The Hotel: With a Smile

Modern hotels claim luxury with a color telephone in the bathroom and an electric shoeshine kit in the closet; old-style elegance is today as vestigial as the ear lobe. Among the brass, glass and steel chains that proliferate across the country, the few fine old hotels left shine like solid gold pieces. The best of the remaining best is a sprawl of pink and green stucco called the Beverly Hills Hotel, which last week turned 50 years old with style.

When it was built in 1912 for $500,000, the Beverly Hills Hotel sat...

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