Steeped in history as the preferred “home away from home” for generations of Hollywood royalty, the historic bungalows at The Beverly Hills Hotel are undergoing a comprehensive restoration and redesign. Internationally renowned Champalimaud Design has been selected to oversee the project, which draws inspiration from the hotel’s legacy and surrounding landscape. Bungalows 5, 8 and 22 have recently debuted, with work on the remaining 18 bungalows being conducted in various phases through 2018 to minimise disruption and guest inconvenience.
Designed exclusively to enhance the feeling of effortless and modern Californian style while maintaining the property’s existing residential feel, the bungalows include colour palettes inspired by warm Southern California tones, such as rust, pinks, greens and golds. Furniture styles include a mix of tailored ’40s French and Hollywood Regency, enhancing the bungalows’ welcoming layout and design. Key finishes include decorative wallpapers, custom embroidered panels, hand-stencilled patterns, intricate floor inlays and silk accent pillows. State-of-the-art technological upgrades, such as light and temperature control panels and premier Bang & Olufsen TVs, are also planned. In addition, five distinct legendary bungalows featuring design elements inspired by select notable guests who have frequented the hotel over the past century will also be unveiled throughout various stages of the project.
A Hollywood legacy
First introduced in 1915 to accommodate families that wanted more space and privacy, the iconic bungalows remain an important part of the hotel’s character. They are known the world over for their history with Hollywood royalty and colourful anecdotes, which include Gloria Swanson temporarily residing in one after getting divorced, Elizabeth Taylor spending six of her eight honeymoons there, and Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich each calling them home for over a year. Marilyn Monroe spent weeks at a time in her favourite, Bungalow 7, and filmed Let’s Make Love in Bungalows 20 and 21. Howard Hughes lived on and off in Bungalow 4 for 30 years, and registered several others under his name so no one would know which one he was occupying. He also requested that one of his meals of choice, roast beef sandwiches, be left under a tree outside his bungalow almost every night.
“We look forward to providing our guests with an enhanced experience that will lovingly highlight the bungalows’ unique features and legendary history with Hollywood and the Beverly Hills community,” says Edward A. Mady, Regional Director, West Coast, USA and General Manager. “Great care is being taken to maintain their beloved features, which include their residential style and privacy, while also allowing us to stay internationally relevant with the next generation of luxury travellers,” he adds.
“The proud legacy and grand tradition of The Beverly Hills Hotel served as the basis for my design,” says Alexandra Champalimaud. “This classically rich heritage was the perfect foundation upon which I layered a contemporary and current point of view.”
Champalimaud Design was also one of the lead design teams for Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Bel-Air, which reopened in 2011 after an extensive two-year renovation.
As part of the hotel’s main house restoration, which took place in four phases from 2012 through 2015, the lobby, Polo Lounge, famed pool cabanas and Cabana Café, and all guest rooms and suites were updated. Throughout the process, careful attention was paid to respect the hotel’s original style, ensuring that the signature red-carpet entrance, C.W. Stockwell-designed banana leaf wallpaper, green and white stripes, and famous pink exterior remained constants. With the completion of the bungalow restoration programme at the end of 2018, all accommodations at the landmark property will have been refurbished.