Hotel Shangri-La from “The Bachelor”Aug 7th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
This past Sunday morning (which was particularly cloudy, as you can see above), the Grim Cheaper and I headed out to Santa Monica to run a couple of errands and while there we happened to walk by the Hotel Shangri-La – a historic Art Deco masterpiece that I have wanted to stalk ever since early 2010 when it was featured in an episode of fave reality series The Bachelor. So the two of us decided to pop in to take some quick pictures – and we were not disappointed. Hotel Shangri-La is quite spectacular.
The seven-story, reinforced concrete property, which was originally named the Shangri-La Apartment Hotel, was constructed beginning in 1939 at a cost of $400,000. The L-shaped site was designed by Beverly Hills-based architect William E. Foster and was owned by oilman Frank A. Gillespie. The structure, which at the time housed 61 individual apartment units, was the first Class A apartment building built in Los Angeles County following the stock market crash of 1929. Its doors were opened to the public on May 1, 1940. You can see a great photograph of the location from that time period here.
During World War II, the building, which is a Santa Monica Historic Landmark, was used as a rehabilitation center by the United States Army Air Forces.
In 1983, Hotel Shangri-La, which is of no relation to the Asian Shangri-La hotel chain, was purchased by an India-born real estate maven named Ahmad Adaya. The property is still owned by his family to this day.
According to the book Hollywood & the Best of Los Angeles Alive!, in 2002 the site was seriously lacking in amenities and, for whatever reason, did not feature a pool, a restaurant, a bar, room service, or valet parking. All of that has since changed, though, thanks to a $35 million renovation in 2008.
Today the Streamline Moderne-style property, which is currently owned and operated by Ahmad’s daughter, Tehmina Adaya, boasts 71 rooms and suites (almost all of which have views of the Pacific Ocean), an upscale restaurant named the Dining Room (where each entrée features ingredients from the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market), an open-air rooftop bar and lounge known as Suite 700 (which was voted one of L.A.’s top 5 rooftop bars in a 2013 The New Zealand Herald article), a pop-up spa known as the Sybaris Rejuvenation Lounge, custom-designed furniture, a solar-powered pool, valet parking, 24-hour in-room dining, and an indoor gym.
Hotel Shangri-La has been popular with the Hollywood set ever since its inception. Just a few of the stars who have been spotted there over the years include Drew Barrymore, Cyndi Lauper, Diane Keaton, Bill Murray, Matthew Broderick, Bill Clinton, Madonna, Tom Cruise, John F. Kennedy, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Sean Penn, Rashida Jones, and Andy Samberg. Supposedly, even my girl Marilyn Monroe once spent some time there.
Thanks to its striking architecture, Hotel Shangri-La has been featured in numerous productions over the years. In the Season 14 episode of The Bachelor titled “Week 2”, Jake Pavelka hosted a group date at the Shangri-La where the female contestants took part in a rooftop photo shoot for InStyle magazine.
After the shoot, the group headed down to the pool area for the remainder of the date, during which Rozlyn Papa was given the coveted rose.
The Hotel Shangri-La rooftop was also featured in the music video for Randy Newman’s 1983 song “I Love L.A.”
You can watch that video by clicking below.
In 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump, Hotel Shangri-La was where Gloria Clemente (Rosie Perez) celebrated her Jeopardy! win with boyfriend Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson).
The interior of one of the suites was also featured in the movie.
In 1995’s The Net, the Shangri-La was where Dr. Alan Champion (Dennis Miller) got his former patient Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) a hotel room shortly after her identity was stolen.
I am fairly certain that one of the hotel’s actual rooms was used in the filming, although the Shangri-La rooms look significantly different since the remodel, as you can see here.
An exterior view of the hotel’s central stairwell was also shown.
Thanks to Geoff, from the 90210Locations website, I learned that the hotel was where Valerie Malone (Tiffani Amber Thiessen) stayed in the Season 7 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 titled “Graduation Day: Part II”, which aired in 1997.
The interior of the Shangri-La was also shown in the episode. (Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for making the 90210 screen captures that appear here.)
Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy) and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady) walked by the Hotel Shangri-La after a business lunch with famed German film director Franz Keppler (Craig Robert Young) in the Season 1 episode of the new Melrose Place titled “Ocean.”
Channing Tatum did a photo shoot with Mario Testino at the hotel for the August 2009 issue of GQ Magazine, which you can see photographs of here. According to the book Hollywood & the Best of Los Angeles Alive!, the hotel was also featured in an episode of the 1992 television series Bodies of Evidence and the 1988 Bruce Weber documentary Let’s Get Lost, but I was unable to verify that information. And while Wikipedia states that the Shangri-La appeared in the 2004 rockumentary DiG!, I was unable to verify that information, either.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!