The Thompson Hollywood Hotel Captures the Spirit of Tinseltown

Lobby of Thompson Hollywood. Photography by Trevor Tondro.
Lobby of Thompson Hollywood. Photography by Trevor Tondro.

The rooftop at the Thompson Hollywood is a permanent front row seat for the Hollywood sign, which as a New Yorker still gives me a little thrill whenever I catch its all-hobbled smile. The American dream of Tinseltown is alive and well in this new space. The entire hotel dedicates itself to the glamor that has drawn decades of star-eyed hopefuls to the city. The roof, therefore, is not themed around the hustle of Hollywood and Vine, but instead the you-struck-it-big calm of French Riviera nostalgia. This manifests itself in the color palette, dominated by the handsomeness of yellow and white striped umbrellas and the contained beauty of potted green plants.

Bar Lis. Photography by Michael Mundy.

A wall of classic black and white photos of stars like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin stepping off yachts and sunbathing without abandon greets you at the elevator bank, letting you know exactly what fantasy you’ve arrived into. Bar Lis, the rooftop lounge that has quickly become a scene for both its jazz nights and rowdy house music sets, is even equipped with a mechanized sun sail that enables the space to offer an indoor/outdoor feeling come rain or shine.

Looking out across the hills from either corner view suites or the terrace, guests at the Thompson Hollywood might spot something else on the horizon. Next door, a series of new developments are in process: an entire compound of two adjacent hotel properties linked by a restaurant-cum-event venue. The idea is like the Paramount Studios lots, a guest from out of town or a staycationer could conceivably fill their days here scooting from one amenity to the next without the interruptions of another drive. Finally, a place in Los Angeles where you can feel like the main character no matter who else is in the room.

Craving more culture? Sign up to receive the Cultured newsletter, a biweekly guide to what’s new and what’s next in art, architecture, design and more.