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Following Frank Sinatra's Steps in Beverly Hills
The Grand Entry in Frank Sinatra's Bungalow
Sinatra's Bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel
Frank Sinatra bungalow is decorated with a masculine touch. There are leather panels on the back of the dramatic powder bath with a marble sink and shiny silver sparkling walls. This two bedroom unit is located in the former tea room near the Polo Lounge gardens. It's unique design offers a grand entrance with a Palm Spring vibe. Large columns separate the entry from the grand living room with a cozy outdoor patio featuring Saltillo tiles and a blazing fireplace beyond two French doors.
There is a butlers pantry for those seeking a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and coffee service.
Of course there is a black grand piano for guests to play "My Kind of Town."
The Master bedroom features a king-size bed with luxury sheets, enormous wood paneled closet and a large window marble shower viewing the bungalow's garden. It's spectacular.
Blue Eyes Loved Beverly Hills
Taking a Tour of the Beverly Hills Hotel
The Dorchester Beverly Hills is known for it's elegance with each bungalow having its own personality and uniqueness. They range from two to four bedrooms. The two Presidential cottages #23 and #24 have three bedrooms.
Brittany Williams the Director of Communications of The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows took me on a tour of Frank Sinatra Bungalow #22. While on the tour, Williams introduced me to the charming V.P. Sales Marketing Helen Smith and Director of Communications Julia Record. I learned that the Beverly Hills Hotel offers 22 private bungalows with gardens, and two Presidential units. Four have separate swimming pools, including the newly redone pool in Elizabeth Taylor - Bungalow #5.
Grand Piano in Frank Sinatra's Bungalow
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Sinatra's Bathroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Frank's Signature Drink & Steak
Walking into the Italian supper club La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills, Frank Sinatra always ordered his favorite drink - “A gentleman’s drink,” Sinatra once said referring to his preferred sprit of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. His signature cocktail was a mix of four ice cubes, two fingers of Jack Daniel’s and a splash of water. He never touched the rim of a glass but rather cupped it in his hand with a cocktail napkin.
Afterwards, he would enjoy a signature steak Sinatra. It was the crooner’s favorite. On the plate was a prime 8oz. filet mignon with sautéed peppers and a flavorful, burgundy colored Chianti demi-glace sauce.
Sinatra was an investors in the restaurant with movie star George Raft. They wanted a place to dine in Beverly Hills that was similar to a traditional New York style Italian restaurant.
Off the beaten track on Little Santa Monica Blvd, this location didn’t attract as much attention from photographers as did other celebrity dining destinations during the 1960s.
The interior looked like a movie set, because it was designed by five-time Academy Award winner Lyle Wheeler, the premier set designer of 20th Century-Fox Studios.
Sinatra had his own red leather booth. Stories have been told that Sinatra gave each server $100 one night, after learning the wait staff was a little disappointed with the guests’ tips.
Another time he gave one of the dishwashers his gold watch.
One of Sinatra’s favorite staff members was Ruben Castro, the maitre d’ for over 40 years. One evening in the 1980s, Frank and Barbara pulled up to the restaurant in a Jaguar, and the paparazzi were in full force. Castro offered to drive the couple home after their dinner in his own 1960s Pontiac to throw off the photographers. Sinatra was so appreciative that he wanted to give Castro a Rolls Royce, but Castro politely declined.