Spatial Awareness

The Cabanas at the Beverly Hills Hotel Receive a Retro-Glam Makeover

Champalimaud Design tapped into Old Hollywood nostalgia and the storied history of L.A.'s Pink Palace when sprucing up the cabanas at the pool, known for its indelible bubble gum-hued daybeds by artist Marc Ange and an A-list celebrity crowd. From the colorful terrazzo cocktail tables and textured upholstery to the banana leaf wallpaper sourced from the property's archives, the summertime glow-up hits all the right notes.

Spatial Awareness is a column that hones in on a standout element of a new project deserving of a deeper look. In this edition, we train our lens on the makeover of the cabanas at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  

Firm: Champalimaud Design

Practice location: New York City

Instagram: @champalimauddesign

Project lead: Courtney Brannan 

What was the vision behind the redesign of the pool cabanas?

To celebrate the details that truly distinguish the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel from others. The property’s illustrious history and aesthetic are the reason visitors continue to flock, with the cabanas themselves originally dating back to the 1930s. The new design incorporates that Old Hollywood legacy in a way that feels completely refreshed and inviting to guests. Just as it has been for decades, the pool is a place to unwind and socialize, now with an even more spirited experience. 

What colors and materials are central to the visual identity? 

We wanted the cabanas to feel youthful and whimsical. The pink-and-white striped, circus-like interior starts to create a lighthearted feeling as soon as you spot them from across the pool. The terrazzo and rattan accents are a nod to the 1930s-50s when the cabanas were first built and were the epitome of Hollywood glamour.

What stands out to you the most now that you’ve finished it?

The beautifully recolored pink banana leaf wallpaper by CW Stockwell is the perfect accent to the space. Contrasting with the textured upholstery fabrics and materials, those illustrated details make each cabana stand out.

What tools were indispensable from ideation to actualization? 

History and setting served as important tools in the design process. The banana leaf wallpaper, for instance, mimics the corridors of the main hotel. The wallpaper was unearthed from the company’s archives to adorn the cabanas, the first time the print has been used at the hotel since it was first hung in the 1940s—this time in pink! Some of our sourcing is also tied directly to the California locale like the peach-pink tables from a local Los Angeles designer, Bend. 

Something that happened along the way that was pleasantly unexpected:

Due to Covid-19, the hotel was forced to halt service at the pool, which actually made the installation fairly quick and easier to manage without interrupting guest services. 

Did you encounter anything that was unforeseen or especially challenging? 

Designing for exterior spaces always has its own unique set of challenges. We meticulously sourced furniture and materials that exude glamour and can withstand the test of time while exposed to the elements. 

References of inspiration:

The furniture and color selections reference Old Hollywood, a nostalgic collection of the 1930’s-50s, and the heritage of the Beverly Hills Hotel itself, with a modern take. The terrazzo specifically embodies this: fun and playful with a nod to retro glamour.

Favorite detail:

The colorful terrazzo cocktail tables and consoles are exquisite and a visual centerpiece on their own. Functional and bold—a place for guests to casually place their drinks and belongings. The choice feels very much in line with the nostalgic spirit of the hotel.  

Next project on the horizon:

We are working on a really exciting waterfront hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, and renovations at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman, which is due to open before the end of the year.

Champalimaud Design's sketch of the cabanas.
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