Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The appropriately named L'Ermitage (French for hermitage) has long been considered a calming, luxurious, and extremely private respite for the famous and well-to-do. (Particularly for the famous after some infamous plastic surgery -- Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor both recovered here.) Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Beverly Hills with no other hotels for blocks, it's a place where Angelina Jolie can cruise in unnoticed via the private VIP entrance, romantic couples can escape to the guest-only, 24-hour rooftop pool, and agents can discreetly broker deals at the restaurant's outdoor patio or the downstairs Lounge.
The rich and famous book here for other reasons too: huge 650-square-foot standard rooms with walk-in closets and balconies, and some of the best hotel service in the city. Greeted by a staff of at least four porters at the entrance, guests are addressed by last name and escorted to the front desk, where the receptionist sets to booking spa or restaurant reservations immediately. A rare, relaxed check-in/checkout policy allows guests to come or go at any time, and a free-first-come-first-served Mercedes Benz shuttles guests around within a three-mile radius. Business execs will find the L'Ermitage particularly attuned to their needs, with personalized business stationery, in-room fax machines with direct lines, and in-room Wi-Fi and printing all free.
Of course, one hotel can't do it all. With such a hushed, silent-as-the-grave lobby, L'Ermitage isn't ideal for party seekers (who should try the Thompson Beverly Hills) or families (head to the Beverly Wilshire). Fitness-center fanatics and spa fiends will find better alternatives at the Beverly Wilshire's two-level fitness center and the Beverly Hills Hotel's La Prairie spa. Still, for service, room size, and its 24-hour rooftop pool, this lavish hideaway has few equals.
Some of the best hotel service in L.A.
Easily one of the most service-oriented hotels in L.A. Although the concierge doesn't seem as knowledgeable about restaurants as the London's concierge does, features like L'Ermitage's flexible check-in/check-out policy and no room service charge are rare treats that you won't find at the luxury Beverly Wilshire or Beverly Hills Hotel).
Secluded in luxury Beverly Hills, five minutes from Rodeo Drive
The hotel is hidden away on a quiet block of Beverly Hills, an enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside. With no other hotels within blocks, L'Ermitage guests can find all the seclusion they desire. But the busier streets of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, where the lion's share of Beverly Hills restaurants and shops are located, are only a five-minute drive away. And as Beverly Hills is so centrally located, the Los Angeles International Airport is only a half-hour away.
Huge and luxurious
Rooms at L'Ermitage are huge (650 to 800 square feet) and luxurious. The 11-year-old hotel was last renovated in 2010, but the work mostly consisted of creating rooms with two double beds.
The six types of rooms differ by view and size. Superior Rooms (650 square feet) face the back and are on the bottom floors; Deluxe (675 square feet), also on bottom floors, face the front (Burton Way); Burton and Mountain rooms (700 square feet, floors 3 to 5) face Burton Street and the mountains, respectively; Executive (700 square feet) has a mountain or city view from high floors; and Studio (800 square feet) has a view of Burton from on high.
Everything from free business stationery to a free Mercedes Benz.
While the spa here falls short of the La Prairie one at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the fitness center can't touch the two-floor gym and separate yoga rooms at the Beverly Wilshire, L'Ermitage holds its own when it comes to freebies like the personalized business cards guests receive upon arrival and the Mercedes Benz car service.
It doesn't get better than a 24-hour rooftop pool.
Available only to guests, the rooftop pool overlooking Bel Air offers 360 degree views of the city and dining on the 1,800-square-foot terrace, enjoy private cabanas, or at towel-lined lounge chairs by the pool. Like the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Ray, this pool is open 24 hours.
Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and J Lo have all graced L'Ermitage's grounds.
With a staff prized for its discretion and a remote location to boot, L'Ermitage has earned a reputation as the hotel where stars can recover from their plastic surgery in private -- Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor among them. It's also a popular refuge for extremely paparazzi-stalked celebrities like Angelina Jolie, who's both stayed and conducted interviews from here. A private VIP entrance in the parking garage let celebrities enter and leave unnoticed -- although it looks like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes chose to leave by the front when he took her here for her birthday dinner one year. Part of Jennifer Lopez's music video Jenny from the Block was filmed here, as were scenes in the Julia Roberts movie Full Frontal. Actors who bunk down or party at the hotel after the Oscars have been known to dump their statuettes off at the front desk for safekeeping.
Pets under 40 pounds only
Provided they weigh less than 40 pounds, dogs and cats at L'Ermitage are treated just as lavishly as their owners. For a fee per day, pets are provided with beds, bowls, and treats, and they can even eat from their own room-service menu (Fido just loves his caviar and foie gras). The concierge can arrange for pet walkers, sitters, and vet appointments.
Free rollaways and big rooms, but this hotel still doesn't feel that family-friendly.
Parents should keep in mind that while big rooms can accommodate rollaway beds and cribs with ease, the lobby stays silent as the grave. The Beverly Wilshire (multiple age-specific kids' menus, spa kids' program) and Beverly Hills Hotel (1950s soda fountain) still have this hotel beat.
The burger is pricey, but no extra charge for room service
The well-regarded Livello restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- and with L'Ermitage's the "Choice is Yours" service, Livello's Italian-meets-Asian cuisine can be ordered up at the pool, the Living Room lobby lounge, the Lounge in the lobby, or at Livello's outside patio. Dishes like snow crab tempura bump shoulders with oxtail tortellini on this surprising menu. But prices are steep, however delicious the food. Guests pay no additional charges for room service.
Hidden away in a quiet residential section of Beverly Hills, this 119-room hotel pampers guests with extraordinary service (including a rare, flexible checkout policy), huge 650-square-foot standard rooms, and a 24-hour rooftop pool with 360-degree views. All in all, a hotel with few equals.