Before he became internationally recognized for his appearance in the 1990 film A pretty womanhistory Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel in California, opened in 1928 on the site of the Beverly Auto Speedway.
In the 1950s, it would become the go-to luxury hotel for celebrities, royals and the international elite. In fact, some big names like Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen loved it so much that they decided to live there.
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Tried to live there too after a short hotel stay last month. Alas, the cash team came knocking at noon.
Nearly a century after its opening, the historic hotel, which overlooks iconic Rodeo Drive, is still the favorite spot for visitors looking to stay in Beverly Hills.
Forget the lobby, rooms, pool and spa for a moment. There’s something magical about standing across the road on European-inspired Two Rodeo Drive and admiring the distinctive awnings on the front of the property. The Beverly Wilshire is not just a hotel. It’s a feeling.
It is a 30 minute drive from the airport and 20 minutes from Santa Monica beach.
But it’s for the shopping that you really come, isn’t it? The Wilshire is just meters from world famous fashion houses and one-of-a-kind boutiques.
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The hotel lobby was one of the main sources of inspiration for the whole A pretty womanwith Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
Stepping inside for the first time, it’s impossible to ignore the sparkling three-tiered chandelier and ever-changing flower arrangement below.
Don’t be surprised if you find tourists taking photos of the flowers every morning. They’re kind of iconic.
There is even a “secret staircase” located between the mezzanine and the second floor or the Wilshire wing. It was closed in the 70s when Beatty was living in the hotel’s Veranda suite on the 10th floor because too many adoring fans tried to sneak into his room.
Then, in 2008, after 40 years of blockage, the staircase was discovered by hotel staff.
Even now, the hotel continues to receive fan mail for the actor in its iconic 1928 mailbox located near the elevators in the lobby.
The property recently unveiled the first stage of a renovation project that includes guest rooms and suites.
The new-look rooms have been designed to offer “hints of drama and old Hollywood glamour, with an inspired contemporary twist.” They are inspired by the 1934 white living room by British interior designer Syria Maugham.
Newly renovated rooms available for booking include the Signature Balcony Room, Beverly One-Bedroom Suite, Beverly One-Bedroom View Balcony Suite, and Beverly One-Bedroom Corner Suite.
I stayed in the Signature Balcony room and fell in love with the view and the large marble bathroom. Brownie points for environmentally friendly refillable conveniences.
The spa and the swimming pool
“I just had the best massage of my life.”
That’s the message I sent to my fellow travelers after visiting Gillian Garcia, the lead spa therapist at the Beverly Wilshire. She technically gave me a Holistic detox body treatment, which lasted 90 minutes, but I fell so asleep that it is impossible to know for sure. Leaving the Spa, I felt like I was floating. Also try the aromatherapy crystal hammam.
Next? A quick dip. The Mediterranean-style pool is inspired by that of Sophia Loren’s private Italian villa.
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Overlooking the pool deck and 24-hour gym. Bottled water is provided and personal training is available upon request.
Where to start?
Beverly Wilshire is home to Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin-starred steakhouse. It’s also the home of my dinner-induced food coma. Try the Tomahawk steak or the Jidori chicken, but arrive with an empty stomach.
If you love people-watching all day eating, THEBlvd Restaurant and Lounge, with its terrace overlooking Wilshire Boulevard, is the answer.
Now take a pen and write this: Giant Croissant. Did you get that?
Executive pastry chef Riccardo Menicucci fused art and pastry and created an enormous berry croissant made with homemade strawberry jam, whipped cream, valrhona strawberry red chocolate and topped with freeze-dried strawberries. Drool.
If you’re looking for the true Hollywood experience with a side of great history and glamour, the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel is the answer.
This writer was the guest of The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel and I love Beverly Hills.
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