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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 entertained them.

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 furry guests.

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 the afternoon.

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.




Hollywood Moments

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 youíre there.

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.


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