These three luxury hotels are helping film fans keep Oscar season all year round
From Beverly Hills to Normandy, nowhere is celebrating the 91st Academy Awards more than these historic cinematic hotels
When it comes to Oscar-worthy hotels, the bright lights and high glamour of Los Angeles is the natural choice – but it's not just an influx of celebrity guests and Golden Age-style bars that turn a great hotel into a red carpet experience. As the Hollywood machine becomes ever more global, its biggest names are turning to property development as a satisfying side project – think award-winning actor Robert de Niro's co-ownership of the global Nobu Hotel brand, or Leonardo DiCaprio's eco-friendly Blackadore Caye resort in the Belize, set to open later this year.
Godfather Director Francis Ford Coppola is also known as an entrepreneur, with five resorts, a vineyard, a restaurant and a film studio to his name. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones co-own the Ariel Sands resort in Bermuda while fans of Clint Eastwood will love his Mission Ranch Hotel in Carmel-by-Sea, California. But if it's you're looking to experience that traditional cinematic escapism, the first stay on any list must surely be The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Pink Palace
Known as the 'Pink Palace', this local landmark has been welcoming guests on the famous Sunset Boulevard since 1912. The Rat Pack - including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr - were regulars at the Polo Lounge restaurant, as were Marlene Dietrich and Humphrey Bogart. Bogie's famous love Lauren Bacall filmed Designing Woman at the hotel's Pool and Cabana Club with Gregory Peck in 1957. More recently, Nicole Kidman's Bewitched reboot featured the film, as did Saving Mr Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
With the Academy Awards taking place just around the corner, the hotel would be remiss not to celebrate in its own way – each year, the Beverly Hills Hotel creates a cocktail menu that pays tribute to the year's Best Picture nominees, served at the Polo Lounge and Bar Nineteen 21, which last year included Three Bourbons Outside Missouri, The Deadline, The Churchill and Battle on the Beach. >>
A royal red carpet
The nearby Hotel Bel-Air is the Beverly Hill's boutique cousin. With 103 rooms – 45 of which are suites – the Bel-Air is known for its old Hollywood style and 12 acres of gardens. Beloved of Judy Garland, Robert Wagner, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Audrey Hepburn, the hotel is not without its famous patrons, but the most glamorous regular is perhaps Grace Kelly, later the Princess of Monaco.
Kelly took up residence at the Hotel Bel-Air after winning an Oscar for The Country Girl, and again before her wedding to Prince Ranier III of Monaco. Another infamous feather in its bow was the Marilyn Monroe's infamous 1962 photoshoot for photographer Bert Stern. Commissioned by Vogue, the shoot resulted in thousands of images and a published book, The Last Sitting.
The Bel-Air's restaurant Wolfgang Puck has catered for the Academy Awards for more than 20 years, and guests can get a taste of the Oscars themselves with his Black Tie menu.
La Belle Histoire
In Normandy, hotel Les Manoirs de Tourgéville is celebrating its American cousin's biggest cinematic event with one of its own. Formerly owned by La Belle Histoire and Les Miserables director Claude LeLouch, this hotel still considers itself an unofficial part of the Oscars ceremony from its position on the famous Deauville Boardwalk.
Spanned acrossed seven hectares of lush parkland, the hotel maintains its cinematic style with suites named after famous French and American actors and, the cherry on top, a beautiful 50-seat private cinema where LeLouch reviewed his award-winning movies. Now, the cinema plays the Best Picture nominations each Oscar season, accompanied by sweet treats by chef chef Emmanuel Andrieu.