Updated May 13, 2014 @ 11:30 LA time
Stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel if you want to pay homage to Beverly Hills. It may not be the hotel Pretty Woman ‘debuted in’ but it’s as good as it gets. The rooms are uniquely Californian old-school glamour. Take the journey as you’re transported back in time while you walk through the elegant lobby and meander through the hallways. Then, when you dine at the Polo Lounge and/or hit the pool you’ll remember exactly why life is just so, so good.
It Started in LA rating: 3 ticks √√√ (it will go back up to five ticks when the politics are sorted out but in the meantime I mourn the gaping hole as one of my go-to places)
Can you get any more Beverly Hills than the Beverly Hills Hotel? Absolutely not. Especially because–if you’ve been paying attention to my Fact or Fiction section–the Beverly Hills Hotel was here before Beverly Hills. Here’s a link to catch you up. Next time pay attention, you might miss something.
How many hotels can you think of that people base the interior design of their house after?
And seriously what person in their right mind would style their house like a hotel? Well the answer to that question is simple: this ain’t no ordinary hotel. Timeless elegance is worth being inspired by.
Check out this bedroom transformation featuring the Martinique wallpaper (in lay terms Beverly Hills Hotel wallpaper). Who wouldn’t want a room like that? I have a few more designs to show you on my Pinterest board, always trying to value-add for my Blog (insert halo). (If you visit you’ll see Nicky Hilton’s very own homage to the Beverly Hills Hotel–jelly). Why not follow the board because I’ll keep adding to it as I come across more.
What’s not to like?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the Beverly Hills Hotel. It is something else and iconically Beverly Hills/LA. I’m not sure whether it’s the lush, 12-acre sprawling grounds in the heart of primo Beverly Hills mansions, the Palm Trees, the logo, the red carpet as you enter, the Polo Lounge, that pool or even the fact that you never know who you might happen to see.
But to me it’s how you feel when you walk in: your head lifts, your shoulders go back, your walk turns (somewhat) into a strut and into your wallet a Black American Express card automatically appears and just enough Greenbacks to be comfortable for the day without looking too Real Housewives or Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
It’s a busy hotel but not in the traditional busy hotel sense. Because essentially you have to drive to get there you don’t just go for a “sticky”. You go with purpose. That’s one of the things that makes it so alluring: You belong there.
I’m transformed in another world and for the next few hours (days if you’re staying there) you’re king of the world: top of the heap with not a care in the world.
There’s always something happening at Valet, there are people coming and going and it’s incredibly difficult to concentrate on what you’re doing because you’re too busy cranking your neck to see if it is indeed Harry Styles, Joan Collins or the Olsen twins (all of whom I’ve spotted there). Or indeed that new Blogger Gwen John (isn’t she always Instagramming pics of her being here?).
Wandering through the hallways you are taken back in time: the signature banana leaf wallpaper, the green and white stripes, the pop of pink. Vintage. Hashtag Gold. The Beverly Hills Hotel knows exactly who it is, sets its own agenda and isn’t ashamed to put itself out there. A timeless classic.
Where should you stay?
One of the reasons I thought I should provide an insider’s view into Beverly Hills hotels is because unless you’ve been there before or you know someone who can give you the inside tip you’re just booking a room. Sometimes you actually want to book more than just a room at the hotel, you want to book a particular room: you need to know your options.
The first choice is to Bungalow or not to Bungalow. Uh huh, there are 23 bungalows–standalone mini-houses–located on the grounds of the hotel. It’s separate from the main building and if those bungalows could talk … Warren Beatty lived in one for years, Marilyn Monroe had her favourite and Elizabeth Taylor had more than one or two (or even three) honeymoons here. These are an experience in themselves. There’s the Presidential Bungalow (23 & 24). Bungalow 5 has its own private pool and you can book a room within the Bungalow or book multiple rooms to book it out. And there are many other suite options to choose from in the Bungalows.
Go a Suite
It is the Beverly Hills Hotel after all so while the standard rooms are anything but standard the Suites are something else. And there are quite a few to choose from. I checked out the Rodeo Suite, still in the more traditional design but I’d “settle” for it. Don’t you love the piano?
A new level of decadence
If you want to stay within the hotel’s main building and a splurge is what you’re after (or you have a Beverly Hills budget) then why give Suite 100–The Golden Age of Hollywood Inspired by Marilyn Monroe Suite– a test drive.
Quick catch up: To celebrate/commemorate Beverly Hills 100-year anniversary five Beverly Hills hotels designed a suite to honour a decade gone by. Beverly Hills Hotel decade was the 50s saluting iconic frequent-guest Marilyn Monroe.
If you really feel like indulging and a trip back in vintage time is what you’re after you can upgrade to the Norma Jean experience. This includes (but oh so not limited to):
- Vintage car airport transfers
- Welcome amenity including Marilyn Monroe-themed gifts and a bottle of Dom Perignon
- Bottle of Chanel No. 5
- Not one but two Diamond Perfection body treatments in the hotel’s Spa by La Prairie.
At this stage Suite 100 and the additional Norma Jean experience can be booked until December 31, 2014.
Eating and drinking options:
The Polo Lounge. It goes without saying. One of the most popular dishes is the McCarthy Salad. Try to sit in a booth (inside) or the elegantly decorated patio. It’s also apparently renowned for its Mothers Day lunch.
My little secret? Don’t let me live to regret this. I love the Cabana Cafe. It’s casual, it’s great people-watching and you feel like you’re in LA. I mean really in LA. I’ve said enough already, I want to share I really do but I need to be able to get in whenever I want. I’m going to leave it to you and my Instagram account to see for yourselves. I will say this though, the subtlety of design with green and white stripe, a pop of pink, the fabulous banana leaf wallpaper and the crispness of the white is a winner for this nostalgic vintage lover. Picture perfect.
The Beverly Hills is most definitely on my top five things to do while here in LA. While I’m here I want to book a bungalow and hang out by the pool for the day (no doubt feeling extremely sub-conscious with those other hot bods around) and strut my stuff. Because I’m in the Beverly Hills Hotel. And I belong there.
Stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel if:
- you want to be transported back in an era oozing style and class–this hotel is wasted on people who don’t appreciate its look.
- you’re prepared to embrace the LA thing and drive everywhere (there are shuttles to downtown Beverly Hills and cars provided).
- you can afford it–if you’re going to do, do it properly; and enjoy it.
Don’t stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel if you’re looking for a slick, modern hotel. After all you don’t come to Beverly Hills for that.
I made the mistake of not appreciating LA for what it was when I first came to visit . I know better now. Understand what LA is all about and it will be your friend, expect something it’s not and you may as well give it a miss. Thankfully I’ve grown up now, made that rather naive mistake and fate took me back here. I count my lucky stars everyday.
Have fun and remember: Head. Up. High. Shoulders. Back. Walk.
xx It Started in LA xx
PS: Book rooms direct with the hotel, here’s a link to its website. If you’re after something specific give them a call, that way you can ask for exactly what you want and they can talk you through availability and what you need to do to achieve your desired result.
All pictures with thanks to Beverly Hills Hotel.
PPS: Unless you don’t follow the news many people including high-profile celebrities the likes of Ellen & Richard Branson are calling for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel. I’ll leave you to decide how you want to proceed but I thought I should let you know that it could affect your decision to stay. Sadly the boycott is necessary to show that we live in modern times in a global society and you can’t do things that have no regard for basic human rights. More sadly though the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, has so much money I’m not sure he cares. Nor will he miss the money. This blogger wants the hotel off the boycott list so we can all enjoy it the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed. I also strongly encourage the Sultan to get with the 21st century!