Having seen the rooftop in its old incarnation as the bare bones Best Western pool and not much else, the transformation (Dodd Mitchell designed) is surreal.
A new Swarovski pool is at the very top of the rooftop is accessible by a small flight of stairs and complete with luxury cabanas and lounge chairs draped in Thompson-branded towels. And by luxury cabanas, we mean flat-screen TVs, stocked mini-bars and privacy curtains.
Back down on the rooftop's main level is the bar where guests can take in a drink and a killer view of Los Angeles. Guests can also lounge at the banquettes and ottomans lined along the edges of the rooftop and order from a special menu of Bond Street sushi.
Bond Street was infamously panned by the LA Times critic S. Irene Virbila but we sampled the Spicy Tuna Roll, Avocado & Sun Dried Tomato Rolls and a Sea Bass Skewer and found them all to be really tasty. Maybe Irene just has an aversion to sushi?
Over at the bar, specialty cocktails are served such as the Gin Basil Martini, Frozen Guava Margarita or the "ABH" consisting of Grey Goose, muddled lime, sugar, club soda. Sakes, wines and other poisons of choice are also available.
More to See
Aside from drinking, swimming and eating, there are a few other things not to be missed at the rooftop.
The fitness center is located under the pool and you can actually see into the swimming pool through a little porthole. It's not quite as voyeuristic as we imagined/hoped but it's a neat little touch. You can also see through the pool from a porthole in the hallway near the restrooms.
Second, the centerpiece behind the bar is an imported Sabal Blackbuniana Palm tree. It's quite striking when the sun goes down and the rooftop is lit up.
Third, have we mentioned the views here? ABH has 360-degree views of the sprawl of Los Angeles. On a clear day, you really can see forever. Or you can at least spy on Jaleel "Urkel" White and Jason Pomeranc like we did.
ABH is hotel guests-only but depending on capacity, it can open up to others. Don't bet on it though. If you really want to guarantee a spot here, book a room.
Hours: Monday thru Friday from 5PM to 1AM; Saturday & Sunday: 11AM to 1AM. Swimming is open daily from 7AM to 6PM.