90212 Travel Guide
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.
Hotel Openings / Beverly Hills Hotels / California Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
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.
We sure hope last week's Four Seasons jewelry thief wasn't lurking around the Peninsula Bev Hills last night!
The Peninsula Beverly Hills must have been a hectic scene last night as hand-delivered suits and mysterious orange sacks began arriving at the hotel and immediately whisked up to VIP suites. "The bling is here!" the hotel announced on Facebook, as we pictured everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Catherine Zeta-Jones checking into five-star hotels all over Hollywood to get themselves dolled up for the big awards ceremony.
While we can't say for sure which stars were actually at the Peninsula, we guarantee a few of them were pretty big names. After all, what regular person would have multiple bags of expensive jewelry dragged up to their hotel suite on Oscars night? One starry-eyed Facebook commenter wrote: "I can only imagine what's inside!" One thing's for sure: nothing we'd be able to afford in a million gazillion years.
Beverly Hills may conjure old-school glamour and a dash of Julia Roberts but Thompson Beverly Hills has proven its staying power since opening five years ago. It just goes to show being hip has its benefits.
And while there's nothing wrong with the hotel (buzzing rooftop pool, sleek and chic rooms with balconies, REN bathroom amenities, etc), it is going through some major changes, and we like-y!
See what's in store after the jump.
Luxury Hotels / Spa Hotels / Hotel Packages / Beverly Hill Hotels / LA Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
We're not sure if it's a good idea or what, but for the first time publicly announced (and we say that for a reason), The Peninsula Beverly Hills is letting non-hotel guests have access to its rooftop swimming pool and private poolside cabanas.
Apparently this is a chance to let people get a taste of the life that the A-lister’s who'll attend the upcoming Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars live when they stay at the tony hotel. Of course, getting folks to spill those bold-faced names is harder than child birth. But whatevah.
So, it seems in order to get more play out of the cabanas (what else could be the reason?) the Peninsula has created three spa packages for plebes like us, that will duplicate the VIP treatment. Not only will you get a heavenly massage, but also included is poolside lunch, all-day use of the rooftop pool, and even a private cabana! This top spot is laced with a loaded iPod, flat-screen television, minibar, WiFi, and more.
And even though we feel a bit nervous this will turn the PBH into a low-rent free-for-all, a peep at the price tags makes us think all will be OK.
Hotel Restaurants / Celebrity Chefs / Thompson Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
We talk so much about New York and Chicago restaurants, that we may have neglected LA a bit. While we were chatting up chefs at Atlantic City’s Savor Borgata event just before Thanksgiving, we also ran into chef Stephen Kalt who heads up the delectable Fornelletto.
He told us that he was resurrecting a restaurant called Caulfield's Bar and Dining Room at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, which would replace the Bond Street eatery.
The Le Cirque vet has designed a Mediterranean menu fit for discriminating Angelenos, with homemade charcuterie, a variety of grilled pizzettes and pastas, and a laundry list of inventive main dishes.
Skype Hotels / Tech Hotels / Hotel Tech / Beverly Hills Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Hotel Check-In / → All Tags
What's your least favorite part about staying in a hotel? If you're anything like us, check-in is a particularly tedious process—that awful time when we're worn out and cranky, and don't feel like answering to anyone or making small talk: we just want to get straight to our room and close the door.
Luckily, some hotels are willing to speed guests right along and close the gap between first arrival and bed-flopping. Here's a new program being launched by the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire that ought to satisfy the digital nomad contingent who've got little time to spare, but plenty of devices at the ready: guests that are en route to the hotel, can now Skype the Front Desk and check in with them face to face.
(Sure, you still have to actually interact with a person, but hey, you're just sitting in a car, so what else have you got to do?
Josh Flagg / Beverly Hills Hotels / Pet-Friendly Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Our resident celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg is back on TV now with the fifth season of Million Dollar Listing on Bravo. Yet even though he's a jetsetter, Josh is not above staycationing in his hometown of Beverly Hills. And his dog Godzilla always goes along for the fun. After checking out the doggie offerings at the Four Seasons Los Angeles and the Montage Beverly Hills, Josh went to see how the The Beverly Wilshire stacked up.
Scenes for an upcoming movie were filming at my house recently so I had to move out for a while and I decided to take my partner Colton and Godzilla to the The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel.
We all had a wonderful stay in the hotel which was made infamous in the movie "Pretty Woman." Not only did Colton and I watch the movie on loop but we also reenacted the love-making scene on the piano between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts (joke).
Snapshot / Hotel Technology / Peninsula Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Hotel Nightstands / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
While we couldn't get into the Peninsula's super secret technology laboratory where they custom make all the in-room tech for their hotels, we have been fortunate enough to experience some of these proprietary gadgets at Peninsula Hotels in person...like the control pad on the nightstand at the Peninsula Beverly Hills.
When you settle into bed at night, you can not only set an alarm for the next morning from the control pad but also turn down the lights, set the air conditioning and signal a "Privacy Please" on your hotel room door so housekeeping won't disturb you. Heavenly! The more things we can do from the comfort of our bed, the better. Of course, when the rooms start at $525 a night, we expect nothing less. Good thing the WiFi is free!
Bonus shot of the room's media hub after the jump!
Celebrity Scoop / Victoria's Secret Hotels / Miranda Kerr / Candace Swanepoel / Thompson Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / → All Tags
It was just another day at the Thompson Beverly Hills today. You know, guests checking in, guests checking out, Victoria's Secret Angels modeling swimwear up at the rooftop pool.
Yup, Miranda Kerr and Candace Swanepoel walked down a plexiglass runway atop the rooftop pool this morning, modeling bikinis and coverups from the VS 2012 Swimwear Collection. Later, they did back-to-back-to-back interviews with media outlets touting the newest bathing suits. (We heard Miranda pushing one of the bikinis with some special "lift" feature.)
Bathroom Tuesdays / Peninsula Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Toilets / Hotel Bathrooms / → All Tags
For today's second edition of Bathroom Tuesdays (what can we say? We see a LOT of hotel bathrooms), we're looking at the toilet bowls of the rich and famous. That's because we spied one of these amazing high-tech loos in the Pink Suite of the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel--a Neorest 500.
Yup, it's the same kind of water wizardry that we witnessed at the renovated Hotel Bel-Air where the toilet seat rises to greet you and you can choose several, um, cleansing options via remote control.
However, not all of the hotel's newly redone signature suites had the latest model. We spied at least one older edition of a Toto Washlet but it still had all the buttons and gadgetry of the Neorest, just a little fussier design.
Oddly enough, these toilets cost upwards of $3,000 which is just half the amount of one night in the Pink Suite....
Last week, we got to ogle some of the most coveted suites in the world--the newly renovated Signature Suites at the Peninsula Beverly Hills.
Ok, so none of these upper echelon rooms come with a hot tub near the hotel's helipad but each suite oozes glamour, opulence, elegance and perhaps most importantly for the hotel's A-list celebrity clientele, privacy.
Yet before you dismiss these rooms as full of "Do Not Touch" furnishings and impractical decor that will keep you from getting comfortable, relax, because interior design firm Forchielli Glynn and Nancy Corzine have successfully managed to make each suite feel like home. Which is nice to have when you are paying upwards of $6,000 a night. Even better, the suites are named after their color scheme--White, Blue, Green and Pink--rather than executive boardroom positions.
Now, for those of you who, like us, can't afford to stay in these suites without winning the lottery, let's take a look at what we're missing: