< UNITED STATES | BEVERLY HILLS: Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
Built on the site of the Beverly Auto Speedway which provided residents with an opportunity for picnics and Model T Ford races on Sunday afternoons, the
Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel, as it was originally named, opened its doors in January 1928. At the time, the population of Beverly Hills was less than 1,000 and it was
still undiscovered by Hollywood’s in-crowd.
The hotel was constructed by real estate developer Walter G. McCarty and designed by Los Angeles based architects Walker and Eisen in the Second Renaissance Revival style. Beverly Wilshire is a salute to its construction and renovation teams over the years. It has withstood major earthquakes in 1933, 1971 and 1994 and was designated an air raid shelter during World War II.
The Beverly Wilshire had only one wing (Wilshire Wing) until in 1971, the twelve-story Beverly Wing was built on the site previously occupied by tennis courts, cabanas and an Olympic sized pool. Two wings were gracefully joined by El Camino Real (Royal Road), a private cobblestone driveway, lined with 38 gaslight lanterns imported from a castle in Edinburgh and covered by a domed porte-cochere. The Beverly Wing originally contained a floor of suites that were two-stories tall. The current pool was modeled after Sophia Loren’s private villa in Italy.
Throughout its rich history, The Beverly Wilshire accommodated many important guests. Hotel's Golden book include names of: President Barack Obama, the Emperor of Japan Hirohito, the Dalai Lama, Sadruddin Aga Khan, Michael Caine, Michael Douglas, Farrah Fawcett, Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Elton John, Al Pacino... Elvis Presley lived in the Hotel while filming several movies. His female fans used to send up balloons to his terrace containing love notes. Warren Beatty lived in the Veranda Suite of the hotel for 10 years during the 1960’s and 70’s. Steve McQueen met his wife, Barbara, at the Beverly Wilshire in July 1977, while the American socialite and Woolworth department store heiress, Barbara Hutton spent her last years in the hotel and died there in May 1979.
The Blvd restaurant (formerly the Lobby Lounge) opened in March of 2005 and is open all day. The perfect spot for people watching, the outdoor patio on Wilshire Blvd and Rodeo Drive was recently created and is the only sidewalk café that the hotel has had in its history. CUT, Wolfgang Puck’s first steak restaurant, opened in June 2006 and was designed by the famed architect Richard Meier. Charles Eames designed the swivel chairs in CUT. Celebrities seen in CUT include Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Elton John, Eve, Mary J. Blige, Eddy Murphy, Rachel McAdams, Scarlett Johanson, Rod Stewart, Steven Speilberg, Jeffery Katzenberg.
The hotel has been used as a filming location many times: "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (1971), "Clueless" (1995), “Sex and The City: The Movie” (2008), "Valentine's Day" (2010)... The hotel gained worldwide recognition as the setting of the movie "Pretty Woman" (1990), Garry Marshall's romantic comedy starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. “Pretty Woman” filming only used the exterior of the Hotel, while the interior scenes (Lobby, Lounge/Bar and the Ballroom) were shot at the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
From 1985 to 2006, the hotel was known as the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Four Seasons has managed the property since 1992 but the official name change to Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, occurred in September 2006.
The Beverly Wilshire was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 12th, 1987.
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