At a Glance
If there’s such a thing as a legacy property, The Beverly Hills Hotel fits the category to a T. For over a century, this legendary “Pink Palace,” its bungalows, Polo Lounge and restaurant have been hot spots for Hollywood royalty and a beacon of glamour in the City of Angels. From the moment you pass the iconic signage, enter the grand lobby and see the signature banana-leaf wallpaper, you feel the staying power. The 210 rooms are spread across four floors, and the 23 recently redone freestanding bungalows are its most popular accommodations. And, of course, they come with private gardens, fountains, blooming bougainvillea and those famous banana palms. Designer Alexandra Champalimaud gave the spa a makeover in 2019, and it offers extensive treatments, a 24-hour gym and a nail suite. The hotel also has a hand in preserving film history as a partner and investor in the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. It happens to be one of the few places in Hollywood where paparazzi are not welcome—if these walls could talk, we’d be all ears.
The Standout: Spending a lazy afternoon lounging in the California sun by the iconic swimming pool (with a Co-Co Cabana cocktail)
Don't Miss: Breakfast (or ice cream and pie) at the Fountain Coffee Room
- The bungalows that have played discreet host to everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Laura Dern and Al Pacino
- The 11 poolside cabanas that accommodate up to four guests
- Signature dishes like the McCarthy Salad (the OG chopped salad) or tortilla soup in The Polo Lounge
- The spa’s extensive facials, which guarantee that Hollywood power glow
Oh, the stories these walls—covered with more than five miles of the hotel’s signature banana-leaf wallpaper—could tell. Marlene Dietrich, Howard Hughes and industrialist Norton Simon liked the hotel enough to live here. These days you can still see celebrities popping in for meals or a stay. The Polo Lounge remains a breakfast, lunch and cocktail hot spot and the counter-only Fountain Coffee Room oozes charm and is beloved by locals for its homey breakfasts and afternoon ice cream and pie.
Part of the Dorchester Group (as is sister Hotel Bel-Air), the Beverly Hills Hotel underwent various stages of renovation in 2012. Adam Tihany re-envisioned the famously chintzy lobby to mixed reviews; it’s more contemporary and sleek than it was but still has comfortable seating groups and massive chandeliers. The 210 rooms spread across four floors and the 23 free-standing bungalows (by far the most-requested rooms on property and renovated in 2014) are tucked into twelve landscaped acres, with fountains, bird-of-paradise and banana palms. Some of the rooms on the upper floors afford great views across the hotel’s tile rooftops, and all the suites have marble fireplaces. The famous pool, rimmed with potted orange trees, topiaries and private cabanas that can be rented for the day is also scheduled for an update.
Design-wise, the Beverly Hills hotel is struggling a bit to find the right note between respecting history and forging into the future, but nothing can take away the property’s glamorous soul, which is undeniably old-Hollywood. In the summer, the pool has served as a stage for synchronized swimming performances; children are welcomed to the hotel with a photo op on the red carpet (completed with top hat and feather boa); the basement hair salon bustles during award season; and in the evening, live piano music spills into the lobby from the Polo Lounge. The service is swift, friendly and professional. Overall, the Beverly Hills Hotel is the type of grande dame that can make even the most blasé traveler feel nostalgic, in the best sense of that word.
Indagare Tip: There’s a La Prairie spa on the premises, but for an afternoon of rejuvenation, book a treatment at sister hotel Bel Air. The newly built spa there is also run by La Prairie, and the tucked-away location of the property makes it feel more special and relaxing.
Who Should Stay
Those looking for a taste of Beverly Hills 90210 life (well, sort of)—and traces of old Hollywood.
Written by Indagare