True fact: the Beverly Hills Hotel was there before Beverly Hills was, and it only makes sense that one of the most glamorous cities on Earth would take its name from one of the most glamorous hotels on Earth.
“The Beverly Hills Hotel has become a second home to celebrity icons, community leaders, social dignitaries and industry tycoons,” said general manager Edward A. Mady, who today is spearheading the California icon’s centennial year.
It all began with a 1912 brainwave of developer Burton Green, then President of the Rodeo Land and Water Company, who bought 12 acres in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, and hired Margaret J. Anderson to build a hotel-cum-getaway in Mission Revival style with a white stucco exterior (the signature pink hue appeared in 1947) and terra cotta-colored roof tiles. Green named it after Beverly Farms, his home in Massachusetts.
Just two years later, Beverly Hills the city incorporated and it was off to the races. A veritable Big Bang of stars descended, from Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson, and what would become the hotel’s one-half prestigious/one-half notorious history began. Guests included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, King Albert of Belgium, the Crown Prince of Monaco, John Wayne and Henry Fonda. Elizabeth Taylor’s father had an art gallery in the hotel’s lower level, and Liz began a tradition of frequenting bungalows with six of her eight husbands. In the 50s, Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack engaged in bleary-eyed drinking bouts in the Polo Lounge. Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand checked into bungalows 20 and 21 while filming 1960's "Let’s Make Love," a tongue-waggingly awkward production – considering the two leads were having a torrid love affair…while being married to other people. For a week in the 1970s, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hid out in a bungalow.
“If these walls could talk,” so goes the phrase, and those same walls now gleam thanks to an on-going restoration of the hotel’s Art Deco-meets-Golden Age Hollywood architecture (with a few modern touches). Tapping Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee Adam Tihany to oversee the hotel’s rebirth, Mady is maneuvering the Beverly Hills Hotel to be the premier power space of Los Angeles and the world beyond. Upon completion, the hotels rooms, bungalows and cabanas (210 in all) will showcase wall-mounted Bang & Olufsen TVs in all rooms, illuminated mirrors with built-in TVs, and updated fixtures in a contemporary stainless steel finish in the bathrooms. Original touches — the famous banana-leaf motif, the pink-and-green striped wallpaper — are all cleaned up and pushed forward, while soft leathers, rich mohairs and opulent silks add luxury and impact to the guest experience.
“The essence of the Beverly Hills Hotel is a sparkling cocktail of design, style and Hollywood glamour,” says Tihany. “I am enjoying every moment of polishing and updating this gem."
While Tihany continues his work, the hotel, nicknamed “The Pink Palace,” revels centennial-themed dining experiences and specialty packages, and this year unveiled what will be the property’s crown jewels: Two new Presidential Bungalows unfolding into nearly 5,000-square-feet of indoor/outdoor living space, creating the largest and most prestigious of their kind in Los Angeles. Inspired by the property’s sought-after original bungalows, each is a modern take of the historic Mediterranean character of the hotel and its grounds. Each three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath space is radiant with custom-designed furnishings, landscaped gardens, private pools, striking artwork, fireplaces and the latest technologies in every room, and absolute privacy and security throughout. Inspired by California’s well-known penchant for indoor/outdoor living, the new bungalows are alive with subtle twists on traditional elements that bring them into the moment while remaining true to the glamorous-but-not-glam spirit of Beverly Hills Hotel.
“Over the past century, the Beverly Hills Hotel has become a second home to celebrity icons, community leaders, social dignitaries, and industry tycoons,” says Mady. “We capture the mystique of Hollywood’s past and present, and pay homage to our coveted heritage.”
And set the stage for another century of tongue-wagging.
For more information or to make reservations, please contact 800-283-8885 or visit www.beverlyhillshotel.com.