Landmark Luxury in Beverly Hills

Reg. Bev. Wil. - An abbreviation known by many women of my generation to represent the luxurious Beverly Wilshire (A Four Seasons Hotel) whose role in the 1990 film Pretty Woman was second only to that of Julia Roberts.  

Before I walked through its grand lobby doors on Wilshire Boulevard, this was all I knew of the Beverly Wilshire. Although I had admired it from afar en route to Rodeo Drive in the past, I never mustered up the courage to walk inside without good reason. The building’s Italian Renaissance architecture, striped awnings, and luxury boutique window displays always piqued my curiosity as I wondered what lay beyond the hotel’s marvelous façade.

It was an early December morning when I swung open the entrance door, and found myself inside the hotel’s opulent lobby, a Christmas tree under the massive chandelier at its center, and balcony along its periphery.  I announced my arrival at guest reception, and was whisked away on a tour of the grounds shortly thereafter.  

 We passed a string of luxury boutiques, The Blvd, a low key meeting spot with views clear up Rodeo Drive, and Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin starred Cut.  The lobby’s back door led to a discreet driveway where guests pull up unseen before checking into one of the hotel’s fabled suites, once inhabited by the likes of Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and John Lennon. It soon became clear that there was much more to this hotel than it’s albeit impressive façade. There was a lot of history here.

In the hotel’s Beverly Wing, the Mediterranean pool, modeled after Sophia Loren’s private villa in Italy, exudes old Hollywood glamour, and the nearby Nail Bar is a pampering paradise that offers manis and pedis in a fabulous setting where Pretty Woman is screened on loop.

The quaint, tranquil spa includes a wet area with steam room, ice fountain and experience shower, and is the only spa in the United States to offer the Diamond Life Infusion Facial by Natura Bisse, which I would soon experience.  

Wrapped in a terry towel, I sauntered to the steam room - a circular, tiled chamber with calming mood lighting - where I let my mind wander as toxins began their release.  I stopped at the ice fountain, grabbed handfuls of ice and vigorously rubbed it against my skin before entering the shower, where lights, sounds and rhythmical waters transported me from rainforest to thunderstorm to a misty seaside. Prepared for the Diamond Life experience, I lay on a comfy lounger, sipping on antioxidant tea and nibbling on dried fruit and dark chocolate until my therapist arrived.

Normally administered before a major event since its effects last up to 72 hours, the exclusive treatment is known for its anti-aging, rejuvenating, and lifting effects.  The experience began with a thorough skin consultation, and continued with cleansing, toning, a mask where fine crystals were applied to my complexion and then activated using botanical ingredients, and a glycolic peel. Using masterful massage techniques to contour and lift, my therapist stopped and allowed me a peek in the mirror every couple of minutes - the difference was instantly visible.  Fine lines around my eyes were no longer there, nor was there any redness. My cheek bones and facial contours perfectly defined.  By the end of the treatment, my complexion felt soft, completely renewed and exuded a luminous glow.  

I left the spa and walked through the hotel once more.  I did not know when I would return, but I did know that I was leaving a prettier woman than when I walked in. 

For more on The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, download Spa Wanderlust for Apple or Android.