Awards season makeovers unveiled
Several Los Angeles hotels that cater to the showbiz crowd are ready to show off mulitmillion-dollar makeovers just in time for awards season. From the complete overhaul and expansion of the storied Hotel Bel-Air (slated to reopen Oct. 14 after a two-year closure) to the newly opened Mr. C from the fourth generation of the Cipriani restaurant family, there are some stylishly freshened up stays available.Wedged behind the Polo Lounge on the leafy grounds of the Beverly Hills Hotel are two new 5,000-sq.-ft., secluded bungalows. Each Rottet Studio-designed, three- bedroom, three-bath “suite” comes with five fireplaces, kitchen, outdoor shower, private plunge pool and patio. The bathroom vanity area, with professional make-up mirror, has room for both a stylist and makeup artist. There are also a fully outfitted office (laptop included) and a Bang & Olufsen entertainment system with 65-inch HD plasma TV. Rates are among the highest in town, from $13,000 to $15,000 per night. On the other end of 90210, the Peninsula Beverly Hills is halfway through a $20 million, 20th anniversary upgrade. “We polled our guests and they all said don’t change a thing,” says director of marketing Rob Roche. At first glance, deluxe rooms look similar to earlier versions but have been thoroughly refurbished from carpeting to all furniture. Some tech add-ons have been installed, such as DVR capability (the Peninsula is one of two U.S. hotels that have it) and a digital control pad that alerts the valet to bring up the car with a touch of a button. Windows and balcony doors have been further soundproofed as well. The Peninsula’s 16 garden villas should be redone by Thanksgiving. From the Cipriani restaurant family comes a Beverly Hills-adjacent hotel on Pico Boulevard. The former Tower Hotel has been completely remodeled in a cheerful style that recalls a vintage Italian yacht: Nautical blue and white, teak decks and rosewood paneling. A private elevators services a large rooftop party space. Suites and rooms have custom-made, leather-topped Italian furniture. One major upgrade: sliding doors to balconies are now completely soundproofed. Opened in September, the Hotel Wilshire is aimed at business travelers that frequent L.A.’s media corridor. The 74 quiet and brightly decorated contemporary-styled rooms also have the requisite double-paned windows and media hub that ties in laptops and other digital devices to the flatscreen TV. A former medical office building, the space was gutted and reconfigured and is now topped by a photo-ready rooftop penthouse, pool and restaurant. The hotel’s penthouse can entertain up to 44 guests and has daybeds and an outdoor dining room above Wilshire Boulevard. Surrounding the rooftop pool are colorful cabanas and a restaurant and bar run by chef Eric Greenspan of the Foundry. Even the heavyweight Four Seasons in Beverly Hills got a $35 million re-touch recently, a project that added restuarant Culina, an expanded Windows Lounge and patio plus new glass-walled penthouses and room makeovers. But perhaps the biggest re-opening event this autumn is the unveiling of the “new” Hotel Bel-Air, which will have a new spa and lofts above, hillside villas with city and canyon views and most importantly, improved cell phone and WiFi service.