Film noir in the 1940s, Marilyn Monroe's '50s, the "Mad Men"-esque 1960s, Halston and Warhol's '70s and the Hollywood glamour of recent decades are the themes that will define five hotel suites in Beverly Hills next year, in celebration of the city's centennial.
The place denoted by America's most famous ZIP code turns 100 in 2014, and five of its largest hotels have joined together to mark the event.
The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, Montage Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hilton, L'Ermitage Beverly Hills and the Peninsula Beverly Hills will each redecorate one of its top suites in the theme of a different era from the past century.
"These hotels have come together to do something special to celebrate the centennial," said Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch at a New York event launching the promotion.
Called Suite 100, the idea started with the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau. Julie Wagner, the CVB's executive director, said that each hotel taking part in the project would spend about $50,000 renovating a suite to reflect its chosen era.
Wagner said the each hotel was able to choose its own time period to re-create, and surprisingly, none chose the same era. The hotels were also able to select a design firm to handle the redecoration.
The only parameter, Wagner said, is that the participating hotels create an interactive experience to reflect the age, such as staff dressed in attire reflecting the era; vintage vehicles to take guests from the airport to the property; food and cocktail menus tailored to the time; and playing movies or music from that decade.
"It goes beyond design to include culinary and service touchpoints that harken back to the particular era and theme of each Suite 100," said Susan Manrao of Susan Manrao Design, who is working with the hotels' interior designers to guide the program's overall vision. "It will be the transformative, multisensory nature of the guests' stay at each hotel that will tie the program together."
The promotion represents what Wagner calls "an unprecedented mutual effort" on the part of the participating properties.
"The big story is the esprit de corps of all of our hotels," said Salvador Abaunza, the general manager of L'Ermitage. "None of us hesitated to take part in this."
Sandy Murphy, general manager of the Beverly Hilton and chair of the board of directors of the CVB, agreed.
"Even though we are in a competitive luxury market, working together with other hotels to support the City of Beverly Hills has been a positive and collaborative experience," she said.
Suite 100 room packages begin at $1,914, a tribute to 1914, the year that the city of Beverly Hills was incorporated. The redesigned Suite 100s will open for booking on Jan. 28, 2014, the city's centennial day, for stays between March 7 and Dec. 31, 2014.
While Wagner calls the suites a "perishable commodity," some of the hotels hinted that if they prove very popular, the suites may outlast the party.
The Montage Beverly Hills will redesign a suite in the "film noir" style of the 1940s.
The hotel said that design will "capture the sultry sophistication and mystique that was epitomized in the 1940s by jaded detectives, femme fatales and smoky jazz clubs."
The look will feature art deco-inspired furniture featuring lyre and geometric shapes, gold and silver leaf and mirrored finishes. Accessories will include a collection of Lalique crystal and art from the period, a vintage phonograph with records and a bedside "Press for Champagne" button. A 1940s Indian motorcycle will adorn the hotel's entrance.
Pricing begins at $1,914 per night, including amenities such as butler service, a stocked custom bar cart, a record player and a typewriter. A menu will offer popular 1940s delicacies such as lobster Therimidor and filet Oscar.
The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows chose the 1950s, "The Golden Age Inspired by Marilyn Monroe," in tribute to the actress, a frequent hotel guest who also lived there for several months.
The suite will feature curved furnishings in green and blue hues and black lacquer finishes, tropical prints evoking the L.A. landscape, shag carpets and a bar made of sycamore wood reflective of the era's modernist influence.
Marilyn Monroe-themed services and amenities will include a display case showcasing original artifacts from her estate, a library of her most popular films, a Champagne bubble bath menu option, a bottle of Chanel No. 5 and 1950s song selections at turndown service.
The suite will start at $3,795 per night. For an additional cost, the Norma Jean Experience can be added, with amenities including roundtrip airport transfers in a vintage car and a Marilyn's Menu in-room dinner for two, featuring her favorite meal.
The Beverly Hilton chose a "Stylish, Sophisticated Sixties: A Re-Imagined Revolution" theme for its suite.
The hotel chose the decade because of its ties to the 1960s, having become home to the Golden Globes in 1961, and the association between the hotel's founder, Conrad Hilton, and the hit TV program "Mad Men."
A two-night stay in the suite will sell for $1,914, including a range of amenities pulled from the hotel's archives. Guests will be able to order breakfast from the hotel's actual 1960s room service menu at 1960s prices — think eggs Benedict for $2.50 and pecan waffles for $1.35. Top music hits from the 1960s will be playing on a phonograph, while films that won Golden Globes in that era will play on TV.
L'Ermitage Beverly Hills chose "The Era of Studio 54 — Fashion & Art Collide," because the hotel opened in 1974. The mid-1970s disco, Warhol and Halston theme will offer guests a foil-lined suite, in a nod to Warhol's Factory, high-gloss lacquer and mirror finishes and orchids. An iPad will be used to re-create Warhol's photo booth, while the use of ultrasuede will be a nod to Halston's favorite fabric. Additional period references will include a powder room papered in Interview Magazine covers and a "Do Not Disturb" sign that is a play on Warhol's silk-screen portraits. The hotel is trying to secure and re-create the menu of Ma Maison, a popular Beverly Hills restaurant at that time.
Suite rates will start at $1,914; additional amenities such as an airport pickup in a Bentley, Halston's last vehicle, will be extra.
The Modern Era
The suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills will take on "The Birth of Modern Glamour," from 1991, the year the Peninsula opened, to the present day.
The look of the suite will be influenced by "Room 23," a photo book depicting a year in the life of a Peninsula suite, where 100 celebrities were photographed, including George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Elton John and Heidi Klum.
The "Suite 100" package is priced at $7,000 per night; guests can book the suite without the package for $6,000. For an additional $1,914, guests can enjoy a "Red Carpet Experience" in which they will be prepped for a photo shoot with professional hair and makeup, dressed in evening gowns and tuxedoes with Mikimoto jewels and tux studs, and have a professional photographer take their picture on the Peninsula's red carpet.
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