The Beverly Wilshire Hotel… an oasis I never wanted to leave

The driver didn’t have to tell me that we had arrived at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, California. It’s such a well documented, photographed and monument this “E” shaped building with an air of sophistication that the haze of that day seemed to disappear as we approached. Since it’s managed by Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, it’s my conclusion that this was the reason for both American and Canadian flags fluttering above the front entrance.

Actually, I couldn’t see how the driver would find parking to unload my luggage since the front entrance didn’t seem to have any parking facilities. But in fact, he had turned onto the adjacent side street then abruptly turned into a black wrought iron gated wide laneway where there was the drop off for both the Beverly (the older building) and the Wilshire (where I happily stayed for a few days).

Built in the 20s it still reeks of class from the great moldings, fabulous wood trimmings, wonderful floral arrangement under a most impressive chandelier in the main lobby to the perfect perch to watch the comings and goings on the mezzanine’s balcony overlooking the lobby. Staring down from there is just a kaleidoscope of the who’s who around the world. Across the lane, out the back door which in most other hotels would be the fancy front entrance, was the 30 year old Wilshire where there is (sometimes) a concierge and a staff member to show ask if you needed any help. The only assistance I would have needed was getting me passed the vitrines filled with some of the most excellently designed jewelry.

However, since the King of Qatar had taken an entire floor in this part of the hotel, any more security wasn’t needed. All the King’s men were busy keeping an eye on who came and went into the elevators. After a few in and outs, I was greeted as an old friend since memory is obviously part of their job.

But the B.W. is a venue where and when there is a grand charity event, major wedding or special evening, the wealthy community including the Hollywood Red Carpet regulars, is the place to be with many different banquet venues of various sizes to suit the occasion.

CUT, in the Beverly section, the very spiffy modern steak and international restaurant with a collection of the most interesting cutting edge paintings and every accoutrement that is up to the minute in style and fashion, is a favorite with the Hollywood brats.

Across the hallway is the bar that is constantly packed with the buzz of a bee hive after 5. My breakfasts and for many others, their lunch and dinner was in the light wood paneled dining room with exquisite and complementary chandeliers, the most comfortable chairs and banquets with enough space between tables so that any of the power conversations, since this is the place for making deals, can be kept quite descrete.

My suite was a delight. Although it’s been recently renovated, it doesn’t look as though it has been touched in a decade. However, the comfort level here is exceptional with walls thick enough so you’re not privy to you next door ‘neighbor’, great non intrusive coloration of light yellow, very colonial colored walls, easy on the eye fabrics, a flat screen, newest TV and internet connections are top of the mark, the décor peaceful and the bathrooms spacious with fine amenities by Molton Brown.

From my small balcony, overlooking the large pool area with a terraced restaurant that even in the unexpected cool weather, was always filled. It’s hard to imagine staying at this oasis in the center of this hectic intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. And as a matter of interest, it was most interesting to learn that the lobby was where Pretty Women starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, was filmed. This being nonchalant ‘Hollywood’, if you just happened to be a regular at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, staying here during the shooting of this film must have been just another normal day at this grand, renowned and special hotel.