The feeling is there as soon as I enter Petit Ermitage’s moodily lit lobby, via a tiny greenery-strewn entrance on a nondescript side street: things are happening here. It’s the model clutching an oversized glass of red wine in the elevator; the movie exec taking early calls as his assistant feeds him forkfuls of scrambled egg in the rooftop dining room; it’s the agent schmoozing a young English actor over martinis. If you’re a mover and/or shaker, Petit Ermitage is Hollywood’s current hotspot. And if you’re not a model-actor-auteur hoping to network? The people-watching is as exquisite as the artwork. The former apartment block is owned by the Ashkenazy brothers, Stefan and Adrian, and the art decorating its rooms, halls and lobbies – we’re talking Muro, Dalí and Rauschenberg – comes from their personal family collection.
Down a quiet residential street between Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards, Petit Ermitage is within walking distance of quite a few bars and restaurants such as Nobu and meatless Mexican Gracias Madre. For everything else, you’ll need a car or an Uber subscription. From LAX, the car-ride is about half an hour, depending on traffic.
Each of the 79 suites is different: the Junior Suite,has a generous living space with sofa, desk and wet bar and a separate large bedroom, all amply decorated with art. The phone has four options: I Want, I Desire, I’m Curious and I’m Clueless. Requiring ice, I hesitate, then opt for “I Want”. Subsequent requests to the different lines are all promptly addressed. For anything else, guests can contact the Liaison to Happiness (concierge), tasked with fulfilling guests’ every whim. The marble bathrooms aren’t particularly large but they’re well stocked with fluffy towels and Le Labo products (Santal 33, natch). There’s dramatic lighting, decadent bed linen and a topnotch minibar stocked with wine, beer, mezcal and snacks.
Food and drinks
A butterfly may alight on the rim of your glass of rosé in The Garden, thanks to the fragrant blooms festooning almost every surface. Life at Petit Ermitage revolves around the rooftop, where the restaurant serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner is open all day. Take a seat in a private cabana amid the greenery, keeping your eyes peeled for the tiny hummingbirds that frequent the space, and order coffee (rather decent by Australian standards) before exploring the breakfast buffet – there are pastries, quiche, cured meats, smoked salmon, cheese, cereals and all manner of fruits, plus cookies, brownies and a decadent chocolate-studded banana bread. Try lunch poolside – the lunch/dinner menu is healthy LA-style salads, excellent, less-healthy burgers and French bistro fare such as steak frites and beef tartare. Aperitifs – try a Wicked Flower (Hennessy, St Germain, lemon, ginger candy) – can be taken at the Butterfly Bar where elegantly understated guests rub shoulders perched upon velvet chairs by flickering candlelight.
For business travellers
There’s free, fast wifi and plenty of meetings being taken over green smoothies in The Garden but Petit Ermitage doesn’t have a conference room or business facilities. This isn’t a place to work. Here, it’s all play – and if you have any doubt, just check out the Clown Room Service option.
For wellness travellers
There are daily yoga sessions on the Firedeck, free of charge for all guests and in-suite spa treatments.
The fab factor
On the rooftop, up a set of stairs from the restaurant area, is the pool. Guests taking in the large saltwater expanse surrounded by candy-striped sun-lounges and cumquat trees could be forgiven for being momentarily transported to the French Riviera – only to be brought straight back to LA with the view of the Hollywood Hills and the sound of helicopters overhead. Bikini tops are optional; selfies obligatory.
Best for: Romantic couples, Hollywood ingenues and design-savvy travellers
Number of rooms: 79 suites
From: US$365 per night ($543)
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Valet parking is US$46 ($68) per night
Address: 8822 Cynthia Street, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, United States
Telephone: +1 310 854 114