Why Visit Beverly Hills? The Peninsula Promise

Since the 1950s, Beverly Hills has marketed itself as a high-end shopping paradise and home of the rich and famous, which still rings true today. Beverly Hills may be one of the world’s most glamorous places to live, but it is also a city designed for visitors. High-end tourism is crucial for the city’s legendary hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, and the beauty, health and wellness services to thrive.

The Peninsula Hotel, Beverly Hills

We have a few favorite hotels on our dossier of Highly Recommend properties. Like our individual fingerprints, there is a hotel for every taste and need. Do you prefer to stay a bit out of town and hideaway in a Bungalow or is your jam to see and to be seen? Enjoy leisurely strolls and window shop, pop into a cafe for an espresso?

The Peninsula outpost in Beverly Hills offers many options with 195 rooms, including 38 suites and 17 private villas, located in its lush tropical gardens. Gossip has it that one guest so loves the Villas, they’ve stayed for 24 years! Forbes rates it at the ultimate Five Stars.

A Grand Dame of a property providing sophistication and the ultimate in glamour in the city’s swankiest neighborhood. Roll into the circular driveway, sunglasses on and be prepared for fabulous people watching, exceptionally high service and pampering! Purse puppies abound, guests dressed to the nines enjoying the best that life has to offer in Los Angeles! There were whispers of Bill Barr arriving for a noon lunch and book signing.

Set at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire near Canon Drive, just around the corner from the Holy Grail of chic high-end shopping, 20 minutes away to popular museums and 30 minutes to LAX or Burbank airport. Rolls Royce courtesy car for transport within the city limits, what else? There is a jaunty pink Perrier Champagne Citron out front as well, if you prefer to be less seen.

The grand lobby with polished marble floors is a flurry of stylish and well-dressed patrons and locals. You may see royalty and eccentricity milling through, it’s a haven for all temperaments!  The lobby is flanked by the ornate Living Room, where the hotel’s wildly popular afternoon tea is served, come dressed! High Tea is accompanied by a harpist and on Thursday evenings, the room comes alive with a pianist. The Club Bar is a sophisticated chamber clad in dark wood panels made of California birch and deep leather chairs that circle the fireplace. A traditional yet timeless ambiance, reminiscent of an elegant gentleman’s club, if you arrive a wee early, it’s a lovely place to perch while your bags are whisked to your room. A British pair who looked as if they had just dismounted from a Hunt, were sipping G&T’s with their furry four legged friend.

Oh, don’t miss the fine-dining Belvedere Restaurant, which features a beautiful courtyard terrace. An elegant European Brasserie offering a blend of art and cuisine in a classic French-country aesthetic steeped in Southern California luxury. Here, diners are immersed in a creative experience surrounded by magnificent artwork while relishing the artistically plated cuisine, and the high fashion of their loyal patrons featured in the illustrations on the restaurant’s menus. The Belvedere truly embodies the essence of its meaning, “beautiful view.”

Advice: pace yourself as it’s easy to overindulge. When I dine with my hoteliers, they never want to deny you any delicacy! Champers at lunch is de riguer, and oh, you must try the Caviar and Lobster flatbread, do nosh on these cheese sticks, they are heavenly – morphs into the Charred Caesar with Salmon, it must not be missed – and of course, dessert…Ms. Books? Everything Chocolate or a classic Grand Marnier Soufflé?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served here; every dish is skillfully prepared with local produce – apart from the exceptional Dover Sole, which is flown in fresh every day from the UK. Hotel guests and Beverly Hills residents alike enjoy weekend revelry with the Bubbles & Bells Free-flow Champagne Brunch.

By nightfall, if you can rouse from the food coma, the Roof Garden is a lush casual spot for a less filling meal. Accented by its iconic yellow and white striped umbrellas, it’s a favorite among area residents and hotel guests alike.

Rooms, Suites, and Villas. The expansive rooms are all nattily appointed in a chic European style, with elegant furnishings and canopy beds draped in pastel or floral-printed fabrics. All have French windows that open onto a garden or city view, but the best come with private patios and hot tubs. The large bathrooms feature original pink marble from Greece and plenty of smart touches, such as monogrammed towels and Oscar de la Renta toiletries. The pink marble originates from the hometown of the owner. Villas are surrounded by lush gardens and range in size from a studio to the two-story Peninsula Villa which feels like a luxurious residence.

At check in, I was escorted to a gorgeous suite with petite Juliet balcony, in pretty pastels and colorful touches of pinks, creams, blues and greens, Happy as a clam at the pool, I was shaken out of my sun slumber by a text from my dear rep, Jake: Ms. Books, we had a cancel in the glammy Pink Suite you swooned over, would you like us to move you? Just like that, Lickety Split to pack up the laptop and mosey to the sumptuous Grand Deluxe Pink Suite. ‘Pink,’ ‘Blue’ and ‘Silver’ Suites, are some of the grandest suites at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. The ‘Pink Suite,’ with its hues of deep rose and elegant Dior grey, is accented by crisp white wainscoting, gold and silver-leaf. My kitchen was swoon worthy, although I had no intention of meal preparation, the fridge would keep the Champers chilled. A spacious terrace with loungers and a massive dining table for late afternoon tea or in my case, perfect for al fresco brekkie. I drooled over this brilliant 2250 square feet suite of tailored raspberry walls – a deep rose suite with one bedroom, a kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms! One bathroom the size of an average living room. In The Pink Indeed!

The Peninsula Beverly Hills made staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered the complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. 

Kiddos coming along? Family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. An experience that can be added onto any room reservation, the Camp Peninsula Journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away to your luxurious guest-room where a charming teepee awaits.

Life Live Well at The Peninsula Spa. Named one of the Top 10 Spas worldwide by readers of SpaFinder, the Peninsula Spa incorporates highly effective treatments with the finest therapists and products.

Pool Cabanas are available for day use.  Surrounded by panoramic views of the Los Angeles and Century City skyline, The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ 60-foot outdoor rooftop pool and hot tub is an idyllic spot for hotel guests to relax and cool down in true Peninsula style.

Proper indulgence at the rooftop pool. Luxury Relax & Revive poolside in a spacious cabana with much needed pampering. Bask in the sun, with rejuvenating reflexology, a mani-pedi, gourmet dining and panoramic city views. Based on availability Wednesday and Thursday for glam grooming.

The Peninsula Hotel Spa Beverly Hills

Old school attention to service, and the recent upgrades include state of the art technology. Friendly professional staff, I ask questions everywhere! My room attendant has worked there for over ten years mentioning how employees are well treated.  Bill, the room manager escorted me to my suite, regaled with a cheerful history of the hotel, he’s been there for over 20 years. Peninsula Love is abundant, to me, that is a defining character of a brand and a hotel.

Oh, did I mention my monogrammed Pillowcase? It occurred to me to stay for 24 years!

Peninsula Pets!

Highly Recommend for luxurious comfort, serious shopping, fine dining and the ultimate in people watching – small gift shop with glorious hats if you are the Star and need to be undercover!

Epicurean Gem – Dining with David Tanis at Lulu Restaurant

My recent foray to Beverly Hills included a delightful, delicious lunch at Lulu at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The museum exhibition was ho-hum, our leisurely déjeuner in the open-air courtyard was superb! A new exhibition based on Joan Didion opens October 11, scurry to LA for the perfect recipe of delectable dining and museum afternoon! I may have to make a return trip. Or ignore the museum altogether and just enjoy dining in a very special location.

Not far from downtown Beverly Hills, the newish Lulu’s is a collaboration between famed chef, New York Times writer and prolific cookbook author David Tanis and the Bay Area’s Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. David, who is well-known for his New York Times cooking column, worked at Chez Panisse, on and off for nearly 25 years. They are old chums, enjoying decades of friendship and a mutual love of cooking and sustainability. When approached by UCLA to open the restaurant, David was Alices’ only choice as a partner.

Lulu is committed to prioritizing sustainability through local, regenerative food and design. If you follow David on Instagram, his Farmers Market selections provide inspiration for the daily menu. Lulu’s mission focuses on procuring food directly from small, nearby farms practicing regenerative organic agriculture, which results in wholesome, delicious food grown using methods that combat the climate crisis. The Lulu website lists numerous small farms who supply chef and kitchen team with seasonal fruit and vegetables. And of course, there is a lovely wine and cocktail menu.

The restaurant is named after a wise Provencal cook, Lulu Peyraud, whose cooking and hospitality at Domaine Tempier in Bandol, France has always inspired David and Alice.

At lunch, Lulu offers a popular three-course $45 prix fixe menu as well as an à la carte selection of salads, soups, sandwiches, light lunch fare, coffee, tea, and desserts. For supper, Lulu offers an à la carte selection of small bites, appetizers, entrées, and desserts curated around the produce in season. Staying true to their ethos of “market cooking,” the menus change daily depending on what is the very best available from local farms.

The outdoor setting under a canopy of umbrellas and dangling paper lanterns is perfect. Massive raw salvaged wood planks are stacked with bowls of gorgeous fresh apples and persimmons, whatever is seasonal. Simple and clean, the message is abundantly clear in the design and decor. Dating the menu is symbolic of the narrative, it’s fresh from the market or farm.

The menu will change constantly. The a la carte menu may offer a combination of soups and salads and sandwiches; three-course prix fixe allows David to shape meals with a gastronomic narrative. Like all the recipes from David’s cookbooks, the dishes are designed to be straightforward and uncomplicated. One year, David personally signed his cookbooks as a gift to our clients.

Our meal choices were based on David’s recommendation and for me, trying an option from one of his cookbooks. I adored a starter of Jumbo Medjool Dates, his roasted rosemary almonds served with a jagged chunk of Parmesan cheese.. the perfect bite to peruse the menu. David transforms simple to glorious! My Chicken a la Milanese was scrumptious, as was a shared plate of farm ripened Caprese salad with black olive toast. We also shared a satisfying plate of Ricotta gnocchi with zucchini and squash blossoms. All yummy! Sticking with the seasonal menu for dessert, we scooped up every bite of the gooey Nectarine blackberry crumble.

Lulu serves lunch and supper Tuesday through Sunday – check website for hours and directions.

Highly Recommend Lulu and we can reserve the perfect Beverly Hills hotel, tell David you are dining – and perhaps you will enjoy a hello with Alice and a tour of the kitchen with David, as I did!

Thank you, dear David, for the special attention. Your follower and friend, Gwen

Hammer Museum upcoming Exhibit –  Joan Didion: What She Means