Photo courtesy of Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows
Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows
There’s something to be said for the place that gave Beverly Hills its name and turned it into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the country. Opened in 1912 amid the fields of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Beverly Hills Hotel and its luxurious bungalows were a mainstay of the Hollywood scene since day one. In the early days the hotel attracted the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, made gossip rags as a Rat Pack drinking hole, and appeared in more than a few films. Its legendary Polo Lounge and Cabana Café—revamped along with the rest of the hotel between 2012 and 2014—embody the decadence of midcentury silver screen society, in all its signature pink-and-green, retro botanical-print glory.
Nowadays, the iconic pool, the scene of many a photoshoot and film, is open to the public for a fee, so the stars confine themselves to the kitted-out, guests-only pool cabanas and the storied, residence-like bungalows. But, between the anything-you-wish service, 12 acres of exotic gardens, and lovingly restored deco-meets-1940s–style rooms, everyone’s somebody, here.
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Right on Sunset Boulevard, at the north end of Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills Hotel feels simultaneously private and conveniently situated. Limousine and car-rental services guarantee that no restaurant, designer boutique, museum, or event is out of reach. A few minutes south is the heart of Beverly Hills—a series of leafy, pretty streets lined with everything from iconic eateries such as Bouchon and see-and-be-seen brunch spots like the Ivy to some of the best luxury shopping in the world. Rodeo Drive is only a bit farther, its international designer boutiques ready for a credit card workout—or, at least, plenty of window-shopping.
Need to Know
Rooms: 208 rooms, 23 bungalows. From $445. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: A Hollywood power-breakfast favorite where Charlie Chaplin had a favorite table, the all-day Polo Lounge serves fresh California favorites like huevos rancheros and local seafood in an elegant retro dining room and on the pink-stone patio. The Sunday brunch is legendary, complete with a jazz band. A lovingly preserved soda fountain from the 1940s, the Fountain Coffee Room is a lower-key vintage favorite with all-day breakfast and plenty of homemade desserts. Refreshing cocktails and more modern comfort fare—like wood-fired pizzas and smoothies—can be ordered on the breezy poolside terrace at the Cabana Café. Named for the year the hotel opened, the deco-inspired Bar Nineteen12 boasts a full complement of craft cocktails, beer, and wine, served alongside decadent bar bites. Spa and gym details: In addition to its legendary, cabana-lined swimming pool, the hotel has a 24-hour fitness center decked out with all the most modern equipment (and juice, fruit, water, and towels, too, of course) and offers full- and half-day health and fitness programs. The spa by La Prairie has six treatment rooms as well as steam rooms and saunas. Hair and beauty services can be order in-room or in-salon from Joseph Martin Hair & Beauty.
Who's it best for: Silver-screen stars and those who crave the Old Hollywood luxury experience. Our favorite rooms: All of the hotel’s rooms, suites, and bungalows feel like a modern incarnation of vintage glamour, from the leather and mohair furniture to the signature pink-and-green color scheme to the starlet-worthy walk-in closets, but the best stories are to be found in the 23 decadent bungalows. Virtually private homes, complete with private patios and plenty of room for entertaining, these garden-sheltered hideaways have housed the rich and famous since the hotel’s early days; Elizabeth Taylor honeymooned here with six different husbands, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono once hid out here for a week. If you bring the littles: Unlike many luxury hotels, the Beverly Hills Hotel loves children and dogs, and it splashes out for both; kids get a teddy bear, chocolate chip cookies, and a special card for free sodas at the Fountain Coffee Room and Cabana Club, while pups get a bed, bowl, and personalized treats.