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Beverly Hills, CA 90213

World-class is the only fitting appellation for the hotels of Beverly Hills. Whether you select one of the grande dames or a smaller boutique hotel that's one of the "little gems," your stay will be memorable. Where else would you find three hotel properties that boast five-star and five-diamond awards?

Lounge by a sparkling pool, cool drink in hand. Retreat to the luxurious surroundings of your room or suite. Enjoy the California Sunshine from your patio or balcony. Dine like royalty. Command a staff ready to jump into action at your whim. You've heard about star treatment. The hotels of Beverly Hills are your chance to experience it.

Rodeo Drive is probably the single most famous, most prestigious shopping street on the planet, and it anchors a larger shopping district that is absolutely without equal.

As you stroll Rodeo, you'll recognize the name of every single store...Prada, Escada, Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Versace, Dior, Cartier,Tiffany. Rodeo is a living theater of fashion, art and an endless parade of fascinating people from everywhere.

One block east, Beverly Drive exudes a little less formal air. Beverly is home to the flagship stores of national retailers including Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, The Gap, Banana Republic, Williams Sonoma, as well as Beverly Hills institutions such as Gearys of Beverly Hills and XIV Karats.

On the next block east, you'll find Canon Drive, lined with smaller local boutiques...you'll also find Spago of Beverly Hills. And, anchoring the southern border of the Golden Triangle is Department Store Row (Wilshire Blvd. from Roxbury to Rodeo). Along these four irresistible blocks stand the titans of luxury retailing, Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York.

Several blocks east of the Golden Triangle, Robertson Blvd. is a hotbed of hip up-and-comers in all categories. From Miele, the cutting-edge German appliance manufacturer, to Matt, Tom Stasinis, and Velazco's for menswear and sportswear, Sara Sturgeon for women's-wear, and for home accessories, For the Table, Inc. and Linens et al.

Fashionista ground zero - Beverly Hills is where the pages of Vogue and Elle actually come to life. From the best-known names to the smallest, one-of-a-kind boutiques, the fashion offered in Beverly Hills is second to none and has established the city as ground zero among high-style couturiers.

Whether you're in search of a four-star memory or a casual outdoor lunch, Beverly Hills restaurants carefully combine food, service, ambiance and a star-studded clientele to create the perfect result.

There are menu selections for every palate, overseen by trend setting chefs at world renowned restaurants Spago, Crustacean, Matsuhisa and there are always the local favorites such as Nate n' Al's Deli, The Farm of Beverly Hills or The Original California Pizza Kitchen.

When you're ready to be pampered and soothed, there is no better place to begin than the spas and salons of Beverly Hills. You'll find new ways to relax, heal and refresh, and walk away with that star-like glow. The choices are near endless from mixed fruit exfoliation facials to Rain Forest mud therapy, from body-slimming treatments to complete makeovers. Everything is available to put your body, mind and spirit in perfect harmony, regenerating your energy and rekindling your natural beauty.

Beverly Hills is much more than a shopping and dining haven -- it's a sophisticated city with a rich and diverse art and cultural foundation. From art galleries to architectural tours to the Museum of Television & Radio, Beverly Hills is home to an art and cultural scene of incredible depth and variety.

Explore the city's treasures through the monthly Public Art Walking Tour, the Art and Architecture Trolley Tour, or the upcoming Affaire in the Gardens Art Show. Visit Greystone Manor for the annual Flower and Garden Festival, the City's Municipal Gallery for special exhibitions, or stroll through the many world-class galleries where you will view period pieces, fine art and unique collectibles.

Fast Facts

1. Location is everything. Ideally tucked between Southern California's cooling ocean beaches and sunny mountain foothills, Beverly Hills lies along the northwestern edge of Los Angeles. You'll find it's extremely convenient to downtown Los Angeles, the L.A. Convention Center, Los Angeles International Airport, Century City, and most other major sites in the region. In Beverly Hills you will also be a few minutes drive from the Pacific Ocean and less than an hour from virtually every visitor attraction in Southern California including Hollywood, UCLA, the Getty Center, Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.

2. What to wear? The style of Beverly Hills is casually elegant. Jeans and sportswear are the general rule by day. In the evening, dressier attire is more appropriate in some hotels, and some restaurants prefer jackets and ties for men and dresses for women. During fall and winter in particular, visitors will find dressing in layers, including sweaters or light jackets, the most comfortable strategy at night.

3. How's the weather? Beverly Hills enjoys nearly perfect weather; almost year-round sunshine; an average of 15 inches of rainfall recorded annually, none of it between May and October; and an average high daily temperature of 75 F (24 C).

Winter (January-March) - 45-65 F (7-18 C)
Spring (April-June) - 53-77 F (11-25 C)
Summer (June-September) - 61-83 F (16-28 C)
Fall (October-December) - 60-77 F (15-25 C)

4. What time is it? Beverly Hills lies in the Pacific Standard Time Zone, 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. Between April and October, the city observes Daylight Saving Time which adds one hour to standard time.

5. Professional guides. Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau proudly provides a unique feature for visitors: official, professionally trained docents offering a wide variety of business and visitor services including meeting registration, translation, and specialized walking tours. Sophisticated, highly trained, and chicly dressed (in black, with Nicole Miller scarves from Giorgio Beverly Hills), the Ambassadears, as they're called, have played host for more than 35 years to dignitaries, delegations, and VIPs including the Lladro family, representatives from Herm's and Hugo Boss, and spouses of Forbes 500 CEOs, and have assisted in major conventions, galas, and formal events.

The Ambassadears entertained the first astronauts to land on the moon, escorted Prince Andrew to breakfast at the Regent Beverly Wilshire and stood by John F. Kennedy when he received the Democratic nomination at the Beverly Hilton. For business and leisure visitors, journalists, and even local residents who wish to learn more about Beverly Hills, Ambassadears are available for $80 for a walking tour (four-hour maximum time limit), or for conventions and events at $20 per hour (four-hour minimum).

For more information, or to schedule an Ambassadear, contact Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau at 310.248.1015.

6. When do I tip? As it is throughout the United States, tipping is customary in Beverly Hills (and tips do not appear on your bill except in some cases involving large parties). Although specific amounts are, of course, matters of personal preference, it is general practice to offer 15-20% of the total bill as a tip in a restaurant, a taxi, or a salon or spa. Bellmen, doormen and skycaps usually receive $1 or $2 per bag; valet parking attendants receive the same when they return your car to you; housekeeping staff receive $1 to $2 per night of your visit; and other service staff generally receive $1 to $2 for their assistance as well. If you have requested special assistance from a hotel concierge, you should expect to tip $5-$20, depending on the type and quality of service.

7. Banking and currency. Banks and financial institutions are located on virtually every block of Beverly Hills' downtown business district. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are also located throughout the city. If you need to exchange foreign currency, several banks and businesses can accommodate you (for specific guidance, check with your concierge).

8. Electrical current & computer modem/fax. The electrical current in the United States is 110 volts A/C. International travelers bringing personal appliances may need to purchase a converter prior to departure. In the United States, telephone jacks for computer modems and faxes use the RJ11 standard.

9. Telephone. The area code for most phone numbers in Beverly Hills is 310. If you are calling any number with a different area code, you must dial the number 1, then the area code of the number you're calling, then the number.

The prefixes 800, 888 or 877 are toll-free (you are not charged for calling them), but you must still dial the number 1 before dialing the number.

If you are calling an international number and want to dial the number yourself, you must first dial 011, then the country code, then the city code, then the number you're calling. You can find country and city codes in the front pages of any telephone book.

10. A few rules & regulations. California state law requires that when traveling in a car, the driver and all passengers must wear their seat belts at all times. Children weighing less than 80 pounds must be secured in a child safety seat.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in California. A person is considered legally drunk when his or her blood alcohol level reaches .08%. It is illegal for anyone less than 21 years old to consume alcohol in any quantity at any time in California.

As is true throughout California, smoking is not permitted in restaurants, bars, theaters, auditoriums, museums, or most other public buildings.

It is illegal (and dangerous) to cross streets in Beverly Hills except at designated crosswalks (note that at several spots on Rodeo Drive, special crosswalks allow you to cross intersections diagonally). The Police Department strictly enforces this law.

In Beverly Hills, parking meters are in operation and are closely monitored 24 hours a day. Citations and fines are expensive; to avoid them, be sure to read all parking signs carefully before parking your vehicles.

History of Beverly Hills

Like many cities in California, the recorded history of Beverly Hills begins with a Spanish land grant assigned to Maria Rita Vladez De Villa and known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas (The Ranch of the Gathering Waters). It was the Spanish explorers and missionaries who transformed California from Indian territory to ranching and farming country.

In 1854, El Rancho was sold for $4,000 to Major Henry Hancock and Benjamin Davis Wilson who used it to farm wheat, ranch cattle, produce wool and pump oil. In the 1890s, ownership passed to Charles Denker and Henry Hammel, who planted nearly the entire tract in lima beans to supply their downtown Los Angeles Hotel.

After the turn of the century, the bean fields were sold for oil development and local families such as the Dohenys and the Richfields made their fortunes by selling the land. In 1906, Burton E. Green became the first land developer, founding the Rodeo Land and Water Company and laying out an official subdivision of wide-curving, tree-lined streets and a park-like setting.

In 1912, The Beverly Hills Hotel opened. This palatial compound of rooms, suites and bungalows was joined by The Regent Beverly Wilshire in 1927, firmly establishing the legacy of glamour, elegance, luxury and fine living that continue as the hallmarks of Beverly Hills.

In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford began the trend of Beverly Hills as "home to the stars" when they built their famous estate "Pickfair". Rudolf Valentino and Tom Mix as well as many others were soon to follow. In 1925, actor Will Rogers became the first and only honorary mayor of Beverly Hills and led the effort to build a post office on Crescent Drive. The building, completed in 1933, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently acquired by the City of Beverly Hills to become a cultural center.

Today, Beverly Hills is a 5.7 square mile city with 33,000 residents and a daytime population of 200,000. The ties to entertainment remain strong. The city's 900 retailers serve as emporiums to the stars, many famous names reside here, and powerhouses such as Castle Rock Entertainment, The Firm, DreamWorks SKG, Imagine Entertainment, Merv Griffin Enterprises, Creative Artists Agency, William Morris and International Creative Management all have offices here. Star gazing is a major past-time with big name stars, as well as the familiar faces of supporting casts spotted regularly.
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