Stepping into Old Hollywood at The Beverly Hilton

by Amelia Old
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Walking thru the doors of The Beverly Hilton I feel the butterflies of excitement. The Old Hollywood History I was about to walk thru was like no other I have experienced.  The hotel was built by Conrad Hilton in 1955. Nearly every famous celebrity-both male and female-that I can think of has stayed at this historical hotel. Not only was it named the Western White House for John F. Kennedy but it also has been the host of the Golden Globe Awards, the Oscar Nominee Luncheon, the Pre-Grammys Gala, among over 100 other red carpet events throughout each year.

While the celebrities who currently visit the Beverly Hilton are quite impressive, it honestly doesn’t impress me more than the history. Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Princess Grace Kelly, and Cary Grant is a snippet of those who loved and frequented this hotel. I often feel I should have lived in those days. There was something about that era I’ve always been drawn to.


These old photos line the hallways

When I checked in I was told the power was out in all of the hotel. Our room wasn’t ready because of the power so they gave us another room.  We were led down a pitch black hallway and to a very hot room. The gentleman helping us with our luggage was definitely a delight and tried to make things better by cracking jokes. Staying positive, I told my daughter and her friend we’d sit at the lobby bar. It was certainly much cooler there than in our room. The bar staff were incredibly nice. Lots of smiles and positive energy.  The power eventually came on and we were finally able to get ready for dinner.

Standing outside of The Beverly Hilton

Standing outside of The Beverly Hilton

The Beverly Hilton is said to have the largest pool in Beverly Hills. We were lucky enough to sit poolside for breakfast one morning. In 1999, Angelina Jolie famously jumped into the pool after her Golden Globe win for the movie ‘Gia’. And while I didn’t go for a swim, I did enjoy the view.


There was a certain ‘feel’ to the court yard that reminded me of what the old days would have been like at the Beverly Hilton.


Over the rest of my trip I made sure to sit at the bar each night after dinner. I love people and those at The Beverly Hilton fascinated me. The stories I heard……the things I saw…..the people I met. I didn’t really meet any first time visitors. It seemed like everyone was a “regular”.


I quickly made friends with one of the bartenders, Joe. I told him how fascinated I was by what happens at this bar. How interesting his job must be-not that he sees celebrities necessarily but the ambiance is completely different than most hotels. Each night I would only plan to stay for a short time and each night I stayed til nearly closing. I was drawn to this place. I felt like I was in a movie…watching everything around me unfold. The beauty of being a very observant person…I rarely miss something going on right in front of my eyes.

Joe took me on a tour of the ballroom which hosts the major red carpet events including the Golden Globes. I even stood on the stage accepting my pretend award and sat in the presenters dressing room where I can only imagine who graced those chairs last.

The staff continued to be some of the friendliest I had come across. Everyone from wait staff to the maids to the doormen were welcoming.

To my surprise, I received a lovely note and strawberries from the Director of Sales and Marketing.


So, would I stay here again? Absolutely. Would I recommend this hotel? Without a doubt. It has history (I suggest reading up on it…you’ll find some interesting stories), it’s beautiful, and the staff is top notch. And if nothing else, grab a drink or two in the lobby bar. You never know who you will see or what stories you will hear. Just make sure to keep your eyes wide open.


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