The Millennium Biltmore Hotel has played a very special part in the glamorous past of Los Angeles. It’s a glorious establishment with a diverse collection of historical art collections and architectural details. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s the perfect place to stay for the sophisticated art lover or those who just want to enjoy the art of Los Angeles.
History at the Biltmore
The property celebrates our city’s past because it is the location where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars) was officially founded during an organizational banquet in the Crystal Ballroom in May 1927. The Academy had just been awarded its non-profit status, and held its membership-recruiting banquet where 230 guests joined the organization at a cost of $100 each. Eight Oscar ceremonies were held in the Biltmore between the Academy’s early years of 1931 -1942. The Biltmore Theater was in operation from 1924 – 1967 where stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball and Mae West performed. From politics to pop culture, the Biltmore has hosted The Beatles in 1964, and it was the location of John F. Kennedy’s acceptance speech for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee during the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
Art at the Biltmore
Designed by Schultze and Weaver of New York, the Biltmore opened to the public in 1923. The hotel features Spanish-Italian Renaissance interiors, hand-painted ceilings and other original details. There are several sculptures and murals throughout the Main Galleria and Crystal Ballroom ceilings. The murals often depict angels as a tribute to the city. The hotel’s original lobby faced Olive Street across from Pershing Square, which is now a dining area, the Rendezvous Court. Here one can enjoy a proper afternoon tea seated beneath the beautiful Moorish carved wood ceiling and breathtaking sculpted bronze stairwell. The frescoed mural ceilings in the main Galleria and the Crystal Ballroom were hand painted in 1922 by Italian artist Giovanni Smeraldi. Smeraldi was famous for his work at the Vatican and the White House. The hotel fitness center is very special and was decorated in keeping with a historic nautical theme. The area features hand-laid Italian mosaic tile, teakwood deck chairs and brass trimming, which all evoke the spirit of the original Queen Mary.
Today at the Biltmore
These days the Biltmore is the perfect place to stay when you are working a convention downtown, planning a special event or just want to treat yourself to a special weekend. The rooms are incredibly comfortable with all the expected amenities of a top-notch hotel, including luxurious beds, stately décor and flat-screen TVs with satellite television. Not that you’ll want to spend much time in your room, as you’ll want to explore the hotel. Be sure to visit the Gallery Bar and ask Greg to make you an Almond Manhattan cocktail while he tells you stories about tending bar at the Biltmore – as he has done for the past twenty-plus years.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 624 1011