It was my absolute pleasure to spend a few nights at the SOFITEL Los Angeles five-star hotel in Beverly Hills. Located smack in the center of where I wanted to be, Sofitel is a magical little pocket of respite and relaxation in this city of stars. I'll take you through my stay and some of my favorite surrounding spots below, but I'm starting with my number one favorite: Esterel and Le Jardin, which is the breathtaking garden lounge outside.
Hotel photography by Marie Buck
Esterel is a beautiful and striking space, and on a Tuesday morning at 10, it's also quite slow-paced and perfect for enjoying a quiet breakfast. I usually keep my breakfast simple, but for some reason there's nothing like restaurant scrambled eggs—I'm not sure what they put in them, but they're always extra soft and fluffy in ways I cannot recreate at home. Esterel was no exception. I had the pleasure of chatting with the marketing manager who was quick to advise me to visit the Sofitel in Vienna on my upcoming trip to Austria—one of their most stunning locations in the world.
In typical truelane style, I still found yet another place to eat on the property: poolside! It's so cool to have a slice of paradise just a few stories above bustling streets—yet the noise isn't so bad that I couldn't knock back a few hours of poolside slumber. I spent my last morning before my flight wining and dining myself between dips in the pool to cool off. I was only joined by one or two other guests sporadically during the afternoon. Sofitel hosts a lot of business travelers who use more amenities like conference rooms and business lounges, so i just about had the pool to myself.
However, the magic of visiting Sofitel starts as soon as you walk in. Sofitel is a Paris-based and French-inspired brand, so you're greeted with a 'bonjour' from the valet and front desk before being whisked away to your room, where if you're lucky, your next greeting will be from a smashing view of the Hollywood Hills. I was particularly smitten with Los Angeles on this particular trip, with no real reason why, but I have to say I spent several hours over the course of my stay simply staring out this window daydreaming. L.A. has plenty of room for your biggest dreams.
The front desk attendants treated us as if we were Hollywood royalty ourselves, despite the fact that I walked in looking a little less than glamorous after a day at the beach. We were welcomed with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot in our room, and were immediately ready to get exploring. We got to enjoy dinner at Gracias Madre with some of our friends, and over the next couple days a few more local hot spots I'll share below!
It's really quite something to treat yourself to five-star luxury in a city like Los Angeles, where status is everything. As soon as you say hi to someone, they're asking what you do and what you drive. If you're going to be walking the streets of the rich and famous like Rodeo and Robertson and Melrose, you might as well feel the same.
Speaking of walking streets like Melrose, Beverly Hills is central to so many wonderfully iconic Los Angeles location—I couldn't have asked Sofitel to be at a more perfect locations. Below are a couple of my favorite spots I visited during my stay!
Never before have I seen a flamingo on a cup of coffee before—I'm so glad my photographer Stefanie brought me here. It was such a sun-soaked, laid-back L.A. vibe that I wish there was a Carrera Cafe up here in Seattle to transport me back to this moment. They had a ton of delightful latte art designs that make this spot an Instagrammer's paradise. My latte was delicious too!
Cafe photography by Stefanie Marie
I'm a huge astronomy nerd—I have been ever since my senior year astronomy class at the community college and fell for a boy who loved the stars as much as I do. On the same wavelength of the Space Needle in my hometown of Seattle, I never realized the Griffith Observatory is truly a space destination. There's a lot of information in there I didn't expect to learn. All I was expecting was a stellar sunset, which I also got sitting by myself listening to the La La Land soundtrack all the way through (not my favorite movie or anything, but it really sets the mood for the more romantic glitz and glam that Hollywood once had). It was such a magical way to end my trip.
There are a few Alfred locations (and I'm pretty sure it's where all the celebrities go), but I particularly love this Melrose Place location tucked off the street in a quiet corner. It's pricey, but everything is beautiful and delicious including the chia pudding bowls we got for second breakfast. And of course, you'll need an iced coffee before you hit the road anywhere in Los Angeles. They don't joke around about the traffic there.
Thank you to Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for hosting me.