“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It’s not. It’s the opposite of vulgarity.” – Coco Chanel
Generally speaking, people don’t book a room in Beverly Hills with intentions to relax. 90210 is a business hub and a shopping mecca that attracts top executives, wealthy tourists, celebrities and not-so-desperate housewives alike. In a world famous neighborhood filled with charming historic properties, the Thompson Beverly Hills really stands out. It’s modern, hip and sexy. It favors dark leather and exotic details to grandiose, old-school elegance. Its central location on Wilshire Blvd. makes the property a perfect hideaway for workaholics who also happen to love to party.
To offer a glimpse of what a sleepover in one of the hotel’s sweetest suites might look & feel like, we brought in photographer Danielle DeFoe for her undeniable sense of evening glamour and invited the gorgeous Chelsea Schuchman and Kelley Ash to join in on the fun. The shoot was styled by Marissa Joye Peden, and makeup and hair artistry were provided by Jenna Kristina Tucker and Caroline Ramos.
On a glorious Wednesday night, we all checked in to the 107-room luxury hotel designed by Dodd Mitchell – a stunning example of Californian modernism with a cool, 1960’s edge. Located just a short walk away from Rodeo Drive, it’s a “no pets, no children” kind of spot which really means… no responsibilities. Decked out with mirrors and featuring artwork by acclaimed fashion photographer Steven Klein, the hallways leading to the room immediately set the tone for a stylish evening.
Our home away from home, the 850 square foot, plush Thompson Suite features three French step-out balconies overlooking Downtown Beverly Hills, a kitchenette, an entertainment bar, two bathrooms, a sitting area and a bedroom. Now, here’s one of my favorite photos of Chelsea ever, looking like a young Jerry Hall on the black leather couch. Talk about star power…
We would have called room service for truffle fries & wine if the thought of hanging out at Above Beverly Hills didn’t lure us up to the rooftop terrace for a couple delicious cocktails in good company… Here are the ladies, on their way out.
“There’s nothing more glamorous to me than black and white, especially in an amazing suit,” Marissa explains. “As soon as I walked into the hotel and saw my reflection in the black lacquer hallways, I knew I wanted to go with the black and white vibe. The suits work in there because they are so Scarface, so cocaine chic. I wanted the girls strutting down the hall in Armani, like total bosses. I tried to keep the black and white motif for most of the shoot. It’s too simple to say yin and yang, but I think that it naturally happens when you have models like Chelsea and Kelley,” she adds.
Danielle had been telling me she wanted to shoot a tub scene for a while, and we couldn’t have been more excited when we found a massive, overflow jet-tub in the marble bathroom. “The headpieces were a bit of a risk, Danielle wasn’t sold at first, she was like, “hats in the bathtub?” Marissa laughs.
“But that’s why it works, is that it doesn’t make sense. You sort of do things in hotels and on vacations that you wouldn’t do in normal life. Call them bad decisions or good fashion risks, however you want to put it! If hotel walls could talk! I think it’s fun to juxtapose the lady-likeness of an opulent hat with getting down and dirty in a bath tub. The girls in this story obviously live a life of excess, so why wouldn’t they jump right in the tub in their beaded lingerie and hats?”
Later on, we caught up with the lavish beauties in the room’s king bed dress with custom-made 400 thread count SFERRA linens. Oh – and did I mention over-sized terrycloth robes by Frette and bathroom amenities by REN? Clearly, they’ve got the essentials down.
Obviously, we arranged for a late checkout and made our way back up to a rooftop pool that might very well be the dopest in Los Angeles, with 360 degree views of the city.
A small, but very important detail you might not notice if your cravings for mimosas are deeper than your love of fitness; there is an indoor gym downstairs from the pool with porthole windows that offer idyllic views of the swimmers in blue water, so you can take photos like this.
With rooms starting at $188 / night, we’ll be back soon!