To eat, and to eat not just well but the best, is a natural component in the concept of high class hospitality, where guests expect not only to eat, but also to drink, sleep, relax and even exercise in the utmost luxury without setting foot out of their hotel.
It is an inviolable fact that a luxury hotel of any standing and reputation must have a first class restaurant at the considerable disposal of its guests. They also maintain the hotel´s localness, and act as a powerful magnet; their reputations for fine cuisine and top chefs create permanent interest and a rich flow of customers which constantly re-invigorates the hotel. Many of the world’s best hotels are the homes of some of the world’s finest dining.
To move from restaurateur to hotelier, therefore, does seem in some ways a deeply counter-intuitive move. For the Cipriani family, however, this move presents a natural progression in a story that has travelled across four generations, a century, seas and continents from the original Harry’s Bar in Venice, born of an extraordinary act of generosity in extraordinary times, to the international hospitality behemoth of today.
A humble waiter at the Hotel Europa in Venice, Giuseppe Cipriani one day encountered a regular customer who had suddenly stopped frequenting the bar. The young man informed him that his family in the United States had cut him off without a penny when they discovered that he was continuing to pursue his great fondness for alcohol in Italy. Taking pity on him, Giuseppe loaned him 10,000 lire (at the time worth about $5,000) and thought no more of it. Three years later, Harry Pickering returned to the Hotel Europa and ordered a drink from Giuseppe, first returning his money to him and then giving him another 40,000 lire with the suggestion that it be used to open a bar that they could name Harry’s.
From that moment, Giuseppe built Harry’s Bar into a Venetian institution, the haunt to this day of a staggering roll-call of visiting celebrities and the local well-heeled, including such regulars Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote, Aristotle Onassis and Peggy Guggenheim. While 2001, the Italian government awarded this classic bar and restaurant the status of national landmark, its influence and fame has spread beyond Roman shores, with world famous luxury staples the Bellini cocktail and Carpaccio of beef said to have been invented there.
Cipriani, the brand the family created in 1985 and now run by Giuseppe’s son and grandson, has gone on to export Harry’s Bar’s unique mix of casual class, expertly prepared classic Italian cuisine and a famously refined drinks menu worldwide. There are now Cipriani restaurants found in some of the most upscale locations in the world, including London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Porto Cervo, and New York - with restaurants on Fifth Avenue and SoHo that became a symbol of sophistication and prestige.
It is a brand that has become synonymous with elite destinations and lifestyle hotel brands, with Cipriani restaurants found at market pioneer the Edition’s sophomore hotel The Istanbul Edition, the Yas Yacht Club overlooking the Yas Marina F1 Circuit and The Yas Hotel, and The Billionaire - a super exclusive private club prostrated on Costa Smeralda´s beautiful cliffs, amongst others.
After four generations, a sense of the highest quality, most discrete service to complete satisfaction of the customer is practically written into the Cipriani DNA and informs every aspect of Mr. C, the luxury lifestyle hotel the Cipriani family will open in Beverly Hills - very close to Rodeo Drive - this spring.
Guests staying in one of the 138 gorgeously appointed and spacious rooms can expect classic European opulence and old-world simplicity combined, with dark hardwood flooring and a welcoming and stylish color scheme of burgundy and grey throughout. The mysterious nostalgia of vintage black and white photography adorns the walls, creating a stylish historical counterweight to the frenetic Los Angeleno modernity swirling around this outpost of pampered Venetian calm.
Five multi-level lavishly appointed bungalows bask in that sense of understated luxury, featuring city views and their own private garden, a gourmet kitchen and a plunge pool. All Mr. C’s top-bracket amenities - such as spa treatments, housekeeping and room service - are delivered directly to these residential sized, beautifully rendered structures by California based architect Ray Kappe.
Guests are invited to soak up the famous California sun around the exclusive pool, while from the 12th floor, the indoor-outdoor private event space offers 360-degree panoramic views of Beverly Hills and the iconic Los Angeles cityscape beyond, and is served from a breathtakingly realized exterior glass elevator.
The first question, of course, aroused by any hotel created by a legendary gastronomic clan like the Ciprianis will always be about the food, and Mr. C the restaurant will not disappoint, offering signature grilled Italian classics and pizza from the sumptuous culinary bloodline that hails directly from Harry’s Bar. Indoor and outdoor seating, a separate entrance for walk-in diners, and a pair of private function rooms are high-class touches that all ensure the restaurant stands out in Los Angeles’ thriving high-end restaurant scene.
With Mr. C, this family of proud and prestigious hosts extend an invitation to enjoy that unique Cipriani sensibility long after the meal is over and the bar is closed.
- Benjamin Stewart
Mr. C Beverly Hills
Address: 1224 South Beverwil Drive
Los Angeles, 90035
Tel: 877 334 5623