- Tiny standard rooms -- just 150 square feet
- Noisy rooms -- expect to hear your neighbors
- Poor in-room temperature control
- No pool, fitness center, or business center
- No elevators
- Parking is pricey and by valet only
The words "sleep" and "lounge" are etched into the large glass doors at the entrance to this 35-room boutique hotel on the edge of Beverly Hills' main shopping and dining district. For better or worse, that sums up the place. As you might expect, there's a bit of pretense, from the modern, white Dodd-Mitchell-designed lobby to the well-coiffed, but standoffish, front desk staff. It's not quite merited. Sure, the hotel is located in tony Beverly Hills within easy walking distance of Prada and Spago, but the hotel itself isn't that fancy and the dirty hallway carpets don't warrant the attitude. With tiny standard rooms and few on-site amenities, it's a place to sleep and lounge but little else.
First built in the 1920s as a hotel housing silent film stars, it later became an apartment building, and then, in 2003, it was renovated and reopened as the Crescent Hotel. Today, the renovations are beginning to feel shoddy. Rooms have some trendy touches like platform beds, iPod docks, and concrete bathrooms, but the iPod playing a custom-designed soundtrack matters little when one of the shelves is coming loose from the wall, the temperature is unpleasant, or there's barely enough room to maneuver. Standard single rooms are just 150 square feet -- stylish crash pads that are small even by Beverly Hills boutique standards. At the nearby and similarly priced Maison 140 and Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, entry level rooms are 200 and 180 square feet, respectively. And they're also a bit more luxurious.
The hotel isn't just short on space, but on amenities as well -- there's no business center, pool, or fitness center. Guests can purchase a day pass to LA Sports Club at an extra daily cost. At the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, guests get the pass for free, while at the Maison 140 there's a small fitness center on-site. And if you want to spend a little more, the nearby Thompson Beverly Hills has both a lovely rooftop pool and a fitness center.
What the hotel does offer is free Wi-Fi in rooms (something the Luxe also has but the others don't), pricey valet parking (no parking at Maison 140), and a small but fashionable on-site restaurant and lounge, Boe, with a daily happy hour and tasty New American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel website mentions a "24-hour concierge staff," but there's no dedicated concierge; front desk staffers double as concierges and their attitude ranges from helpful to put-upon. Unless you can get a significantly cheaper rate at the Crescent, the aforementioned competitors are better deals with superior rooms and features.
In Beverly Hills, a quick walk from Rodeo Drive
The Crescent is located in Beverly Hills, an enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside. It's located a few minutes' walk from the upscale designer stores and restaurants lining Rodeo Drive.
Trendy, but not luxurious
With sleek dark wood furniture and concrete bathrooms, rooms are stylish and modern, but they have a flimsy, Ikea cheapness. Shelves come loose from walls, and the walls themselves are thin enough to hear hallway conversations all too clearly. Desks have no nearby outlets and there are fashionable white stools in lieu of desk chairs -- more form over function. Bathrooms have concrete floors, counters, and showers that give them a clean industrial elegance, while the fancy White Company toiletries and loofah mitt add a bit of luxury. The minibar has the sort of trendy treats you'd expect, like sweets from Dylan's Candy Bar. But beds are less than sweet. My mattress felt lumpy, sheets were slightly pilled, and poly-filled pillows weren't fluffy enough.
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