Merve Griffin's Beverly Hilton Hotel
9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 U.S.A. Tel : 1-310-274-7777 Fax: 1-310-285-1313 Web site: www.hilton.com
As I approached this grand old hotel on famous Wilshire Boulevarrd, just off Santa Monica Boulevard I couldn't help thinking well this just looks like a big old motel. Then my taxi took me up the sweeping drive to the main entrance and my impressions changed almost instantly. This was a deluxe hotel with all the trimmings and grandness that you would expect from a hotel with this reputation. Check-in was prompt and efficient and I were directed to a room on the fifth floor. The hall-ways again were old, along with the room doors. The paintwork was 1930s deco so it didn't matter. The room was very spacious with full length windows overlooking the Beverly Hills CBD. A big timber cabinet housed the TV, cocktail bar and drawer space. A working desk was provided with an additional telephone line and modem and this was situated to face the view, unlike a lot of hotels where they face a wall. Two big relaxing armchairs and a king size bed with radio and clock combined. A pleasant surprise after a day out is when you come back to your hotel and find you've been treated to an old fashioned turn-down service. A full length and spacious balcony was attached with outdoor furniture that had probably seen its day. The decor of the room otherwise was classy and in good shape. Telephone calls I found were charged at $1.25 for local calls and 10 cents a minute after 30 minutes, so if you're working online be sure to disconnect every half hour and re-connect. Bathrooms are fine, spacious enough, with a combined bath and shower. The fittings are quite old but not out of place, in fact they add to the character of the hotel. An excellent hairdryer adorns the wall, and there was plenty of bench space. I dined at Trader vic's, home of the famous Trader Vic's Mai Tai, and one of the best pacific and Polynesian menus on the planet. Delicious Tahitian dishes, exotic cocktails from the South Seas, all in a memorable setting with prompt and friendly service. Other dining venues at the hotel included Griff's Restaurant which is poolside on the basement level, specialising in lavish buffets morning, noon and night. Alongside is the Pool Bar which opens for drinks from 11am to 11.30pm daily.There is a Cafe and the Lobby Bar. I tried the Lobby Bar and was treated to excellent service and entertainment from an accomplished pianist. It was great to be sitting in the Lobby Bar of the Beverly Hilton and watching arrivals for a major wedding taking place in the hotel ballroom, the largest in Beverly Hills. This is where the Golden Globe Awards take place each year and it is not hard to imagine the excitement and glamour that afflicts the hotel on these nights. The hotel is not quite five star, looks tired from the outside but in reality is a deluxe hotel with plenty of personality. Merve Griffin welcomes guests with a video clip that you see when you enter your room. This adds to the pizzaz and the character of the hotel which has become a favorite of past guests. One famed outlet in the hotel, the Coconut Club had closed. This would be a deficiency for past guests as the watering and dancing hole has often been described as the most popular dancing club in Southern California. Nonetheless the Beverly Hilton is a hotel that, after many decades at or near the top, continues to hold its own and does Merve Griffin proud.