Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
I can´t tell you how many times I heard the four-letter “F” word in this hotel – they were talking about it in the lobby, over breakfast and even by the pool. In Los Angeles, F is for film. This is Hollywood.
This is a fun hotel, and in February, many of the guests were just in from Aspen; I saw furs in the bar and beanie hats by the pool – yes, beanies and bikinis. Apparently it’s cool The Four Seasons Los Angeles has a flurry of activity during the annual awards season.
Then the aromas: the food and the flowers – oh my, the flowers! You should have seen them – vases and vases of tulips, star lilies, gladioli, roses, and orchids. I saw quite a few women closing their eyes and lingering close to the vases, to get a hit of those wonderful natural perfumes. One even missed the lift as she intoxicated herself.
The rooms are so cosy, this is old-style Hollywood glamour harmoniously combined with contemporary features, such as an iPad in every guest room and suite.
Highlights of any stay are the Sunday Brunch, the flowers, the roof-top pool and the complimentary trips in the Rolls-Royce – wow, that’s a lot of highlights.
Let’s talk flowers
The present-day owners, Robert and Beverly Cohen, still have an apartment on the top floor of the hotel, and I think that this is one of the main reasons why the hotel feels so homely. It’s well-known that Robert has had a lifelong love for flowers – when he was 15, he sold flowers on the streets of Hollywood on Saturday evenings.
Robert and his brother Joseph Cohen’s florist business flourished in the early 1980s. In the latter part of the decade, they were given the opportunity to purchase the entire block on Third and Doheny Boulevard, where one of their flower shops was located. The brothers partnered with Four Seasons to build and manage the hotel, and the rest is history. The hotel celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012.
Take the time to browse the succulents garden around the pool, with ornamental cabbages in the most diverse shades of green. The citrus trees were especially shipped in from Orange County. And you can see the couple’s love for the hotel in the little hand-painted wooden signs: “RC & JC herb garden”.
The in-house flower guru, Eric Buterbaugh, floral designer to the stars, has worked with the likes of Versace and Valentino. He and his creative team are responsible for all the cut-flower displays throughout the hotel. They have produced hundreds of floral creations for the glamorous galas of Beverly Hills – from awards season parties to high-profile weddings. I was lucky enough to share a lift with a member of his team, who was delivering wedding flowers – a red rose bouquet with individual Swarovski crystals for the bride, and white roses with crystals for the bridesmaids. Bringing nature into this hotel is one of its smartest moves.
The rooftop pool
Apart from the gardens surrounding the pool, what’s fantastic is that even in winter you don’t need to hesitate for one second before taking a dip in the pool – the temperature is divine. What’s more, you can see cityscapes of downtown LA, and the classic Hollywood view – those tall, tall, tall palms, and clear blue skies. And then there’s the Hollywood poolside service, which not only includes optional spa treatments, and poolside cuisine – they even provide the cutest sunshades for your iPad or phone.
Let’s talk Sunday brunch
For those times in your life when you have a real weekend, without work appointments or trips, Sunday brunch is the best meal you can have. I quite often do hotel photo shoots at the weekends, but on this occasion, I was free and loved every second of the three-hour brunch with my good friend Julia Roman.
This is a feast – as you’d expect for the price: $69 for adults, and $34 for children aged over 5-12 (under fives are free).
The hotel´s website claims that “Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offers the most elaborate and well-known weekly brunch in LA. The popular Sunday affair, often referred to as one of the city’s best, is known for its lavish culinary offerings”. Well, even that is an understatement – this is a gourmet paradise. You just don’t know here to begin, and these are brunches that can take hours! At the ten food stations you can find everything from traditional English breakfasts, to hand-rolled sushi, Chinese dim sum, American bagels and farmers’ market salads. One of the signature salads is the Young Hollywood Salad: organic greens, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, cucumber, tomato, and hemp seed, with Napa Valley wine vinaigrette.
This is also juice bar heaven – think of a combination of fresh fruits, and they will make it for you at the juicing station. You can also opt for a customised bloody Mary. They have a chap making the cutest handmade doughnuts and there is even a dedicated children’s brunch table – cakes, waffles, you name it.
This is a place to spend hours browsing the Sunday papers and, best of all, enjoying good conversation with family and friends.
Let’s talk complimentary limo service
The Four Seasons has two luxury limos – a Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes, both available to drive guests on a complimentary basis within a two-mile radius of the hotel. As the hotel is so well situated, we were able to visit The Annenberg Space for Photography to see the National Geographic 125 Years exhibition; afterwards we dined at the hip, award-winning Hinoki & the Bird. I also spent a good view hours in the new Leica flagship store and exhibition space. Another evening we were invited to dine by Chef Nobu in his West Hollywood restaurant, all with seamless transport thanks to the luxury limo service,
This is an exceptional complimentary service and you can see why guests come back here again and again.
Discalimer: During my stay at the Four Seasons Los Angeles, Carlos Santana and Ben Affleck were both in residence, although I didn´t see either of them. But I must admit, the star-spotting gets a bit out of hand when you find yourself doing double-takes on guests, convinced they’re famous film stars: that must be Meryl Streep in the gardens, and there’s Julia Roberts by the pool. Even though I didn’t actually spot any stars in the hotel, I did fly back to London on the same plane as Brad Pitt and was lucky enough to leave the plane right behind him. Hollywood experiences.