The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, has been the Grande Dame of Beverly Hills since its debut in 1928. An exclusive, black wrought-iron-gated entry drive separates The Wilshire Wing — the original 10-story Renaissance Revival building that faces famed Rodeo Drive — from the newer, 14-story Beverly Wing, with its many balconied rooms overlooking the pool complex. The large Mediterranean-styled pool is modeled after Sophia Loren’s 16th-century Roman villa and surrounded by chaise lounges … and, a colorful array of pool toys. There’s also a two-story Cardio Center fitness pavilion (with private trainers) and a casual Pool Bar & Café, which serves salads, wraps and kid-friendly items.
The Forbes Five Star-rated hotel is perfectly located on Wilshire Boulevard within the small, exclusive Golden Triangle, where families can easily walk to its multitude of shops, restaurants, parks and museums. Plus, the doorman can arrange for a complimentary Mercedes S Class vehicle on a first-come, first-serve basis, if it is available; the luxury house car transports guests to venues within a local radius. (Chauffeur services and valet parking are also available for a fee and there are nine charging stations.)
Though better known as the backdrop for the long-loved film Pretty Woman than as a family destination, indeed, it does welcome families in grand style, with packages and special amenities. The Children’s Welcome Program includes age-appropriate, in-room amenities, such as a child-sized robe and slippers; teddy bears for the little ones; and yummy VIP delights, such as S’mores on a Stick (a chocolate-covered marshmallow topped with crushed Rice Krispies) or an ice cream cone topped with sprinkles.
The concierge can arrange suitable, age-appropriate activities; one among them is an exclusive baking class with Angela Tong, executive pastry chef, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, the hotel’s signature restaurant. Kids of all ages enjoy the all-day restaurant THE Blvd, where they can watch the world go by on Wilshire. And, starting at age 12, tweens and teens can experience the elegant spa, which received the Forbes Five-Star award for three consecutive years. Located near the pool, the spa encompasses a Changing Room — with a star-ceiling-lighted steam room, an experiential shower and personal showers — and an adjacent lounge furnished with six chaise lounges. Services for young people include the 20-minute The Princess Mini-Facial, The Rock Star Massage on neck and shoulders and The Pop Star Polish; there’s also a 45-minute manicure/pedicure that includes a foot massage.
There are 137 suites among the 258 luxe and graciously sized lodgings, and oversized marble bathrooms, fitted with both tub and a stall shower. When the rooms are booked at the same time and in the same category, the Family Affair package offers 50 percent off a second room booked for children under 18 years of age traveling with their parents.
As a fan of train travel, I often choose a ride on rails over a drive or flight, especially in Europe, where I always relish the high-speed trains. In Tokyo, I once appreciated a speedy, efficient and easy-to-understand experience; but, speed isn’t the only appealing aspect of train travel. From Venice to London, on the Venice Simplon Orient Express, we traveled through the coastal cliffs of the Cinque Terra and dined in formal opulence; from Whistler to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer, we sipped tea while viewing the spectacular scenery.
By Hainan Airlines
While considering dreamy destinations for a romantic rendezvous, Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo immediately came to mind. I convinced my late husband, Bob, to take me there after a solo trip to Monaco (via helicopter from Nice-Cote d’Azur) on my first trip to the South of France. Our stays together left such an indelibly delicious memory that I’ve returned multiple times, including in 2018 and 2019. It’s a venue I recommend at any time, especially Valentine’s Day.
When considering a new destination for your family’s vacation list, solo trip, romantic getaway or just something to watch between trips, this list of wanderlust-inducing films should help. Watch a few of the family-friendly options with the kids and make it a movie night:
With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games taking center stage for travelers passionate about Japan or sports, the Tokyu Hotel Group generated some excitement of its own in Osaka after unveiling its luminous Osaka Excel Tokyu Hotel in November 2019.