Spending a romance-soaked Valentine’s Day just five minutes from home by car at the ultra-urban, French-influenced Sofitel Los Angeles, turned out to be one of the best over-night staycations ever. While that holiday is over, celebrating your love is always an option, and it doesn’t get any better than at this veracious 295-room property, especially in a penthouse suite with a private balcony facing north to the Hollywood Hills.
Pulsating with a youthful vibe, accentuated by a European influence, the Sofitel has all the ingredients for a romantic rendezvous from its little rooftop oasis pool outfitted with intimate cabanas and over-sized towels, to the soothing LeSpa and delightful new Esterel Restaurant.
After a seamless check-in on Valentine’s Day Richard and I headed to the surprisingly well-equipped gym to work up a good appetite for the evening’s special dinner. This was followed by some laps in the nearby (heated) pool and spa treatments. Richard has a facial from Tess which he sighed was the best ever (and he’s had a few). His face glowed. Your Diva got a masterful massage from Luca, a transplanted Swiss masseur whose technique transported her straight to la la land. Luca, who has been with LeSpa for three years, explained that in his native country massage therapists must take a year of medical school before they could get a license. You could tell he knew his stuff.
After our treatments Richard and I were escorted in the tranquil lounge and served glasses of French champagne, which was a wonderful prelude to our dinner at Esterel. If the day wasn’t amorous enough, the dinner sent it over-the-top. The food is simply sensational starting with the salmon tartar to my Branzino and Richard’s steak, and ending with a tofu cheesecake that was impossibly delicious to Richard’s luscious, heart shaped raspberry tart.
The Sofitel Los Angeles offers several attractive packages on its site that include all of the above and more. If you’re celebrating an anniversary, engagement or other romantic occasion, consider the Magnifique Romance. If you just want to go a la carte, do book a suite on the penthouse floor facing north.
Room and suites come with coffee makers, free WiFi, lavish bathrooms, LCD televisions, Bose Wave music systems, minibar, safes, Hermes toiletries, plush robes and slippers. The hotel is drenched with good vibes and a friendly, happy staff reflected by our room service waiter who served our breakfast on our balcony wearing an ear to ear smile.
One more major selling point for those of you who like to shop ‘til you drop. Sofitel Los Angeles is just across the street from the city’s acropolis of consumerism, Beverly Center—where your LA Travel Examiner managed to find some spiffy outfits and accessories. You can always walk to restaurants along La Cienega Boulevard or just spend the afternoon on your private balcony gazing out over the hills at the snowcapped mountains (this time of year anyway), at LeSpa (which offers the gamut of therapies, plus steam baths and great service) or plotzing by the pool. Do plan on dining at Esterel, and stopping for a drink at the youth-driver Riviera 31 bar.
Room rates range from $289 with suites starting at $499. Package prices vary from $244 a night and up.
Sofitel Los Angeles is located at 8555 Beverly Boulevard. For reservations call 800-SOFITEL or go to www.sofitel.com.