After years of rumors and rejected city proposals, it’s now confirmed. One of the world’s most famous luxury hotel brands, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, is coming to one of the most recognized zip codes: 90210.
Located adjacent to The Beverly Hilton on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards in Beverly Hills, California, the 12-story, 170-room complex will be the brand’s first new property on the West Coast (not branded property) and will join the Waldorf Astoria portfolio of 24 international hotels and resorts.
The nine-acre property surrounding the hotel will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind hospitality destination that will also include the 110-unit Waldorf Astoria Residences twin tower condominiums. The resort alone will cost more than $200 million, and will require the demolition of the corner building that once housed the original Trader Vic's.
“This is an important next chapter in the history of this already famous property,” said Beny Alagem, whose Alagem Group bought the iconic hotel from Merv Griffin in 2003. “Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills will be one of the most luxurious urban hotels in the country. It is designed to create an unprecedented hospitality experience that doesn’t exist today." Alagem plans on making better use of the grounds by moving parking underground, thereby creating four acres of open space and gardens that he describes as an "urban resort" and a "secret garden."
The hotel will feature a triple-height lobby with an Art Deco design, the signature Waldorf Astoria clock, hand-painted murals of California landscapes, and custom chandeliers. Each of the 170 guestrooms ($690-$840 a night) will feature floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto oversized private furnished balconies.
On the third level, 42 spacious Villa Suites will open onto manicured private garden terraces. The rooftop pool deck will be the largest of its kind in Beverly Hills and will include VIP cabanas, lounge areas and of course, a pool. The hotel will also house select retailers such as Graff Diamonds, a world-class 5,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa, 6,300 square feet of meeting and special events spaces, and ground-level outdoor dining.
As you’d expect, the Waldorf Astoria will blend legendary Hollywood glamour with the brand’s over-the-top luxury. Aiding that process will be Pierre-Yves Rochon based in Paris, Shanghai and Chicago, who has been hired to bring their high-end hospitality environments to California for the first time in a decade. PYR’s signature style includes richly upholstered furniture, custom Strass crystal chandeliers, lacquered sycamore millwork, Lalique installations, and a significant curated art program throughout hotel.
Gensler and PYR co-designed the exterior of the hotel with curving white stone and intricate ornamentation signifying the property’s clean, contemporary design inspired by California’s Streamlined Modern style. The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills’ elegant lines, smooth stone surfaces, polished metals and sleek glass is intended to compliment the mid-century architecture of the adjacent Beverly Hilton, rather than demolish the older property as was the intention of earlier plans.