You hear the words "cool" and "hip" and you think of the W hotel chain. You wonder what happens when the W. guests grow up and out of the crazy club scene (and strike it rich) and you have SLS. I first heard about SLS back when the Met was just making its debut, and I've been eager to check out the new kid on the block for quite some time now. The brainchild of Sam Nazarian, owner of the famous SBE entertainment and nightlife company (Hyde Lounge, Area, Katsuya, Foxtail), and iconic designer Philippe Starck, SLS is the higher end sister property of the W hotels, all under the Starwood Group. We were lucky enough to get a private tour of the magnificent hotel and though we weren't allowed to take photos inside, our kind tour guide let us sneak in a few. From the outside you might just drive right by the nondescript hotel that's just a few blocks from the Beverly Center. Known as the old Le Meridien, this 237 room hotel cost approximately $230 million dollars to renovate. Now that may mean chump change to some (ehem Steve Wynn) but for the rest of us, that means a massive overhaul.

SLS has two entrances one that leads to a quiet restaurant called Tres, and the other that leads to their most interesting part of their hotel, the Bazaar.

Right as you walk into Tres, you get an immediate feel for the look Starck was going for. Beautiful couches and chairs are arranged around tables to create intimate gathering areas. If you've been to XIV or S Bar, you'll find that the SLS is similar in style, it's as much whimsical as it is luxurious. It's a modern day "Alice in Wonderland" set complete with oversize fixtures.

We shoot up the elevators to the rooftop pool to find that the design theme of the hotel carried throughout. Oversize framed mirrors line the hallway to the pool.

After wading through the perfectly temperate 88.6 degree pool, the rooftop is the perfect place to catch a beautiful California sunset.

A quick peek into the room reveals beds with faux-mink bedspreads and built into the wall plasma tvs that seemingly disappear once you turn them off. Rain showers and an extra deep bathtub greet you in the rooms with double beds. At about $400 a night, the rooms didn't feel cheap. Though a little small, it had a luxurious feel to them, like they didn't skimp out on the details. You could also tell that Starck really thought about space. A desk is neatly tucked behind its glass headboard, all amenities are neatly stowed away in a large cabinet.

For the last part of our tour, we were taken through the most interesting and amazing part of the hotel, The Bazaar. You'll never experience a place quite like this and pictures could never describe it. An interesting use of space, they mash together a store, a bar and restaurants to create a fantasyland that you could easily get lost in.

As you walk around this unique hotel, you aren't sure where one part begins and another one ends. And you're not meant to. Because the SLS is not just a place to sleep, it's a place to experience. SLS Hotel Beverly Hills 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. (Photos courtesy of the Met photographer, Sam Yoo, and The LA Times) If you like design hotels, check out these other posts: Our Private Tour Inside the Newest Hollywood Hot Spot: W Hotel & Residences, Countdown to Oct 09! Hell's Kitchen Chef Gives Me a Taste of Heaven: Lunch at Gordon Ramsay, The London West Hollywood A Boutique Hotel in LA That Won't Break the Bank? Check Out Custom Hotel. Thanks, Jewelz, for the Recommendation! Lovely Stay at Hotel Palomar, SF. Visiting Barcelona? Check Out the New Hotel Me Barcelona by Sol Meliá
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  • can't wait to check out this place and the thompson

    great photos!
  • I drive by this place almost every day... I've always been curious of the inside.... Now I FOR SURE need to go!
  • I love love loved this hotel!!! Definitely on the top of my list, this hotel boasts an "Alice-in-Wonderland" vibe the second you walk through its uber-chic doors. Every corner has some sort of "wow that's cool" thing to look at. Bridal shower, birthday bash or just to have a cocktail--I will most certainly be back.

    Great pics Sammy!!=)
  • SLS Hotel is Starwood's first Luxury Collection location in the Los Angeles area.

    According to SBE's site --
    "The property has teamed with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. which will manage the Los Angeles
    property under the umbrella of its world renowned The Luxury Collection® brand."

    Sam Nazarian, CEO of SBE, which owns Brent Bolthouse's Bolthouse Productions - the nightlife arm, often makes an appearance on the The Hills. Brent is Heidi Montag's boss. Yes, she is the one who looks the most retarded.

  • This is one of the few hotels where I was continually surprised during the entire tour. Just when it seemed like there was nothing else to amaze me, I was amazed. Each part of the hotel is unique to its own, however carries a consistent design theme throughout.
  • btw...awesome pics sammy!!
  • Quite possibly the best hotel in LA I've ever seen. There's an endless amount of eye candy decorations and so much class as well. From the lobby, the pool, to the rooms, SLS impressed me throughout. A perfect place for a date, a party, or to bring people from out of town to give them a real LA experience.
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