HOLLYWOOD GRANDE DAME
A family of four checks in to the famous Pink Palace in Los Angeles for a taste of movie-star glamour.
WORDS: Snezana Belevska-Bennell
Set on hectares of tropical jungle
and palms, The Beverly Hills Hotel
is one of the worldís most fabled
hotels, and certainly one of the most
glamorous in Los Angeles.
Its guest list includes the likes of Audrey
Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Humphrey Bogart
and Elizabeth Taylor. Also known as The Pink
Palace, itís a landmark not only for locals but
also for visitors seeking a slice of the high life.
As we pulled up to the hotelís grand
entry we were greeted by a group of friendly
and immaculately dressed bellboys. As
I stood on the red carpet under the famous
striped portico, I felt swept up in the beauty
of this very special place. I could feel the
aura of Golden Hollywood, of classic stars,
intrigue, style and pizzazz. This place may not
have launched a thousand stars, but it sure
Although check-in went quickly and
smoothly, I was impatient to see the famous
Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper. It was
created especially for the hotel in 1942 by
designer Don Loper and is one of the most
recognisable wallpapers in the world. I have
always been a huge fan.
While our Junior Suite didnít feature the
yearned-for wallpaper, it didnít disappoint.
It was classically beautiful and my eye was
immediately drawn to the grey velvet chaise
and stunning view outside of palms, tropical
plants and sunshine.
As David and I enjoyed a glass of the
complimentary champagne, the boys, Luka
(8) and Saachi (5), indulged in chocolate letters made into their names. We then set
off to explore.
But where to start? Elegance and family
friendliness rarely go hand in hand, but they
certainly do at The Beverley Hills Hotel,
to wit: elegance in the form of stunningly
renovated rooms, resplendent in pale
pinks and creams, divine beds and lounges,
fireplaces and private terraces, and every
amenity one could desire. From the exquisite
bungalows to the private swimming pools,
The Beverley Hills Hotel is flawless. She truly
is the grande dame of Los Angeles.
Family friendliness comes with special
childrenís menus, spacious luxury suites
and bungalows (which are a real taste
of old Hollywood), VIP kidsí cards for
unlimited drinks, 4.8 hectares of tropical
gardens with wide green spaces Ė and
puppies. The hotel has a renowned Canine
Connoisseurs programme, and my boys
were soon in puppy heaven with some of the
We spent our first afternoon relaxing by
the hotelís glamorous pool. Itís Los Angelesí
largest and is nestled among towering palms,
striped sunbeds and private cabanas boasting
plasma TVs and lounges. There are pretty
umbrellas everywhere and white exotic
flowers spread across the long terraces. The
kids loved the complimentary poolside treats
delivered to their sunbeds. And the parents
loved the poolside champagne cart!
I had some work to do so I left the boys poolside. Even though thereís a sophisticated
business centre, I went straight for the hotelís
historic Fountain Coffee Room. This small
retro diner where Marilyn Monroe drank
milkshakes has been a local institution since
1949. Best of all, itís resplendent in Banana
Leaf wallpaper! I propped myself on a bar
stool, coffee and laptop on the counter,
and worked away, loving my office for
That night we had a wonderful family
dinner at The Polo Lounge. This iconic
restaurant feels like the real old Hollywood.
I loved the sense of history and being part
of a restaurantís story that stretches back
to the early 1940s when Dean Martin, Frank
Sinatra and the Rat Pack partied, and sporty
Hollywood stars such as Will Rogers and
Darryl Zanuck would settle in here for a drink
after a polo game. The name was officially
adopted in 1941, and since then stars have
continued to enjoy power breakfasts and
spectacular meals in a venue thatís both
nostalgic and up-to-the-minute stylish.
We dined outside under a canopy of red bougainvillea and fairy lights, enjoying the
live music, divine food and fine service.
The following morning, Luka joined me
for a walk around the streets of Beverly Hills
before meeting David and Saachi in the Polo
Lounge garden for a huge breakfast. I took
advantage of the hotelís driver service and
headed for Rodeo Drive. I had been doing
some DGB (Delayed Gratification Budgeting)
and had no qualms about indulging in a pair
of Louboutins that had my name on them.
Our last night was date night, so we
organised a hotel babysitter and enjoyed
a romantic dinner at Il Cielo in Beverly Hills
before returning to the Polo Lounge for
signature cocktails and live piano.
I was up at sunrise and headed for the
pool to swim laps. Alone in the quiet, it was
just me and the famous Pink Palace pool.
For a family holiday, The Beverley Hills
Hotel meets every need and exceeds every
expectation; it deserves its reputation as LAís
most iconic hotel. When you leave, you take
just a small part of its star-filled history with
you. And that truly is something.
Donít miss these family-friendly highlights while youíre in town.
1. TCL CHINESE THEATRE IMAX The forecourt alone is enough of a reason to visit this famous
movie theatre Ė the kids will
love standing in the footsteps
of their favourite stars Ė but
do take in a new release while
2. LUCKY STRIKE BOWLING ALLEY This upscale 10-pin bowling
venue features 12 state-ofthe-
art lanes and an edgy
steampunk aesthetic, complete
with Chesterfield lounges,
projection screens and
gastropub food. Children are
welcome until 8pm.
3. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS This working movie studio
and action-packed theme park
deserves a full day, or even two,
on your itinerary. The immersive
rides Ė The Wizarding World
of Harry Potter is the latest Ė
movie set tram tours and stunt
shows are all sure to impress.
4. MADAME TUSSAUDS Selfies are encouraged at this wax museum and although the
kids will probably favour A-list
celebrities or superheroes over
Hollywood icons, who you pose
with is up to you! Be sure to
take the behind-the-scenes tour;
youíll walk away with a 3D mould
of your hand as a souvenir.
This article appeared in volume 8 of Five Star Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.