As a Los Angeles resident, when I occasionally drive through Beverly Hills, I tend to recite the city’s iconic landmarks, practicing for the next time I have to give a tour to an out-of-town guest. The hotels alone make up a large part of the obligatory tour. There’s the Beverly Hills Hotel, recognizable as the image on the cover of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” album. There’s the Beverly Wilshire, which played respite to L.A.’s prettiest woman in the 1990 film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Oh, and then, there’s the Montage.
The Montage Beverly Hills is the first all-new
luxury hotel to open in Beverly Hills in 17
years. // (c) 2009 Montage Beverly Hills
Having just celebrated the first anniversary of its opening, the Montage Beverly Hills hasn’t yet developed the celebrity reputation enjoyed by its neighboring properties. The Montage, however, isn’t a name that’s completely new to Southern California residents. The brand’s luxurious flagship property, located in the upscale Orange County (O.C.) community of Laguna Beach, has been receiving whispers of reverence since its opening in 2003. Somewhat familiar with its sister O.C. property, I checked into the Beverly Hills location with high expectations.
The Montage Beverly Hills is just the second property in the Montage family, although two more are slated to open soon. The 201-room Montage Beverly Hills opened November 2008 on Canon Drive, in what is known as Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle. It is the first all-new luxury hotel to open in Beverly Hills in 17 years.
Upon checking in, I was particularly relieved to see that Montage Beverly Hills had not gone the route of stark minimalism that seems to be a requisite for the latest batch of trendy properties. Instead, the property is decorated in a comfortable Spanish Colonial revival meets Mediterranean style, which provides an elegant setting with plenty of cozy, intimate spaces throughout the lobby, restaurants and bars. VIP clients can enjoy a private corner nook or take advantage of Beverly Hills’ most favorite pastime, people watching.
Although I’d arrived slightly after the end of the business day, I was immediately assured by the front desk staff that the room would be mine for a full 24 hours, a service offered to all guests of the hotel. Thinking back to all the times in my travels when I’ve asked for — and been denied — a late checkout, I quickly became enamored with this feature. What’s more, I put it to good use the following afternoon, as I shopped my way through Beverly Hills, stocking up on must-have items.
While I wish I could say it was my favorite feature, the free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel took even higher precedence.
These touches are just a few of the many service extras that the Montage has implemented. Complimentary overnight shoe-shine service by a John Lobb-trained staff member is also available. Clients booking at least a Superior Suite also have complimentary use of the hotel’s Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
In fact, the hotel’s commitment to service is so strong that the property earned a 2010 Forbes Five Star Award after just one year in business. The Forbes Five Star Award, formerly the Mobil Five Star, rates hotels on their ability to provide a distinctive luxury environment with consistently superlative, personalized service and the
ultimate in amenities.
Although I arrived too late to partake in the afternoon tea service, I did manage to enjoy an in-room dining experience, as well as breakfast the following morning. The in-room dining staff gave me an exact time to expect my meal and even beat their time by three minutes. Breakfast, which I enjoyed sitting adjacent to the rooftop pool, was another highlight for me: Watching Beverly Hills come to life as I sipped my morning coffee provided a great new perspective on my Beverly Hills tour guide routine.