Beverly Hills Travel Guide
Are your vacation getaways guided by the criteria of “excellent Instagram potential”? Are you a Brooklyn-based fashion blogger seeking temporary solitude to crank out your “first novel on the liberating potential of wanderlust”? Are you into road trips, but not cramped cars that smell like Interstate lunches? AKA has something amazing for you.
Well, for all of us, really – if only to behold from afar. The luxury brand of long stay accommodations just announced its first ever AKA Mobile Suite, a spacious Airsteam that has been decked out to the upscale expectations of an AKA resident: think plush bedding, a flat-panel TV and iPod docks, Bulgari bath amenities, and splashes of colorful accouterment from fashion designer Trina Turk, who will also offer “VIP discounts” on a road trip-ready wardrobe purchased from her LA showroom. (Most important: A full bathroom with shower. No sneaking into boondock YMCAs to rinse off.)
While the boycott of the Dorchester Collection Hotels is still in effect (kept alive by big names like Richard Branson, Jay Leno, Sharon Osbourne and several top fashion designers), employees of the hard-hit Beverly Hills Hotel have
been instructed by a crisis PR team taken it upon themselves to create their own Twitter feed-- @WeAreTheBHH.
The profile pic on the account is a simple "Stand With Us" message while the header photo is a portrait of all the men and women who work at the hotel, from housekeepers to groundskeepers to chefs and clerks.
Recent tweets on the account have included a shout-out to Russell Crowe and Rose McGowan, who have stood up for the hotel's employees (McGowan actually hosted a "gay-in" party at the hotel); a retweet of HotelChatter's last article on the boycott; and a link to this interesting blog post from a server at the Beverly Hill Hote's legendary Polo Lounge.
We don't want to quit you!
It looks like The Dorchester Collection has a very serious problem on their hands.
Last week, when the fashion world told people to boycott the hotel group because of their association with the government of Brunei, which will now stone people to death for being homosexual, Ellen DeGeneres also publicly tweeted that she too, will be boycotting both the Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel.
We've actually seen Ellen at the Beverly Hills Hotel, aka The Pink Palace, where her and wife Portia dined downstairs in the Fountain Coffee Shop, a popular spot for not just celebs but locals too. The hotel collection is clearly caught between a rock and hard place (no pun intended) as they continue to be open to all guests and have indeed said as much in a public statement last week:
Dorchester Collection’s Code, endorsed by the company’s ownership, emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”
Yet it doesn't sound like there's much more they can do without biting the hand that feeds them. It's sad because we pretty much love all the Dorchester Collection Hotels. At least to visit for lunch or drinks as we couldn't regularly afford the pricey hotel rooms anyways. So our problem is solved. But rich people with a conscious may have to wait a while.
What do you think--should guests boycott a hotel based on what the hotel owner says or does (see also: Donald Sterling or should guests put that aside and enjoy the hotel experience for what it is? Sound off in comments below!
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What a difference six years can make. Back in 2008, plans for The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to open next to the Beverly Hilton were firmly squashed by Beverly Hills residents and to some extent, the recession. Today, we learn the project is back on again. And it's really, really, really happening this time. But there will be some changes to the Beverly Hilton.
The hotel's Oasis Court, Lanai guest room buildings and its south parking structure along with the building that once housed the Trader Vic's restaurant, will be torn down to make way for the 170-room Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Hotel and its accompanying residences. Here's a bit more info from the LA Times on what to expect:
The new hotel will be clad in curving white stone inspired by Streamline Moderne style with bronze accents. Guest rooms will have floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto landscaped private balconies. The rooftop swimming pool deck will include greenery, cabanas and a bar and grill exclusive to hotel guests. There will be an upscale restaurant open to the public, stores including jeweler Graff Diamonds and a Waldorf Astoria Spa. The hotel will also include meeting space and a ballroom that will hold as many as 200 people.
When the AKA Beverly Hills opened back in 2012 in the heart of the exclusive 90210 zip code, we were loving the hotel's apartment-style accommodations along with their thoughtful amenities and services like free WiFi, bike rentals, and room service by Spago. Yet in order to enjoy all this, you had to be an extended-stay guest, spending 30 days or more at the hotel. Until now.
Starting on March 21, the AKA Beverly Hills will be accepting stays of 7 days or longer. Woot! Seven days is far more doable than 30. Not to mention, more affordable. Rates starting on March 21 begin at $389 a night for a one-bedroom deluxe suite which have about 1,000-sq.ft. of space and include full kitchens, a king-sized bed, dining table, private patio, washer and dryer, and Bulgari amenities.
Compare all this to smaller rooms at other luxe hotels in Beverly Hills, that start well over $400 a night without kitchens and washer and dryers, AKA is the best deal in town yet.
[Photo: AKA Hotels]
Just hours before the Golden Globes red carpet walk was to start at the Beverly Hilton, a sprinkler malfunctioned raining down not just water, but according to witnesses, some smelly black sewage as well. Billy Bush tweeted this about the incident:
Sewage pipe break on red carpet at #GoldenGlobes so it’s not hot as sh*t but it could smell like it today. Good times.— Billy Bush (@billybush) January 12, 2014
The hotel was quick to call the fire department and clean up the mess. They also released an official statement about the leak on Facebook which stated that it was a sprinkler malfunction. There was no mention of sewage and the carpet received "one last wash before it opened" for all the celebs. Cue new tweet from Billy Bush:
I’m hearing fire sprinkler broke. Better now than in the middle of the action. #GoldenGlobes. In a few hours it’ll smell like champagne so— Billy Bush (@billybush) January 12, 2014
Indeed, nothing seemed amassed when the red carpet walk started:
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This Sunday, the 2014 Awards Season kicks off in Los Angeles with the 71st Golden Globes Awards ceremony (hosted by lovely ladies Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.) As they have been for more than 50 years, the Golden Globes will be held at the Beverly Hilton. But the Hilton isn't the only spot in town to go for some celeb-
Popping into the Four Seasons Los Angeles, the Peninsula Beverly Hills or the Beverly Hills Hotel will also increase your chances of seeing a star (hopefully, not a reality one.)
Yet there's an even better way to enjoy awards season without appearing like an over-eager fan but while still feeling like a part of the Hollywood movie-making magic --by indulging in a tasteful viewing party at the The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel.
Starting with the Golden Globes this weekend and concluding with the Oscars on March 1st, the Beverly Wilshire will be hosting soirees in their BLVD bar and have partnered with Moet & Chandon Champagne to provide the bubbly. The full schedule is below. For table reservations, call (310) 385 3901. Need a room? The hotel has rooms available on Sunday for $615 a night which is actually pretty average for a Beverly Hills hotel during awards season.
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Thinking of starting your holiday shopping? Yeah, we’re not either but, luckily, the good folks at the Dorchester Collection’s Beverly Hills Hotel have our backs.
The hotel is launching an exclusive jewelry line by Anndra Neen (Phoebe and Annette Stephens are the sisters behind the label), winner of the 2011 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, for the gift-buying season. Available the first week of November and only through December, you can pick up a piece of the collection at The Beverly Hills Hotel's gift shop. That's it. There's nowhere else. Pieces from Anndra Neen have accessorized Michelle Obama, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Richie and Anna Paquin so you'll be in fine company.
The first piece to launch is a distinctive bracelet inspired by the hotel's iconic design elements, from distinctive shades of pink and green to the signature banana leaves found on the wallpaper and landscaped gardens across the property. It is created by hand and features Agate stones and alpaca and brass materials. (We wanted to show you the piece but we're told it's still being perfected by the design team.) Additional pieces to debut include a necklace, choker and clutch. To give you an idea of cost, the bracelet will retail for $485. Not horrific at all.
But in this digital age where everyone with a smartphone is taking pictures and uploading them to various social media outlets--is it even possible for this rule, er, request to be enforced? We took a quick look on Instagram and found a few photos of the pool scene but nothing too stalkerish. We even saw a photo of someone posing next to this sign.
So maybe people are obeying the No Photos rule after all. (Also, whoever can tell us WTF a harp was doing in one of the guest rooms, we'd very much appreciate it.)
Of course, we had to flaunt the rules ever so slightly to snap this shot of the cute, pink, To Go boxes from the Cabana Cafe. Inside lies a McCarthy Salad...for $30. But it's still cheaper than the $500+ a night room rate.
Sorry, horses. You're not needed anymore, not even for those nostalgic horse-drawn carriage rides.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, a hotel brand known for their cutting-edge technology and high-flying modes of transportation, is now ferrying their guests around town in these souped up motorcycle-drawn carriages from 7 Wheel Wonders. The hog portion of the vehicle usually resembles a classic car, while the coach part resembles the old coaches of Jane Austen and Cinderella's time. That's the '57 Chevy above and the Old Hollywood in red below. Each ride comes with two "coach concierges" along with drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Right now, the rides are currently offered to guests partaking in the hotel's treasure hunt, i.e. mostly families, but there's a possibility the rides will be offered to all hotel guests who want to experience an old-timey mode of transportation with a little flair...and an engine roar. Rates at the hotel start around $450 a night.
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A brand new hotel has opened in the heart of Beverly Hills, just steps from the famed Rodeo Drive. Earlier this month, Sirtaj, has opened its door in one of America's most famous zip codes. Well kinda, since, technically, this is in 90212, but who's counting?
The super trendy digs feature 32 rooms with free WiFi and creature comforts like Egyptian cotton linens. If the welcome cocktail isn't enough and you just need to raid the minibar, expect SoCal goodies as the custom mini-bars are stocked with locally-sourced treats .Oh, and java-addicts will appreciate the in-room LavAzza coffee-machines to prevent any dropping after Rodeo-Drive shopping.
..The Montage Beverly Hills and its view of Beverly Drive.
While the Central and East Coast are shaking in their boots wondering if/what kind of weather monstrosity is going to hit in the next few days (it's March, right?), this West Coast cutie is standing proud on the corner saying "Snow who? Snow what?"
The Montage knows not of such snowy thangs in Cali-for-ni-a. And we just love this pretty pic they posted on Intagram boasting all their hotness. Perhaps this snap it will inspire you to appreciate your warmth (if you live in such weather) or get out of the cold by taking a look-see at our Caribbean Guide.
There's a reason why Al Roker and Storm Phillips have huge followings. Weathermen have influence! Donchaknow?
[Photo: Montage Beverly Hills]