Postcards from Southern France: Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly HillsEllie June
Written by: Ellie June
Sofitel calls its vision “l’art de vivre,” or the French art of living. Its message is to ensure that guests feel like they are staying the night in the comfort of a grand palace. Glamour ensues upon entrance as guests leave the sites and sounds of Sunset Boulevard to the City of Angels for an impromptu European escape. Positioned on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, opposite the Beverly Center, Sofitel Los Angeles is a home away from Paris mid-reverie of old Hollywood. With a keen eye for understated luxury, Sofitel urges its guests to travel, sleep, and eat in true French fashion.
Manger dans la Style
Estérel restaurant satisfies the appetite with a traditionally French farm-to-table style complimenting plates with fragrant, fresh herbs and Middle Eastern spices. Chef Peter Manfredini curates the menu with a Mediterranean palate in mind, stirring up dishes like fluffy zucchini beignets paired with a garlic aioli before its savory traditional main course, the cioppino—an assortment of seafood humming with tomato and onion basted in braised fennel and saffron.
Guests can seamlessly transition to drinks at Riviera 31. The seating room offers an intimate tableside cocktail preparation for a unique bottle service experience. Mixologist expert Frederic Zemmour dreams up his cocktails inside the sensual baroque-style lounge amidst ruby red and sapphire blue crushed velvet sofas under a grand Rococo ceiling. The menu’s most popular drink, La Rosa Picante, pairs its finest tequila with jalapeno, ginger, lime, and an unexpected splash of rose water for a deep, passionate flavor (much like the lounge’s dark and sexy color palette under quelled, romantic light). The tapas menu transitions by season and focuses on fresh flavors for guilt-free late night bites. Favorites include gourmet sandwiches and flatbreads to pair with a crisp aperitif.
Stepping through time [and even space], Le Jardin transports the romanticism of the South of France to Hollywood. Los Angeles nightlife brand, Sunset Entertainment Group, opens Estérel’s terrace to the secret garden come to life. A summer in Provence, channeling views of snowed mountain caps behind the lush of olive groves—this outdoor lounge is a soft and natural escape while subtly true to Los Angeles glamor. Le Jardin is a toast guests who wish to experience the pace of L.A.’s nightlife subdued under twinkle lights and jasmine vines.
Dormir Comme le Français
Inside this grand chateau, the choice comes down to a lotting 295 rooms on 10 floors including 26 suites and two Imperial Suites all featuring posh, glass-enclosed rainfall shower and French-milled bath amenities. Guests claim Sofitel’s plush feather top and duvet sleep system, affectionately named the SoBed, may just be the secret to creating an unrivaled sleep worldwide.
A Skinny on an Afternoon Dip
Think of Le Jardin but with a pool a.k.a. a dream among dreams. A smaller outdoor atmosphere, the pool at Sofitel Los Angeles is a nod to everything L.A., ideal for those in need of a private afternoon dip without the pressure to see and be seen. Rather, to see the inside of eyelids and be seen by a private cocktail server who’s refilled your rosé running low. Summer pool parties at Sofitel are private and exclusive apart from other Beverly Hills summer gatherings, which often notoriously end up on headlines the following morning. The privacy is unparalleled and rather underrated.
What is not so underrated is Sofitel’s emphasis on a healthy lifestyle. Its fitness center is equipped with commercial standard cardio machines and weights of every range not for the faint of heart. The lobby is stocked with chilled Evian, organic ripened fruits to nourish, and Himalayan salt blocks set beside a three-foot tall Buddha statue curling mini dumbbells in hand. Sofitel’s gym staff calls the Buddha the gym’s resident cheerleader for gym-goers who dare to stay true to their workouts even on holiday.
So Spa, The Ultimate Spa
This is a French-infused spa with a touch of East Asia. Sofitel guests are globetrotters and the SoSpa welcomes them to experience services focused on energy rejuvenation. Deep red backlight illuminates dark, wooden walls and bamboo trimmings. Jasmines and lilies float atop water in the entryway pond. Services are range from mini-facials for those on a time crunch to full body massages tailored to slap the jetlag right out. The therapists at SoSpa are skilled in holistic principles and aim to serve guests with modern techniques while still keen on ancient practices.
By far, some of the most notable features of the Sofitel Los Angeles are found in its entryway. The grandeur of the sculptor called “Knot No. 11” by artist Damon Hyldreth, is a piece specifically commissioned by the hotel to represent the Gordion Knot, a symbol of swift and decisive decision making. The “Butterfly Coin Chair,” made of 1,480 American half dollars, is more fondly known as the most instagrammed place on the property.
Sofitel is Global
AccorHotels group is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents. With 120 addresses in nearly 40 countries, Sofitel prides itself on another art—adapting to the city. Sofitel Marrakech exudes Andalusian magic with vibrant colors and stylish décor to keep with the hotel’s “art lounge” theme, while Sofitel Bali has kept tradition amidst a Balinese countryside with compliments of the hotel group’s French aroma lingering through hallways paned by natural light. Though properties can be found all over the globe, Sofitel’s most destined to retreats are London, Singapore, New York City, Marrakech, and the endeared Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.
Chic like the French; edgy like L.A. Sofitel, “L’Art de Vivre.”