The Fairmont Miramar Santa MonicaJul 9th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: Marilyn Monroe Locations, TV Locations
I don’t know about you all, but for the past few Sunday nights I have been absolutely glued to my television set watching Season 2 of the Ryan Seacrest produced Denise Richards: It’s Complicated. And while I admit that the girl is an absolute train wreck and that her laugh is like fingernails on a chalkboard, for some incredibly odd reason I just can’t stop watching! LOL So, since I was in the area recently, I just had to stalk the hotel Denise moved into at the beginning of this season.
Wanting a “fresh start” after the past “difficult year”, Denise decided to sell her Hidden Hills home and move closer to her daughters’ school and her “work” – whatever that means. I didn’t realize Denise had a full time job. LOL Anyway, until her former home sells, the Richards Family, including Denise, her father Irv (no, that’s not a typo, that’s actually his name!), and daughters Lola and Sam, are calling the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica home. The hotel shows up quite often on this season of Denise’s reality show, especially the bungalow area where her family lives . . .
. . . and the hotel’s onsite fitness center, where she works out daily with her trainer/sometimes date Ray.
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows was originally the private home of John P. Jones, a former Nevada senator and one of the founders of the City of Santa Monica. John built a mansion on the site in 1889 and dubbed his property “Miramar” which means “view of the sea” in Spanish. In 1912, the Jones Family sold their home to King C. Gillette, founder of the razor company of the same name and the King Gillette Ranch where TV’s The Biggest Loser is filmed. Nine years later, in 1921, Gillette sold the property to hotel entreprenuer Gilbert Stevenson, who turned it into an upscale seaside resort. In 1924, to make room for more guests, Stevenson added a large brick building to the property and also, sadly, had the original Jones’ mansion torn down just a few years later. In 1959, the hotel added yet another tower. Forty years later, the current owner, investment group Maritz, Wolffe & Co. purchased the hotel, started a $16 million renovation process, and brought in the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts company to manage the property. All these years later it is still a truly beautiful place and I highly recommend stalking it!
Denise Richards is not the first celeb to check into the Miramar. Over the years numermous stars have stayed there, including Cary Grant, Greta Garbo (who lived at the hotel for close to three years), Doris Day, JFK and Jackie O., Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, my girl Marilyn Monroe, Rosa Parks, Denzel Washington, Quincy Jones, Hugh Hefner, Anthony Hopkins, Arnold Schwarznegger, Steven Spielburg, Shaquille O’Neal, and Hilary Swank, just to name a few.
The hotel has been featured in countless movie and television productions over the years. In the Season 5 episode of Entourage entitled “First Class Jerk”, the Miramar stood in for a Hawaiian resort where Vinnie and the boys hung out.
The large Moreton Bay Fig Tree which stands at the entrance to the Miramar and quite closely resembles a banyan tree gives the hotel somewhat of a tropical feel, so it’s no surprise that Entourage producers chose to film there instead of shooting on location in Hawaii. The fig tree was planted way back in 1879 – yes, 1879 – by Senator Jones, the original owner of the propety. It measures a whopping 80 feet high and 120 feet wide!
The hotel also showed up as the location where Anthony Hopkins’ wife carried out her affair in 2007’s Fracture.
It was also the hotel where Helen Mirren and her friends stayed during their L.A. visit in the Disney movie Calendar Girls. Please excuse the horrific YouTube screen captures pictured above! LOL In the 1962 Cary Grant and Doris Day comedy That Touch of Mink, the Miramar was used as a West Indies resort. The hotel has also been featured in Along Came Polly and the television series Simon & Simon.
And last, but definitely not least, the night before her surprise wedding to KFed, Britney Spears threw herself a Bachelorette party in one of the Miramar’s bungalows. KFed partied with his boys, aka “The Pimps” right across the street at Houston’s Restaurant (pictured above). Both, I’m sure, were classy affairs! 😉 At the time, Kevin was living with Britney in her nearby oceanside pad in the 1221 Ocean Avenue condomium complex.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is located at 101 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. You can visit their website here. Houston’s Restaurant, where KFed held his bachelor party, is located across the street at 202 Wilshire Boulevard.