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Employees of the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Share Their Favorite Stories From Over the Decades

From secret staircases to rare crystal bowls, these are some of the best hotel tales over the last 50 years.


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The Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, has been a staple for luxury travelers since it was built in 1928. It's welcomed everyone from Elvis Presley to Barack Obama and has served as the backdrop for famous films like Pretty Woman. But not only has it been a mainstay for celebrities and politicians, it's also been home to decades-long employees. Incredibly, 200 employees have worked here for over 20 years and one has even worked there for 50 years. And, as you can imagine, with so many years in one spot, they have some of the craziest, funniest stories to share. Here are some of the best ones throughout the decades.

The 1970s

Jimmy Tritipeskul: Started in 1972 as an Elevator Operator. Now he is the Bell Captain in the Guest Services Department.

"I was an elevator operator when I first started at the hotel," he said. "The Wilshire Wing elevators at the time were still hand crank (while the Beverly Wing, having recently been built, had automatic elevators.) I was lucky enough to frequently have Warren Beatty ride on my elevator when he lived in our Veranda Suite."

Caroline Phillips: Started in 1973 as an Elevator Operator. Now she is the Assistant Director of Purchasing.

"When I worked at the Information Desk, the Front Desk would check you in, then ring my desk to bring over the guest room keys. And fun little fact, when I started at the hotel, floors two to eight of the Beverly Wing were open as a hotel, while floors nine to 12 held our permanent residents. The 12th floor (which now holds four of our Specialty Suites) was split between two residences. Also, Steve McQueen had a motorcycle IN his suite when he lived with us. Only way it could get up there? By bringing it up in the elevator."

The 1980s

Sal Cerros: Started in 1989 as a Lobby Lounge and Coffee Shop server. Now he is a server in THEBlvd.

"I started working at the Lobby Lounge (formerly, Brentano's Bookstore and where THEBlvd is today) and the Coffee Shop (where Mikimoto is today)," he said. "One of my favorite memories was working during the filming of Pretty Woman. I was a server in the Lobby Lounge and recalled seeing filming happening right outside the window."

Silvia Salmeron: Started in 1989 as a Laundry Supervisor.

"I've seen my fair share of remarkable pieces come through our laundry department, and from the likes of royalty and celebrities alike (even Steve McQueen when he lived at the hotel)," she said. "Although my favorite has to be the $75,000 Valentino wedding dress that came downstairs to be steamed. It was and is still, the most beautiful thing I've seen. And of course, during this time, the runners who picked up and dropped off the laundry were dressed in a white jacket and gloves."

The 1990s

Sal Sequeira: Started in 1996 as a Bell Dispatcher. Now he is a Bellman.

"My favorite memory has to be when we uncovered the secret stairway," he said. "This staircase that's between the Mezzanine Level and 2nd Floor of the Wilshire Wing was closed off when Warren Beatty lived in our Veranda Suite (rumor has it, there were too many guests trying to sneak up to his room.) When we unveiled it, I remember we were all really excited to see what was behind the sealed walls."

Lilly Koorn: Started in 1998 as a Sales Coordinator.

"One of the first over-the-top requests, I had the pleasure of assisting a gentleman who wanted to recreate some moments from his girlfriend's favorite movie: Pretty Woman. It was part of an elaborate proposal and I remember we all had to dress us as characters from the movie—even our Hotel Manager at the time played the Hotel Manager. And when his girlfriend arrived at the lobby, to her surprise, we greeted her by the name: Vivian."

The 2000s

Mark Anderson: Started in 2007 as Catering Manager.

"I recall running into Wolfgang at the elevators and asked if he was staying for lunch. His response? 'I can't. I have to go back to work so I can pay for my wife's Galliano dresses.' It was such a funny and real moment that many of us can relate to!"

Jeanne Milles: Started in 2013 as Chef Concierge.

"One of my favorite requests from our discerning guests was from the personal chef of a sheik who needed a clear crystal serving dish in a hurry to match the white ceramic serving dish he held in his hands. I knew I wouldn't be able to find a piece like this one at Pottery Barn or Williams-Sonoma, so I arranged to have one hand-blown, especially for him. The new crystal serving dish, an exquisite match, cost $5,000. And more importantly, it was ready in time for the sheik's party."


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