beverly-wilshire-featureReg. Bev. Wil.

Remember when Kit writes down the name of the hotel that Vivian is staying at in Pretty Woman? Yeah. That hotel. No longer the Regent Beverly Wilshire, a moniker the hotel held from 1985 to 2006, it’s now the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel (has been since 1992) … but it’s still known to fans the world over as The Pretty Woman hotel. Even as you approach, the colourful striped awnings are immediately recognizable from the street and instantly call to mind scenes from the film that was released 25 years ago. The lobby of the property was used in the filming of the movie but the hotel room scenes were shot on a set.

The Beverly Wilshire is an iconic luxury hotel situated at the top of Rodeo Drive in a prime location for shopping and spotting Hollywood stars in their natural habitat.

The Beverly Wilshire is an iconic luxury hotel situated at the top of Rodeo Drive in a prime location for shopping and spotting Hollywood stars in their natural habitat … if you’re so inclined. Directly across the street from Tiffany, the Beverly Wilshire is also mere steps from high-end designer stores like Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci, to name but a few. It was in the chic stores along Rodeo that poor Vivian, in that terrible outfit, was denied service, remember?

Why to stay here: The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, has a gorgeous, grand entrance, with stunning floral displays. There are 395 guest rooms, including 137 suites and two wings – the original Wilshire Wing and the Beverly Wing, which was built in 1971. If you’re headed to Los Angeles for shopping and dining, this hotel is in an ideal location. The rooms are contemporary and luxurious and the hotel has a storied past linked to some of Hollywood’s elite – not surprisingly, given its location. Elvis Presley sometimes lived in the hotel while filming and fans would send balloons up to his terrace with love notes attached. Warren Beatty also lived in the hotel during the ‘60s and ‘70s and Steve McQueen met his wife at the hotel in 1977.

beverly-wilshire-peek-insideThe Spa at the Beverly Wilshire: The Spa at the Beverly Wilshire, which opened in 2006, is over 8,000 square feet and has nine treatment rooms. Definitely try to squeeze in a visit to the spa while you’re at the hotel, in particular, the Nail Bar. While you’re getting a manicure and pedicure, you can enjoy a light lunch, champagne and a viewing of Pretty Woman!

Eat: I don’t know about you but shopping makes me hungry – but there aren’t many places to stop and get a bite to eat on Rodeo Drive. Oh, maybe that’s why everyone in Beverly Hills is so thin! No matter, the Beverly Wilshire has two great restaurants for you to try. The BLVD, which opened in March 2005, is an all-day restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has an outdoor patio, perfect for people watching along Wilshire and Rodeo. During dinner, I sampled the lobster salad, which, when placed in front of me, looked like a work of art. I didn’t want to dig into it … but I did! The creative dessert menu includes a Sundae Bar and a Candy Bar, where you can fill up a bag with your favourite sweet treats and take them to go.

CUT, which opened nearly a year later, is Wolfgang Puck’s first steak restaurant. Designed by architect Richard Meier, who also designed the Getty Museum, CUT is popular with Hollywood’s A-list stars like Brad and Angelina, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and others.

Overall: This hotel is in a prime location and offers great dining on-property and great shopping (or just window shopping?) off-property. There are tons of things to do in Beverly Hills but if you’re feeling lazy one day, I say stay at the hotel and enjoy all its amenities. Breakfast in bed, lunch by the pool (this area was modeled after Sophia Loren’s private villa in Italy!), an afternoon mani/pedi and room service for dinner … perfection.

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