squid Game has come to represent.

Image credits: Ricardo Bofill

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