"Every memory I have of the place that I want to share, I wouldn't want to see in print."
Film producer Robert Evans's summation of the Beverly Hills Hotel encapsulates the destination's position at the very heart of A-list Hollywood. Affectionately referred to as the "pink palace", the Californian landmark has been graced by stars of the silver screen and provided a backdrop for films including California Suite and some of Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall's scenes in Designing Women.
The hotel's bungalows, first introduced in 1915, offered a home-away-from-home for those seeking privacy and space in glamorous surrounds. Many would stay for weeks at a time; Marlene Dietrich and Lauren Bacall called them home for over a year, while Marilyn Monroe had a favourite bungalow – number seven – and she and Yves Montand stayed in adjoining bungalows – numbers 20 and 21 – while filming Let's Make Love.
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Acting as a form of refuge from the pressures of celebrity life, the bungalows provided a hideout for John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the 1970s, while Gloria Swanson temporarily resided in one after her divorce. Business tycoon Howard Hughes, who lived in number four for 30 years on-and-off, even registered others under different names to avoid detection. It's little surprise that most of the goings-on remain a closely guarded secret.
The bungalows are now undergoing a redesign following the restoration of the hotel's main house, which was completed in 2014. Their interiors draw from a palette of warm rusts, pinks, greens and golds, inspired by Southern California, while a mix of 1940s French and Hollywood Regency furniture adorns the rooms in suitably sumptuous style. Maintaining a residential feel, there are plenty of home comforts – taken up a notch, of course – from state-of-the-art temperature controls to Bang & Olufsen TVs.
Revamped bungalows five, eight and 22 have recently launched, while the remaining 18 will be rolled out in stages until 2018. Five of the most famous bungalows, yet to be revealed, will take inspiration from selected guests from the hotel's past for their design. What better way to revel in Hollywood's golden age than to retrace the steps of some of its luminaries.
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