Montage Beverly Hills, a Spanish Colonial Revival style building of more than 200 rooms including 55 suites, evokes old-world Hollywood glamour, despite its relative youth. Opened in 2008, a sweeping driveway with two Californian fan palms synonymous with the boulevards in the area, stand sentinel. A scurry of bellhops open doors to a cool and inviting marble-floored lobby where staff know your name, whether you be a fabulous somebody or not.
Set within an area known as the Golden Triangle with borders of South Santa Monica Boulevard to the north-west, Wilshire Boulevard to the south, and Canon Drive to the east, Montage Beverly Hills is ideally positioned to discover the spotless city of 15.5 of square kilometres by foot. The designer strip Rodeo Drive for Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Prada and Jimmy Choo is a few minutes' walk.
Breezy corridors, wrought-iron bannisters and multiple arched entrances feature on the ground floor that house The Bar, The Restaurant and The Cafe that is open to guests who aren't staying but rather socialising. The ground floor colonnade terrace overlooks the Beverly Canon Gardens of magnolias, bench seating and fountains. It's a refreshingly outward facing space which at night, thanks to uplighting, has a golden glow. On the rooftop terrace overlooking the Hollywood Hills, the mosaic-tiled pool has curtained cabanas for privacy; behind the veil there could be a regular Joe, a Britney or a Bieber.
My Rodeo Suite is a generous space with entrance way, separate living area with sofa and a round dining table. The equally generous-sized bedroom framed by heavy curtains and dark wood furniture leads to the marble bathroom of sunken tub, separate shower, double basin and gilded mirrors. A super turndown service each evening sees order restored to the suitcase chaos. Shoes (alas, no Jimmy Choos) are lined up and clothes are folded.
The Rooftop Grill is a favourite for locals for a brunch of buttermilk pancakes and endless mimosas while the "Modern American" menu at The Restaurant is extensive and includes Colorado lamb chops, king oyster mushrooms with spaghetti squash, ricotta dumplings and beef tartare. During dessert on the outside terrace surrounded by garlands of fairy lights, I want to keep my eyes on the key lime pie but it's difficult not to stare at Hollywood star John Cena deep in conversation with his companion. My waitress, who is also studying the Science of Intuitive Healing, is right. This city is magical.
Beverly Hills has a long association with the entertainment industry. Stop at the Paley Centre for Media dedicated to the history of television on 465 North Beverly Drive; the Will Rogers Memorial Park at 9650 Sunset Boulevard, and Edelweiss Candy Kitchen on 444 North Canon Drive where Lucille Ball was a regular customer at the family-owned business. It's also where "Miss B" was shown the free-flow assembly line that went on to become sitcom history in the "Job Switching" episode of I Love Lucy. Beyond, Hollywood is seven kilometres and Universal Studios is 12 kilometres away.
Beverly Hills and surrounds has a wealth of accommodation choices but if you're after supreme comfort and service in the 90210 area then this is the place.
Montage Beverly Hills 225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, California. Rooms from $US595 a night. See montagehotels.com
An exceptional spa over two levels with eucalyptus steam room and nap nook in the ladies relaxation lounge. Make a day of it.
No time for a tipple at the 10 Pound Bar, a "hidden" space within the hotel.
Jane Reddy stayed as a guest of Montage Beverly Hills.