When it comes to luxury hotel properties, the best ones seem to stand the test of time. While ownership and management may change, truly elegant hotels can maintain their splendor and popularity. I like to share my memories of past visits to today’s most luxurious hotels around the world.
My First Visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel
Thoughts of my first visit to the 101-year-old Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills) go back nearly six decades. Following two years of active duty after being recalled by the Navy during the Korean War, I settled in Los Angeles in 1954, seeking a job in my field of journalism. My job at a local paper didn’t go much beyond paying for rent and other basics, but it did have some other benefits. One was work that required me to cover events at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The famed hotel had been the site of many elegant events since its opening in 1912 at the now-iconic corner of Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Drive. Famous movie stars of that era and beyond have stayed there and dined at its elegant eateries.
The Ten Commandments Luncheon
One of my most memorable assignments was attending a 1956 luncheon in honor of young Charleton Heston who had just completed the starring role of Moses in the epic Biblical story. The host of the event was Ten Commandments director Cecil B. DeMille. Other stars of the film were also at the luncheon, including Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter, Vincent Price and many others. The event was held at the famed Polo Lounge, the restaurant and lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I remember how stylish and beautiful a place it was and how excited I was just to be there. It was the kind of the place I could normally never afford, on my then low newspaper editor’s salary. I also have a vivid memory of how delicious that steak was they served for lunch.
Recent Experiences at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Within several years of that first visit in 1956, my career took me away to other parts of the country. About five years ago I returned to California, and now live just a short drive away from the same hotel. I treasure those long-ago memories of that luncheon there, and the Polo Lounge is still as elegant and popular as ever.
As before, the Polo Lounge is a great place for a meal (whether it’s 8 a.m. or 1 a.m.) and some great music, as they feature entertainment every day and a jazz trio on Sundays. That jazz trio is playing for the hotel’s famed Sunday Jazz Brunch ($67 for adults, $30 for children) featuring selections like shrimp louie, eggs benedict and lobster salad, all of which I can personally vouch for. Now I enjoy taking my own family to enjoy this special place where the tradition of service continues, even after more than 100 years.
Ted Sherman has spent a lifetime traveling. With journeys to every continent, almost 100 cruises and multiple group tours, he enjoys sharing his travel experiences and knowledge with others. Follow Ted on Twitter, @travel4seniors and on his travel blog, travel4people.
More from this contributor:
5 Fun Summer Travel Experiences
5 Historic Restaurants in Hollywood
Atlantic City NJ: My Eight Decades of Memories