The Beverly Hills Hotel also called The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows is a hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. It was opened on May 12, 1912 by Margaret J. Anderson and her son, Stanley S. Anderson, who had been managing the Hollywood Hotel. The original main building of The Beverly Hills Hotel was designed by Pasadena architect Elmer Grey, in the Mediterranean Revival style. 23 separate bungalows are located in the gardens north of it. A New Wing was added to the east side of the main building in the 1940s. The extensive gardens of the grounds were designed by landscape architect Wilbur David Cook. The iconic signage and the addition were designed by Paul Williams. It was the first building in the greater area, leading to the creation of a surrounding city, and is often referred to, by the local population (and others such as cab drivers), simply as The Hotel. Since the city’s inception, the hotel has been a central meeting place for residents and business people, especially from Los Angeles’s movie and television industries.
The hotel is managed and owned by the Dorchester Collection, which is a collection of nine luxury hotels in the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Italy, and was organized in 1996 to manage the hotel interests of the Brunei Investment Agency.
Svend Petersen, the Danish-American pool manager at the hotel for 42 years, became a Hotel Ambassador in 2002. He had notably opened up the pool after hours for The Beatles and taught Faye Dunaway to swim a freestyle crawl for Mommie Dearest. He was also known for warning Southern California newcomers in drastic and memorable language about the scorching sun.
The hotel is also home to the famous Polo Lounge, and the exterior of the hotel was featured on the album cover art of the Eagles’ 1976 LP “Hotel California”.
From 1928 to 1932, the hotel was owned by the Van Noy Railway News and Hotel Company. Its strict resident owner from 1954 until his death in 1979 was former Detroit real estate magnate Ben L. Silberstein, who took it over from Hernando Courtright, later hotelier at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Some of the hotel’s owners have been celebrities: Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, and currently (as noted below) the Sultan of Brunei.
Marvin H. Davis bought the Hotel for $54 million from Silberstein’s sons-in-law Burt Slatkin and Ivan F. Boesky. Boesky had bought the 5% of stock that was outstanding for a reported fortune and decided to sell, despite Slatkin’s desire to keep the hotel. Less than a year later, Davis sold the hotel to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for $110 million.