The 71st Golden Globe Awards will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Sunday, January 12, 2014. The landmark hotel, opened by Conrad Hilton in 1955, is situated on the crossroads of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards. It opened to great fanfare 59 years ago, with a gala that featured uniformed trumpeters greeting guests and pink-painted elephants escorted by "bathing suited beauties" circling the main entrance to the hotel. Owned by Merv Griffin from 1987-2003, he sold the nine-acre property and it underwent a five-year $80 million renovation that was completed in 2008.
The Beverly Hilton was designed by architect Welton Beckett, whose other projects include Capitol Records, The Music Center and LA Memorial Sports Arena. The exterior is retro, a salute to its mid-century architectural style, but the interior and 569 guest rooms have all been updated and modernized.
The hotel has hosted US Presidents and royalty from John F. Kennedy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with heads of state, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities. I didn't see any stars sliding in and out of limos or eco-friendly electric cars during my stay in 2010, although the buzz in the lobby was that Betty White was on the premises. But no Betty sightings for me! Sadly, two high profile people have died at The Beverly Hilton: Whitney Houston in February 2012 at the age of 48 and actor Peter Finch -- who died of a heart attack he suffered in the hotel lobby. He was 60 years old.
The Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual awards show, will air live from the hotel's International Ballroom on NBC from 5-8PM (Pacific Time) and 8-11 PM (Eastern Time). It will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, with 1,300 film stars and filmmakers in attendance. Guests will dine on a three-course menu accompanied by Moet & Chandon Champagne. The menu includes:
- Appetizer Trio - Grilled Eggplant with Sundried Tomato Pine Nut Hummus on Seared Tomato; Mini Sweet Pepper with Feta Cheese, Pomegranate, Herbs and California Olive Oil on Grilled Pita; and Grilled Artichoke on Multigrain Tabbouleh and Tahini.
- Entree - Mediterranean Spice Crusted Braised Beef Short Rib and Sauteed Smoked Filet of Atlantic Sea Trout with Spinach Sweet Corn and Light Cream of Tomato Dill Sauce.
- Dessert - Gusto Mango on Almond Sponge Cake with Creme Anglaise.
Film star and swimmer Esther Williams inaugurated The Beverly Hilton's Aqua Star Pool, the largest in Beverly Hills, by swimming through white gardenias with three of her swim students. The hotel's ground-floor night club, the Bali Room (now the International Ballroom), featured a bejeweled stage and dance floor that could be converted to an ice skating rink.