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Hot List 2009

SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California 
$$$$

465 S. La Cienega Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90048
United States

Tel: 310 247 0400

This debut hotel collaboration between nightlife maven Sam Nazarian and designer Philippe Starck is meant to be sexy and fantastical, and for the most part it delivers. The atmospheric lobby has outsized white chandeliers, shelves heaped with glossy art books and vintage hardbacks, and alcoves with fireplaces. The 297 Baroque–inspired guest rooms seem a bit incongruous in the daytime—it's best to wait until dark to enjoy the deep soaking tub, the soft bed with faux fur throws, and the massive TV embedded in the glossy black wall. During the day, check out the rooftop bar, where slick producer types and blinged-out couples sip mojitos by the infinity pool. After dark, everyone wanders down to the Bazaar by José Andrés, a slightly convoluted restaurant/bar/patisserie that also has a Moss shop with dramatic glass vitrines housing quirky design pieces. Luckily, there's enough whimsy to make it all work. The service, if a bit inexpert, is friendly; and there's a high-tech gym and three cars at guests' disposal.
When to go: Awards season—January through March—is prime time for poolside people-watching.
Which room to book: A high floor to avoid lackluster views of low-rise apartment complexes.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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