By Laura Medina
Photos by Charley Gallay/WireImage
The Beverly Hills Hotel, a.k.a., "The Pink Palace," was never a ordinary hotel.
Usually, it is the town or the city that arrives first then the hotel settles in, not so with "The Pink Palace."
The Beverly Hills Hotel came before the City of Beverly Hills.
Opening on May 12, 1912 by the Anderson Family, the Beverly Hills Hotel is the vestige of the now-bygone Hollywood Hotel (the shopping/media/Dolby Theater complex, Hollywood & Highland now stands in its spot.). Within two years, by 1914, the sterling standards uphold by "The Pink Palace" holding a post office, a primary school, and a now-extinct polo field, the legendary hotel attracted enough folks, that it formed the City of Bevery Hills. The Beverly Hills Hotel gave birth to the constantly glamorous City of Beverly Hills, on 1914, where Hollywood stars built homes nearby so they can use the hotel's amenities.
To celebrate the hotel's 100th Centennial, "The Pink Palace" graciously opens its poolside to the locals, the public, and the tourists for a two-months long elegant soiree every Friday night.
From 6pm until 8pm, folks are welcomed to order dinner at the Cafe Cabana, order a couple of the specially-concocted Cointreau Cocktails for the hotel only, and watch the Esther Williams-que synchronize swimming troupe, "The Aqualillies" perform a water ballet every Friday night at 7pm.
Beforehand, be crooned by Frank Sintara-impersonator, Luca Ellis at 6pm.
Watch the Aqualillies poolside
The Summer Soiree officially "splashed" this past Wednesday with classy burlesque performance artist, Dita Von Teese and the Aqualillies.
As the brand ambassador of Cointreau, Dita welcomed the soiree happily sponsored by Cointreau, making it an "Orange Summer" at "The Pink Palace."
Dita Von Teese's appearance is actually a two-parter. For the "Cointreau Carpet" and reception, she dazzled everyone in the noon day sun in a stunning Jenny Packham white chiffon, floor-length gown with floral appliques and dripping in crystals.
Mind you, her appearance and later burlesque performance celebriting The Beverly Hills Hotel's 100th Birthday and the Summer Soiree Series was an once-in-a-lifetime performance.
Her special routine, a homage to the bon vivant Dallas socialite and namesake of the Margarita Cocktail, Margarita Sames, attracts Young Hollywood and global tastemakers such as: Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied, Mary-Louise Parker, Marisa Tomei, Ken Paves, Daft Punk (sans helmets), Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Carly Chaikin, Aimee Garcia, Ellen von Unwerth, Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark.
"Weeds" star, Mary Louise Parker stood on her cabana chair just to watch the Aqualillies first then Dita's performance.
This new generation of a movie colony waited in great anticipation for Ms.Von Teese; but they got an unexpected kick watching the fun-loving Aqualillies doing their "water ballet." This usually cultured audience, "oohed and awed" as the Aqualillies swam, twirled, dived, and flipped in Cointreau Orange high-waisted, modest but chic, 1950's bikinis with parasols.
They exposed a new generation to what synchronize swimming used to be, a grand movie extragranza and mainstay during the 1940's. It wasn't just an Olympic sport. It is just another form of dancing...but in water, under and over.
The ever-elegant Ms. Von Teese opened her performance, waltzing with two of her performers from her tour, "Strip, Strip, Hooray."
This performance was based on Margarita Sames, inventing the Margarita in her Acapulco Cliffside hacienda, for her decadent parties.
The simple set was Mexican Tropical with two brightly-colored, pheasant-feathered fans in a beautiful peacock hue.
Ms. Von Teese wore a second Jenny Packham, created especially for this burlesque routine.
First, she peeled off a cream ivory, satin bolero jacket and a matching long skirt. It wouldn't be a "striptease," if she didn't teased the audience in a mini-skirt that she suddenly whisked away to reveal a rainbow fringed bra and skirt in Swarovski crystals...all designed by Jenny Packham just for Dita and this performance.
The finale was Dita baring it all in a transparent, flesh-toned bikini with a black Swarovski crystal fig leaf (a crystal bottom) and delicate, white Swarovski crystal starfishes over the nipples, doing the classic finale fan dance.
Yes, you're bummed out you missed out on this once-in-a lifetime performance by Ms. Von Teese but the Aqualillies will be performing that exact same water ballet routine, that Dita, Natalie Portman, Mary Louise Parker, and Daft Punk had enjoyed, for the next two months.
Starting on Friday the 13th until August 14th, the on-set of Fall, the Aqualillies, Luca Ellis, and those yummy, limited-edition Cointreau Cocktails will be there every Friday night from 6pm until 8pm.
Can't think of a perfect time to escape the gritty New York heat and the sticky Southern summers then chill poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel, being entertained by this "only-in-Beverly Hills" Aqualilliles, live in person, when YouTube videos don't do them justice.
Open to the public, open to the locals, open to the family (Dita only appeared and performed once, this past Wednesday and never more), the Beverly Hills Hotel welcomes you all on its 100th Birthday.
If you can't physically escaped to Beverly Hills this Summer, you can recreate the Cointreau Cocktails in the privacy of your own home...
Cointreau, Lime & Soda:
2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Stir briefly.
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz.fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake and strain into a Margarita glass.
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. watermelon-infused blanco tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. homemade raspberry syrup
Shaken and Served over fresh rocks with a salted rim. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.
1 oz. Cointreau
3 oz. Amontillado Sherry
3 orange slices
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain over crushed ice in metal cup. Garnish with fresh fruit: blackberry, raspberry, sliced strawberry and orange, and mint.