The Beverly Wilshire Launches Glamping Option
But it's not exactly roughing it.
When you think of the Beverly Wilshire—the iconic hotel perched at the end of Los Angeles' opulent Rodeo Drive—it's likely you picture its stunning marble foyer, its state-of-the-art spa, its velvet-clad sofas inside each suite. Perhaps you can all-but feel the rooms' silky down duvets against your skin, or your stress melt away during an aromatherapy massage. What you don't likely see is camping. In a tent. Outside.
And yet, that's exactly the latest experience the Beverly Wilshire is touting. Its new luxury experience doesn't take place in the penthouse suite or inside Michelin star-rated restaurant Cut by Wolfgang Puck. In fact, it doesn't really take place inside at all. Instead, guests of its veranda suite will be welcomed outside, into a tent pitched on the suite's attached 2,140 square-foot terrace, perched 10 stories above Rodeo Drive and offering sweeping 270-degree views of Hollywood Hills. And like those views, this is no ordinary tent: it's huge, at 10 feet tall and 16 feet wide, and holds a queen size bed, night stands, marble lamps, fur rugs, and even a crystal chandelier.
Step outside the tent, and guests will find lounge furniture, a fire pit—and a dining table set for eight. Here, guests will nosh on anything but standard camping cuisine.
"People are paying serious money here—we cannot bring them basic food," joked executive chef Samir Roonwal on a recent phone call with Food & Wine. Indeed, the experience starts at a cool $3,500, so hot dogs and canned beans won't exactly cut it.
Roonwal, who began working at the Beverly Wilshire just a month ago, says he was inspired to "create a menu that is predominantly cooked on charcoal or in a wood fire oven, to maintain a campfire ambience." With smoke and flames licking nearly every dish, "the taste profile stays more authentic" to dishes hikers might cook over campfire, but with the "elevated, exquisite" twist guests expect to find at the Beverly Wilshire, Roonwal says. Presented on serveware made from wood and stone, the meal even looks a tad rustic—yet hints of gold remind you the food is anything but.
The eating experience kicks off with rosé—frozen rosé topped with special reserve Osetra caviar, a combination that pairs surprisingly well, Roonwal promises. "The softness of the caviar—with its umami flavor—and the sweetness of the rosé are an incredible combination," Roonwal describes, adding this course is his favorite dish.
Specialty fish, Wagyu beef, and seasonal vegetables round out the main courses, he says, then the dessert comes: a s'more. But before you shake your head in disbelief, remember, this is no ordinary camping meal. This s'more is very, very special.
Executive pastry chef Chris Ford told Food & Wine that, "it's really challenging to do a s'more. It's probably the most basic and generic dessert—the poor thing has had so many reinventions. So I wanted this one to be really interesting." And it really is.
To start, Ford roasts just the marshmallow, then tops it with a ganache made from caramelized milk—which takes on a nutty, almost brown butter-like flavor—that's been heated with a cinnamon stick burnt with a torch. By using these techniques, "the char taste comes from the inside out, and not from the outside," Ford describes.
Then, Ford adds a slice of smoked 55 percent Valrhona chocolate and encases it and the roasted marshmallow in a Tahitian vanilla bean marshmallow, "so it looks just like the puff marshmallows you buy at the store," he says. The marshmallow sits on a housemade cookie, and is covered in a sheet of 24-carat gold. "This is the kind of dessert than can make anyone of any age go back to feeling like a kid," says Ford.
The hotel's new glamping experience is available only from now until December.