There’s an old-worldness to Beverly Hill’s luxury establishments that the Hollywood A-list just adores and millions of others aspire to. Despite its on-screen persona of surf-up and sun-down, it seems that California-soul escapism demands indulgent, villa-like properties with classic European decor and militarily precise service standards. This is captured perfectly at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
There’s something about upmarket America – California even – that craves old-world indulgence. We’ve found in our travels across this most modern of U.S. cities, that the rich here aspire to the classic European ideals of luxury. So that’s why The Peninsula Beverly Hills wouldn’t feel too out of place in the south of France. And even after this Californian chateau has had a recent makeover, it still leans heavily into the “oh-la-la” style of escapism – ‘la’ in this case, meaning Los Angeles.
The decor of our suite was rather feminine; floral prints and patterns dominated the neutral, cream tones, accented with touches of pale blue for that beachside holiday vibe. All suites adhere to the French vibe, with colour themes and soft furnishings by Manuel Canovas and Brunschwig. The only real departure from Europe was that our Villa Suite was the size of a small apartment – size matters in America – complete with a kitchenette and outdoor terrace with a private, Mediterranean fountain-style jacuzzi. In our opinion, in-room amenities could be far more imaginative, and having stayed at many Peninsula’s worldwide, the Peninsula Beverly Hills falls short of global standards when it comes to laying it on for guests.
The rest of the hotel continues the real-world retro vibe and the pool is a spot to be seen for sure. Dipping our sunglasses surreptitiously, we spotted a few Hollywood A-listers doing some fervent networking over freshly squeezed lemonade, as would have been the norm here for decades. The pool staff is effortlessly friendly and efficient – in fact, we would say that the service throughout the hotel, is its stand-out point, kudos to the team here.
High tea at the Peninsula Beverly Hills is all the rage. Scones, lemon curd and delicate smoked salmon sandwiches reminded us of home. And there are some distinctly L.A. touches too – healthy options, gluten-free and vegan – which checks all the boxes for today’s OutThere traveller. The hotel’s executive chef clearly puts a lot of love into this elaborate ceremony.
Another food and beverage option worth noting is The Belvedere, the American staple steak house. Just make sure not to schedule afternoon tea and dinner on the same day, if you want to live the life of a svelte Angelino.
It’s easy to be critical about L.A. luxury – but all in all, our stay here was very pleasant and on reflection – a quintessentially Beverly Hills experience. OutThere travellers will just have to accept that the luxuries to be experienced here will have been adopted from somewhere else. But frankly, the real L.A. lies just beyond the hotel’s doors and the property’s location puts you firmly at the centre of all the action.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
When (if possible) you tire of this bustling city, the Peninsula Academy – the hotel’s selection of experiential activities – offers a wonderful day out along the picturesque Southern Californian coastline to Pismo Beach. Here you’ll drive a souped-up Rolls Royce Cullinan on the sand, before cruising to the very special Tolosa Winery for a farm-to-table lunch with wine pairing. You’ll be in no state to drive after lunch, so the hotel will arrange for you to be flown back to LAX by private aircraft. When in La La Land…