The Beverly Hills Hotel Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Beverly Hills/Bel Air, Los Angeles, California

This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

Bottom Line

THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL HAS RENOVATED ITS LOBBY SINCE OUR VISIT, AND WILL BE UNDERGOING ROOM RENOVATIONS THROUGHOUT 2014. WE WILL REVISIT THE PROPERTY ONCE RENOVATIONS ARE COMPLETE. 12-acres of lush grounds, this historic hotel is a serene, luxurious escape five minutes from Rodeo Drive. Its formal service and aura lend it a stuffier feel than the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, but it also has anachronistic charms, like an old-fashioned soda fountain, plus a great pool and restaurants.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A palatial pink hideaway for the rich and famous

A pink, plush hideaway in Beverly Hills
A pink, plush hideaway in Beverly Hills

"Don't look now," whisperd a guest at the poolside Cabana Club Café, "but wasn't that guy behind me on Celebrity Rehab last year? I think he's Rod Stewart's son." Across the pool deck, a mature woman removed her oversized sunglasses to reveal a taut, puffy face suggestive of recent plastic surgery, while the lady at the table next to her explained in a haughty tone that she'd been "coming here for years."

Welcome to the Beverly Hills Hotel, or the "pink palace" as the 12-acre, Mission-revival property is known. First built in 1912, the iconic hotel is as old as Beverly Hills itself. Actually, it's older. The area didn't become a full-fledged city with celebrity residents like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton until a few years later. Over the years, the hotel has housed numerous celebrities from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Elizabeth Taylor and six of her eight husbands. From 1992 to 1995, the hotel closed for extensive renovations that cost the Sultan of Brunei, the hotel's current owner and one of the world's richest men, more than $100 million. The resulting hotel isn't a bright, modern one, like the Beverly Hilton, but rather a place that feels perfectly preserved and restored to its original elegance, from the signature banana leaf wallpaper that lines the halls to the stunning pool area. Not just pink, but also green, dominates the hotel. At turndown (guests get to specify the time -- a nice service touch), housekeeping leaves an order form on the bed should guests wish to purchase a surfboard or tricycle with the hotel's insignia or signature color scheme. It's a bit of an odd, overly commerical touch at such a classy place.

The hotel marked its 100 year anniversary in 2012 with light upgrades to room amenities, carpeting in the ballroom and lobby. But that's just the beginning of its refurbishment. The hotel re-launched its famous Polo Lounge in 2013 after a two month refurbishment by acclaimed designer Adam Tihany, who kept the hotel's iconic color scheme but updated the furniture and decor. By 2014, the hotel plans to have completed refreshing all guest rooms, the pool, and cabanas as well. Much as the 1992 renovations were more about preserving than changing, so too will this set of work aim to maintain the traditional design of the hotel -- with some shiny new amenities, of course. These include B&O TVs with integrated technology in all rooms, illuminated mirrors with built-in TVs, updated fixtures in the bathrooms, rich linens and upholstery in the rooms. The style is antique luxury but the amenities are all about modernity, as the hotel works to keep its history alive but still please today's travelers.

For the most part, the Beverly Hills Hotel is discreet, complete with heavy security. It's more of place for the well-known not to be seen than a celebrity hot spot like the Hollywood Roosevelt or Chateau Marmont. At the Polo Lounge, you might see Hollywood execs closing big deals, or see Paris Hilton -- but she'll likely be grabbing lunch, not stumbling out of the bar late at night. The hotel is dignified at times to the point of stuffiness; service is nothing if not formal. It's for those who want a serene scene in a classic icon. If you're looking for more relaxed service, you'd probably do better at the equally accommodating, livelier Four Seaons Beverly Wilshire.

 Service

Seriously luxurious

Bellmen assist guests with their luggage
Bellmen assist guests with their luggage

Service is serious business at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Guests are asked at check-in what time they prefer turndown, as well as their newspaper preference. Housekeepers wear French maid uniforms and all concierge are members of Les Clefs d'Or, the prestigious international concierge organization.

Still, it's not without the occasional snag. Lunchtime crowds at the Polo Lounge can make for slow service as well as a short wait at the parking valet as attendants deal with a backlog of Bentleys. And, service can be a bit formal and lacking in warmth. While at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire every guest is made to feel like royalty, there's a feeling here that royalty is treated like royalty and average guests are treated like average guests.

  • Welcome fruit basket upon arrival
  • Twice-daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service; fruit basket is refilled, delicious little peanut butter cookies are left
  • 24-hour concierge, extremely professional and helpful, but they're more geared to fulfilling luxury needs than, say, tracking down obscure ethnic restaurants
  • Free house car within three miles of the hotel available throughout the day; guests can call the driver for a return pick-up.
  • Full poolside service; attendants seat guests at lounge chairs and provide menus and free water.

 Location

In a secluded portion of Beverly Hills

The hotel is situated in Beverly Hills, an enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside. While it has a Sunset Boulevard address, its portion of Sunset feels a long way from the notorious "Sunset Strip" -- the mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard known for its cutting-edge rock clubs and night spots and its collection of premier boutiques and restaurants. This portion of Sunset is quieter, more scenic and residential, and the hotel is actually tucked back from the street giving it a secluded, mini resort feel. It's a far different feel from staying at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, which sits in the middle of the Beverly Hills' shopping and dining district, a little over a mile away.

  • Rodeo Drive and the surrounding shopping blocks, with designer boutiques, major department stores, and lots of dining, is a five-minute drive away
  • There's next to no nightlife in Beverly Hills; the Sunset Strip, with its bars and clubs, is 1.7 miles (an eight- to 10-minute drive) away.
  • Santa Monica Beach is a 20- to 30-minute drive.
  • Less than five miles, or about a 15-minute drive, to touristy Hollywood Boulevard and the celebrity footprints of the famous Walk of Fame at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
  • Universal Studios Hollywood, a movie-themed amusement park, is about 10 miles and a 25-minute drive.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 15 miles, or about a half hour's drive, away.

 Rooms

Large and luxurious

Beds have Frette linens and down comforters
Beds have Frette linens and down comforters

With walk-in closets, huge bathrooms with gold-plated brass fixtures, Frette sheets, and personal fax machines, the large guest rooms are luxurious. The standard rooms, called Superior Rooms, are a spacious 425 square feet, bigger than rooms at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (385 square feet), but significantly smaller than the rooms at the Raffles L'Ermitage Beverly Hills (650 square feet). Decor is classically elegant and continues the hotel's pink and green theme with green-striped wallpaper in the main room and pink marble in bathrooms. Guests can also opt to stay in one of the hotel's bungalows, that have their own seperate entrances, full kitchens and dining areas, fireplaces, and up to four bedrooms. Some even have grand pianos, private plunge pools, and private gardens, as well. In 2011, the hotel opened two new presidential bungalows, for guests seeking the ultimate luxury and private vacation. Prices come to match the experience, of course.

In 2012, the hotel celebrated its 100th birthday with an announcement that all guestrooms, the lobby, Polo Lounge, and pool and cabanas would be refurbished. By 2014, the hotel plans to have completed refreshing all guest rooms. This set of work aims to maintain the traditional design of the hotel -- with some shiny new amenities, of course. These include B&O TVs with integrated technology in all rooms, illuminated mirrors with built-in TVs, updated fixtures in the bathrooms, rich linens and upholstery in the rooms. The style is antique luxury but the amenities are all about modernity, as the hotel works to keep its history alive but still please today's travelers.

  • Luxurious beds with Frette linens, down comforters and pillows
  • Great electronics: Large flat-screen TVs, DVD players, separate speakers, and Philips media hubs for iPods and laptop hookups
  • TVs broadcast about 30 channels, including HBO; there is a DVD player, but no DVD library, as there is at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire.
  • Presidential Bungalows introduced in 2011, with private courtyard and pools
  • Huge, luxurious bathrooms have his-and-her sinks, flat-screen televisions, pink Grecian marble, and large bottles of toiletries -- too bad they're just the hotel brand.
  • It's a mixed bag for business: There are fax machines and direct phone lines, but not all Superior Rooms have desks and Internet can be slow (unlike the super-fast connections at the Beverly Hilton); guests can request a room with a desk when booking, or upgrade to a Deluxe Room (all of which have desks).
  • Most Superior Rooms have shower/tub combos, but a few have oversize bathtubs (these can be requested but not guaranteed); upgrade to a Deluxe Room with separate shower and tubs available.
  • Walk-in closets are about 25 square feet and have their own mirrors and dressers.
  • Joseph Martin salon services available in-room and also at nearby salon.
  • High-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, as well as a modem, three phone lines, and voicemail.

 Features

A beautiful pool and spa, but a tiny fitness center

Pool features 21 private cabanas
Pool features 21 private cabanas

The hotel's features deliver most, but not all, of what you'd expect from a large, luxury hotel. The huge, beautifully landscaped, full-service pool (which will be refurbished as part of the hotel 100th anniversary celebration; plans for completion by 2014) is one of Beverly Hills' best, as is the spa, but the tiny fitness center disappoints.

  • Attendants seat guests around the serene pool (no traffic noise here) and bring free water and menus for poolside dining from the Cabana Club Cafe.
  • 21 private cabanas with flat-screen TVs and cordless phones; the daily fee includes fruit and Fiji water
  • 1,916-square-foot La Prairie spa features six treatment rooms, including two couples suites; and extensive range of treatments is given in poolside cabanas or guest rooms; no guest use of day spa facilities without a treatment.
  • Small, windowless lower-level fitness center pales in comparison to the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire's huge, two-story facility; machines are in good condition, but old-looking; cardio machines have individual TVs, some also have DVD players; bottled water and fruit offered.
  • Too bad the hotel's tennis courts closed in September 2009; concierge can arrange for court times at a nearby tennis club for guests.

 Pet Friendly

Dogs (under 35 pounds) are treated like royalty.

The hotel allows small dogs under 35 pounds, but they can stay only in bungalows, not regular guest rooms. There's a nonrefundable cleaning fee required, but dogs get special treatment.

  • Dog beds, bowls, treat jars, and tennis balls -- all pink and branded with the hotel logo -- for pets to use during their stay, or guests to buy and take home
  • Animals can't be left alone in rooms; hotel can arrange dog walking and dog sitting with an outside service, though bellmen have been known to walk pampered pooches on occasion.
  • In-room doggie dining
  • Guests with pets must pay a nonrefundable cleaning fee.

 Family

Kids, like their parents, are spoiled.

The pool
The pool

With a beautiful pool and lush grounds, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and large standard rooms, this is a top luxury pick for families. During the spring and summer, hotel management says the place is filled with the "cutest little designer kids you've ever seen," and when I visited in September there were still a few lingering around the pool. With twelve acres of grounds, the hotel has a mini-resort feeling, ideal for families looking for a calm oasis; it's a different feeling than the similarly luxurious and family-friendly, but more urban, Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, which is located in the middle of the Beverly Hills shopping and dining district.

  • The hotel offers a "Very Young VIPs" program where kids are given their own pink credit card that they can use to "charge" free beverages at the Fountain Coffee Room and The Cabana Club Cafe.
  • Children are welcomed with milk and cookies in guest rooms.
  • All the restaurants have a children's menu; poolside Cabana Club Cafe and the Fountain Coffee Room, an old-fashioned soda fountain with homemade ice cream and a simple menu, are especially kid-friendly.
  • In-room dining offers a children's menu with options like a miniature hamburger with fries and carrot and celery sticks with ranch dip.
  • Standard Superior Rooms only have one king bed, but the next room category up, Deluxe Rooms, have either one king or two doubles; adjoining rooms are also available.
  • Free cribs; rollaway beds are available for a fee per night and can fit in any room.

 Cleanliness

Spotless

This veteran has been lovingly renovated and well cared for, and it shows. The Beverly Hills Hotel is an extremely clean property, from rooms to public spaces.

 Food

Three charming restaurants and a lovely bar

Pricey poolside fare at the Cabana Club Cafe
Pricey poolside fare at the Cabana Club Cafe

With three unique restaurants, the hotel has great on-site dining options, but there's little within easy walking distance of the hotel, unlike the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, which is located in a more commercial, less residential, portion of Beverly Hills. Still, that commercial area is just a five-minute drive away, and nearly everywhere in Beverly Hills has valet parking.

  • The main restaurant, The Polo Lounge, is a classy hot spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Paris Hilton has been known to drop in for lunch; dinner entrees range in price. As part of the 100th anniversary celebration, The Polo Lounge received a decor refresh while still retaining its classic design elements from acclaimed designer Adam Tihany.
  • The Cabana Club Cafe serves pricey poolside fare; cocktails are in the midteens. Sandwiches, like gourmet versions of cheese steaks, are pretty pricey.
  • The Fountain Coffee Room, a charming, old-fashioned soda fountain, is open daily; service at the counter only; waitresses wear pink dresses with white Peter-Pan collars
  • Stylish Bar Nineteen 12, named after the hotel's opening year, serves cocktails, intriguing edible cocktails like chocolate jelly shots and martini popsicles, and small-plate fare in an elegant interior or on the large outdoor patio.
  • 24-hour room service includes Polo Lounge's favorites, like open flame rotisserie chicken and tortilla soup, as well as afternoon tea service.

 Bottom Line

THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL HAS RENOVATED ITS LOBBY SINCE OUR VISIT, AND WILL BE UNDERGOING ROOM RENOVATIONS THROUGHOUT 2014. WE WILL REVISIT THE PROPERTY ONCE RENOVATIONS ARE COMPLETE. 12-acres of lush grounds, this historic hotel is a serene, luxurious escape five minutes from Rodeo Drive. Its formal service and aura lend it a stuffier feel than the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, but it also has anachronistic charms, like an old-fashioned soda fountain, plus a great pool and restaurants.

Things You Should Know About The Beverly Hills Hotel

Address

  • 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Beverly Hills Hotel
  • The Beverly Hills
  • The Hotel Beverly Hills

Room Types

  • Beverly Hills Suite
  • Beverly Hills Suite with patio
  • Bungalow Guest Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • Deluxe Room with balcony
  • One Bedroom Deluxe Suite
  • One Bedroom Garden Suite
  • One Bedroom Grand Deluxe Room
  • One Bedroom Grand Deluxe Suite
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Presidential Bungalow Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Sunset Suite
  • Superior Guestroom
  • Superior Guestroom with balcony
  • Two Bedroom Grand Deluxe Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 204
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Beverly Hills/Bel Air, Los Angeles
Address: 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, US
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