If waking up in an impossibly stylish room with the Hollywood sign outside your window is on your bucket list, you’ll want to book a stay at the Thompson Hollywood.
Booking a room in Los Angeles means deciding between some of the most iconic hospitality establishments, not just in the United States, but in the world. However, there’s a boutique hotel that’s quietly becoming an icon in its own right, what with its incredible views of the world’s most famous signboard and immaculate design both inside and out.
The Thompson Hollywood, situated on the buzzing Wilcox Avenue between Hollywood and Sunset, is a chic luxury lifestyle hotel by the Hyatt Hotels and Corporation. It’s a fairly new property – having only opened August 2021 – but it’s already forged quite a name for itself even amongst the locals, partially thanks to the stellar F&B options both it and its sister property, Tommie Hollywood offers. Read on for our a review of our stay here.
Thompson Hollywood: Stay or pass?
The Thompson Hollywood does its best to make you feel at home. Turn off from the concrete jungle that is LA, and first thing that greets you here are lots of plants, which flank the walkway in and the ceiling. You get a glimpse of the lobby through the flora, and you’re immediately relaxed.
Despite being dreamt up by London-based Tara Bernerd & Partners, the brief was clearly understood because the hotel is Californian through and through. Here, mid-century Modernism is met by Hollywood glamour, then topped off with a hint of West Coast ruggedness. The result is a space that’s effortlessly Instagrammable from every corner, whether you’re at the check-in corner, at the lobby, or even in the bathroom.
The check-in was fairly straightforward and simply enough, and we were given the keys to the room after a quick run-through of the food and drink options within the hotel. A little note of caution, however; the check-in staff can only register your interest in making a reservation with the restaurant, and the restaurant may only get back to you much later on to inform you if you’ve secured a seat. We recommend you have a back-up plan in mind because by the time they got back to us (for a rejection <insert sad face>) , it was already almost dinner time.
The 11-storey hotel features 190 guestrooms, 16 of which are suites. Whichever you choose, the rooms are bold and contemporary – having been touched by the West Coast Modernist movement – and are a masterclass in textures, colours, and design. The mid-century furniture and finishings mostly follow a safe neutral colour palette with curated artwork, colourful accessories, and a collection of living plants within that breathe life into the room.
But it is the view out of the floor-to-ceiling windows that are truly the star here, for if you choose one that advertises the famous Hollywood sign, you’ll get exactly that. The King Hollywood Hills View room we stayed at was a decently sized room with just enough space for two large suitcases, and besides an unfettered view of the sign was also equipped with bedding with luxurious Sferra linens, plush robes, and a glass wardrobe.
The bathroom is a quiet sanctuary with its warm terrazzo finishes, and features a decently-sized standing shower with bougie Brooklyn-based D.S. & Durga soaps.
Food & Drinks
It is past sundown when the Thompson Hollywood and Tommie Hollywood truly come alive. As mentioned, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the food front. There’s Mother Wolf, which is easily one of the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles now. So popular, in fact, that you’ll have to make your reservation weeks before you even touch down in the city. It’s here where Beyoncé celebrated winning the most Grammys of any entertainer last year, so you know you’re in good hands. The upscale, Roman-leaning restaurant by Evan Funke gets its four main pastas right, and people know it. The classics include spaghettone alla gricia, cacio e pepe, carbonara, and amatriciana, but judging from the crowd, you wouldn’t regret ordering any of the pizzas, seafood dishes, and even cocktails here.
Equally popular but not as tough to get into is Ka’teen. Helmed by revered chef Avila of Guerrilla Tacos, Ka’teen is the property’s signature restaurant, and serves up dishes inspired by the Mayan city of Tulum within their expansive 5,000-square-feet outdoor dining area. Swathed by even more plants and fairy lights, the space is a beautiful place for date nights or parties, but it is the food that is truly worth celebrating here. Spotlighting the Yucatan Peninsula’s rich culinary history, expect to relearn everything you think you know about Mexican food, whether you order something as simple as guacamole and chips or Pescado Zarandeado (grilled whole fish), or more complex dishes like the Cochinta Pibil, Pollo Asado, or Carne Asana Ribeye. Each is a delicious elevation of the typical classics in the Mexican repertoire.
For lunch and breakfast, you won’t go wrong at Mes Amis, a modern French brasserie that takes inspiration from the bustling eateries along the Grand Boulevards of Paris. Here, fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and specialty markets around the world take centre stage in dishes such as Steak Frites and Salmon Hollandaise, although their salads are equally delicious if you fancy a lighter meal.
You wouldn’t have to go far for cocktails too; Desert Five is an impossibly cool rooftop spot that’s inspired by the vintage vibes of Palm Springs, while Bar Lis – another rooftop destination – brings the playful spirit of the Côte d’azur to town with chic French Riviera touches at every turn.
You haven’t really been to LA if you haven’t spent a day roasting in the Californian sun, and the rooftop pool at the Thompson Hollywood is one of the best places to do that. Order a cocktail from the bar nearby, grab a sun bed, and whip out that camera, because you’re going to want to grab a few photos for the ‘gram here. A fully-equipped gym is also available should you wish to burn off the calories from last night’s feast at the above-mentioned restaurants.
If it’s cool you want, Thompson Hollywood is it. From the property’s modernist architecture to the mid-century modern furniture, the hotel is a design buff’s dream come true. It’s at a good location for exploring the rest of the city, but the stellar dining options within will make it hard to leave anyway. Service here is decent depending on who you get, but it isn’t enough to deter us from booking again. Not when there’s so much more going for it.
(All images: Thompson Hollywood and respective restaurants)