Hospitality has been in the Cipriani family's veins since Giuseppe Cipriani founded the legendary Harry's Bar in Venice in 1931. The family restaurant business today takes in locations in New York, London, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Sardinia and Abu Dhabi – though the Hotel Cipriani in Venice was sold to Orient Express in the 1970s. So when his great-grandsons Ignazio and Maggio announced that they would be expanding to include, once again, a luxury hotel, one would expect traditions to be observed. And so they are. Almost every aspect of Beverly Hills' new Mr C hotel tips its hat to the founding father, while carving out a style of its own.
Ignazio and Maggio are both in their early twenties. They have re-imagined the Cipriani heritage for their own generation – one that appreciates efficient, discreet service but isn't fixated on old-fashioned ways of doing things. With Mr C, the aim is to offer a modern version of the old-world glamour of the original brand. The brothers hope to show their independence while holding onto the cache of the family name.
The Los Angeles outfit is the first of what is hoped to be a chain. It occupies a 12-storey 1960s tower, which has been overhauled with a fresh new design conceived by the brothers and interior designer Marcello Pozzi.
Check-in is a laid-back experience. It begins with a complimentary Bellini, invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, in the classically decorated lobby.
We take a seat on one of the green leather Chesterfields as we sip our cocktails and drink in the sleek surroundings – a grand piano, Murano glass chandeliers and Eames lounger chairs. The doors to the walnut panelled room are open to a sunny, canopied terrace with views of the hotel's courtyard garden, where we later sit and sip drinks from the lobby bar.
Just off the lobby, the ground floor dining room – Cipriani, naturally – is where the family heritage is manifest, from the sleek, dark wood décor and glassware, to many of the dishes. Another of Guiseppe Cipriani's inventions, carpaccio, features on the menu with classic Venetian dishes, such as crudo (dressed raw fish), pizza and pasta. Some of the self-proclaimed "farm to fork" ingredients are grown in the courtyard garden, amid English roses and California palm trees.
From an outdoor dining area it is a short walk across teak decking to the hotel's private, rather compact, swimming pool which is surrounded by sunloungers, day beds and cabanas, some of which feature 42-inch flat-screen TVs should the poolside posturing not be distraction enough.
Perched atop a slight hill in central Beverly Hills, the hotel towers over its largely residential surroundings. The private balconies outside each guestroom afford a sweeping vista either of Beverly Hills or across downtown Los Angeles. A short stroll away from the hotel, cafés and restaurants line South Beverly Drive, offering a range of cuisines as well as the Californian classic – brunch.
The hotel opened in June, so the décor of the 137 rooms is dazzlingly fresh. The classic-contemporary styling makes use of high ceilings and white walls to create a tranquil, cool atmosphere aided by floor to ceiling windows and an open plan design. We stayed in a premium room, one up from the basic deluxe. It was furnished with a white leather king size bed. The white butter-soft leather furniture framed in black was reminiscent of vintage travelling trunks. Large black and white photographs of Italian stars of the Seventies by the celebrated photo-journalist Guiseppe Palmas adorned the walls. In keeping with the bedroom, the compact bathroom was bright in white Carrera marble. Other rooms are decorated in brown leather, while the signature suite features design classics and a separate living area.
Mr C Beverly Hills, 1224 Beverwil Drive, Los Angeles, California (001 310 277 2800; mrchotels.com).
Double rooms start at $319 (£213), room only