Remove the male influence and women, regardless of age, suddenly become girlfriends again. Concise conversation becomes giddy gossip. Deeply logged secrets are liberated to surface as effervescent laughter fills the room. Yes, in this time of fast-paced overachieving, the occasional girls-only getaway seems essential to maintain our sanity.
So just where do the girls go to getaway? Some choose exotic locales where you lounge by the sea lifting little more than a finger as cabana boys continuously fill up your drink and offer chilled towels to quell the languid heat. I prefer another type of escape, one that allows for a balance of doing nothing poolside, having my muscles expertly prodded at the spa, and dolling up for an evening of mingling amidst the people watchers and those deserving of being watched. And the newly face-lifted Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills embodies each and every one of those needs, and then some…
Throngs of valet were immediately at my service the moment I pulled up. A gloved hand opened my car door and reached out to help me from my seat to my feet. As I approached the entrance to the hotel, the bell boys, with synchronized movements, pulled open the grand doors where I was greeted by yet another smiling Four Seasons face standing just beside the table-sized vase of fragrant flowers.
In the lobby there were dark glasses-donning celebrities and their handlers, and discreet billionaires and their hangers on, plus my dearest girlfriend who could hardly wait to begin our long overdue vaca. The hotel had just undergone a discreet facelift to the tune of $33 million, which is exactly the point of a facelift- You have no idea just how much has been “done,” but you know that it looks fabulous and feels fresh.
Instead of separate suites, we chose to make it a slumber party and share the recently renovated Presidential Suite West designed, no doubt, with old Hollywood glamour in mind. We were like two newly minted BFFs wide-eyed and visually overwhelmed by the gorgeous furnishings- the mirrored coffee table, cream and black lacquered cabinets, silver leaf dining table, white-tufted bed headboard, and the most statement making piece of all, the Swarovski crystal chandelier that looked like a delicate cherry tree branch hovering above the dining table. It was truly magical. But, as much as we were in awe of our environment, there would be plenty of hours to kibitz that evening, we had massage therapists awaiting our arrival to spa!
The Manipura Experience translating into “beautiful, shining jewel” in Sanskrit, energetically focuses on the solar plexus chakra located in the stomach. The idea is to cleanse and revitalize the “energy field,” no I’m not kidding, through a two-phase, total-body scrub and massage (including massaging the abdomen) in order to get the lymphatic system moving. It may sound like hocus pocus, but I will tell you that this “experience” sent my head to a delirious state and left my body feeling, somehow, lighter. Perfect to slip into my black slinky dress and red-heeled pumps for a night at the newly unveiled Culina, Modern Italian Restaurant.
Sexy isn’t enough to describe the setting of Culina, the hotel’s newest jewel sure to lure locals and travelers alike. We started in the lounge sipping house-made limoncello to commence the evening. Soon the beautiful people, the same who were being ushered around earlier in the lobby, slipped in, situating themselves along the crudo bar (essentially Italian-style sushi)- apparently the place to be. We followed suit and were decidedly and officially in heaven once dished the Aragosta (lobster, grapefruit, pink peppercorns, chive oil), Dentice (red snapper), and Gamberetti Marinati (shrimp) before digging into a shared brick-oven pizza and finally, (my mouth is watering just thinking about it) olive oil gelato made with Umbrian EVOO. Once suitably stuffed we did our best to not look like it as me made our back to our suite, plopped ourselves onto our massive bed and, as if we were 15 again, filled the room with laughter before falling asleep. We had another big day of pampering tomorrow and needed our beauty rest.
Four Seasons’ Alter Eco
The wine tasting communal tables and Chef’s table (which seats 10) at Culina, Modern Italian, were hand crafted from a 200 year-old Magnolia tree that fell in Sacramento.
The Spa has the exclusive rights in North America to use the organic ila skincare products. Taking pride in going “beyond organic,” the artisan line is 100% synthetic and chemical-free, sourcing the finest ingredients directly from local producers who farm and harvest in harmony with nature. One key ingredient that exemplifies the line’s essence is Damascena Rose. Known for its heart nourishing and nurturing properties, ila’s rose is sourced (similar to wine) from a single spot in the Himalayan foothills. It takes 30 roses to produce a single drop of extracted rose oil. The ingredients are then hand-blended in the English countryside in order to preserve its holistic energy.
Salt and Succulents
The 4th floor infinity-edged pool is saline (instead of chlorine) with a cushioned floor! The surrounding gardens are a passion of The Cohen Family who owns the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Mr. Robert Cohen was originally in the flower business and is still very involved with the landscaping of the succulents and flowers.