In an area renowned for its high end living, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, located on the southern end of Rodeo Drive, represents the crown jewel of Beverly Hills. Completed in 1928, the former Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel has become a luxurious home away from home for celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Famous for more than just its locale, the Beverly Wilshire has played host to everyone from the Dalai Lama and Elvis Presley, to several U.S. Presidents and yes, even a "pretty woman" or two.
The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is actually situated on the former site of the Beverly Auto Speedway, which was a popular gathering place to watch Ford Model T's race across Beverly Hills during the Roaring Twenties. Before the arrival of the hotel, there was little to attract people's attention in the direction of Beverly Hills, especially with Hollywood being so close. For the most part, the area consisted of dirt roads and bean fields.
The hotel's arrival, along with a migration of movie stars, changed the face of Beverly Hills forever. Today, Beverly Hills would seem incomplete without the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, which offers its guests an incomparable level of luxury. Among the hotels amenities and services are a spa and fitness center, an Olympic-sized pool, award-winning dining, and several programs and services designed specifically for children. At one point, championship tennis courts were built and headed by Pancho Gonzalez, a tennis pro considered by many to have been the best tennis player of his or any generation.
Despite the fact that the hotel has changed hands several times, including 1940, 1958, 1961, 1985, and 1992, its goal of maintaining its status never has. Since its opening in 1928, more than $135 million have been spent on upgrades, renovations, and maintenance. In all, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel consists of two wings, the Beverly Wing and the Wilshire Wing, both of which are connected by a domed carriage porch. The Wilshire Wing alone cost a reported $4 million to construct, and contains Corinthian columns, Tuscany stone, mosaic skylights, and rooftop gardens. There are 395 deluxe rooms in the hotel, 120 of which are pool-side suites.
Of course, the hotel's Wilshire Wing also features a very famous 4,000 square foot, $5000 a night Presidential Suite that was occupied by Julia Roberts' character in the movie Pretty Woman. If that is not enough the hotel's Beverly Wing is home to a 5,000 square foot Penthouse Suite that will run guests about $7,500 a night, and contains a wrap-around balcony, an Italian marble bathtub, glass chandeliers, and Roman columns throughout.
Like many of the people who live in Beverly Hills, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel continues to defy its age. Today, the hotel remains as popular as ever, attracting royalty from Hollywood and from around the world. With its location so close to the famous Rodeo Drive shops and eateries, the Beverly Wilshire is truly a place to see and be seen. There is no need to be a star to come out of the hotel feeling like one.
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