I’m sorry but the atmosphere inside the once-exclusive and high-toned Beverly Wilshire hotel, which I visited last weekend, is like that of a shopping mall in Riyadh. Like much of Beverly Hills itself, it’s been overrun by nouveau-riche Middle Eastern families. They’re staying there for the social-statement and luxury factors, of course, but their presence, no offense, seems to de-luxurize the place.

Groups of loudly chattering women in black hijabs, rich kids running around in loud T-shirts, overdressed Eurotrash guys in their 30s with cream-colored suits with bling and tall blonde trophy girlfriends, Baby Huey-sized Arab tweens and teens hanging out in basketball shorts and sneakers, sleazy-sounding disco music emanating from the first-floor bar, etc.

It’s quite a different establishment than it was in the ’90s, let alone the ’70s or ’80s. I used to walk into the Beverly Wilshire lobby and say to myself, “Ah, yes…a touch of class. A hushed sense of refinement. Only the best people.” No longer.