Up-and-coming starlets in the 1920s and '30s would have stayed at the Crescent. When the palm tree–lined art deco building opened in 1927, it was as lodgings for the budding actresses who'd just signed studio contracts and moved out to L.A. for their big breaks. They, too, sipped cocktails (after Prohibition ended, of course) and listened to jazz (probably not by a live band, though) in the intimate lounge and on the breezy terrace. It’s even just possible there was saltwater taffy at the front desk and a library stocked with an impressive collection of classic and contemporary literature and nonfiction. However, the walls might not have been adorned with paintings and photographs by some of the area’s top artists—the hotel is a sponsor of the renowned Mouche Gallery around the corner—and there definitely wasn’t 24-hour room service or iPod docks.
After the studios moved on, and luxury designer shops and trendy restaurants moved in, the Crescent turned into a cozy, quirky boutique hotel known for its prime location, affordable rates, and bend-over-backward service. These things won’t change.
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Situated on the corner of Crescent and Brighton in Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle, the Crescent Hotel is literally in the heart of one of Los Angeles' most desirable neighborhoods. The streets are lined with ritzy boutiques, iconic restaurants, and hip bars, including Sugarfish, Spago, and the Ivy. Hot gallery Mouche, with which the hotel is affiliated, is just a couple blocks away. Heading out for a stroll, guests are guaranteed to spot a celebrity grabbing coffee or walking a dog. Rodeo Drive, lined with the most famous international luxury brands, is a few blocks south.
Need to Know
Rooms: 35 rooms. From $99. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Crescent’s intimate café sprawls between several rooms and an outdoor terrace, forming an atmospheric restaurant-bar-lounge with mismatched decor like that of the salon in an art-collector friend’s home. With richly-hued Persian carpets, woven Parisian café chairs, sleek geometric banquettes outside, several fireplaces, and work by world-renowned artists on the walls, it’s where guests want to lounge for hours with beautiful people over a few glasses of wine or craft cocktails. Between regular live jazz performances, and a burger and breakfast sandwich that both earn local devotees, there’s a reason this is a favorite hangout of the Beverly Hills cognoscenti. Morning coffee, tea, and fresh pastries are included in all stays, and free tea and coffee are available in the lounge at all hours. Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither a gym nor a spa, but it does offer passes to the nearby Equinox gym for those who book directly. The neighboring Beverly Gardens Park is also a popular spot for jogging. In-room massages are available for King rooms.
Who's it best for: Independent travelers who value character and location over amenities. Our favorite rooms: None of the rooms are huge, but the hotel does have two so-called Itty Bitty Rooms that are, well, quite small, but also quite charming. More importantly, though, they’re probably the best deal in Beverly Hills, at $99 a night; these can only be booked by calling the hotel directly. For practicing artists: Artists should look into the Crescent’s artist-in-residence program, which sets visual artists up in the large-windowed Room 210 at various times throughout the year. Musicians should inquire about the in-house recording studio.