T+L gets an exclusive preview of the SLS Beverly Hills, an innovative concept in hotels.
Philippe Starck is bored with the boutique hotel. “I want a revolution,” claims the man who is one of the progenitors of the movement. “I want to give people experiences not through gimmicks, but with elegance and intelligence.” Starck is hoping to do just that by teaming up with Sam Nazarian, the force behind some of L.A.’s most buzzy venues, including Katsuya, a Japanese-fusion restaurant that is a T+L 2008 Design Award winner. Their project: the $230 million SLS Beverly Hills, slated to open in October. Nazarian wants SLS to hit the sweet spot between a trendy boutique hotel and a formal five-star establishment; along with Starck, he’s enlisted a team of industry innovators to help him achieve this vision. Spanish chef José Andrés, known for his cutting-edge approach at Washington, D.C.’s celebrated Jaleo restaurant, has developed a number of signature dishes (e.g., a hollow bread stuffed with La Serena cheese and topped with jamón ibérico) and cocktails (such as a sorbet-like sangria made with liquid nitrogen) for SLS. Design guru Murray Moss, meanwhile, is helping to rethink the hotel gift shop as a modern-day bazaar. The dining and shopping space, just off the lobby, will have a patisserie as well as vitrines stocked with collectibles (wooden models of famous midcentury Italian racing boats; bicycles made by artisans in Sweden) curated by Moss. “It’s the Harrods food hall meets Paris’s Colette,” explains Nazarian. Upstairs, the 297 minimalist rooms will have a palette of serene green-grays. Of course, it wouldn’t be Starck without some quirky touches—this time in the form of a bed that “floats” in the middle of the room and has a glass headboard backed by a desk, “so you can watch your wife sleep while you work,” says the designer. Nazarian is already looking to create two additional properties with Starck, Andrés, and Moss—this time in Las Vegas and Miami. Just call them the new dream team. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310/247-0400; slshotels.com; doubles from $400.