By Jenny Peters
It’s been a long time coming, considering that the first Waldorf Astoria Hotel opened in New York City way back in the 1880s. That one gave way (for the Empire State Building to be built) and morphed into the iconic hotel on Park Avenue, which opened in 1931 (and is currently closed for renovations). Today, Waldorf Astoria Hotels are across the globe, from Jerusalem to Dubai, Beijing to Chicago. But Southern California has never had one of those gorgeous five-star hotels – until now, that is.
The brand-new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills opened with a big bash on June 28, 2017. You’re sure to have noticed it going up if you’ve been through the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, where the 12-story building has been slowly rising. Now complete, the hotel is adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel and features 119 deluxe rooms and 51 suites, co-designed by Gensler, PYR and Perkins + Will and highlight by a stunning Art Deco-influenced interior design created by Pierre-Yves Rochon, Inc. (PYR).
The opening party drew Beverly Hills mayor Lili Bosse, philanthropist Eli Broad, Hilton Hotels CEO Chris Nassetta and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills owner Beny Alagem and his family for the ribbon cutting that marked the beginning of the legendary hotel brand’s presence in the greater Los Angeles area.
Most of the opening-night revelries took place on the rooftop, where guests were treated to tastes created by legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is also the force behind the three dining venues at the new hotel. Known for his French-Asian influenced cuisine, Vongerichten has joined forces with Chef Steve Benjamin (of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon), who serves as the hotel’s executive chef. Together the pair of world-class chefs is bringing their magic to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, The Rooftop by JG and Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Bar.
One of the more thrilling aspects of the opening celebration was a gravity defying dance performance by Bandaloop. That company of aerial dancers shimmied their way down the 12 stories of the exterior of the hotel in a breathtaking display of artistic beauty.
“The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has seen huge success already,” Alagem said, referring to the hotel’s soft opening as of June 1, 2017. “And we look forward to becoming a staple both in the local community and in the global hospitality industry as well.”
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