“Recapture Classic Hollywood Glamor,” “Discover Your Inner Surfer Dude,” and more at the Peninsula Beverly Hills

See recent posts by Michael Wolman

A Peninsula guest, a la Garbo 
A Peninsula guest, a la Garbo 

Some hotels, as we learned last month, charge five figures for a single cocktail. Others, which shall remain nameless — OK, it’s the Four Seasons Maui — deploy poolside staffers to cool down sunbathing guests with spritzes of Evian. And then there’s the Peninsula Beverly Hills, a hotel so exclusive that its true VIPs don’t even bother with the ho-hum 425-square-foot — and $425+ per night — standard rooms. Instead they stay in one of the Peninsula’s 16 villas, each of which has its own private entrance — and each of which costs between $885 and $6,000 a night. (In 2007, Britney Spears hid out from the paparazzi in one after she lost custody of her children to K-Fed.)

In honor of Sunday’s Academy Awards, the Peninsula Beverly Hills, or “PBH” as we in the biz (that would be the hotel biz) call it, has introduced something called “Recapture Classic Hollywood Glamor.” For a mere $950, guests can enjoy the “opportunity to be photographed in a style that brings back the famous black-and-white studio publicity portraits of movie stars in the 1930s and 40s.” Award-winning celebrity photographer Roger G. James “will set up a portrait studio in the guest’s room, complete with makeup, costumes, props and lighting. Within one to two hours, he will transform the guest into a glamorous star from the past, à la Lana Turner, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable or Greta Garbo and capture the look on black-and-white film.” One such Garbo is pictured above. Not bad, as you can see here.

Other “guest experiences that reflect the Beverly Hills lifestyle” include “Sound Like a Star,” wherein you can receive a lesson from the voice coach who taught Cate Blanchett to sound like Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator and Jake Gyllenhaal to sound like a cowboy in Brokeback Mountain (starting from $185); and “Discover Your Inner Surfer Dude,” where, for just $225 per person per hour, you can take surfing lessons from the instructor who taught Tom Cruise, Cindy Crawford, and Harrison Ford and their families to surf.

But this one takes the cake: Guests can have an Emmy-nominated producer and camera crew follow them around for a day (“sightseeing, shopping, relaxing by the pool — whatever suits their fancy — in Tinsel Town,” as the promo material reads) and turn the footage into a DVD they take home with them. The cost: $2,500. (“Special post-production effects not included,” note the parentheses. Translation: don’t expect your video to compete with Avatar in the technical categories.)

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