Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT California: The Beverly Hills Hotel, Then and Now
California: The Beverly Hills Hotel, Then and Now PDF Print E-mail

Thoughts of my first visit to the 104-year-old Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills CA) go back more than six decades. Following two years of active duty after being recalled by the Navy during the Korean War, your travel4seniors.com editor settled in Los Angeles in 1953.

Reporting at a local newspaper then didn't go much beyond paying rent and other basics, but did have benefits. One was covering events at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It had been the site of many elegant events since its opening in 1912 at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Drive. Famed movie stars of that era and the present have slept there in its luxurious suites and dined at its elegant eateries. One memorable assignment was attending a December 1956 luncheon in honor of young Charleton Heston who had just completed the starring role of Moses in the epic Biblical story, The Ten Commandments. The event MC was Director Cecil B. DeMille. Other stars of the film at the luncheon included Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter and Vincent Price.

It was held at the famed Polo Lounge in the hotel. I remember how stylish and beautiful a place it was. Of course, I could normally never afford it on my then low newspaper editor's salary. A vivid memory of the event is of the delicious steak served for lunch, as famed movie stars dined nearby.

Later, my career took me away to other parts of the country. A retiree, I returned to California recently, and now live just a short drive away from the famed hotel. I treasure those long-ago memories of that luncheon, and know the Polo Lounge is still as elegant and popular as ever.

It’s a great place at 8 a.m., noon, 8 p.m. or 1 a.m. There’s great music daily, and a jazz trio at the hotel's famed Sunday Jazz Brunch. Featured are shrimp louie, eggs benedict and lobster salad. If you want to eat where Rudolf Valentino, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, the Duke of Windsor and Charlie Chaplin dined, visit the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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