Not So Golden: A Review of The Beverly Hilton
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To The Point
I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed I was by my stay at The Beverly Hilton. For a hotel this well-known, I was underwhelmed by the room, amenities, service and food. Pros: It had a great location right in the heart of Beverly Hills. Cons: The room was dated, the service was cold, and the hotel in general was totally and completely uninspiring.
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I spent about 15 hours in The Beverly Hilton — yep, the hotel where the Golden Globes are held (and that the Los Angeles Times calls “the hardest-working hotel in Hollywood“) — and it was 15 hours too long. Here’s why.
There are a whopping 569 rooms at The Beverly Hilton. Translation: This place is huge. Tremendous. Bigger than all the other hotels. OK, so maybe it’s not actually bigger than all the other hotels, but really, it’s a giant.
I booked a standard room, which came to $368.67. I have Gold Hilton status, thanks to my American Express Platinum Card, and booked using my Chase Sapphire Reserve (gotta get those 3x points!).
So, funny story: I almost didn’t make it to this hotel.
The Beverly Hilton was snuggled in a little triangle between Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, directly next to the Waldorf-Astoria. (The two hotels are so close, in fact, that people are frequently dropped off at the wrong hotel, according to the bellhop. Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria — classic mix-up, right? Pro tip: Don’t end up at the wrong hotel and then panic when they can’t find your reservation, like yours truly.)
The hotel was in, you guessed it, Beverly Hills (which, yes, I do know is not technically part of Los Angeles), and relatively close to popular tourist attractions such as Rodeo Drive, The Grove, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Sunset Strip. I loved staying in Beverly Hills because I didn’t feel like I was in a big city but it was still really easy to get around. Driving past absolutely gorgeous houses to get to wherever I needed to go didn’t hurt either. It was about 30 to 40 minutes by taxi to LAX.
Pro tip No. 2: It’s a quick drive to Jon & Vinny’s. Go there. Get the spicy fusilli. Thank me later.
We arrived at the hotel around 8:30pm, (after, you know, almost trying to check in to the wrong one). The lobby was bigger than the entire TPG office. It was clean, but also very corporate. It reminded me of the time I worked in a law firm for a year and wanted to gouge my eyes out every day.
The entire process took all of five minutes. I was hoping for an upgrade thanks to my status, but the receptionist didn’t even acknowledge it. Even worse, she hardly seemed excited to welcome us to the hotel. I totally understand having a long day — you’re not going to be 100% all the time — but a little bit more warmth would have been appreciated. She directed us to our room, which was in the Oasis Tower.
On our way, we walked past a sign for the Whittier Room. I was offended they didn’t put us there. After all, I think I’m pretty funny.
Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all night.
You’d think that for a room in the Oasis Tower, our room would be luxurious and relaxing, right? Same.
Spoiler alert: It was anything but.
Let’s go on a little tour, shall we?
This is what it looked like. I genuinely don’t think they’ve updated the room since Jerry Garcia was alive.
It was dark and dated with a weird yellow light cast throughout the room. You know the kind of hotels that give off a vibe of “Hey, welcome! Kick back, relax and enjoy yourself”? Yeah, well, this wasn’t one of them.
See those little marks behind the chair? Can someone please explain to me how that happens?! Actually, on second thought, don’t.
“I don’t think my grandfather, the inventor of this hotel, would be too pleased with this.” — Paris Hilton, probably.
Clearly, the M&Ms in the snack basket felt my pain about staying in this room.
As a Hilton Gold member, I received two complimentary bottles of Evian water, which otherwise would have cost $6.50 each. So, depending on how you look at it, this was either the most expensive or the cheapest water bottle of my life.
The shower was eerily reminiscent of my showers at sleepaway camp. At least it had hot water … I guess?
The ’90s called. They want their bathtub back, Hilton.
Food and Beverage
One positive about staying here was the breakfast buffet. I don’t know about you guys, but hotel breakfast buffets are my jam — I make a beeline for the omelet station every time.
Thanks to my status, we scored a complimentary continental breakfast — which, to my utter despair, did not include the omelet station. Thankfully, there were tons of other yogurts, fruits and pastries to keep my stomach happy while I dried my imaginary tears.
My mom and I opted for a table outside and a few feet away from the pool. Gotta soak in all that California sunshine before heading back to the frozen tundra formerly known as New York City.
Not going to lie, the service was a little all over the place. My mom found a little dirt in her mug — it happens! — but she didn’t get a new one for at least 10 more minutes. Which was weird, because during this time three different people came by to ask us if we wanted coffee (to which we said yes because we’re not crazy people, cough cough, @nellis_ellis).
While we weren’t there long enough to really check it out, the hotel did have a gorgeous pool. There was a really nice fire pit, but I didn’t get to take a picture, since people were sitting there and I didn’t want to seem like the creepiest person ever.
My mom and I swung by the gym during our hotel. (Adventure!) Equinox this was not, but it was totally fine for a getting a quick workout between all those LA avocado toasts.
But if you wanted to head to the spa for a relaxing massage, well, better not. It was closed. (According to the hotel, the spa will be closed indefinitely, while Hilton explores which concept would work best in the space.)
I also walked by this gem on my way to the elevator. Have fun with this one, TPG edit team.
[Argh. — Editor.]
Oh, and speaking of elevators ….
Are hotel guests desperately trying to escape from the elevators here?
No, I did not have any major hiccups, service fails or anything of that nature — but for a hotel as buzzed about and well-known as this one, I expected a lot more. The overall hotel felt corporate and sterile, and our room was dull, dated and dirty. The service left a lot to be desired and left me feeling like I was just another guest — literally and figuratively — going in and out of the revolving door.
When I was in college, I stayed in a Motel 6 in Biloxi, Mississippi, and lived to tell about it (long story). This hotel was only a slight step up from that.
If that alone didn’t convince you not to stay there, I’m not sure what will.
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