Shhh …. I’m having an affair. I know, so LA right? It feels so good. It feels so right. It’s like an addiction–just one more night, one more time. Then I’ll stop. I promise. Maybe if I’m careful I won’t get caught. I think I’m in love …
Stay at the Beverly Hilton to relive vintage Californian retro chic. Centrally located, driving towards Beverly Hills from LAX along Santa Monica Boulevard and there it is–for all to see. The Beverly Hilton stands out as if to say “look at me” and damn it so people should. With Beverly Hills at its front doorstep, a centrally located pool (complete with beautiful people adorning it) a huge white wall for after-dark movie screenings all you need to do is close your eyes and you’ve stepped back in time. And what a time that was.
It Started in LA rating: 5 ticks √√√√√
I’m loving discovering these Beverly Hills hotels for you. Each one so far has had its own look and feel, there truly is something on offer for everyone. I’m in love with the Beverly Hilton.
The Beverly Hilton ticks quite a few boxes as it’s a large hotel so it’s able to cater for different needs.
You think of Beverly Hills and you think Oscars, Golden Globes, celebrities and of course the Beverly Hilton. The Beverly Hilton is one of the most iconic Beverly Hills landmarks with its ode to all things vintage and 1950s. It hasn’t changed a bit. And it’s a good thing.
(OK, it has been refurbished and they’ve kept the hotel looking spic and span but they haven’t tried to recreate its essence: it’s staying very true to itself. Thank god for that!)
The first time I visited and as I walked through the lobby of the hotel I was in another world. Sure, you say it’s just another hotel but it’s the era, the events that have happened in the hotel–the same feeling you get as if you’re in the middle of a Mad Men set or on a Pam Am flight bound for Europe.
I’m looking around taking in the sights, smells and ambiance. Sneaking in the back via the carpark, I walked through the first floor and hear sounds of a woman talking; I smell smoke. I gaze down casually to find a blonde lady in her bathers smoking a cigarette surrounded by friends. It’s so 1950s LA. Careful not to stare for too long I take a step back and casually take a photo–not of anyone in particular but it was a gorgeous day and the pool is glistening in the sun.
This pool is the largest heated hotel pool in LA. Infamously Angelina Jolie jumped in fully clothes the night she won her second Golden Globe for the movie Gina. (If you were paying attention this was the subject of one of my Fact or Fiction posts.)
I’m early for my appointment so I walk through the lobby having a look around. In a matter of minutes two people ask me if I need help–clearly I look lost and they’re very attentive. I politely decline.
Actually this isn’t my first rip to the hotel. the last time I was here it was the night of the Golden Globes, one of guests to the many after-parties. There were monitors and signs pointing guests in the right direction: Weinstein; Warner-Bros/InStyle; Fox; NBC; E! I was overwhelmed then but now I’m trying to picture where it all fit. It looks nothing like it did that night.
Immediately after the last guests go home the hotel is back to its normal self ready for another “normal” day. And here I am. My first visit on a normal day.
There’s a lot to offer in terms of choice: right from a standard room to a suite to the Penthouse Collection, the Royal “wing” (or group of suites), the Presidential Suite and the Cabanas.
Previously guests have been practically every American president, and is often referred to as the “White House of the West”. Royal families have stayed here (yes more than one) and their entourages, movie stars, pop stars, business people and everyday run-of-the-mill people like me.
There are two towers: the Wilshire Tower and The Oasis. My favourite is the Cabana rooms. Tucked away nicely out the back these rooms back onto the pool.
On our staycation we scored a ground-floor room that opened up onto the pool. Glorious. It was as if we were in Palm Springs-minus the drive. I felt like I was in a cross between a drive-in and a Californian motel on Route 66 (not that I know what that looks like but it’s a look I’m going with). The cabanas have a motel feel with a hotel vibe.
Suite 100 Collection: an ode to Audrey Hepburn & the 1960s
At $1914 a night* not a detail has been skipped in the planning of this suite. I walked in and felt like I was in Darren & Samantha’s living room (you know? from Bewitched. Right. Probably a little more Audrey Hepburn then their lounge but I was definitely transported back in time).
It was the attention to detail that tickled my fancy most. You could order–via a phone of the time–room service from the room service menu in 1960 at 1960’s prices. A lot of relics had been pulled from the archives so the menu is as it was in the 60s and the drink coasters and “merchandise”.
And in the bathroom there is a Givenchy Bar”–full-size Givenchy perfumes and toiletries (word is Audrey’s favourite).
I have to say there aren’t a lot of dining choices in the hotel so mix it up by going out to dine. Hey, this is a good thing. LA has plenty of great restaurants so get out there! The breakfast buffet is pretty good and the Trader Vic’s menu was right up our alley (it was just a shame it wasn’t available at lunch when we wanted to test drive it).
I’ve fallen down in the Spa review department as I didn’t try out any of the treatments on offer despite there being some great Memorial Day specials. One I’m dying to check out (see how well it works) is the Red Carpet Ready Facial.
We had an amazing night at the Beverly Hilton. The service at the pool was fantastic and at lunch at Circa 55 we weren’t rushed through. It was busy and the vibe was good.
Stay at the Beverly Hilton if you:
- want to step back in time to the glorious 1950s
- want a hotel that has a great vibe and soul
- want to be conveniently located in Beverly Hills
- have time to hang by the pool to see and be seen
- don’t have time to go to Palm Springs but want to feel like you’re there.
I’m going to end as I have with my last two Beverly Hills Hotel reviews. I made the mistake of not appreciating LA for what it was when I first came to visit some 20 years ago (“been there, done that, never coming back”.) I know better now. Do your research before you hit LA. LA is not a modern City with all the glitz and glamour. Many say it hasn’t changed much at all. If you look closely it has. And it hasn’t. What its done is clung onto its essence: mid century vintage, crisp and cool. Once you understand that’s what LA is all about you’ll love it. I count my lucky stars I got to come back to LA–not just come back but live it.
xx It Started in LA xx
PS: Which one is your favourite to date? Any others you want me to review? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
* Price for suite effective the year of 2014, check back with the Hilton to see what they’re doing once this initiative is finished.