The New Bungalows
The Beverley Hills Hotel takes inspiration from legendary guests to redesign its historic houses.
By Elizabeth Sile
The 23 bungalows at Beverley Hills Hotel have witnessed a lot of history in their 104 years - from six (of eight) of Elizabeth Taylor’s honeymoons to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s weeklong holiday in No.11. Marilyn Monroe stayed there while filming “Let’s Make Love” (No.7 was her favourite), and Howard Hughes lived in as many as nine at once over 30 years.
Since finishing a multiyear restoration of the main building in December 2014, the Dorchester Collection has been quietly renovating its bungalows for a new era. The latest debut, No.22, was inspired by Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs compound. (Sinatra was a frequent guest of the hotel and its Polo Lounge, where he spent nights marathon-drinking with the Rat Pack.) The 1,200-square-foot, one-bedroom bungalow includes two terraces and an open living and dining room with Douglas fir ceilings and, of course, a Yamaha grand piano and minibar.
The bungalow project is being overseen by designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who reimagined Dorchester’s Hotel Bel-Air. Three have been completed so far: No.22, No.8, and No.5, which pays homage to Taylor, who honeymooned there with Richard Burton and supposedly downed four bottles of vodka a day. The rest will be restored over the next two years; five will be so-called Legendary Bungalows, designed after famous guests. “The bungalows have bridged generations of guests,” says general manager Edward Mady. “There are a tradition worth preserving.”