Oscars Week at L.A. Hotels: Nominees' Perks and No-no's
Twelve-hundred bottles of champagne, 200 percent more room-service carts: What hotels do to please A-list attendees of Hollywood's Big Night — and what rules are non-negotiable (all guests must pick up show tickets themselves, "no assistants, wives, agents or managers")
It’s not just another feverish weekend of sold-out rooms and odd requests. For L.A.’s top hotels, Academy Awards weekend is the ultimate test in personalized service, VIP logistics and staff endurance. The Beverly Wilshire uses 12 concierges, “the largest team in the state of California,” according to Jeanne Mills, chief concierge. The Montage Beverly Hills begins Oscar prep “the moment the nominees are publicly announced,” while the London West Hollywood studies both the guests and their canine companions for optimal service.
The Four Seasons Beverly Hills ordered 350 pounds of chocolate so pastry chef Federico Fernandez can create 285 custom amenities, including welcome chocolates, for awards-show attendees this year. Loews Hollywood Hotel brings in 60 extra coffee pots, because “so many guests need an extra kick to the day,” says James Howald, VIP manager, as well as 750 fresh orchids for decoration. The Hollywood Roosevelt orders 600 extra bottles of Piper Champagne, while the Peninsula Beverly Hills has 200 percent more room service carts to contend with the 500 day-of show orders. “That’s a high volume considering we only have 195 guestrooms,” says Jim Assi, hotel ambassador. The W Hotel goes through about 1,200 bottles of champagne, Veuve Cliquot, Perrier Jouet, Moet Chandon and Ace of Spades, and will order other specialty brands if a celeb requests.
Although the hotels ensure the guest is always looked after, some house rules are non-negotiable, whether it's the orchestrated-to-the-minute departure times for each talent staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt (usually in a golf cart which shuttles them the one-tenth of a mile to the Dolby Theatre) to hit the red carpet at their assigned-by-the-Academy-arrival-time, or the strictly no-exceptions rule at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills that all show and afterparty tickets must be picked up by attendees with proof of I.D. and signature required — “no assistants, wives, agents or managers,” says concierge Jessica Berger.
Insider favorite Sunset Tower sends any nominee that wins a bottle of Dom Perignon and a hand-written congratulatory note from Jeff Klein, the hotel owner. The hotel's famed restaurant favored by Tom Ford, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Huvane books up fast during the week, making it hard for even nominees to score a table. Says Klein of Oscar weekend, "I can’t afford to let newcomers into the restaurant if they haven’t been there more than 20 times."