An Estate of Elegance, Escape Your Reality at The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Written By: Jessie Dax-Setkus
Photos Provided By: The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Photo Credit: Ryan Forbes
The Expert: Offer Nissenbaum
Credentials: Managing Director, The Peninsula Beverly Hills
The Peninsula’s Trademark: The staff’s warm, personal service and attention to detail
Sophistication is a word that’s widely used. We typically associate it with opulence, luxury and extravagance, but when you dig a little deeper, you see that being sophisticated really means having character, ideas or tastes as a result of education or worldly experience. We all know someone that fits this persona—they are what we commonly call “The Joneses.” In this case, his name is Offer Nissenbaum.
Los Angeles is a city that is known for its lavish lifestyle. People travel far and wide to be a part of Tinseltown, and to (hopefully) rub elbows with the silver screen elite. However, while you are temporarily living the Hollywood dream, you need a place to stay to complete this A-list lifestyle. Located mere minutes from Hollywood and Santa Monica, The Peninsula Beverly Hills screams sophistication, and Nissenbaum, the managing director, is your guide to luxury. He is what one would consider a citizen of the world. Hailing from Israel and making a home in Canada and New York City has opened his eyes to many forms of deluxe lifestyles. This worldly expertise is the very heart of The Peninsula. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Afternoon tea and a delicious dim sum menu are nods to The Peninsula’s international beginnings in Shanghai, and exclusive cabana spa treatments, sunshine-filled lobbies, and tropical gardens tie the California lifestyle into this old world charm. Looking for something truly luxurious? Nissenbaum and his phenomenal staff have all of the answers to keep every guest happy because, as he says, “Anything is possible at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.” If you’re looking to vacation like a VIP, The Peninsula Beverly Hills is the place for you, and Nissenbaum makes you the star. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Q: Tell me about your start in the hospitality business. What drew you in?
Offer Nissenbaum: Originally, I was inspired by my uncle, Michael Schweiger, a retired hotel manager who was associated with many iconic properties. I would visit him as a kid, and he would be quick to show me the real behind-the-scenes work of a hotel operation that supports the glamorous exterior. I was quickly engaged by the emphasis on service and dynamic elements that make a successful hotel. It was a natural decision for me to study hospitality management. In particular, I became intrigued by the high standards of the luxury segment, which appealed to my competitive nature to exceed expectations. I’ve always enjoyed creating atmospheres that are warm and set people at ease.
Q: You aren’t a California native. What inspired you to make the move to the West Coast?
ON: I have actually had the pleasure of calling many communities my home. I was born and raised in Israel and spent my teen years in Canada. I began my career in New York at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel followed by the Doral Tuscany. I’ve also held positions that have taken me from Miami to Vancouver. However, I must say that now my family and I very much consider Los Angeles to be home. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Q: Clearly there is a lot of competition in Beverly Hills. How does The Peninsula stay ahead of the curve?
ON: I believe that The Peninsula Beverly Hills is a very special place for many reasons. There are several luxury hotels in the area that are lovely, but what I believe sets us apart is the warm, personal attention our guests receive, in addition to the aspect of complete and utter privacy. We are able to retain an exceptional team who are focused on merciless hospitality—they will do whatever it takes to ensure his/her contentment. We create that culture with a “management” style that empowers our associates to express their opinions and share their ideas, so they directly contribute to The Peninsula guest experience.
Q: Speaking of location, you are located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. How do you use this prime location to your advantage?
ON: Our location is so incredibly central. It is just steps away from Rodeo Drive and Century City, and just minutes away from Hollywood or Santa Monica. Though we are in the middle of the city, the hotel is situated in a lush, exquisite residential neighborhood, and has a very intimate feel.
Q: The Peninsula Hotels started in Shanghai. Is there a nod to this anywhere within your hotel?
ON: The Peninsula is Asia’s oldest luxury hotel brand, and we are proud to incorporate touches that reflect that heritage throughout our property in Beverly Hills. You will find touches of Shanghai in our afternoon tea, The Peninsula Spa, in our dim sum menu, and, of course, in our annual Chinese New Year celebration.
Q: How would you explain the hotel’s ambiance?
ON: It is sophisticated, elegant and serene. With the sunshine-filled interiors and surrounding tropical gardens, the hotel retains an original aesthetic of classic elegance and intimate comfort in a setting evocative of a glamorous Beverly Hills estate. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Q: I read your dining is truly “inspired.” Can you explain where the inspiration for your restaurants comes from?
ON: We are extremely proud of The Belvedere, which is the only AAA Five Diamond-rated restaurant in Los Angeles for 20 consecutive years. Our guests absolutely love the California, farm-to-table cuisine of Executive Chef David Codney. Whether it’s seared scallops and poached lobster or the most comforting chicken soup, there are very few places in LA where you are not overwhelmed by acoustics and noise from other tables. Privacy and true luxury.
Q: What’s your favorite menu item?
ON: I have so many favorites, but if I have to choose one, it would be the smoked salmon pancake.
Q: As the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star-rated hotel in Southern California. What standards do you hold The Peninsula Beverly Hills to?
ON: We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards. Our philosophy is quite simple: never rest on the laurels of your achievements, and always maintain humility.
Q: Other than those amazing awards, what would you say is the Peninsula’s trademark or claim to fame?
ON: No question: our staff. Our trademark really is all about their warm, personal service and attention to detail. We have a 70 percent return rate, which means that seven out of 10 guests will return for another stay. We believe that this speaks volumes about the hotel.
Q: What do you think makes a luxury hotel?
ON: Luxury begins at the surface with gorgeous surroundings and impeccable service, but it’s the innumerable little details and conveniences that truly contribute to a luxurious experience, like a cutting-edge, pampering spa and fine dining cuisine. We offer a unique, flexible 24-hour check-in policy, which means that a guest can check in at any time of the day or night and depart any time they wish. All guests enjoy complimentary luxury vehicle service throughout Beverly Hills and Century City in the hotel’s Rolls-Royce Ghost, based on availability. We are the only hotel in Southern California to have a dedicated staff of airport concierges at Los Angeles International Airport who ease guests’ arrivals and departures. To me, that convenience is what luxury is all about.
Q: I have to ask … do you get a lot of celebrities dropping by?
ON: The Peninsula Beverly Hills is a home away from home for many high-profile individuals in the entertainment, business and political sectors; many of them happen to be dignitaries and celebrities. What they love the most about The Peninsula is that we never reveal their names, nor do we tell their stories. That element of privacy and confidentiality is one of the reasons they come back again and again.The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Must Have Cocktail:
“Our Speckled Jalapeno Margarita is a summertime favorite with all of our guests.”
— Offer Nissenbaum
Speckled Jalapeno Margarita Recipe:
1 ½ oz. Patron Anejo
2 oz. sweet & sour
1 oz. Cointreau
½ oz. Rose’s Lime
Splash of orange juice
2 slices of jalapeno
1 shishito pepper
• Combine roses, orange juice and jalapeno slices into a mixing tin and muddle contents.
• Add Patron, Cointreau, sweet and sour and ice.
• Shake and strain into rocks glass filled with ice. Add a slice of jalapeño and a mixing stick to the cocktail.
• Garnish rim with a shishito pepper.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212