Sometimes a hotel can become so much part of the locale that you think it has been there for ever. MAYBOURNE BEVERLY HILLS, just off Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive, typifies this.
The Canon Theater, a Gucci building and the Israeli Discount Bank were razed to allow the pink-hued Italian building, nine floors high, 201 bedrooms. MONTAGE BEVERLY HILLS was developed by Athens Group, out of Phoenix AZ, with the financial support of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Alan Fuerstman and his team masterminded the hotel and it opened 1st November 2008. Girlahead was lucky to be there, in room #461, at the 2010 eruption of the Icelandic volcano eruption at Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 (but then, as presumably now, if you stuck for any reason be aware that nearby pharmacies are better at face-lift creams than basic toothpaste).
Two years later, the Montage’s speakeasy £10 Bar won the Virtuoso 2012 best bar in the world – the idea of The Macallan’s ambassador, Eden Algie, it was named for the £10 note that showed Macallan Single Malt, and you could only access with a wood keycard bearing the number, 310-860 5808 (the bar’s best-selling cocktail at that time was The Jimmy Mac, namely The Macallan 18-year old, plus Averna, Benedictine and Orange Bitters). Today, there’s the Maybourne Bar, with Yves Klein-blue bar chair, and a Maybourne gin martini with Sipsmith, the London gin from a descendent of Sir Stamford Raffles – yes, it’s the house gin of Raffles, which Girlahead was tasting there a month ago. Maybourne Beverly Hills also has a Cigar and Whiskey Bar, with over a thousand cigars: try a Robusta, with Nicaraguan filler and binder, an Ecuadorean wrapper and an aroma of unsweetened cocoa and black pepper,
Continuing the hotel’s history, the whole structure was bought December 2019 by Maybourne Group’s Qatari owners and, without closing specially, the hotel’s name evolved to Maybourne Beverly Hills. Rolling on to the last quarter of 2022, the overall feel of this fabulous hotel has been lightened, with lots of palest cream-taupe furnishings and highlighs of bold colour – see Suite 166, which comes with a central glass-sided 360° fire, and a grand piano.
Girlahead was so thrilled to meet up with hotel Ambassador Frank Bowling, on the left in the image above, and GM Eugene Leonard, who came from Claridge’s. A softening overall feel that is just right for today’s new luxury was enhanced by dining outside in The Terrace, on director’s chairs, two legs on hotel pavement and the others on the lush grass of Beverly Canon Gardens. Welcome to California cuisine in the form of Hamachi crudo with pickled D’Anjou pears; and Westholme Farm filet, wagyu bred from 001 Hirashige-Tayasu (from the Kedaka line); 002 Itomoritaka (from the Fujioshi line) and 003 Kitateruyasu-doi (from the Tajiri/Tajima line). Add to the enjoyment a glass of chilled Rumor Rosé, from Provence, and then Blackbird Vineyards Arise 2018 Napa Valley. As the Ambassador became chauffeur, in his golden Mercedes roadster, prepared to glide away, Terrace manager Nicolas Mourier appeared with a paper carrier (two shades of teal) bearing a mini pavlova, and cutlery. In case The Ambassador lost his way, which of course was not the case.