The first hotel to be built from the ground up in Beverly Hills for almost 20 years, the Montage, which opened in November, is already positioning itself as a Hollywood grand dame.
For a start, it has managed to bag a huge plot of land in the poshest part of Beverly Hills – near Rodeo Drive's hallowed boutiques. In return it did the city authorities a couple of favours: the hotel has allowed public access to its lovely lemon-scented gardens, and topped its Spanish colonial-style building with the same terracotta roofs and fanciful gilded cupola as the iconic Beverly Hills City Hall building.
From its hand-painted Portuguese tiles to decorative copper ceilings, this hotel aims to capture the glamour of California's 1930s golden age. It's all very grown-up, with European imported objets d'art. Yet the staff still gave our wild-cat two-year-old daughter a warm welcome that included her own silk robe and matching slippers.
There are 201 suites and rooms and because it's a new build, they are state of the art. An flatscreen TV was discreetly built into the marble bathroom wall (two more in the bedroom). Benefits include a shoeshine service courtesy of John Lobb (a New York institution). Rooms are generously sized, done in golds, browns and creams with dark wood furnishings. Beds are enormous.
The food and drink
Jet-lag meant breakfast felt more like dinner, enabling us to do justice to the towering stack of fluffy pancakes and decadent lobster eggs Benedict served in the main restaurant, Parq. At dinner time, three-course meals without wine cost from $52 per person. Thomas Keller, of California's French Laundry and New York's Per Se restaurants, is due to open a bistro here. There's also a pretty grill overlooking the classy rooftop pool and the Hollywood sign.
Some 20,000 square feet has been dedicated to the spa. It's a Moorish dream of a place, somewhere between a cathedral and a hammam. The hair salon is by Kim Vo – the best celebrity "blonder", responsible for everyone from Teri Hatcher to a newly revamped Britney. For more ideas, contact California Tourism (020-7257 6180; visitcalifornia.co.uk).
There are lifts to all floors and rooms are wheelchair accessible. Children welcome. Small pets admitted.
Double rooms start from $495 per night. The writer travelled as a guest of British Airways Holidays (0844 4930787; ba.com), which offers return flights to Los Angeles from £403.
Montage Beverly Hills, 225 North Canon Drive, CA 90210 (001 310 860 7800; montagebeverlyhills.com).
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