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Right when I stepped into my Skyline View guestroom at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills, I headed straight for the closet.
As expected, one of Kimpton Hotels’ signature “Closet Smiles” was waiting for me: a freshly rolled bright-green yoga mat identical to the one that I dutifully used during a previous stay at the surf-inspired Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, Calif.
But the similarities between Kimpton’s Huntington Beach and Los Angeles – Beverly Hills properties (mostly) ended there. Aside from a few familiar Kimpton signature amenities — including welcome furry, four-legged guests — the two Southern California hotels couldn’t be more different.
Fresh off a $12 million renovation, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills is a 264-room ode to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and the lives of its independent filmmakers. This fits with Kimpton Palomar brand’s overall “art and motion” theme. Several Palomar hotels are scattered throughout the U.S., in cities that include San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix.
“Art is the keystone of the brand,” explained Lindsey Lucero, director of individual travel for Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills. “If you’re at a Palomar property, you’ll notice that they all have artistic themes. [This refresh features] more Los Angeles art, and the city is known for motion pictures. We’re storytellers here at the hotel, and we’re working to tell the story of our travelers.”
Indeed, this L.A.-themed storyline was apparent from the moment I set foot in the lobby. Welcoming guests are rusted perforated screens; a light fixture meant to symbolize the flashing lights of the paparazzi; and repurposed metal scaffolding made from studio soundstages.
The theme also flows seamlessly into the guestrooms, which feature futuristic portraits of famed film stars, a black-and-white color scheme and minimal furnishings. My room had an added bonus: a 60-mile view of L.A., where — if it were not for the early-morning marine layer — I would have been able to make out the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Those looking to venture outside their guestrooms can make themselves at home in the newly completed “Great Room,” which is located just off the lobby through a set of sliding doors. Within the open space is Double Take, the hotel’s new dining concept; a lounge; a “Game Room” that features Skee-Ball and shuffleboard; and an expansive bar helmed by lead bartender Sarah LM Mengoni.
“The public space is designed to feel like a cool friend’s apartment,” Lucero said. “The walls are flexible; they are designed to slide open and close depending on what the need is.”
During our dinner at Double Take, my cousin and I indulged in new twists on classic American dishes, such as the “Beet Reuben” — with roasted beets, sauerkraut, emmental cheese and a house sauce similar to Thousand Island dressing (it tastes better than it sounds) — and Hass avocado “fries,” a fried avocado appetizer with spiced-lime aioli for dipping.
We also ordered a couple of Mengoni’s handcrafted cocktails, which feature local and seasonal ingredients and are named after her favorite cult classic films. My “Sparkle Motion,” for example, which featured gin and housemade mandarin-rosemary syrup, referenced a dance troupe in the drama “Donnie Darko.” And my cousin’s “Call Me Snake” referenced the lead character in “Escape From New York” and arrived with smoke billowing out from the top of the glass.
Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills recently unveiled a $12 million refresh that included an update to Double Take, the property’s on-site restaurant. // © 2017 Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills
The hotel’s lobby features L.A.-inspired touches, such as repurposed metal scaffolding made from studio soundstages. // © 2017 Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills
Play shuffleboard, Skee-Ball and more in the Game Room. // © 2017 Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills
Take a dip in the property’s private pool. // © 2017 Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hills
The on-site fitness center is located on the sixth floor. // © 2017 Emma Weissmann
Meeting space includes two ballrooms on the first floor and four boardrooms on the sixth floor. // © 2017 Emma Weissmann
Lead bartender Sarah LM Mengoni creates handcrafted cocktails at the downstairs bar. // © 2017 Emma Weissmann
After spending time in the Great Room, guests can head over to the on-site pool, which is surrounded by high walls and foliage; it’s perfect for those who would like to take a dip in seclusion.
“There are so many ‘scenes’ in LA, but this little oasis is in our own backyard,” Lucero said. “It’s much more private.”
The pool area also features a Kimpton classic: an outdoor fireplace.
“The fireplace speaks to our founder, Bill Kimpton, who believed that a home should always have a fire going,” Lucero said. “All Kimpton hotels, even those in Arizona in the middle of the summer, are going to have the fire on.”
Guests vary from corporate clients to families, with the highest number of guests checking in midweek. According to Lucero, this allows for attractive weekend pricing. Loyal Kimpton clients who are enrolled in Karma Rewards, the hotel’s loyalty program, receive added perks, such as complimentary Wi-Fi access and a $10 credit to be used either at the guestroom minibar or the property’s bar. A good portion of business also comes directly from travel agents.
“Travel agents do love us because their customers love us,” Lucero said. “We are very easy to work with. We’re not a top-heavy organization, so we are very nimble when it comes to responding to clients at the property level.”
Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles – Beverly Hillswww.hotelpalomar-beverlyhills.com