Lavish Oscar Week Gifting to the Stars — How Suite it Is

Wendi McLendon-Covey

There are about a dozen gifting suites handing out swag to Oscar nominees, presenters and other stars this week.  Perhaps the most popular destination for prestige pampering — certainly one of the busiest — is the Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Suite at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills.

As of yesterday (2/23), some 200 stars and 10 nominees had already visited the suite, including Wendi McLendon Covey, Oscar presenter and “Bridesmaids” star, with her friend, Oscar nominee for Best Screenplay honors for “Bridesmaids,” Annie Mumolo.  We’re told they loved
their Raju Rasiah Beverly Hills rings, and their GM Collin SKincare Paris kit.

Richard Middleson, “The Artist’s” executive producer, came with his wife Katherine.  She fell for a Shekar Rahate gown, saying she felt it was perfect to represent the movie.  Shekar customized the dress just for her in 24  hours.

Oscar nominee Eimear O’Kane, (Live Action Short Film), found her jewelry and handbag for the Oscars at the suite from Timmy Woods.

Penelope Ann Miller from “The Artist” came away with a stay at Belleek Castle in Ireland, as well as a collection of Classified Cosmetics

Stars ranging from Rene Taylor to Lorenzo Lamas to Eric Roberts enjoyed their Bob Marley Coffee and Lorimar Winery wine.

The pampering offered to stars at the RNSH suites ranged from manicures to waxing, facials, “instant eye lifts” and massages.

The gifting suite practice, which took a hit a few years ago when the IRS decided to demand its share, is in full-swing again this awards year.  All this giving out of designer clothing, luxury trips, expensive gadgets and myriad edible and drinkable goodies are a win-win for the stars and companies involved.  The celebs get to load up on fabulous freebies, while product makers and designers get valuable celebrity endorsements at relatively low cost.  It’s also standard to see a charity or eco-minded tie-in for the suites.  In the case of RNSH, it’s The Andy Transplant Foundation.

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About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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