90048 Travel Guide
HotelChatter Reviews / Sofitel Hotels / Accor Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Does The Sofitel LA still have that certain je ne sais quoi we've come to love about Sofitels? A HotelChatter Review
We noticed earlier this year that some changes were afoot at Sofitel Los Angeles, with both a new restaurant and bar coming to the Beverly Hills outpost of the French brand, replacing SimonLA and Rande Gerber’s Stone Rose. Just this past weekend, we had a chance to check it out in more detail, spending the night here while in town.
Check-In: We drove to the Sofitel from LAX, which takes about 45 minutes if traffic isn’t too bad. Valet parking is $34 a day (with in and out privileges), which adds up quickly. Reception is to your left as you enter the black marble lobby, with a beautiful black and white drawing of Los Angeles behind the desk, contrasting with deep purple flower arrangements. After the typical bonjour-greeting, we were on our way to our third-floor room in minutes.
Hotel Cocktail Week / Hotel Drinks / Hotel Cognac / Four Seasons Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The extremely rare bottle of cognac, one of 738, arrived at the hotel in a Rolls Royce Ghost, whose Inca Gold color interior matches the 22-carat rose gold neck of the Rare Cask 42,6 decanter, designed by Baccarat. It was carried by Yves de Launay, Rémy Cointreau's USA Vice President of Prestige Brands.
Why is this cognac so special that it deserved a ride in a Rolls Royce Ghost? Here's a brief explanation:
LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 celebrates the classic LOUIS XIII blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie, 100 years in the making, here featuring salient aromas that are unique to this one precious cask. Discovered in the fall, it appropriately features autumnal notes of plum and dates, mingling with flavors of gingerbread, prune stone and ginger, and punctuated by a final touch of tobacco leaf.
The iconic black crystal decanter for the LOUIS XIII RARE CASK collection was created exclusively by Baccarat, utilizing all the skill and expertise of the famed crystal house’s talented masters. A team of more than 20 master craftsmen complete more than 50 steps in creating a single RARE CASK decanter, all of which must be carried out while maintaining the opaque crystal at a constant temperature.
As for what 42,6 means, that's the percentage of alcohol by volume--42.6--making it slightly higher than the 40 percent found in the classic Louis XIII cognac.
Hotel Exercise / Hotel News / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Fitness / LA Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / → All Tags
Hot yoga is so last-season – not only because of the weather, but especially since the founder of the trendy hot yoga program Bikram is being accused of sexual harassment. Still, though, we’ve gotta keep those chakras flowing even while we’re on the road, so we’re loving Kimpton Hotels’ more low-key, individualized yoga program, soft-launching in April across the brand. According to our source, each Kimpton property is encouraged to do things a little bit differently, but all properties will offer an in-room yoga television channel, in-room Gaiam yoga mats, and extra towels/flavored waters/antioxidant snacks delivered to the room by request.
But it's the new aqua yoga that has us most excited. Read on to find out more details!
This particular HotelChatter-er has been out of the loop a bit on the Los Angeles hotel scene in the past few months so when we rolled by the Sofitel Los Angeles the other day we noticed the hotel's signage on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard. Namely the sign for the Stone Rose nightclub from Rande Gerber was gone.
It turns out the celeb-favored lounge has closed. Perhaps it was one cocktail waitress' illicit relationship with Tiger Woods that began the hotel's downfall. Never matter, in its place is now Riviera 31, which is pretty much the same old space, just a new name. And judging by pics from its recent opening party, it's still gonna be a place for the celebs.
But that's not all that's changed at the hotel heading into awards season.
Hotel Technology / Four Seasons Hotels / Hotels with iPads / Los Angeles Hotels / Staycation Hotels / → All Tags
We know, that word immediately conjures up images of post-economic collapse 2008 and the hospitality world's desperation to keep folks traveling but we were dying to get away, even if it was just 20 minutes from our house.*
Now we've covered the Four Seasons extensively here on HotelChatter--from the Culina restaurant to the renovated rooms, the pool scene, the free WiFi and even the owner's penchent for succulents so there wasn't much that surprised us during the stay.
However, we did spend a lot of time using the hotel's in-room iPad 2. And since iPads in every room is fast becoming a Four Seasons brand standard (many of their new and soon-to-open hotels have them), we thought we'd give you a run down on how to use it.
We've long bemoaned the practice of luxury properties like the Four Seasons Hotels charging not just top-dollar room rates but also a king's ransom for WiFi. Yet at the Four Seasons, in the heart of Fantasy Land aka Los Angeles, hotel guests get a little bit of a break.
Basic internet--like web browsing, checking your email and updating your social networking status--is totally free. And on multiple devices too. Of course, the downside of getting it for free is that it's not always fast. While our go-to websites all loaded properly, it wasn't a high-speed connection by any means. However, it did beat out some connections we've had at Starbucks. (Alas, you do have to be a hotel guest to access even the basic internet.)
Yet while free WiFi is yet to become an SLS brand standard, the original SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills is now offering free WiFi in the lobby areas of the hotel. Up in the guestrooms, there's still a fee of $14.95 but that now includes up to three devices which should cover your laptop, phone and tablet easily.
While we would like free WiFi all over the property, especially up in the guestrooms, this is an improvement. And now it will allow people to have actual working lunches and other types of meetings in the restaurants at SLS, including the Bazaar by Jose Andres.
Plus, if you're a guest you can always avoid the $14.95 fee by working from the guest-only Tres restaurant which has comfy seating if you need to settle in for a while.
Hotel Woes / Hotel News / Hotel Photo Shoots / Fashion Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / Transgender Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Jenna Talackova certainly has a strong effect on people when she goes gallivanting around in a bikini. Recently, she showed up at the Hotel Wilshire with an entire crew to stage a photo shoot by the pool, and caused quite the scene. TMZ reports the restaurant staff made such a stink, Talackova and her crew were forced back downstairs to finish the shoot in the privacy of one of the rooms.
The irony here, of course, is that Talackova endured another, more public rejection recently—namely, being booted from the Miss Universe competition, by owner Donald Trump, for being transgender (though he's since reversed his decision).
All in all, though, we think she's got good taste in hotels, and clearly wasn't put off by having to re-locate the photo shoot. And whether she ended up posing in a bikini on the rooftop, or inside one of the rooms, we're now more than a little curious to see how the pictures come out in the end.
Celebrity Scoop / Larry Flynt / Hotel Restaurants / Four Seasons Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is still a man about town, the town of Beverly Hills that is, and it's not uncommon to see him in the city's finest establishments here and there.
But the other day we experienced something quite unusual at Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles. When we walked in we noticed Mr. Flynt at a large table in the center of the room and thought, "Cool. Celeb sighting." But when we sat down and looked at the menu, we saw another surprise on the menu: Larry Flynt's Salad.
Apparently, Flynt dines at Culina so often they named a salad after him. It includes: dungeness crab, shrimp, diced cucumber, tomato, carrots, asparagus, red pepper, garbanzo beans, watercress, sieved hard boiled egg and topped with chianti vinaigrette.
Interestly, it's only the second most expensive salad on the menu at $27. The Insalata RC (named after the hotel's owner, Robert Cohen) is the most expensive at $29 and which includes prawns and Maine lobster.
Sigh...one day we'll have a hotel salad named after us too. One day....
It's no secret that our celebrity hotel hopper, Josh Flagg, has a bit of thing for Four Seasons Hotels but today's Flagged hotel review is actually not about the rooms or the restaurant or the pool at the Four Seasons Los Angeles but rather the flowers which are all painstakingly selected by the hotel's owner, Robert Cohen. And Cohen is especially particular about his succulents.
On one of his frequent visits to the hotel, Josh got some time to talk with Robert about his passion for flowers. Take it away Josh!
The gadgets will be loaded with ICE Technology which will enable guests to make restaurant reservations, order room service, book massage at the spa, put in housekeeping requests and call up their Porsche from valet, all through the iPad.
Now, while hotels using iPads in the rooms to perform functions that a telephone once took care of is nothing new, this is a huge step for an older luxury brand like Four Seasons Hotels. And the FS LA is not just the first hotel on the West Coast to have this technology but also the first Four Seasons hotel in the world to feature it. Yeah, they're kind of a big deal.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Los Angeles Hotels / Rooftop Hotel Pools / Hotel News / → All Tags
Even better, we've got a bunch of photos of a model guestroom at the hotel as well as a pic of the rooftop pool which is sure to be a very welcome addition to LA's hotel rooftop scene. (There's practically no rooftop hotel pools in this part of LA near the Beverly Center save for the SLS Hotel.)