Beverly Hills hotels are getting wise to the city’s wellness weekend exodus. And instead of driving up to Ojai or into the desert for a some healthy R&R, many now want you to look past their cool, marbled exteriors for some immersion-style offerings within the city limits.
The Four Seasons on South Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills (not to be confused with its more famous sister the Beverly Wilshire AKA the Pretty Woman hotel) is one of these burgeoning wellness retreats.
Over the past several years, the location has quietly added juice, vegan cuisine, and, in-room fitness innovations that have accumulated into a surprisingly robust offering. “We’ve always focused on wellness but we have increased our healthy initiatives over the last few years,” confirms hotel general manager, Mehdi Eftekari. “It especially makes sense in Los Angeles—and with our celebrity clientele.”
Take the locally sourced, sustainable Squeezed juice bar in the Culina restaurant—a place previously tagged only as a power lunch spot. “The custom juice menu does really well,” explains Kim Kessler, the hotel’s public relations director. “And then we started getting requests for vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo options.”
So this summer the poolside Cabana restaurant menu got a culinary revamp worthy of a Venice hipster hangout with the help of Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company Spork Foods.
Out went the omnipresent SoCal Cobb Salad and in came vegan and gluten-free red bean veggie burger sliders, avocado tacos with house-pickled purple onions and lime crema, and an antioxidant salad with black kale, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, and bee pollen.
“Vegan is a genre now just like Mexican or Italian food,” say Spork founders Heather Bell and Jenny Engel. “It’s not just a healthier choice but delicious and sophisticated gourmet food.”
Up on the roof, new executive chef, Cyrille Pannier, fresh from the UK, plans to recreate the “Field to Fork” concept he developed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire by adding beehives and a garden to supply the kitchen.
The hotel has brokered relationships with local experts who appear in your guest room—via an iPad. There are 200-plus cardio, strength-training, and yoga workouts designed by WeHo’s Blue Clay fitness team (and shot in rooms, so they’re also sweating between the desk and bed with you) and celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder provides guidance on topics like Red Carpet Beauty Tips (order detoxifying hot water with lemon wedges from room service).
And in case you thought you were staying for work not workouts, Fitness Kits with resistance bands and a yoga mat are provided on request, along with sweat-wicking pieces from Lululemon.
The spa’s often the focal point of healthy living at an urban hotel, and this one’s long offered treatments like holistic massage, stocked some natural beauty lines like ILA, but it’s recently gotten a distinctly new age-y BioMeditation Therapy session with practitioner Jeannette von Johnsbach, whose job it is to chase down your energetic blockages.
“We’ve seen a continuous push for more holistic and organic products,” explains spa director Deirdre Bradford, who’s been putting the final touches on the new Nail Salon, opening this month, featuring Spa Ritual vegan, five-free polishes.
Looks like Pretty Woman checked in to the wrong hotel. —Rachel Marlowe
For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/losangeles