Large, suite-style rooms, many with kitchenettes, fireplaces, and pull-out sofas
Peaceful yet central location
Free wine and Champagne or cheese and fruit plate upon arrival
Decor may strike some as more dowdy than bohemian; it's a matter of taste
No business center or meeting rooms
The 80-room, upscale Petit Ermitage is an exercise in off-beat but high-end bohemianism. Artistic and international flair is everywhere: hand-trowled Venetian plaster covers the walls, and Moroccan and South American tiles and hand-woven Turkish rugs line the floors. The boutique hotel's best feature is its private rooftop area, with a heated saltwater pool, quirky cocktail bar, stylish fireplace deck, and peaceful garden, where guests can enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Large suites (most with working fireplaces and pull-out sofas, and some with kitchenettes) feature 50-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, beds with bamboo mattresses, and loads of ornamental touches. Travelers who prefer a trendy, contemporary aesthetic may want to compare rates with the Andaz West Hollywood and Mondrian Los Angeles nearby -- though neither have in-room kitchenettes or fireplaces, and rooms are larger here.
An uber-bohemian boutique hotel just blocks off West Hollywood's famous Sunset Strip
You don't have to be an affirmed bohemian to enjoy the Ermitage. Just know that this is a far cry from your typical sleek, sexy SoCal property. There's an inviting rooftop pool -- heated, saltwater -- surrounded by orange-and-white-striped cushioned benches and banquettes, decorative lanterns, and potted citrus trees. Even the pool handrail (wrapped in rope) and the pool rules signs (handwritten in chalk on blackboards) are as Pinterest-ready as railings and signage can be. The hotel's decor -- antique-style furniture, faded floral carpeting, distressed fireplaces -- is shabby-chic, personified. The extensive and eclectic art collection features originals by Salvador Dali, Willem de Kooning, Joan Miro, and Erte.
Overall, the Ermitage meets its goal of feeling like a home away from home. It calls itself an all-suites hotel because even though most rooms don't actually feature a separate bedroom, they all feel spacious, and many boast well-stocked kitchenettes. Even the lowest-level rooms, the 350-square-feet Demi Suites, feature a wet bar or kitchenette and two-person dining table. The intimate public spaces, tiny lobby, and multitasking staff add to the homeyness; in many ways, the Ermitage resembles a bed-and-breakfast (just minus the free morning meal; only Masters Quarters Suites include free breakfast).
Formerly known as Hotel Le Petit, the Ermitage markets itself as the "fashionable alternative to the Chateau Marmont and the Sunset Marquis," which are also in West Hollywood. That's a bold statement: The Chateau and Marquis aren't exactly known as slouches, style-wise. Still, unless the goal of your vacation is celebrity-spotting, the Ermitage is superior to the Chateau, and often half the price. As for the rest of the competition? It's really a matter of taste. The Ermitage is one of a kind. The question is -- are you bohemian enough?
Spacious suites, some with kithenettes, balconies, and/or fireplaces; all are warm and filled with character
Even if you don't love the Ermitage's brand of bohemianism, there's a lot to like about the rooms. First and foremost, they've got the basics covered. They're big (350 to 650 square feet) and high-tech, with 50-inch LED flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffee machines. Rooms feature non-matchy-matchy (i.e. non-cookie-cutter) furnishings in a range of styles and beds with custom-made bamboo Tempur-pedic mattresses. All rooms feature minibars, work desks, C.O. Bigelow or Le Labo bath products, and cotton bathrobes and slippers. And then there are the expressive touches: Walls hand-painted in warm, Mediterranean-like earth tones; gilded-framed oil paintings and other original artworks; lots of lamps and lighting fixtures; and Indian railings dividing the bed areas from the living rooms. Most rooms feature working gas fireplaces and pull-out sofa beds, and some feature kitchenettes.
A private rooftop with eclectic Californian-Mediterranean dining, a heated saltwater pool, and a beautiful garden
The Ermitage's restaurant, Butterfly Bar, is like the hotel itself: small but classy. Buffet breakfast includes French press coffee and fresh-squeezed OJ; breakfast is included in rates for the Masters Quarters Suites. For breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, Executive Chef Russell Platoff's global, health-focused menu hints at Japanese, Italian, and Egyptian cuisines, and features local organic produce and herbs and vegetables from the hotel garden. Guests can eat indoors or outside in the rooftop garden amid not just flora but some fauna, as well -- Petit Ermitage's garden is sanctioned by the National Wildlife Federation as a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary. If it's too chilly for al fresco, there's also the atmospheric Masters Lounge, which has a fireplace, a candle-covered painted piano, and colorful hand-embroidered Mexican pillows. Usually used for cocktail sipping, the Masters Lounge can also be reserved for private dining. Diners and drinkers can relax on wicker seating under fur blankets at the Firedeck (where the hotel hosts movie nights every Monday, complete with milk and cookies -- and popcorn, of course), which can also be reserved for private events, or request bottle service at one of the cabanas.
The highlight, though, is the picturesque pool on the top floor, which boasts 360-degree views of the city. The pool itself is small, but it's heated, salty, and top-optional after 12 p.m., and the surrounding deck, with its hip design, makes it one of the Ermitage's main draws.
Free chocolate-chip cookies at the front desk
Fee for parking -- typical for L.A.; includes in-and-out privileges.
Pets welcome with nonrefundable deposit (waived for service dogs) in first-floor suites, which the hotel will stock with a dog bed, a plastic mat, a water bowl, a bowl of organic home-made treats, and a dog toy; rooftop is pet-friendly