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THE HISTORIC BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL

From Lima Bean Fields to the Lap of Luxury

by Bonnie Carroll

 

When Burton E. Green and his partners purchased the Hamel & Decker Ranch to develop a residential community it was just acres of lima bean fields. The first house was built in 1907. The talented developer survived the real estate recession from 1907-1910, and had a brilliant idea to build a hotel that would not only boost the sale of houses, but would provide a place for prospective buyers to stay while they were working out the details of their new investments. According to Green’s personal letters the name Beverly Hills came from a reference of President Taft in a news article on Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Green’s wife Lillian altered this preferred name into Beverly Hills, and the rest is history.

 

As Green predicted visitors from the East and Europe were drawn to the hotel when it opened its door in 1912. It was an instant success, where Margaret Anderson, the hotel general manager, skillfully hosted the early residents of Beverly Hills and visiting guest and dignitaries. Early guests at the hotel included Will Rogers (honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills), Ronald Coleman, John Barrymore, Buster Keaton, Jack Warner, Marian Davies, Harry Cohen, Edward Lawrence Doheny, Jr. (Greystone Mansion), Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, Claude Rains, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Carole Lombard, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and countless others. Mary Pickford and Doug Fairbanks built a dream house named “Pickfair” and loved living in Beverly Hills.

 

The remnants of what had been a long bridal path to provide guests the opportunity to see the area on horseback can still be found on Santa Monica Boulevard. Rodeo Drive was actually once the location for area rodeo performances.  There was also a speedway built in 1927. As the city prospered, and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was built at the entrance to Rodeo Drive ‘The Street of Dreams” was born and became one of the most renowned luxury shopping destinations in the world.

 

Through the years the beautiful entry to the hotel became the red carpet of choice for Hollywood stars, dignitaries and royalty, and countless ‘big deals’ were made in the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge, where McCarthy salad and Apple Pan Dowdie were favorites on the menu. The luscious green and pink dining room with huge booths was the place to be seen, and the outdoor seating area was a favorite destination for many a secret rendezvous.

 

Since its inception the hotel has been a center for community activities. In the early days both Catholic Mass and Temple services were offered to the area residents, and through the years it has been the hotel of choice for countless community organizational gatherings, including the Beverly Hills Rotary and City of Beverly Hills activities and gatherings.  Executive Chef Alex Chen, a native of Canada, now applies his culinary philosophy founded in classic French technique. He is dedicated to using the finest products of the region. With nearly a decade of experience at some of the finest hotel properties in North America, Chef Chen is a highly talented professional. He is responsible for all dining operations at the hotel, including the world renowned and legendary Polo Lounge. His team consists of sixty cooks and nine sous chefs.

 

This hotel has stood the test of time with style and grace, never faltering in providing guests with the finest service and amenities. It is the home to La Prairie Spa, which features divine products from Switzerland, along with outstanding treatments and therapies. The promenade leading to the spa, on the lower level of the hotel is one of my favorite in the hotel. An opulent men’s shop offers all that is elegant for the man of the moment, the Coffee Shop is where you will see the hotel general manager having breakfast each morning, the gift shop is overflowing with creatively designed logo items, and the jewelry store has exquisite gifts to ponder.

 

The walls here don’t have to talk, you can feel the power of the historic people who have walked the corridors of this five star hotel, and gathered in the lobby before enjoying an exquisite meal in the dining rooms. I am relatively certain Mr. Green and his partners really did not have an inkling that their scheme to sell home tracts would plant the seed for a hotel that would play a major role in American history or set the ongoing standard for luxurious living. For information visit: www.beverlyhillshotel.com.

 

Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

9641 Sunset Boulevard

Beverly Hills, California 90210

310-276-2251

 

  

                     THANKSGIVING DINNER AT THE POLO LOUNGE

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FIRST COURSE

Choice of:

POLO LOUNGE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Avocado, Cheddar, Crispy Tortilla

PUMPKIN BISQUE

Ricotta & Sage Ravioli, Hazelnut Praline

SECOND COURSE

Choice of:

SELECTION OF SEASONAL FRUITS & BERRIES

Banana Bread, Toasted Coconut Sauce

POLO LOUNGE CAESAR SALAD

Focaccia Croutons, Shaved Reggiano Cheese

JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKE

Sautéed Spinach, Cauliflower Velouté, Pickled Vegetables

SMOKED DUCK PROSCIUTTO

Turkish Figs, Wild Arugula, Moro Blood Oranges & Aged Balsamic

FIVE SPICE POACHED PEAR & WATERCRESS SALAD

Goat Cheese Crostini, Red Endive, Pear Vinaigrette

ENTRÉES

Choice of:

McCARTHY SALAD

Chicken, Bibb Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon, Chopped Egg, Beets, & Cheddar Cheese

SLOW BRAISED VEAL OSSO BUCCO

Honey Roasted Root Vegetables, Winter Kale, Creamy Polenta, Veal Jus

SAN FRANCISCO CIOPPINO

Halibut, White Tiger Shrimp, Mussels, Manila Clams, Tiny Potatoes,

Tomato Broth

HOUSE MADE SPINACH GARGANELLI

Bell Pepper Confit, Swiss Chard, Zucchini, Oven Roasted Tomato “Pesto”

ROASTED TOM TURKEY

Chestnut Brioche Stuffing, Whipped Potato, Candied Yams, Giblet Gravy,

Cranberry Confiture

GRILLED COLORADO LAMB CHOPS

Saffron Couscous, Eggplant Caviar, Haricot Vert,

Mint Scented Lamb Reduction

CARAMELIZED DIVER SCALLOPS

Crispy Pork Belly, Braised Savoy Cabbage, Trumpet Mushrooms &

Acorn Squash

DESSERTS

Choice of:

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CAKE

Grand-Marnier Ice Cream

CLASSIC PUMPKIN PIE

Pecan Tuile, Cinnamon Ice Cream

BAKED APPLE & PEAR COBBLER

Hazelnut Streusel, Vanilla Ice Cream

$99 Adult - $55 Children – 10 Years Old & Under

Tax & Gratuity Not Included

 

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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved