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TRAVEL

The Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills

TRAVEL

The Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills

LA's newest hotel debuts with ambitious culinary offerings, luxurious amenities and a very pet friendly attitude

by Julie Wolfson
on 19 July 2017

From the moment guests enter the dramatic Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills foyer, it's clear they're in a town known for Hollywood glamour. Co-designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon with Gensler and Perkins+Will, the hotel is a modern interpretation of Art Deco inspired by the Streamline Moderne style of the '30s and '40s. In fact, even before entering the hotel, visitors are given Hollywood-style treatment. Arriving at the front door via the large circular driveway reveals a Rolls-Royce house car waiting to chauffeur guests around the neighborhood. Doormen are posed, ready to open the elegant front doors with Lalique handles and unveil the triple-height lobby with a massive chandelier. Hand-painted murals, subtle hues of champagne and jewel greens, and a tall fireplace in the lobby are flanked by olive trees.

During check in, each guest is assigned a round-the-clock personal concierge team. A welcome text message means guests can SMS the staff at any time. Each message in return is punctuated with exclamation points and signed with the name of the concierge responding. Somehow it feels more natural communicating by text with the ease of asking questions or making requests for something. A staff member checks the texts and responds quickly and coordinates the request, finding the answer, or tracking down the item.

The 12-story building features guest-rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, and stunning views of Beverly Hills. The grandeur of the lobby is echoed in the rooms with luxurious fabrics and art books. On the tech-side, an iPad is rigged with hotel information as well as the capability to make various room service requests.

The hotel’s pet friendly policy means it’s likely for there to be a pup or two trotting through the lobby. The enthusiastic staff seems to enjoy having canine guests too. The property location—close to shopping, cafes, and pretty residential streets—makes it an ideal location to stay with a dog. The famous storybook Spadena House, also known as The Witch’s House, is also just a short walk from the hotel. A few miles away Gracias Madre—designed by Wendy Hayworth with a Mexican-inspired organic plant-based menu—also welcomes dogs to sit with their owners on the patio. It feels very much like a distinctly Southern California experience.

The 5,000 square foot spa at the Waldorf Astoria has six rooms offering innovative treatments originally developed by Dr Paul Niehans of La Prairie, who believed science is the key to unlocking eternal youth. This sleek and relaxing haven offers skin treatments from a brightening facial that plumps and firms skin to a caviar massage. Additional offerings include oxygen infusion therapy, LED light therapy, and micro-current therapy. For those wanting a longer treatment, the three-hour Swiss Bliss experience includes a facial, scrub, massage, and scalp shiatsu. Or the Diamond Day treatment (a 5.5-hour odyssey) includes a facial and Perfection Body Treatment, champagne lunch, manicure, pedicure and make-up consultation.

For yet another reason to stay inside the hotel, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten helms the culinary offerings with Jean-Georges on the first-floor (for all-day dining and bar), the Lobby Lounge, and The Rooftop by JG for spectacular views of the city with lunch, dinner and cocktails. While on the roof, we suggest trying a passionfruit fizz and snacking on spring pea guacamole and tacos.

In a city known for movie premieres, parties, and award shows, luxury hotel properties are in demand. It makes sense then, that the hotel sits adjacent to the Beverly Hilton where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosts the Golden Globe ceremony each year. To show off their ability to be the life of the party, this past week the hotel group hosted their culinary event Taste of the Waldorf Astoria in the brand new ballroom. It showed off the hotel's global culinary partnership with the James Beard Foundation (JBF) by way of a competition between teams of JBF Rising Star Chef Semi-Finalists and Waldorf Astoria Executive Chefs from around the world. The winning dishes: tempura shrimp pops served with beet-cured steelhead trout with smoked roe with sweet potato blinis, cucumber and dill. Paired with a rye whiskey mimosa, the dish was created by chef Michael Zachman of Waldorf Astoria Park City and James Beard Rising Star Chef semi-finalist Alex Bois of Lost Bread Co in Philadelphia.

Continuing with a moonlit after-party by the rooftop pool, guests enjoyed 360-degree views of the Hollywood Hills, Century City, and the rooftops of Beverly Hills. With incredible fare, luxury services and immense attention to detail, the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills really offers Hollywood opulence.

Hero and bathroom images courtesy Waldorf Astoria, all others by Julie Wolfson

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