The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel

by Rick J. Schwab

There are few places that match the combination of quality, decor, and history of the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge. This haunt had been a well known celebrity hang-out for decades, Lauren Bacall to Leonardo DiCaprio could be seen lounging pool side or having Easter Brunch.

Founded in 1912 (prior to Beverly Hills itself), the Hotel and by extension the Polo Lounge received a bit of luck. The mega-stars of the day, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc bought the surrounding plots of land and the rest is history. As Beverly Hills rose in prominence so did the Hotel. 

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills hotel is Los Angeles, California is perhaps the premier hotel inn the entire city. As mentioned prior, following the founding of the hotel in 1912, the Beverly Hills hotel has remained one of the preeminent hotels not only in Beverly Hills, CA but across the nation. The soft turquoise green paired with the idyllic font is almost a landmark design in and of itself.

Beverly Hills Ca

The light pinks and greens that adorn the entrance foyer as well as the umbrellas and roof design have represented class for over 100 years. As throngs of well-heeled guests and celebrities made their way through the hotel whether it be for a brief or extended stay, the hotel has been a glamorous respite for all guests.

Beverly Hills Ca

History of the Beverly Hills Hotel

The Polo Lounge

While the pool and the hotel suites are glamorous in their own right. The Polo Lounge located within the Beverly Hills Hotel, is one of our favorite bars across the country. The decor, the elegance, the clientele all make this lounge a truly special place.

One of the first elements you'll notice as you meander through the bar is the beautiful color scheme that continues from the entrance of the hotel all the way to the bar. The deep tropical greens combined with the light pink will make you feel as if you've been transported to a seaside Italian town or the warm sands of the Bahamas. While the decor may feel tropical or Mediterranean, the Polo Lounge maintains an old world charm whilst fully capturing the Beverly Hills and by extension, Los Angeles spirit.

Beverly Hills Ca

The Polo Lounge has two dining options, indoor and outdoor. The indoor bar contains the old mahogany bar while the outdoor section, the Polo Patio, is located in a lovely garden adjoining the space.

Brunch is their most popular option and reservations fill up quick at the restaurant. Brunch is served with piano accompaniment that truly puts the cherry on top. The Polo Lounge is also famous for their McCarthy salad, named after the famed millionaire polo player, Neil McCarthy. The Mccarthy salad is wonderful combination of "Grilled Chicken, Romaine, Tomatoes, Bacon, Organic Egg Avocado, Beets, Aged Cheddar, Balsamic Vinaigrette" and is thee ultimate fresh classic for lunch and dinner. The McCarthy salad is also assembled table-side, so you get dinner and a show. The service is always impeccable either at Polo Lounge or Polo Patio.

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Why is it Called the Polo Lounge?

When the famous Hotelier, Hernando Courtright, was running the Beverly Hills Hotel, his best friend Charles Wrightman won the Polo league championship and was awarded a large silver trophy. Charles thought the giant trophy would be unsightly for his home ad asked Hernando, if he could store the trophy in the Hotel. Hernando brought the large trophy and renamed the bar the Polo Lounge in his honor. The Polo Lounge name has stuck ever since.

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Celebrity Hang Out?

The Beverly Hills Hotel has long been a destination for celebrities and luminaries from across the planet. Famous for Hollywood deal makers and starlets who would grace these halls with their presence and bravado.

The Beverly Hills Hotel in the past was famous for hosting Charlie Chaplin, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and the list goes on. The Generations of stars who would call the Beverly Hills Hotel and by extension the Polo Lounge home would carry on into the modern day. Don't be surprised to run into Leonardo Dicaprio or Billy Elish having a cocktail or some food.


Beverly Hills Ca

Presidential Guests

The Hotel is also famous for hosting many prominent politicians from across eras. Just like at Bemelmans Bar, the Kennedys enjoyed spending their time at the Beverly Hills Hotel. IN the picture below you can see JFK enjoying himself at the lounge.

What Drinks to Order?

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THe Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz at the Polo Lounge holds a special place in our heart because it was our Great-Grandmother's favorite cocktail to order there. Especially during an Easter Brunch, the light sweet taste of a Gin Fizz is enough to get the appetite going.

Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned presentation is perhaps our favorite of the many cocktails they serve at the Polo Lounge. The Old Fashioned is infused with tobacco through a smoking mechanism. The presentation is incredible, they bring out the old-fashioned enclosed in glass then proceed to smoke it to give it an extra special flavor.

But our favorite part of the presentation is when the ice begins to melt and the Polo Lounge logo is revealed underneath.

Is there a dress code for the Beverly Hills Hotel?

There is a dress code for the Polo Lounge. Expect to dress for a nice occasion. They do not allow flip flops or ripped jeans, tattered hats etc. Children under 10 are exempt from the dress code at the Polo Lounge.

Can anyone go to the Polo Lounge?

Anyone is welcome to go to the Polo Lounge. You are not required to be hotel guest or a celebrity. However, we highly recommend making a reservation if you have a larger party and make the reservation many weeks in advance. If you are sitting at the bar, which we highly recommend, then it is usually first come, first serve. If you sit at the bar, you get to watch the magnificent bartenders shake your drink right in front of you or even smoke your manhattan. Don't be surprised to see stars and Hollywood deal makers. Bring your date for breakfast lunch and dinner or just for a visit and a cocktail.

Poolside Cocktails?

Let's say its a beautiful day and the Polo Lounge is full...we highly recommend heading over to the Pool. Not only does the pool have amazing pool side cabanas that harken to an older era, but the pool bar open ups a whole new suite of cocktails to enjoy. From poolside mojitos or a spicy margarita or a Gin Fizz. The pool is also an amazing place to run into celebrities as they try and catch their tan. Don't be surprised to see Conor McGregor or Miley Cyrus enjoying a fresh cocktail with some chocolate. The outdoor atmosphere is incredible thing to be a part of and feel like a star.

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The Polo Lounge is located within the Beverly Hills Hotel, in Los Angeles. 9641 Sunset boulevard.

Other Great Bars in Los Angeles

Since you're already in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills, we highly recommend you make a trip to either the Ivy to enjoy their delicious Ivy Gimlet cocktail.

If you're looking to have a night out in 1950's Havana we also recommend La Descarga. Dance the night away with some salsa music, while enjoying a Rum Old Fashioned. Los Angeles is home to many great cocktail bars.


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