• Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

The Peninsula: Inside one of Beverly Hills’ most iconic hotels

If you’re not among the 1 per cent, it could be easy to feel out of place at a hotel like The Peninsula Beverly Hills.

But before you’re even through the front doors, the Peninsula’s team of staff go above and beyond to make you feel at ease – from a “Welcome home, Miss Brown” upon arrival during my visit in late November to the personally monogrammed pillowslips which you are able to keep (atop possibly the comfiest bed, ever) in your suite.

Their seamless, professional and attentive service, striving to accommodate every guest’s whim (including the option to check-in as early as 6am, and check-out as late as 10pm), it was a surprise and genuine highlight of my stay.

Describing itself as “an exclusive oasis in the City of Angels”, the Renaissance-style hotel, at the intersection of Wilshire and South Santa Monica boulevards, is certainly that.

Every inch of the 195-room property (which includes 38 suites and 18 private villas) exudes a quiet luxury.

The Superior Room is spacious, smartly appointed in a chic European style with elegant furnishings and canopy beds.

French doors open onto a Juliette balcony with a view of the city, while the sumptuous marble bathroom has every amenity you could possibly want, including a tub that’s nearly big enough to swim in.

If an actual swim is what you’re after though, head up to the (heated) rooftop pool – surrounded by yellow-and-white private cabanas. A well-equipped fitness centre is located next door, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and Peloton bikes.

After a 12-hour flight, however, nothing is more enticing than the Peninsula’s spa, which offers treatments such as the 24-carat gold age-defying facial, which I was lucky enough to experience the morning after my arrival. Combining collagen and elastin-boosting active ingredients, the treatment promised to reduce any fine lines or wrinkles while decreasing stress and anxiety – and certainly gave me a jump-start on beating any jet lag.

Whether you’re looking to be entertained or simply to unwind, the Peninsula has something for every type of traveller.

What to do in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is one of the few neighbourhoods in LA – a city notorious for its lack of walkability – where you can get around on foot.

And with temperatures more like a Sydney spring than a typical autumn climate (except for at night, when the mercury does take a dip), this is a fact well worth taking advantage of, especially when your surroundings – everything from the fire trucks to the tree-lined streets – are so aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, Rodeo Drive is right on the Peninsula’s doorstep. You’d be remiss not to take a stroll around the high-end shopping haven, even if your budget is more pre-Edward Lewis Vivian Ward than post.

Being there on the eve of the holiday season meant dozens of extra festive touches – including lights in the trees, large-scale Christmas decorations and Michael Buble playing while you stroll past Prada. A tree-lighting ceremony with fireworks and performances from David Foster and his wife, Katharine McPhee, was the icing on the cake.

It was easy to lose an afternoon at the (sadly since-finished) Solaire Culture exhibition, a celebration of Veuve Clicquot’s 250th anniversary. The show offered a retrospective of the iconic champagne house’s legacy, featuring work by 10 contemporary female artists, including Yayoi Kusama and Sheila Hicks, that paid tribute to Madame Clicquot (real name: Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin), who took over her husband’s wine business after becoming widowed at 27.

If walking isn’t your thing, the Peninsula has courtesy cars on hand to ferry you around Beverly Hills and neighbouring Century City. It’s also the only hotel with an on-site team at LAX, with a dedicated airport concierge ensuring a seamless and effortless travel experience from start to finish.

Where to eat in Beverly Hills

With four distinct offerings (as well as room service), guests at the Peninsula could easily feed themselves for days on end and never leave the property.

The Roof Garden offers light bites by the pool, while the Club Bar is the perfect spot for a drink (or three, soaked up by their array of delicious bar snacks). The Living Room is home to the Peninsula’s wildly popular and beloved afternoon tea.

When you’re after something more refined, look no further than the Belvedere.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Michelin-starred executive chef Ralf Schlegel incorporates a broad range of European influences into the menu, while making the most of what Southern California has to offer.

If you are looking to venture out, no visit to LA is complete without at least one Mexican meal.

Nearby venue The Hideaway has a fresh and tasty menu and is great for people-watching and testing your self-control with its table-side ‘push for tequila’ buttons.

The Terrace at The Maybourne is prime for enjoying the spectacular weather, overlooking the lawns of Beverly Canon Gardens with a menu that celebrates the very finest produce from California’s sea and shores, and an atmosphere that has a Mediterranean feel.

For a taste of the east coast, head to beloved New York establishment Jean-Georges, situated inside the nearby Waldorf Astoria, where breakfast is a modern twist on the traditional – think buttermilk pancakes, chia pudding, scrambled eggs with caviar and avocado toast.

And don’t miss a visit to Jon & Vinny’s. Beverly Hills is home to one of the Italian restaurant’s five locations, and provides a more casual – albeit buzzy – break away from the overwhelming luxury of your surrounds.

Believe the dozens of people who order (and then Instagram) the spicy vodka fusilli with basil and parmigiana: It is well worth it.

Rooms at The Peninsula Beverly Hills start from $US895 ($A1316) per night.

This writer travelled to Beverly Hills as a guest of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.