Mingle With Hollywood Starlets at the Longtime Celebrity Haunt The Beverly Hilton

From www.justluxe.com, by Katherine Bond
Mingle With Hollywood Starlets at the Longtime Celebrity Haunt The Beverly Hilton

I am convinced that there are two ways to feel famous; either simply by being the aforementioned type or by hanging out in Beverly Hills with said persons in the epicenter of the Hollywood elite. As it is award season in tinsel town, I thought the timing was ideal for a frolic among the sequin dripping and Oscar-carrying crowd at The Beverly Hilton. The property spans nine acres on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd, the gateway to the legendary 90210 zip code.

beverly hiltonPhoto Credit: The Beverly Hilton

Opened in 1955 as the West coast flagship hotel of Conrad Hilton, it has enjoyed a handful of owners and generous renovations over the years. Although the exterior remains historically the same, much of the interior has been upgraded to match contemporary aesthetics. Still, jazzy old-Hollywood ballads can be heard playing in the mornings in the lobby, and regal black and white celebrity photo portraits are sprinkled throughout the common areas. Mai Tais, invented in the ‘50s at the hotel’s tiki-inspired lounge, are still standout classics. The property’s original icon, a giant starburst, discreetly reveals itself on napkins, towels, and small wall mountings. The whole aura is deliciously glamorous, like satin white gloves.

beverly hiltonPhoto Credit: The Beverly Hilton

Arguably the center of the hotel's celebrity allure is the International Ballroom, the Beverly Hilton's largest space that has hosted the Golden Globe's for more than 35 years. The hotel hosts about 175 red carpet events annually, including the Oscar's Nominations Luncheon and the Pre-Grammy Clive Davis Gala.

beverly hiltonPhoto Credit: The Beverly Hilton

My favorite space, formally a high-end restaurant, is dubbed the Stardust Penthouse and features panoramic views of Bel Air and West Hollywood, the Hollywood sign, and downtown LA. Another iconic space that caters to guests and photo shoots is the hotel's pool, the largest in Beverly Hills. Heated year-round to 82 degrees, the 93-foot long pool is usually filled with sunglass-donning sunbathers and swimmers. In the evenings, the pool doubles as a dive-in movie theater, showing retro Hollywood films usually in the summer evenings.

beverly hiltonPhoto Credit: The Beverly Hilton

Tucked right alongside the pool is the Beverly Hilton’s Aqua Star BABOR Beauty Spa, the first of its kind in America. The luxury skincare brand’s exquisite lotions, anti-aging regimens, and fleet of rejuvenation lines are largely incorporated into the spa’s line-up of treatments. Small and distinctly quiet despite the nearby pool scene, it is a private cocoon of tranquility. I tend to prefer boutique spas with just a few treatment rooms to the mega-facilities that usually are bursting with spa goers. With just five treatment rooms, Aqua Star is just my kind of space. The Red Carpet Ready Facial, an 80-minute neck and face treatment that uses BABOR micro current technology is a state-of-art option for picture-perfect outings.

scarpettaPhoto Credit: Scarpetta

Although on-property dining options are plentiful, Rodeo Drive is a leisurely 10-minute walk from the hotel and brims with many of LA’s elite dining destinations. One such must-do is Scarpetta, the Italian-styled al fresco concept by Scott Conant. A regular Bravo and Food Network favorite, Conant, a handsome and gregarious Italian American, can surely attach “celebrity” to his title. Scarpetta, derived from Fare la scarpetta, playfully means “to do the small shoe” or basically, to “lick your plate clean.” Even the restaurant’s logo, upon closer inspection, seems to be a smear, like a thick sauce that was soaked and dragged along a plate by a hearty dollop of baked dough.

ScarpettaPhoto Credit: Scarpetta

My guest and I nabbed one of the best seats in the restaurant, the chef’s bar, which offers an unimpeded view of the entire kitchen’s interworking. Some chef tables only provide an edited glimpse of the kitchen, such as the prepping station, but Scarpetta’s chef bar rests fully emerged in the gleaming white tiled and stainless steel epicurean empire. Its popular items are seafood and meats, and I was fully impressed with the divinely rich Pumpkin Agnolotti and the Crispy Striped Bass with a stunning mushroom ragu.

beverly hiltonPhoto Credit: The Beverly Hilton

It’s hard to beat the legacy of one of Beverly Hills’ original starlets, or the opportunity to hobnob with Hollywood’s elite and get a little glimpse into what the “other side” looks like. On your next trip to La-La-Land, if it doesn’t include a stay at The Beverly Hilton, you’re doing it all wrong.