Beverly Wilshire Hotel
The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in 2007
|Location||Beverly Hills, California, USA|
|Architect||Walker & Eisen|
|NRHP reference #||87000908|
|Added to NRHP||June 12, 1987|
The Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel), commonly known as the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, is a historic luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Located at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, it was completed in 1928. It has been used as a shooting location for films and television series. Guests have included US presidents and celebrities. Rooms begin at US$795 and suites at $1,500 per night.
The hotel was constructed by real estate developer Walter G. McCarty on the site of the former Beverly Hills Speedway. It was completed in 1928 (when the city had fewer than 18,000 residents), and was then known as the "Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel". The E-shaped structure is built of a Tuscan stone and Carrara marble in the Italian Renaissance architecture style.
Renamed the Beverly Wilshire Hotel by new owners, it was renovated with a ballroom in the 1940s to accommodate the popular big bands of the day. An Olympic-sized swimming pool was built and championship tennis courts were added, with tennis champion Pancho Gonzalez as tennis director.
The hotel changed hands in 1958 and again in 1961, when it was purchased by a group of investors headed by Hernando Courtright. The hotel was branded as Hernando Courtright's Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Courtright added a new tower wing in 1971, doubling the size of the hotel.
Hong Kong-based Regent International Hotels bought the 395-room luxury hotel in 1985 for $125 million, and renovated it at a further cost of $100 million, renaming it The Regent Beverly Wilshire. In 1992, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts bought Regent International Hotels, and the hotel became The Regent Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel.
The hotel was sold to Hong Kong-based private equity firm Joint Treasure International in 1995. In 2006, the hotel was again renamed following a renovation, dropping the Regent affiliation and becoming Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel).
During a tour in 1940, the Beverly Wilshire was the only major Los Angeles hotel willing to accommodate Paul Robeson due to his race, at an exorbitant rate and providing he registered under an assumed name, and he therefore spent two hours every afternoon sitting in the lobby, where he was widely recognised, "to ensure that the next time Black[s] come through, they'll have a place to stay." Los Angeles hotels lifted their restrictions on black guests soon afterwards.
Other notable guests include U.S. President Barack Obama, Emperor of Japan Hirohito, the Dalai Lama and Sadruddin Aga Khan, as well as the musicians Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler,Elton John, and actors Michael Caine, Michael Douglas, Farrah Fawcett, Bette Midler, Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Robert Pattinson, Walter Matthau and Al Pacino.
In 1990, the Beverly Wilshire was the primary setting for the movie Pretty Woman, though most interior scenes were actually shot at the defunct Ambassador Hotel nearby.. Decades later, it also became a common filming location for HBO's Entourage television series, with cast and crew filming there at least three times per season when it was produced from 2004 until 2011.