It may be hard to remember a time before round-the-clock TMZ and Perez. What with incessant updates on Lindsay’s latest court appearance and Charlie Sheen’s latest manic stunt, movie stardom has been largely stripped of its glamour in the 24/7 spotlight of tell-all celebrity media. But once upon a time, the stars in Hollywood shone a little more brightly.
In the Golden Age of Hollywood — roughly from the late 1920s to the early 1960s — the studio system was in full swing, and its stars were anointed like royalty. With the likes of Clark Gable and Greta Garbo, glamour not scandal was the order of the day. If the mystique of Hollywood’s more brilliant past captures your fancy, or if you’ve got a hankering for Hollywood history, this itinerary will steep you in nostalgia.
5:30 p.m. – Check into the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, which celebrates its 100th birthday this month. A favorite of stars like Bogart and Bacall, these posh pastel premises have seen more than their fair share of classic Hollywood moments over the past century. Though the hotel has been updated from its original 1912 design, it retains many of its famous features, like the pink-and-mint stripe décor, sceney poolside cabanas and the crowds of Hollywood movers and shakers. The rooms feature opulent marble bathrooms (many with Jacuzzis) and quirky retro touches, like original butler bells. For a super-exclusive experience, opt for one of the famed private bungalows: Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich once bedded down in these.
8:00 p.m. – No need to step off the hotel property for the night: Everything you need for time travel back to the Golden Age is right here. Dine at the hotel’s Polo Lounge, which has been a favorite stop for generations of stars and Hollywood dealmakers. Inside, deep booths and low lighting keep intimate conversations hushed, while the outdoor trellised patio buzzes with an elite group of see-and-be-seeners.