Where you stay when you travel is as much a part of who you are as your home. If the view from your room doesn’t include an instantly recognizable landmark that places you at the epicenter of the action, you are in the wrong room and the wrong hotel. In Paris, at the Ritz, the fabled quarters of Coco Chanel face the Place de la Concorde and in India, at the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, the Kohinoor suite overlooks the Taj Mahal.
If your heading to Hollywood for the Oscars this Sunday, or for that matter any other time of the year, I recommend you reserve the Presidential Suite or any suite at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, which faces the glamorous and star-studded Rodeo Drive. This is one of the world’s most exclusive shopping destinations where you will have no problem finding the perfect red carpet outfit at Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Versace or Gucci. Everyone from President Barack Obama, Elvis Presley and Michael Douglas to the Emperor of Japan Hirohito, the Dalai Lama and Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson has stayed at the Wilshire. Warren Beatty, Paul Newman and Woolworth department store heiress Barbara Hutton all lived here for years at a time and John Lennon checked in for several months when he was living apart from Yoko Ono.
The Wilshire’s register remains a “who’s who” of international VIPs that includes Elton John, Anjelica Huston, Al Pacino, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Dustin Hoffman, and Michael Caine to name but a few. Their magical ballroom plays host to events throughout the year including the annual An Evening with the Stars gala, which benefits pancreatic cancer research, and Lupus LA’s Annual Orange Ball. Hillary Clinton received the Public Service Award at the Pacific Council on International Policy’s gala. Will Hillary be the first woman to use the Presidential Suite in 2016? This magnificent 4,000 square foot, 2-bedroom suite can be yours for $20K a night.
The Four Seasons
The Beverly Wilshire, now a Four Seasons Hotel, has completed a 40 million dollar renovation and has been synonymous with the excellence, excitement and glamour associated with Hollywood since it opened in 1928. The imposing structure was inspired by the Italian Renaissance and built with Carrara marble and stone imported from Tuscany. In the 40’s, Elizabeth Taylor learned to swim in the hotel’s pool when she was a child. Famed hotelier Hernando Courtright purchased the property in 1961 and after his death it was acquired by Regent International Hotels. This grand hotel served as a backdrop for Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s romance in the movie Pretty Woman and was used continuously as a location for the series Entourage starring Kevin Connolly and Adrian Grenier.
A Cut Above
Richard Meier, the architect who designed the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, was engaged to redo the Wilshire’s former 21 Club space by famed restaurateur and chef Wolfgang Puck, who cooks up the official post-Oscar dinner for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Puck, who created California pizza, has reimagined the American steakhouse with CUT. What was once a dull and dark space has been turned into white, modern and minimal masterpiece with clean lines, walls of windows and an open kitchen. The knowledgeable and polite servers bring samplings of raw beef to the table for you to choose from. Consider the Japanese Wagyu rib eye, Australian Filet Mignon or the buttery Kobi Beef. Not tempted yet? The menu features over 15 other cuts of meat. Want something more exotic? Order the bone marrow flan or the thinly sliced veal tongue or head in the opposite direction and select the Maine lobster with black truffle sabayon. Have a side of baby artichokes and truffled fries and don’t forget the delectable desserts. No wonder Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, Victoria and David Beckham and the Osbourne clan can all be found at this haute cuisine power spot that was recently named “The Number One Steakhouse in America” by the Daily Meal.