There are new hotels popping up all over LA. From the Dream Hollywood to floundering The James along the Sunset Strip and the recently unveiled Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
with a rooftop pool to top all others. But even with their new
amenities, these hotels can't claim to be sold-out on a hot summer
weekend. Enter The Beverly Hills Hotel.
After 105-years in business, the iconic hotel is proving the unexpected
summer hotpot for incognito celebrities and international elite that
often stay a month at a time - sometimes longer.
There are two sides to The Beverly Hills Hotel. One is for visiting guests of the hotel's two restaurants and bar, who are ushered unknowingly under the striped awning and away from guest areas by unobtrusive security staff. The other is for hotel residents that pass leisurely in their hotel robes and through the cushy striped corridors of the original hotel structure that was built as a bucolic refuge of weekend socializing in the Santa Monica Mountains halfway between Los Angeles and the sea. Famous designers and architects still linger from Paul Williams that penned the Crescent Wing and its Fountain Room to the 5-miles of banana-leaf wallpaper added in the 1940s by the designer Don Loper - who some guests still recall with his lanky stature and fashionable sandals. Most recently designer Adam D. Tihany revamped the lobby and guest rooms, refreshing and modernizing even the Polo Lounge where you can still envision Will Rogers and his muddy polo boots, Charlie Chaplin in his favorite Booth No. 1 and Marlene Dietrich protesting the mandatory skirt-policy for women that was later abandoned.
What many consider the true trademark of The Beverly Hills Hotel is the staff. Housekeepers regularly beam of their 15-years of service while a handyman touches-up paint and recalls the hotel's previous owners, that dates back to 1996. By the pool it's impossible not to daydream of Esther Williams on her morning swims if you can look away from the modern-day celebs that slip in and out of the Cabana Café mostly-unfettered by the public. And it is that discretion that makes the hotel work so well, as the line between service and guests is tightly maintained whether on one of the poolside loungers or chatting up the waiters inside the Polo Lounge. And as so many of our readers jet off to Saint-Tropez and the Seychelles for the summer, others fly in the opposite direction to spend weeks if not months in the truly-decadent luxury of The Beverly Hills Hotel.