Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
French elegance and a Hollywood scene
In the Sofitel's guest rooms, a framed picture of the Eiffel Tower sits on a shelf next to a framed picture of the Hollywood sign. The shelf encapsulates the hotel's aesthetic, which combines the elegant luxury for which this French chain is known with a modern Hollywood trendiness. Calls to the front desk are answered with a hearty "bonjour," while the concierge can ably discuss which Hollywood clubs are good on which nights. A central location, at the crossroads of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood across from the huge Beverly Center mall, attracts a chic, international crowd and fashion and entertainment industry folk, who get proximity to Hollywood nightlife as well as Beverly Hills and Third Street shopping.
The dramatic black marble lobby with a huge modern sculpture ("The Knot" by Damon Hildreth) hints that this is not just another Sofitel. The 295-room hotel underwent a massive $50-million facelift in 2006, which included complete room renovations and the addition of a new restaurant, SIMON LA, from Iron Chef Kerry Simon, a new bar, Stone Rose Lounge by nightlife emperor Rande Gerber, and a gorgeous, 5,000-square-foot fitness center and spa. The chic design continues to the concierge station; they're housed in their own plexiglass cube with a bright white backdrop that contrasts starkly with the rest of the lobby's ebony and metallic tones.
Rooms are big on luxury, with huge rain showerheads and thick featherbeds, but starting at 340 square feet, they're a bit smaller than the heavily mirrored rooms at the nearby SLS, which start at 400 square feet. Still, rooms at the Sofitel are typically a bit cheaper and the stylish decor not as severe. The hotel's biggest drawback is its tiny 2nd-floor pool with unpleasant views of the Beverly Center mall. Those looking for a great pool should try the London West Hollywood or the Thompson Beverly Hills, both of which have rooftop pools with stunning views and comparable prices.
All the expected services of a luxury hotel -- though delivery can be inconsistent
Chicly dressed in black and greeting guests with "bonjour," staffers exude a continental sophistication. As you'd expect at a luxury hotel, there is turndown service, valet parking, and 24-hour in-room dining, but service isn't without the occasional lapse. It's not the flawless service you get at the London West Hollywood.
On a bustling intersection at the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills
Located on the corner of a major intersection, La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, and across the street from the huge Beverly Center mall, the hotel is in a busy commercial area in the middle of the city. It borders the trendy, bustling West Hollywood, and quieter, ritzy Beverly Hills, an enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside.
Not huge, but big on luxury
Starting at 340 square feet, standard rooms aren't huge, but with featherbeds, 400-thread-count sheets, and huge rain showerheads, they pack in a lot of luxury. With photos of both the Eiffel Tower and the Hollywood sign, modern furnishings, an entire wall paneled in a light wood, and a large, lovely pendant lighting fixture hanging over the entry, decor is a welcoming fusion of modern Californian and classic French styles. Rooms here are far softer and warmer than the severely modern, heavily mirrored rooms at the nearby SLS.
Amenities are mixed. The hotel's shining feature is its 5,000-square-foot spa and fitness center -- so lovely that locals can buy memberships to use the facilities. The pool, however, disappoints, especially compared to the rooftop ones at the similarly priced London West Hollywood or the Thompson Beverly Hills.
The SoFit fitness center:
Pets up to 30 pounds allowed for no extra fee
Dogs and cats up to 30 pounds are allowed. Pet owners must sign a waiver taking responsibility for any damage and put down a refundable deposit. (Many hotels in the area, like the Raffles L'Ermitage Beverly Hills charge a cleaning fee in addition to a deposit.) A pet room service menu offers treats like Purina Kitten Chow dry cat food and Filet Mignon flavor Cesar Original Pate, reasonably priced and unpretentious compared to the $98 Osetra caviar on the L'Ermitage pet room service menu.
Accomodates children, but isn't geared to them
With small standard rooms, a carefully cultivated sophistication, and a bar that can get noisy, the hotel isn't particularly family-friendly. The nearby, similarly priced Le Parc Suites is less stylish but more family friendly -- all rooms are suites with kitchen facilities and start at a huge 650 square feet.
Sparkling guest rooms, but slightly worn hallways
After a $50-million renovation in 2006, the hotel still feels new and clean. Rooms are very clean (save for some water stains on the huge showerhead) and the black marble lobby gleams. Hallways show faint signs of wear with occasional spots on the carpets.
With a great restaurant and bar on-site, and eateries in all price ranges right outside and around the hotel, there are plenty of eating and drinking options.
In 2006, Iron Chef Kerry Simon opened the hotel restaurant SIMON LA, serving an eclectic American menu with Asian and Moroccan influences, while nightlife impresario Rande Gerber opened the expansive Stone Rose Lounge.
Massively renovated in 2006, this 295-room outlet of a French chain on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills combines Continental elegance and Hollywood trendiness, with luxurious rooms, a trendy bar and restaurant, and a gorgeous spa and fitness center. Too bad the tiny pool is plagued by street noise and an unsightly view of the mall next door.
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