It is a sad truth that one of the most famous houses in moviedom doesn’t actually exist. Unfortunately – and to the chagrin of viewers everywhere – the charming cottage belonging to Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) in “The Holiday” was just a façade constructed by filmmakers on an empty lot in Shere, England. But there is good news for fans of the 2006 Christmas classic! As unbelievably picture-perfect as it may have seemed, the sprawling mansion successful movie trailer producer Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) called home is, in fact, real!
For those who have yet to watch the Nancy Meyers-directed flick (if there are any of you out there!), the heartwarming tale sees two unlucky-in-love young women, London-based Iris and Los Angeleno Amanda, trading houses for two weeks at Christmastime. The respective residences at the center of the story are about as opposite as the women themselves. Simpkins’ cottage is tiny, cozy and inviting, while Amanda’s mansion is massive, modern and sleek. But thanks to production designer Jon Hutman, a frequent Meyers collaborator, both spots could not be more idyllic or envy-inducing. In fact, the residences are two of the most beloved in movie history! There’s nothing quite like a Meyers/Hutman collab when it comes to set design!
While the shell of Iris’ pad was dismantled after filming, Amanda’s mansion, purported to be in Brentwood, can still be found standing in all of its Mission Revival glory on a tree-lined street chock full of picturesque properties in the tony San Gabriel Valley city of San Marino. Located directly across the street from The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens at 1883 Orlando Rd. – a good 30 miles away from “next-door neighbor” Arthur Abbott’s (Eli Wallach) house! – it is at the gorgeous dwelling that Iris vacations and finds happiness again during a magical Christmas holiday. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not trespass or bother the residents or the property in any way.)