Following what would have been the late Elizabeth Taylor’s 90th birthday, Dorchester Collection has announced a partnership with House of Taylor in honour of the legendary star and activist.
A loyal guest of The Dorchester, London and The Beverly Hills Hotel, Dame Elizabeth Taylor spent many momentous occasions of her celebrated, transatlantic life at these legendary Dorchester Collection hotels.
In her six decades-long acting career, Taylor received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and won the coveted prize for BUtterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Her performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? also earned her the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, among others.
In addition, she was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for Suddenly, Last Summer in 1960. Further, Elizabeth made her Broadway debut in a 1981 revival of the Lillian Hellman play The Little Foxes, which earned her a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, along with other critical acclaim. Elizabeth was honoured with many lifetime achievements, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the BAFTA fellowship and a medallion at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Her most cherished work — the commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS — was also recognised with several honours, including the French Légion d’honneur in 1987, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards in 1993, the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2000, and the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001.
In 1985, Elizabeth co-founded amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and then established ETAF, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, in 1991.
As a tribute to the Oscar-winning icon’s incredible legacy as an actress, businesswoman and HIV/AIDS activist, Dorchester Collection has named two of its most beloved suites in her honour; Elizabeth Taylor Harlequin Suite at The Dorchester and Elizabeth Taylor Bungalow 5 at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Elizabeth Taylor stayed at The Dorchester for the first time with her mother as a 17-year-old, and returned to the hotel throughout her life.
The hotel’s penthouse Harlequin Suite became her home away from home. It was here that she stayed when she negotiated her legendary deal with 20th Century Fox as the first actor to receive over a million dollars for a movie in the Hollywood epic Cleopatra. Elizabeth Taylor met Richard Burton on the set of the film and the glamorous couple were regulars at the hotel throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
The hotel remained her London-base and it was here she stayed in 2000 for the Buckingham Palace ceremony in which she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to acting and charity, recognising the star’s fundraising for and commitment to people living with HIV and AIDS.
Similarly, The Beverly Hills Hotel served as a backdrop to Elizabeth Taylor’s life in California dating back to her childhood. Her father Francis, who inspired her love of art, had a gallery in the hotel’s shopping arcade and she went on to be a frequent guest of the hotel throughout her life.
Affectionately known as “the Pink Palace,” The Beverly Hills Hotel’s famed bungalows are where Elizabeth Taylor spent several of her honeymoons. She dined regularly at the hotel’s iconic Polo Lounge where her “splurge” day favourite of “fried chicken with mashed potato and lots of gravy” is still served, and celebrated iconic moments of her life, such as her Oscar win for BUtterfield 8 at the hotel. After her passing in 2011, Elizabeth Taylor’s family hosted a private gathering in the star’s favourite Bungalow 5.
Guests booking Elizabeth Taylor Bungalow 5 and Elizabeth Taylor Harlequin Suite will be able to enjoy books that give a nod to her vision for a “kinder, braver, more beautiful world” during their stay. A copy of Taylor’s book My Love Affair with Jewelry and the Christie’s auction catalogue for the 2011 The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels will be available for guests to read in the suites.
“Steeped in history, Dorchester Collection celebrates timeless stories and unforgettable moments between its remarkable properties and the people who inhabit them. We are delighted to honour our loyal guest, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, and her legacy as a Hollywood superstar and HIV/AIDS activist by announcing this partnership with House of Taylor. Our legendary hotels are a ‘home away from home’ for people who make the world turn and we are proud that Elizabeth Taylor’s spirit lives on in the suites named in her honour.” Helen Smith, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Dorchester Collection.
“We are pleased to enter into this official partnership with Dorchester Collection, naming two of Elizabeth’s favourite suites after her. The team there has demonstrated a passion for Elizabeth Taylor and her legacy, and have shown a strong commitment to honouring her history at the hotels. We are thrilled to know that guests of The Dorchester and The Beverly Hills Hotel will get to experience part of Elizabeth’s world and luxuriate in the same suites that Elizabeth loved,” said House of Taylor.