Words by Feature Editor Akeela Bhattay
If you’re visiting Beverly Hills for a taste of glamour and indulgence, the only way to begin is booking a room at the famous Four Star Beverly Hilton. Home of the Golden Globes and host to stars and presidents; John F. Kennedy was known to adopt the hotel as his Western White House and Barack Obama resided at the Beverly Hilton during his first post-election visit to L.A. Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise have, amongst a plethora of celebrity personalities, all stayed or been spotted at the Beverly Hilton. This is the hotel to stay at if you want to be treated like a star.
Opened in 1955, the hotel’s exterior is characteristic of the mid-century architecture of the time, illuminated by the iconic Beverly Hilton sign. Inside, though in keeping with its retro roots, the hotel is a celebration of modern times, having recently undergone a massive renovation. Bedrooms are equipped with ergonomic chairs, Bose iPod docks and flat HDTV plasma screens in both the bathroom and bedroom and gorgeous bath amenities by Peter Thomas Roth.
My stay began with an epic supper at Circa 55, the hotel’s retro styled restaurant – a dark wood, leather bound and dimly lit space, creating a mysterious ambience, a venue in which Mad Men’s protagonist Don Draper would look at home in. Seduced by both the menus at Circa 55 and the hotel’s trendy restaurant Trader Vic’s, my indecision had me encouraging the chef to feed me according to my favourite flavours and dietary requirements.
This lead to an evening of course after course of spectacular food and I must confess, I left feeling very full and very satisfied. My favourite dish was the Hamachi & Jalapeño Tartare (divine!) – I would return just for that.
Speaking of things I would return for and which I thoroughly recommend you experience, is the hotel’s Aqua Star Spa. I chose the hotel’s Red Carpet Ready Facial; an 80-minute revolutionary face contouring treatment, using nature inspired products by Babor to deliver immediately visible and long lasting results – I had friends complimenting my skin for weeks after my treatment.
My Red Carpet Ready Facial commenced with an exfoliating back scrub, followed by a light aromatherapy massage, a hot stone massage and a scalp message. Serenity induced, I was then treated to the most indulgent and regenerating facial. Amy, my esthetician even executed lymph drainage, having taken pity on my stuffy sinuses and I. To finish, I was given a neck, arm and hand massage. 80 minutes of pure indulgence.
If you’re not one for massages and facials, you might find the immense pool at the Beverly Hilton a more appealing pleasure. Renowned for its near Olympic size and coveted for photo-shoots, this is one pool that deserves a few laps.
The Beverly Hilton is a Beverly Hills landmark and unmissable if you desire an experience that hints at old Hollywood glamour yet satisfies your modern needs with a concoction luxury services, exquisite dining and great service.
Fly direct to LAX from London Heathrow with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand flies daily from London Heathrow to Los Angeles from £530 Economy return. Upgrade to Skycouch from £169 per couple one way. To book visit www.airnewzealand.co.uk