Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Beverly Hills Hotel

USA

An icon of movie-star glamour on Sunset Boulevard

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Beverly Hills Hotel
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Beverly Hills Hotel

Location

Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Studios

Travel Information

Los Angeles International Airport - 30 mins

Top Tips

Have lunch in the hotel's famous Polo Lounge, a favourite eaterie of the Hollywood elite

5-Star X-Factors

23 beautiful, one-of-a-kind suite bungalows

Stars in their eyes

There's no other red carpet I enjoy walking down more than the one towards the entrance to the Beverly Hills Hotel. From the moment you stand on it, you are surrounded by smiling staff, sophisticated splendour and true Hollywood history. It is Beverly Hills at its best elegant, distinguished, and with banana leaves mixed amongst the palms in a balmy December, it's undeniably Southern California.

Being born and raised in Beverly Hills myself, I grew up knowing this hotel as one of the city's most important arteries. Since its creation in 1912, it is where all the glamorous players from the silver screen stage their legendary party scenes.

From martinis in the infamous Polo Lounge, dinner parties outside on the restaurant's fairy-lit terrace, to weddings in the luscious gardens and ballrooms or an exclusive gathering in one of cosy, private bungalows, it remains one of the places to be and be seen in Hollywood.

The Beverly Hills Hotel is wonderfully located just above Sunset Boulevard in one of the most exclusive areas of Beverly Hills a walk around the block will have you in awe at the real estate it surrounds. Everyone who visits LA will need a car, so with that in mind, the hotel is very centrally located to many shopping districts, restaurants and even tourist attractions like Universal Studios, Malibu Beach, mountain hikes and with a little effort, Disneyland.

If you are the luxe traveller who enjoys a walk before lunch, the shops of Rodeo Drive are less than a mile away down a tree-lined residential street, where each house is more spectacular than the next.  Restaurant-wise, the choices are endless: Nate 'n Al for an authentic Jewish deli experience where the waitresses are outspoken and all-knowing at the average age of 70; Woolfgang Puck's CUT for a glorious slice of beef; or an Italian chopped salad at the local's favourite La Scala.

Going poolside 

LA is a city that pleases all ages and all agendas, and if it's luxury with a bit of healthy regime mixed in, there is every kind of exercise you can think of on offer, and a class to go with it. The hotel provides a gym for your convenience as well.

For those looking to just relax, look no further than spending your day at the palm tree-lined, Olympic-sized pool at the hotel. The lounge chairs are extremely comfortable and the pool assistants are not only completely helpful but also lovely to look at.

There is casual dining at the Cabana Café, the hotel's Spa by La Prairie offers "off the chart treatments and pampering" in poolside cabanas and the music is played underwater, seriously, to help those laps go by. They have truly perfected the experience of feeling a million miles away from chaos.

I found myself not wanting to move as I topped up my winter tan effortlessly, sipping an Arnold Palmer (mixture of ice tea and lemonade) and I even had the fun of having front row seats watching a glamorous celebrity on a lounge nearby. The staff told me that a lot of celebrities find the hotel just the haven they are looking for away from the cameras...and the onlookers...oops.

One of a kind

Later I walked around the gardens and saw several of their 21 one-of-a-kind bungalows and various suites. All rooms are designed to feel spacious, timeless and comfortably elegant and the bungalows, which are located in the gardens, are like individual homes, each with their own entrance. The hotel uses its landmark colours of greens, pinks, apricots and yellows throughout.

Bungalow 5 is the Presidential Bungalow offering four bedrooms and a private lap pool. Many of the bungalows have interesting Hollywood histories: Liz Taylor honeymooned with six of her eight husbands here; Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, among many others, frequently bunked in the bungalows, whilst Howard Hughes simply took up residence off and on for 30 years.

The suites of special interest in the main hotel building are the Sunset Suite which has a baby grand piano and 2,000 square foot balcony; the historic Paul Williams (the hotel's architect in 1949) Suite, recently restored to its former elegance, and the 2,500 square foot Presidential Suite, with its adjoining commercially equipped kitchen, personal 24-hour chef and butler, Jacuzzi bath, separate his and her's showers and treadmill.

I stayed in a Grand Deluxe Suite and I must say that all the suites are beautiful, although I would spend the extra money getting a nice balcony with lounge chairs as the weather does provide a reason to use it.

Polo pleasures

I had an equally fulfilling time in the evening, drinking and eating in the Polo Lounge. Again, the staff were warm and efficient and the 'people watching' was pure entertainment. Jazz wafted throughout and everyone from the celebrity in dark glasses, to the very stylish socialite, to the rap artist wearing his pink pyjamas under his snakeskin coat was at the bar.

Two elderly men took the corner booth, as they probably have done so for the last 50 years, eating the famous Polo Lounge hamburgers. I only left because after two vodka mojitos, which were excellent by the way, one's only choice is bed or embarrassment. Luckily I chose well.

Jennifer Hamm
Jennifer Hamm


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer

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