Hotel Buzz: SLS and Montage Beverly Hills Open

The former Le Meridian hotel on La Cienega has gone upscale thanks to a collaboration between Philippe Starck and L.A. nightlife veteran Sam Nazarian. A major departure from Starck’s minimalist beginnings, the SLS mixes contemporary elegance with a theatrical flair. Nazarian is best known for his hip L.A. hotspots like Hyde and Katsuya, and the SLS will no doubt be a paparazzi magnet. The hotel’s posh private dining room even has a special entrance for celebrities who want to avoid the flash bulbs and a private, guests-only lobby.

The rooms continue the lobby’s fun and whimsical vibe with high tech elements including a television that disappears into the wall with the push of a button, a ‘floating’ bed, prerecorded I-pods, mirror-like panels, and a sinners and saints mini-bar. Starck caters to LA’s narcicissm with mirrors located in the hallways, oversized framed mirrors surrounding the colorful rooftop pool, and of course a designer gym and spa to make sure guests keep looking fabulous. The hotel’s Bazaar restaurant, run by D.C.’s superstar Spanish chef José Andrés, is not only visually entertaining with a patisserie, tapas bar, and an on-site Moss design shop, but the food also lives up to the hype.

There is even a custom designed Mercedes van and a fleet of Cadillac Escalades available to shuttle guests within a three-mile radius. Rooms at the SLS start at about $400 with a few large suites reaching $2,500-$5,000 a night.

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Located just West of the SLS in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Montage Beverly Hills raises the luxury quotient even higher with its new eight-story, 201 room hotel. The Spanish style property pays homage to old-Hollywood glamour with 55 suites, three restaurants, and a 20,000-square-foot spa. With hand-painted ceilings in the ballroom and library, and a curator-assembled art collection, the Montage Beverly Hills is looking to lure the same affluent crowd who frequent its Laguna Beach property. Deluxe rooms start at $425 a night.

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