Since its initial construction in 1928, Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel has experienced an extraordinary journey of transformation and growing recognition. Our Hotel has proudly welcomed Hollywood’s elite for nearly a century, and with its prime position overlooking the one-and-only Rodeo Drive, it’s also been the filming location for various movies, perhaps most notably the 1990 film “Pretty Woman”. Come and celebrate our storied Hotel with us by exploring this curated selection of historical highlights.
Initially named Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel, our building was constructed by real estate developer Walter G. McCarty on the site of the former Beverly Hills Speedway, an American board track from 1919 which was, at the time, ranked second in the country after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Beverly Hills had only 1,000 residents and was still largely undiscovered by Hollywood’s in-crowd.
A New Name Brings Luxury Amenities
The Hotel was renamed The Beverly Wilshire Hotel after a renovation, which resulted in the addition of a ballroom, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and professional-sized tennis courts. Well-known tennis champion Pancho Gonzalez was the Hotel’s tennis director at the time.
Hollywood’s Elite Settle In
The 1950s saw endless parties with the Hollywood’s elite and prominent politicians – from glamorous soirees at the Hotel’s famed Copa Club Bar, to charity galas in our ballroom.
Another Glamorous Renovation
The new Beverly Wing (Annex) opened in 1971 on the site of the old pool and tennis courts. The renovation included a new Mediterranean-style pool modeled after the one found at actress Sophia Loren’s Italian villa. Four dining outlets also opened during this time.
- Early 1990s
Lights, Camera, Action
It was 1990 when the Hotel was the central filming location for the hit movie “Pretty Woman”. The Hotel’s lobby and Presidential Suite were the prime inspirations for the film’s set at a nearby Hollywood studio. (The HBO series “Entourage” would later also film at our Hotel several times per season.) In 1991, the Hotel underwent major renovations totaling more than USD 65 million. And in 1992, the Hotel became part of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts family.
The Event of the Year
At the peak of the “Titanic” film’s popularity, the Hotel hosted the Princess Ball to benefit the Princess Diana Memorial Fund. It featured a Sotheby’s auction of a recreation of the “Heart of the Ocean” necklace that appeared in the movie, valued at more than USD 2.5 million.
- Late 2000s
CUT Opens for Business
In 2006, Chef Wolfgang Puck opened his new steakhouse, CUT, at the Hotel, with its interior designed by the same architect who designed the Getty Center.
Other Fun Facts
- The Hotel is the only California hotel to win a place on Food & Wine’s first-annual Hotel Awards list.
- Recognized by Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, The Spa at Beverly Wilshire is one of only a few spas in all of Los Angeles to receive the highly coveted honour.
- The Penthouse Suite is the largest suite in Los Angeles spanning 5,000 square feet (465 square meters).
- The Hotel has withstood three major earthquakes in 1933, 1971 and 1994 and was designated an air raid shelter during World War II.
- The crystal chandelier in the Wilshire Wing Lobby is from the Czech Republic and weighs more than 720 pounds and is worth over USD 35,000. Made of Swarovski Crystal, the chandelier is comprised of 266 crystal balls, 340 crystal rods and 922 crystal octagons.
- Our cobblestone driveway was created by Italian artisans and is lined with 38 gas lanterns imported from a castle in Edinburgh. The iconic gates were inspired by the gates at Buckingham Palace.