Now rebranded as Sixty Hotel
Thompson has ten hotels in the US, with one in Miami, Toronto and Chicago, five in New York and two in LA (the other one is the Hollywood Roosevelt – reviewed here). It also has the Belgraves in London.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Opened in 2008, the Thompson Beverly Hills is a trendy boutique hotel with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe – the lifts are lined with brown leather, rooms are dark and the glossy, lacquered corridors glow with red and blue lighting, and back-lit fashion photography by Steven Klein that is reflected off the walls and ceilings.
Expect ebony hardwood floors, skull lamps, chrome fittings, white Carrera marble and cowhide rugs.
Typical of LA, it’s a place to be seen, so there is every chance you will bump into a celebrity, actor or movie producer in the lobby, by the pool or early morning in the gym. Staff described the Thompson to me as a “non-traditional hotel in a traditional neighbourhood”. It’s not your typical business hotel but that might be why it appeals.
Check out the Thompson Beverly Hills’ Pinterest page here for more photos.
WHERE IS IT?
The property sits on Wilshire Boulevard, in one of LA’s most expensive, chichi districts, just a few minutes walk from Rodeo Drive, which is lined with palm trees, gleaming designer shops and expensive sports cars.
If you are a subscriber, click here to read our Four Hour Guide to Beverly Hills. It’s 25km to LAX International airport, and 17km to Downtown.
Rooms start from 20.5 sqm and standard amenities include beds with 400-thread-count linens, small marble bathrooms with showers or tubs, terrycloth robes by Frette, CO Bigelow toiletries, minibars with Dean and Deluca snacks, step-out balconies, iPod docks, 37-inch flatscreen TVs and DVD players. Wifi internet costs US$15 for 24 hours.
I was staying in a King Premium room, which was a little larger at 23 sqm, but the décor was the same, with lots of black and mirrored panels that stretched part way across the ceiling above the (firm) bed.
It didn’t feel very warm or cosy but did have a decent area to work and doors that slid open for fresh air, which was a plus. It was almost a bit too edgy for its own good.
What’s more, upon check-in, the keycard system had broken so I wasn’t able to gain access to my bedroom for about an hour. But the friendly, stylishly attired staff were apologetic and helpful, taking me up to the roof in the lift (you need a keycard to use it), to let me pass the time by the pool.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
ABH (Above Beverly Hills) is open seasonally for drinks and dinner on the roof, as well as private parties and film screenings on Tuesday nights. If you fancy a sundowner with clients or friends, order a pitcher of Lemonade Chill (Russian Standard vodka with house lemonade), and a dish of haas avocado, tomatillo, scallion, olive oil, lime and chips.
I had lunch at Caulfield’s Bar and Dining room (open for breakfast from 7am, lunch from 11am and dinner from 5pm) one day in the week, and found it to be very quiet. But I liked it nevertheless. Located on the ground floor, just off reception, it faces the street and is filled with light.
The interiors sport white tiled flooring, black furnishings and chestnut banquettes, and there is a mural of legendary writers such as Jack Kerouac and Dalton Trumbo, while JD Salinger’s literary character Holden Caulfield provided inspiration for the name of the eatery.
The dishes are varied and plentiful, ranging from sandwiches, burgers and grilled pizza (try the gorgonzola, roasted grapes and caramelised onion US$15) to salads, pasta and steak. I started with a glass of champagne and some salted kale chips (the trendiest food item in California, it would seem, by its ubiquity at the time).
These were followed by the Burrata with roasted peach and watercress (US$14) and then the roasted and shaved beet salad with carrots, avocado, arugula, pumpkin seeds and ranch dressing (US$15). The presentation was attractive and the flavours fresh and delicious, though I decided I am not a fan of deep-fried kale leaves. The service was excellent.
Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm, with wine and sangria for US$6 and appetisers for US$7.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The 93 sqm penthouse suite can be hired for events, and there is a new boardroom with video-conferencing facilities (Polycom and Facetime) that opened in the summer. ABH is the rooftop pool deck and can be hired for functions of up to 125 people – with up to ten in each of its six cabanas.
The lower level of the roof sees the Cocktail Trellis with al fresco bar host 20 guests for drinks, while the adjacent Dining Trellis can seat 12 for a meal under the stars. The second-floor lounge can also be taken over for up to 75 guests for a reception, while Caulfield’s restaurant can accommodate 110 people seated (12 at a communal, marble-top table). Wifi is free in the lobby and on the roof.
Take the lift up to the ninth level and you will step out on to the Cocktail Trellis, with steps leading up to the heated pool – as well as being filled with stunning turquoise water, its walls are studded with Swarovski crystals, making it rather dazzling to look at. The are plenty of loungers with white towels placed along each side, as well as US$500-a-day cabanas. I ate breakfast up here one morning, and thoroughly enjoyed the views of the city all around and the glamorous poolside setting.
Level nine is also where the gym is located, which is at the end of a corridor that runs underneath the swimming pool – there are porthole windows that you can look through so see people going by in the water, which is fun.
Entry to the fitness room is with your room keycard. It is well equipped with running machines, cross trainers, yoga mats, weights and boxing equipment, and there is a personal trainer (to the stars) who is on hand to help on request. There is ice water and towels, and views of the area through windows on one side.
If you are looking for an alternative to the business district of Downtown, Beverly Hills is an enviable address, and the Thompson is in a prime location. The property best suits Generation Y, but could be a good venue for meetings or parties by the rooftop pool, even if you aren’t staying there.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 107 rooms across eight categories – Queen Superior, King Deluxe, King Premium, Double Premium, King suite, Wilshire suite, Thompson suite and Penthouse.
- HIGHLIGHTS The crystal encrusted rooftop pool, the Beverly Hills location and the boardroom with video-conferencing capabilities.
- PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in January started from US$332 for a Queen Superior room.
- CONTACT Thompson Beverly Hills, 9,360 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills; tel +1 310 2731 400; thompsonhotels.com