If you’re without a car, though, we’ve found a few fun things for you to do nearby so that you won’t miss out on your Bev Hills experience. First, let’s talk about the hotel’s Polo Lounge, where, though the martinis are expensive, they’re also pretty huge, so you can nurse one for hours as you watch actors give interviews to Entertainment Weekly reporters. Then, wander past the pool to check out your sunbathing cohorts before boldly blowing through the lobby and out into the wilds of Beverly Hills.
Just across the street from the hotel, you’ll find Will Rogers Memorial Park, a shaded, flowery little enclave of five acres that actually used to be the Beverly Hills Hotel’s front lawn until it gave the park to the city in 1915 as Sunset Park, but it was renamed after Will Rogers, the first honorary mayor of Beverly Hills, in 1952.
Garden enthusiasts (and the people they drag along unwillingly) will enjoy the Virginia Robinson Gardens at the top of Crescent Drive at Elden Way (yes, it’s quite an uphill hike), about a half-mile from the hotel. The mansion, which was one of the first homes in Beverly Hills, and the grounds of the estate once belonged to the Robinson family of department store fame, and Virginia was known as the “First Lady of Beverly Hills.” The tropically landscaped six acres are quite a sight, so plan ahead and book a tour beforehand or you won’t get in.
A little farther up into the hills—where things get even crazier—you’ll find Greystone Park and Mansion on Loma Vista Drive. The park occupies part of what was once the land of the fabulously wealthy Doheny family, who made their money in oil. The house has been restored, and guests can visit to learn more about the interesting episodes in its history including the mysterious 1929 murder-suicide of Ned Doheny by his assistant Hugh Plunkett (cue the homoerotic tension!).
Both the park and mansion are open to the public courtesy of the City of Beverly Hills, and the house hosts special events and exhibits, though they are surely nothing compared to the fabulous parties (and the filming of over 37 movies) that have taken place there in the past.
When you’ve had enough of historic Beverly Hills, it’ll take you about 1.5 miles to where the Sunset Strip begins, though it’s a good half-mile later that some of the fun stuff we told you about with the Sunset Tower Hotel the other day.
If all else fails, we’re going to suggest a good old-fashioned way to pass the time, and one in which everyone in Los Angeles indulges: talking traffic. You see, the Beverly Hills Hotel happens to sit between two of the most complicated stop-sign intersections in Los Angeles. Each one is the meeting point of six (yes, six!) streets, and since Los Angeles drivers are not exactly known for their…cordiality, it’s usually survival of the fittest and makes for some fun rush-hour drama.
If you want a front row seat, rates at the hotel start at $495.