Southern California is glamour and sun and feeling better about life in general. You have it all at Fairmont Century Plaza, Los Angeles’ icon hotel, a 15-floor crescent-shaped building designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki in 1966 (seven years later he completed the World Trade Center).
After dallying with Westin and Hyatt the hotel is now, after a reputed US$2.8 billion spend, a Fairmont modern trophy – bedrooms on floors up to 12, with 63 owned apartments above, Yabu Pushelberg design. All 400 rooms have full-height French windows opening to crescent-shaped balconies (choose looking over Avenue of the Stars to Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood hills).
Sun is everywhere, on your balcony or around the pool. For glamour, Fairmont Century Plaza has one of the most right-for-today practitioners on the market. Dr Rita Rakus is Knightsbridge-based guru to UK-based fashionistas. Forget all those other facials, the ones that slaver your face with one thick cream after another. Dr Rita’s US hang-out, here in the hotel, uses hydra-therapy, high-pressure machines that could feel, to be honest, like a lilliputian road digger followed by a roller. But, believe it or not, the actual feel is sybaritically and sensually super. Just right for the Red Carpet.
Need a gown for all that glamour? It’s always a plus anywhere if there’s an Apple store within five minutes’ walk from any hotel and you get that here. The Westfield Mall also has, as befits the Avenue of Stars, every must-have 2022 brand from Nordstrom to Peloton, with microbiotic juice joints and beautification bars galore.
Hotel GM Philip Barnes, who moved here from The Savoy in London, is well versed in pairing tradition with today. Fairmont Century Plaza’s heritage blends perfectly with an outstanding 24/7 fitness centre, latest Technogym and Peloton. Head to the open-plan lobby bar, the meet-me-at venue, a kaleidoscopic display of head-high drinks bottles and people-watching.
After a couple of extra-long Beefeaters or Maker’s Marks, it’s about 80 long strides to Lumière, an EDG-designed French brasserie, with authentic tiled floor, standing palms, uncluttered wood tables, charcuterie and patisserie walk-in areas. Feel Montmartre with, say, a Fruits de Mer tower with a glass of La Fête du Rosé Côtes de Provence St-Tropez. There’s private dining for 12, around a table imported from Paris, and the whole space flows into a gorgeous garden. There’s going to be another garden outside the Presidents Club, when it opens, other end of the ground floor, next month.
The only challenge at Fairmont Century Plaza is recognising all the celebs among the locals who, as in Swinging Sixties days, already consider the ‘new’ Century Plaza their private club.
Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.
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