Seeing Stars: The Hotels of the Stars..  

 
9882 Santa Monica Blvd.,
Beverly Hills, CA. / (310) 551-2888


Talk about good timing. Just before the Pink Palace (the Beverly Hills Hotel) closed for renovation, the new Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel opened its doors less than a mile away, at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards. It was the first new luxury hotel to open in Beverly Hills in twenty years.

Naturally, the show biz crowd that used to mill around the Polo Lounge began looking for a new hangout once their old watering hole closed, and guess where many of them they ended up? It didn't hurt that the most powerful talent agency in Hollywood (Creative Artists Agency) had their offices right next door to the new hotel. In fact, almost 50% of the breakfast customers at the hotel's posh Belvedere restaurant are now C.A.A. agents, and they make up 40% of the lunch crowd as well. Talk about your "power lunches"!

The hotel is attracting its share of stars, as well - such as Cher and Michael Bolton - and its share of celebrity scandals.

The tabloids buzzed when busty Guess Jeans model Anna Nicole Smith overdosed on drugs and alcohol here and was rushed to the hospital, while Courtney Love (widow of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain) also had a drug-related problem while staying at the hotel. Courtney claimed it was an allergic reaction - the police booked her for possession of a controlled substance and drug-related paraphernalia, but didn't press charges.

But fortunately, such problems are the exception to the rule. Other recent celebrity guests have included Debra Winger, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, Roseanne, Tom Arnold, Jessica Lange, Jason BiggsJessica Alba. Jim Belushi had his wedding reception here in 1998.

         

At the Belvedere restaurant, Time reports that Paul Newman and Mikhail Gorbachev chatted it up here, that Michael Bolton and Winona Ryder have dined here, and that Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly all dropped by to hear the Club Bar's pianist, George Bugatti.

While on the Regis Philbin show, singer Carley Simon reported that she recorded her first Christmas album in her room at the Peninsula Hotel. Room 139 to be exact. (Regis then replied that he had recently stayed there in room 134.) The name of the album is "Christmas is Almost Here."

And the hotel has also appeared in a number of TV series, including "Family Law" and "Bette."

A branch of the oldest hotel in Hong Kong, the Peninsula is a small, intimate hotel (with only 151 rooms, 28 suites and 16 villas), yet it has earned five-star and five-diamond ratings. The private villas and the cabañas near the rooftop pool are popular with deal-makers and stars in search of privacy, while the hotel's Club Bar has become a major power spot to be seen. The rooms resemble private mansions, richly decorated with French antiques and marble floors. Rates start at $325 for a room, but the Presidential Suite (which includes a baby grand piano and a private bar) will set you back $3,000 a night.

Getting there: The Peninsula is located at the corner of Wilshire and Little Santa Monica Blvds. From Rodeo Drive, take Santa Monica Boulevard southwest four blocks to Wilshire Boulevard.  


[For more information on this subject, you can access the Peninsula's official website at: http://www.peninsula.com.] 



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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