The Peninsula Beverly Hills 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

  • Mediocre water pressure in the showers
  • Pricey valet parking; no self-parking available
  • Excessive room-service charges and fees
  • No in-room coffeemakers

Bottom Line

One of the best hotels -- if not the best hotel -- in the entire L.A. area, the Peninsula bills itself, accurately, as an "exclusive oasis." You can splurge (huge, gorgeous rooms; afternoon tea; renowned restaurant) or go downright charge-crazy (private villa, luxury spa). Just be sure to bring your platinum card.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Understated elegance in the (quietly beating) heart of Beverly Hills

Maseratis are not an uncommon sight at the PBH.
Maseratis are not an uncommon sight at the PBH.

If the Peninsula name is not as recognizable as the Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons, that's just because there are only nine Peninsula hotels worldwide, and six of them are in Asia. But make no mistake: Peninsula hotels are up there with the best of 'em, and the Beverly Hills outpost is the jewel in their American crown, espically since their massive room renovation in 2012. Indeed, the Peninsula is considered by many connoisseurs to be the finest hotel in L.A., and nothing leads us to believe otherwise. The above-and-beyond service; the huge, beautiful rooms (renovated in 2012); the fine dining -- it's all superb.

Despite its sedate location in Beverly Hills, the Peninsula aims to feel like a retreat. The hotel has 180 rooms, but seems much smaller. Discretion and personalized service are the operating principles here. A handwritten note from the manager awaits you in your room upon check-in. Each of the hotel's 16 villas has its own private entrance. (Knowing these are the rooms the hotel's celebrity guests opt for, we asked the manager if he would name any of them for me. "I can't," he replied. "That's why they stay here.")

The main theme of all Peninsula hotels -- wellness and peace of mind -- is also pervasive at this branch. The room service menu includes several pages of vegan options. Turndown service comes with a bottle of "NeuroSleep" vitamin water. (You definitely fall asleep within minutes, but that might also be because of the plush pillow-top mattress, 300-thread-count sheets, and absurdly soft pillows.) The gym is among the city's best. And then, of course, there's the relaxed vibe, courtesy of afternoon teas and a 50-50 leisure-to-business-traveler ratio, which is high for an urban hotel.

Mostly, though, the Peninsula is the type of place you go to if you like a bowl of truffled popcorn with your DVD. They offer that, by the way, at no extra cost. At a slight extra cost -- slight is perhaps used loosely hear -- you can have an Emmy-nominated producer and camera crew follow you around for a day and turn the footage into a DVD to take home with you ("special post-production effects not included").

So, is it the best luxury hotel in L.A.? That is the pricey-per-night question. The two other five-pearl properties in Beveral Hills, the Beverly Wilshire and the Beverly Hills Hotel, are similarly luxurious, similarly exceptional, and similarly priced. The main differences are the vibes. The affable Bev Wilshire treats everyone like a star; the B.H.H. is more reserved. The Peninsula is probably somewhere in between. In the end, it's like choosing between a perfectly cooked filet mignon and a buttery Maine lobster: It's just a matter of taste.

 Service

Superb; second to none in L.A.

Hot cocoa in the lobby
Hot cocoa in the lobby

All the cliches spring to mind when it comes to describing the service at the Peninsula: second to none, above and beyond, bending over backwards. ... When you check in, for instance, the front desk staffer asks you not just about your newspaper and checkout arrangements (both of which are asked at Ritz-Carltons and other luxury hotels), but also when you want maid service and evening turndown. Then one of the managers escorts you to your room and gives you a tour before a bellman brings your bags up. On the desk is a handwritten note from the manager personally welcoming guests to the hotel. Upon request, the concierge will print out your boarding pass for you and have it delivered to your room. And how's this for above and beyond? When a room-service dessert includes ice cream, servers wait until guests finish dinner to deliver the dessert to prevent the ice cream from melting. That I've never seen at the Ritz.

Is it the best service in L.A.? Devotees of the uppity Beverly Hills Hotel and the Beverly Wilshire, where everyone is treated like Julia Roberts, would beg to differ (or have someone else beg for them). Call it a three-way tie for first if you must. The Peninsula is certainly second to none.

 Location

In Beverly Hills, minutes from Rodeo Drive

The hotel itself feels like a retreat partly because it's located on a rather unattractive four-lane stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard, one of Beverly Hills's main thoroughfares. Salons and beauty parlors dominate the immediate vicinity. You won't find any happening nightlife or cheap dining nearby, but if high-end shopping is one of the main goals of your trip, 90210 -- or 90212, in the case of the Peninsula -- is where you want to be.

  • Luxury designer boutiques of Rodeo Drive are six blocks away.
  • Beverly Center mall is less than two miles away.
  • 10-minute drive to UCLA and the surrounding Westwood Village, home of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters
  • The Getty, an enormous (and free!) art museum with lovely outdoor gardens, is a 15-minute drive.
  • Santa Monica Beach is a 20- to 30-minute drive.
  • Hollywood Boulevard and its Walk of Fame are a 15- to 20-minute drive.
  • Universal Studios, a movie-themed amusement park, is a 20- to 30-minute drive.
  • LAX airport is a 40- to 60-minute drive, depending on traffic.

 Rooms

Rooms excel in both the basics (size, beds, bathrooms, technology) and the bonuses (bath products, welcome fruit).

A Deluxe Room
A Deluxe Room

The basics:

  • All rooms were updated in a massive 2012 renovation.
  • Huge entry-level rooms (called Superior and Deluxe Rooms). At 480 square feet, they are about 50 percent bigger than the typical room in L.A., and a good 100 to 150 percent bigger than those at the Beverly Wilshire and Beverly Hills Hotel. Only the enormous rooms at the L'Ermitage Beverly Hills compare.
  • The Peninsula has an overwhelming 18 different room types. For the most part, they increase in size and luxury (and price, with roughly $100 increments) as you move up the list.
  • The hotel has 36 massive suites, the four largest being the uniquely imprinted Specialty Suites: The Peninsula (Green) and Royal Patio (White) suites are both 2,250-square-feet, Grand Deluxe (Pink) and Grand Deluxe by Nancy Corzine (Blue) suites are both 1,500-square-feet. Each of the four suites are nicknamed for their individual color scheme and feature fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, objets, fully-outfitted kitchens with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances, and other luxury touches. Nancy's Corzine, L.A.'s premier interior designer, outfitted the suite with her line of signature furnishings.
  • The 16 villas are among the hotel's signature features. The main draw, besides the added square footage, is the privacy: Each villa has its own entrance. Cue price spike here.
  • Comfortable canopied beds in every room. Pillow-top mattresses custom built by Simmons; 300-thread-count linens by Fili D'oro

The bathrooms:

The technology:

  • Large, 42-inch Sony flat-screen TVs with about 50 channels, including HBO and several other movie channels
  • VHS/DVD players with DVD library of Academy-Award-winning films.
  • iPod-compatible Bose CD players
  • Free and reliable (if not terribly fast) Wi-Fi
  • Fax machine
  • Electronic do-not-disturb/make-up-room buttons, bedside

The deliciousness:

A few small complaints:

1) Mediocre water pressure in the shower 2) No coffee machines (How else did they expect guests to wake up after that "NeuroSleep" tonic?), though you can almost certainly get a cup to go from the restaurant at no extra cost. 3) No great views. That's out of the hotel's control, of course, but some rooms at the similarly priced L'Ermitage and Bev Wilshire have price-worthy vistas.

 Features

Impressive in both quantity and quality

The lovely rooftop pool
The lovely rooftop pool

In addition to the spa (see below), the Peninsula boasts an impressive array of features, from the usual (gym, business center) to the more unique (thrice-daily afternoon teas). The highlight for most will be the rooftop pool and Jacuzzi, complete with full-service cabanas (bring your platinum card if you plan to reserve one) and panoramic views of western L.A.

  • The pool is large by urban-hotel standards, but don't expect it to play host to monster swim workouts -- it's still smaller than what you'd find at most sprawling resorts.
  • Cabanas include flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, ceiling fans (for that warm California sun), and heaters (for those cold California afternoons).
  • The afternoon tea, right off the lobby, is one of the hotel's signature features. Highlights include a harpist and her very well-dressed audience. Three seatings daily.
  • Excellent fitness center with 10 cardio machines (each with a personal TV screen), free weights, strength-training machines, and thoughtful bonuses like free water bottles and Gatorade and earphones.
  • Private fitness sessions with personal trainer Alonzo Cannon, who has worked with Colin Farrell and the Dixie Chicks, among others.
  • Small but serviceable (and free!) business center with PCs, printers, and even a Mac

 Spa

One of the area's best

A waiting area in the spa
A waiting area in the spa

Like everything else at the hotel, the spa -- creatively named the Peninsula Spa -- is both phenomenal and phenomenally expensive.

  • Full range of spa and salon treatments

 Family

Fine, but not ideal, for kids

Not much at the Peninsula is geared toward kids -- afternoon tea, little Timmy? -- but you can be sure the staff will bend over backwards to make sure the young'uns are happy. The Beverly Wilshire is probably a better bet for kids. For our favorite family hotels throughout L.A., click here.

 Pets

All pets welcome

The hotel prides itself on its pet-friendliness. Dogs of all breeds and sizes are welcome.

  • Inexpensive pet fee for a luxury hotel
  • Special services (dog-walking, pet food, even animal spa treatments) available at extra cost

 Cleanliness

Almost immaculate

The Peninsula undergoes small renovations and updates throughout the year, and it's extremely well maintained. All guest rooms, suites, and villas were competely renovated in 2012, giving the hotel a fresh new look and brand new furnishings.

 Food

An elite restaurant, plus several other on-site eateries

Room service dessert
Room service dessert

The Peninsula's main restaurant doesn't have a big name behind it the way the Beverly Wilshire's does (Wolfgang Puck's CUT), but it does have an aristocratic one -- it's called the Belvedere -- along with the distinction of being the only restaurant in Southern California to win the AAA Five Diamond Award for 13 consecutive years. You'd be remiss if you didn't eat there at least once during your stay.

  • American cuisine at the Belvedere. For menus, click here.
  • The 2012 renovated Roof Garden, up by the pool, which recently reopened after a $4 million renovation, is open in nice weather. Its emphasis is on health food and imaginative drinks.
  • The Living Room serves food all day, including Royal Tea in the afternoon (complete with harpist performance), morning coffee, and champagne and strawberries for dessert.
  • Snacks served at the Club Bar and during afternoon tea in the Living Room
  • Room service available 24 hours, but you are hereby forewarned about all the extra charges they tack on.
  • Plenty of fine dining in Beverly Hills, but not too much within walking distance

 Bottom Line

One of the best hotels -- if not the best hotel -- in the entire L.A. area, the Peninsula bills itself, accurately, as an "exclusive oasis." You can splurge (huge, gorgeous rooms; afternoon tea; renowned restaurant) or go downright charge-crazy (private villa, luxury spa). Just be sure to bring your platinum card.

Things You Should Know About The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Address

  • 9882 So Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Beverly Hills Peninsula
  • Peninsula Beverly Hills

Room Types

  • California Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Deluxe Suite
  • Executive Grand Deluxe Room
  • Garden Suite
  • Grand Deluxe Room
  • Grand Deluxe Suite
  • Patio Grand Deluxe Room
  • Patio Suite
  • Peninsula Suite
  • Peninsula Villa
  • Superior Room
  • Superior Suite
  • Villa King Room
  • Villa Suite
  • Villa Suite with Jacuzzi
  • Villa Suite with Jacuzzi and Kitchenette
  • Villa Suite with Kitchen and Dining Table

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 196
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Beverly Hills/Bel Air, Los Angeles
Address: 9882 So Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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