I'm sunbathing in the very spot at the Beverly Hills Hotel where
Faye Dunaway was photographed by Terry O'Neill in 1977, the morning
after she'd won her Oscar. While Dunaway's look was so terribly
insouciant, my physiognomy is quite the opposite; wide-eyed with
excitement (behind my mirrored shades, of course.)
How could one ever be bored at this pink palace with its iconic
history, modern-day glamour and endless people watching? All around
the pool are people feigning boredom; icy cool as they play busy
with their phones or have 'poolside meetings'. But the real fun is
happening in the cabanas. For in one of the private tented rooms
that run the length of the pool, is a party to end all parties.
There's music, cocktails, old men in expensive watches and like
rabbits from a hat - a never-ending stream of pretty girls each in
tinier bikinis and higher heels. It's mid-afternoon on a Wednesday
and no one bats an eye-lid.
Wandering round the hotel's bungalows you can't help feel the
glamorous ghosts of Hollywood past; for this is where Liz Taylor
spent six of her eight honeymoons, where Marilyn would shack up in
her favourite bungalow no. 7 and where Rex Harrison would sunbathe
in the buff.
Those golden oldies might not be around today, but head to the
Polo Lounge for a delicious McCarthy salad and there's plenty of
people watching to be done. There's even action to be had in the
gym (where two ladies on the treadmill launched into a shrill
rendition of Happy Birthday to the gentleman on the cross trainer.
It was 6.30am!)
But aside from the swanky lobby and the Fountain Coffee Room, my
best bit is the side entrance. Take the winding path through the
gardens, past the Polo Lounge, and here is where smart drivers
collect those who don't want to be spotted. Super chic, super glam,
and if you want it - super low key. That's the Beverly Hills Hotel