Though Beverly Hills has its fair share of grande dame hotels whose histories come embroidered with tales of scandalous celebrity romances, lavish soirees and all sorts of shenanigans, time marches on, bringing with it a slate of new faces and hotspots. At this particular moment, there is no brighter star in the 90210 than The Thompson, a boutique hotel with a hipster edge that sets it apart from its more traditionally elegant neighbors.
Ornate and precious are not the descriptors that spring to mind when you step into the lobby of The Thompson, which is sleek and modern. What else might one expect from a hotel group with a manifesto (not a corporate philosophy mind you) that states: "We'd go to Paris for absinthe to fuel Dorothy Parker's Round Table, or to the desert for peyote to be-dazzle Bill Burroughs' Beats."
The spirit of the place won me over when I arrived at the hotel and found that I had been upgraded to one of the property's recently renovated penthouse suites, where floor to ceiling windows peered out over the sprawl of Los Angeles and a minimalist, muted décor created an effortlessly inviting environment for actually spending time, not just sleeping.
My suite functioned not only as my temporary accommodation but also as a home away from home and a proper workspace thanks to both a full kitchen and dining area that easily doubled as a conference space. The vibe of the Thompson is such that it is, given the continued existence of the Chateau Marmont, penultimate meeting place. Take a meeting in your suite, meet a client for lunch at the stellar Caulfield's (and do try the Lobster Club), or take advantage of the rooftop bar, which is exclusively reserved for hotel guests and offers some of the best views in Beverly Hills. And then, in between it all, slip up to the pool, order a cocktail savor the best that one of America's most buzzed about zip codes has to offer.
Try The Thompson because it is a great new spin on Beverly Hills' old-school splendor. Just as every era has its great leading lady, every age needs a great address. The Thompson is bound to be this decade's star.