In the heart of Los Angeles' famous – and famously wealthy – neighbourhood, where even the fire hydrants are glitzy in bright silver paint. Beverly Hills is renowned as the home of celebrities, Hollywood magnates and mansions galore.
The Montage has all the appearances of a classic grand hotel, which makes it surprising to learn it was only opened in 2008, not as a conversion from an existing property, but as a new build. The 256-room building features a rooftop pool and cafe, two ground-floor restaurants and bars, and a grand lobby featuring a huge floral centrepiece. There's also a spa, gym and function space – it's a popular spot for weddings and other events.
My premier balcony guest room is large, ornate and luxurious. The bed is so large it feels like something beyond king (emperor perhaps?). The lush furnishings include a chaise longue, and a desk with adjustable television so it can be watched from the bed at night (housekeeping's turndown service includes putting the TV in place for you). The bathroom features a separate shower and bathtub (with obligatory TV set into the wall) and is covered in grand marble. The room comes with a tablet that can be used for all manner of functions, from booking a spa or room service, to controlling the temperature. The walk-in closet has its own large vent to ensure your clothes are well aired after a day walking the hot LA streets or after taking a swim on the rooftop.
The two ground-floor restaurants are fine-dining option Georgie and the more casual Garden Bar. But the real highlight is the Rooftop Grill, a popular breakfast and lunch spot not just for hotel guests, but also Beverly Hills' elite (director Ron Howard is at the next table on the morning when we arrive). It's all healthy, California fare, with avocado toast, giant salads and extravagant juice offerings.
Beverly Hills is its own beast and may not offer the nightlife to be found in some other parts of LA, but the Montage is just one block away from one of Los Angeles' most famous streets: Rodeo Drive. The misleadingly named street is the home of the top high fashion stores in the city and you can tick off the names as you walk down: Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Rolex. The extravagant shop fronts alone make this a worthwhile spot for some window shopping.
If you're looking to get a taste of the high life in Los Angeles, this is a fine place to do it. A visit to the Rooftop Grill is worthwhile. even if you're not staying at the hotel – you might spot some of Hollywood's A-listers.
Rooms at the Montage Beverly Hills start from about $US595 per night. See montagehotels.com/beverlyhills/
The writer travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Virgin Australia.