Earlier this month I (Anika, not Rob) spent a week in Los Angeles. It was my first visit and as I wanted to see as many places as possible – without renting a car, which is virtually a necessity there – I decided to hotel hop. I also used Airbnb for the first time, more on that coming soon.
This is my review of SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, part of Starwood’s The Luxury Collection, which was my first stop. It was recommended to me, along with the Beverly Hilton nearby, as one of the better Los Angeles hotel options if you want somewhere with nearby walkable attractions. It also has a free chauffeur service which will drive you anywhere within a 2 mile radius.
The hotel was booked as a Starwood Preferred Guest redemption at 20,000 points per night.
From the pictures on the website I got the impression that this 5 star hotel was lovely, modern and bright. Not true. When I arrived I realised that it was actually pretty dark. When I mentioned this to the concierge (which was my European attempt at small talk) I only got a confused look and the explanation that this hotel was obviously a boutique property. OK ….
Here is the lobby which actually looks a bit brighter in this picture than it actually was.
Getting out of the lift I came across a pool table, which didn’t look like you could actually play on it, a chair illustrated with a dog dressed in a suit (you didn’t misread that last phrase) and a billboard-like illuminated poster.
My room at SLS Beverly Hills
I personally wasn’t too impressed by my room. It was too dark, had too many mirrors and seemed a bit … well … boring. The room had no ceiling lamp and only small side lights throughout the space. The bed, at least, was very comfortable.
The desk was a decent size but most of the time it was too dark to work. There was only one plug socket by the desk as the other two were taken up for the lamp and telephone.
As all of the sockets in the room were standard US type and there was no powered USB socket you will need an adapter (there is one for purchase in the mini bar box). Standard internet was free for up to three devices, but with a speed cap of 2 Mbps extremely slow. Watching Netflix was almost impossible unless you were very patient. Premium internet at 12 Mbps costs $5.99 per day and can be used with up to four devices. If you want to do any serious downloads then you will need to pay this.
The bathroom was a cubicle in one corner of the room with two mirrored doors of which one opened towards the room –
– because we all want to see the bed when we brush our teeth, right?
It isn’t easy taking a photograph of a bathroom when all four walls are partly mirrored ….
The toileries were branded Ciel (the hotel’s spa) and had a subtle smell.
The wardrobe was also home to the minibar and a safe.
Minibar snacks were divided into two groups: ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’. An interesting idea, although how hotel flip flops fall into the ‘saints’ category is beyond me. The room had no coffee machine and not even a kettle. French press coffee on the room service menu was $10.
My window was facing one of the outdoor areas, which looked lovely but was strangely deserted throughout my stay.
The pool area
The Altitude pool at SLS Beverly Hills was very popular as the weather was amazing. I had to snap a picture without the crowds early in the morning as it got busy very quickly.
There is lots of artwork surrounding the pool area and bar.
However some looked a bit out of place:
As people can reserve a cabana and the surrounding deckchairs it was a bit of a pain finding a free deckchair after lunch. The pool boy wasn’t too friendly in the way he told me that my chosen chair had been reserved and he didn’t make it clear where I could sit instead.
Each afternoon on the weekend a DJ played from 2pm-6pm which gave the area a pleasant lounge atmosphere.
This is the entrance hall of the Ciel spa and the gym. Unlike most hotels I’ve stayed in recently the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills gym was constantly full of people and I couldn’t take a picture. It was a generous size with all the key equipment you would want.
The hotel also has a work area with computers and printers.
I didn’t go to any of the hotel restaurants – the Saam, the Bazaar and the Tres. Bazaar appeared to very popular with local residents when I took a look.
If you want a Los Angeles hotel which has a few sightseeing options within striking distance, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills is worth a look. It is located just 2 miles from the upmarket shopping enclave of Rodeo Drive. The hotel offers a free chauffeur service within a 2 mile radius so you can survive without a car when staying here for a couple of days.
There is also a great farmers market not too far from the hotel and a shopping centre just around the corner. All the concierges were extremely friendly and helpful and even found a church for me to go to. The rooftop pool and bar are a great place to relax in the sun and have a cocktail.
There are a lot of positive reasons to stay at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Personally, I struggled with all of the mirrors in the room and the low lighting which is prevalent throughout the hotel. Apart from that, this is a good Starwood option and a decent redemption, given their usual prices of around $400 plus tax, at 20,000 SPG points per night.
You can find out more information on the hotel, and book, on its website here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)