The Peninsula Beverly Hills is almost impossibly opulent, even by Hollywood standards, a cinematically pristine Renaissance mansion of the sort that takes offense at sparing expense. A favorite of industry bigwigs, the hotel means it when it boasts of executive-level service — from the fleet of Rolls Royces, Infinitis, and MINI Coopers to the lavish “programmes” with celebrity stylists and gurus, this is LA at its shiniest.
Starting at the top sounds sensible. This isn’t just any rooftop, but rather a complex cocktail of spa, garden, pool, and California-cuisine eatery (with, yes, cocktails). An entire line of bespoke products and treatments await in the wellness center, not to mention a premium array of fitness equipment, but we wouldn’t fault you for heading straight for the heated, 60-foot pool. Who says staying beautiful always has to be hard work? Besides, the eavesdropping’s better from one of the dozen poolside cabanas.
At 195 rooms, inclusive of 38 suites and 17 ultra-confidential villas, the Peninsula definitely situates itself towards the Eastern end of grand-scale luxury, and each one of them proves it many times over. The Frette-sheeted beds are almost too comfortable to consider crawling out of, and why bother when the entire room is controlled by a bedside panel, from the climate control to the “do not disturb” sign. They’re practically glossy cocoons, what with the 40-inch LCD HDTVs, integrated sound systems, Blu-Ray players, and sumptuously outfitted marble bathrooms. Suites and villas extend the cream-toned magnificence with chandeliers, fireplaces, and roomy terraces, more pied-à-terre than room by this point.
The Belvedere, one of LA’s classic power-lunch destinations, now sports brilliant new duds by EDG, showcasing a formidable contemporary art collection in every direction. David Codney’s team labors to produce works of culinary art themselves, favoring wild-caught seafood and produce from the hotel’s own rooftop garden in the process. There are plenty of vintages, mixological wonders, and microbrews to go around, fear not, though perhaps they’re best enjoyed within the Club Bar’s dim, leathery confines.
One more luxury makes the Peninsula worth the price, this one quite sensible indeed: the 24-hour check-out policy. Check in, say, at 11 pm, perhaps after a late flight; stay until 11pm the next night. Why is this not the norm in all hotels?