Arrival/Check-In: I arrived in Los Angeles early afternoon, grateful for the warm weather after a long flight from snowy Connecticut. The Beverly Hilton, legendary for its star-studded events and Old Hollywood glamour, knows how to roll out the red carpet. A cheerful doorman greeted me at my taxi and directed me to the front desk. The lobby shimmered with Christmas lights which, along with the sunshine, put me in a festive mood. My room was ready, and in a few minutes the friendly attendant checked me in. As I left the desk, the doorman appeared with complimentary bottles of water and wished me a happy holiday.
Guest Quarters: The hotel hallways display black-and-white photographs of celebrities; across from my room, Marilyn Monroe greeted me each day. My fifth-floor Wilshire Tower deluxe room opened into a spacious foyer with a closet on the left and a sliding door to the bathroom on the right. This door held a full-length mirror worthy of a star’s dressing room.
Natural light streamed in through the far wall of floor-to-ceiling windows where sliding glass doors led to a balcony overlooking the pool, with views of the city. The balcony table and chairs offered a perfect place to unwind or, as I did, watch the sunrise. This wall of glass combined with high ceilings and neutral décor made the 344-square-foot room open and airy.
A king-sized bed provided restful sleep with its pillow-top mattress and cozy linens. Across from the bed, a desk held convenient outlets and an iPad for accessing guest services. Next to the desk, an LCD TV hung above a dresser and minibar. Seating included a comfortable chair by the windows and a bench at the foot of the bed.
The spacious marble bathroom featured a single sink with lots of built-in storage and a glamorous round mirror above, plus a small TV screen on the wall. The lighting could have been brighter, but a lighted make-up mirror on the counter served its purpose. The toilet and shower were behind two separate frosted glass doors. The L’Occitane lemon verbena toiletries were heavenly — even the wash cloths were scented with lemon, a refreshing touch. I felt like a pampered celebrity wearing the silky robe lined with soft terrycloth.
Services/Amenities: Opened in 1955, The Beverly Hilton has a history as home to the stars and as the Western White House (every president since JFK, except Trump, has stayed here). Host to the Golden Globe Awards for 48 years, the hotel boasts 60,000 square feet of indoor and open-air event space. The most recent update is The Gardens, a stunning outdoor venue incorporating The Wilshire Garden and The Secret Garden, hosting fashion shows, weddings, corporate events and movie shoots. The Aqua Star Pool is the largest heated pool in Beverly Hills, christened by Esther Williams in 1955. Angelina Jolie jumped in after winning her second Golden Globe. I made sure to take a dip in these storied waters my last afternoon at the hotel.
Offering indoor and outdoor seating, CIRCA 55 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as Sunday Champagne brunch. I enjoyed a delicious, leisurely breakfast poolside my first morning in L.A. Guests and locals also gather at the Lobby Lounge & Barista Bar (grab a coffee and baked goods if you don’t have time for that poolside breakfast). In-room dining is available 24 hours, as is a well-equipped fitness center.
◆ The hotel offers a house car for local trips. Be prepared to wait a bit if it’s a busy day.
◆ Be aware the showerhead is so powerful you must close the glass door before turning on the water so the bathroom floor doesn’t flood.
◆ Seek out The Secret Garden (when it’s not hosting an event) for a tranquil spot to sit among greenery and waterfalls.
◆ The late-afternoon turndown was soothing: bedding prepared, chocolates on the pillows, robe on the bed, drapes drawn, soft lights glowing and classical music playing on the Bose sound system. I almost didn’t want to go back out for evening events!
THE BEVERLY HILTON
9876 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
tel 310 274 7777
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