The Chef’s Counter at Scarpetta in the Montage Beverly Hills // © 2011 Rachel Weill
As any hotelier will tell you, the definition of luxury has changed. Gone is over-adorned decor and stuffy service and, in its place, upscale customers want a more laidback, comfortable vibe that is still mindful of the guest’s every whim. After a recent visit, it’s clear that the two Montage resorts in Southern California master this type of modern luxury.
Montage Laguna Beach
Despite the inspired architecture of the elegant craftsman-style hotel and spa of Laguna Beach, visitors are often enthralled instead by the raw, natural beauty of the property’s panoramic ocean views and sense of place and spirit. Set on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the vibrant arts community of Laguna Beach, this property offers comfortable elegance, impeccable service and a holistic spa.
In harmony with its rugged coastal location, the architectural design of this flagship resort is reminiscent of the arts and crafts period of the early 1900s. Muted color schemes, beautifully rich woods, period lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows frame ocean views from every room, as the early California landscaping extends an invitation to explore the organic gardens and 50-foot ocean bluff below.
In-room standard amenities such as feather-top beds, plush bathrobes and slippers and a 32-inch LCD flat-panel television are provided, in addition to unique amenities, including handcrafted toiletries with ingredients from the Studio Garden, exclusive to Montage. Another thoughtful touch is the cocktail recipes provided courtesy of chef Craig Strong, executive chef of the property’s signature restaurant, Studio.
Whether you can spare an hour or an entire day, Spa Montage is the resort’s 20,000-square-foot oceanfront centerpiece, featuring a wide-ranging menu of ocean-inspired signature therapies as well as a complete fitness facility, salon, spa boutique and an array of wellness and meditation classes.
Montage Beverly Hills
Just 90 minutes north of Laguna Beach but a world away is Montage Beverly Hills, steeped in the elegance of one of the world’s most renowned neighborhoods. Within the “Golden Triangle” formed by Crescent Drive and Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, Montage stands toe-to-toe with the most renowned hotels in Los Angeles. As the first ground-up construction of a hotel in the city since the Peninsula in 1991, Montage Beverly Hills accepted an unspoken challenge — to try and stand with the best of the best in the competitive Los Angeles luxury market. Fortunately, the property has more than held its own.
With its vaulted arcades and terracotta roof, the eight-story, 201-room building has a Spanish-colonial Revival aesthetic, with Mediterranean elements from lanterns and hand-painted tiles to lacy grillwork and brawny, dark-wood furniture.
The hotel’s guestrooms pay tribute to old Hollywood glamour with classically elegant furnishings, reminiscent of the Golden Age of California. Spacious accommodations range from 500 square feet to the two, 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suites.
In addition, world-renowned shopping on Rodeo and Beverly drives is just steps away, along with top-notch culinary indulgences. The hotel itself features several eateries including Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant nominated as “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation.
While both Montage properties offer unique architecture and personalities, combined, they offer the perfect solution for luxury clients seeking a best of Southern California experience.