Since my epiphany that I can do my work poolside,SunBlog, and get a tan I have been sought out by many hotels to come and enjoy their rooftop “workspaces.” The first to cater to my fantastical taste was the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills which I have coined as a “Lavish Luxurious Fantasy Land.” The experience with the SLS started from before I stepped foot on their grounds. It all started with their social media. More and more companies are realizing the necessity of having a media manager. It adds that special touch when a guests ‘Checks In’ on Foursquare, ‘Tweets’, or even ‘Facebooks’ that they are at the location. When receiving a tweet back from the hotel the guests feel welcomed and it is as simple as that in getting a returning guest and the SLS Hotel has mastered that art. And so my journey begins.
As soon as I stepped my 4 inch studded heels onto the Valet carpet I was greeted by a man who escorted me inside. As I entered through the gigantic glass doors I went to the front desk where I was told, “We’ve been expecting you.” I was still waiting on a few friends to show up so I thought I would wait in the lobby. However SLS doesn’t have a lobby like most hotels where you feel like you are in the doctors office waiting to be asked to go behind the curtain. About 20 feet from the front door is an adorable European styled restaurant called Tres. With the abundance of creams, whites, mirrors, and flower arrangements spread throughout, it felt like a cozy place to wait. With it’s charm it couldn’t possibly have ‘Normal’ restaurant seats. Instead the restaurant was set up like a French parlor where little nooks would have a table with a lush couch or a table to talk business with king style chairs. With the aesthetics of Phillippe Starck’s amazing interior design it was a place that I did not mind waiting at.
As I survey the front lobby from my seat my eyes are greeted with various touches that Starck has embellished around the property. Over by the front desk there is a life size horse and below it is a hog with a plate on it’s head full of green apples. As my gaze trails from those artifacts my eyes stop at two tall lamps. The base of these lamps were gleaming silver rifles with just a simple shade at the top. Guaranteed last time Tarantino was in here he wanted to pocket them. The feel of just this front space has captured the essence of LA. With its black and white contrasts along with creams and silver it has a feel of an incredibly designed Hollywood Hills home. Throughout my wait I also monitor a woman that stands at the podium for Tres which is only a few feet from the front door. Can you believe that she knew every guest that walked by? She didn’t just give a “Hello Sir” she actually remembered names. Talk about personalization. After a few minutes a man in an exquisite suit came up to me and asked if I would like anything. But the way he asked was like I could ask for anything in the world and he could give it to me. Later I realized he would be my private concierge for the day. He was my very own Barnard from Pretty Woman, willing to please any request except my ‘Barney’ was named Diego.
My partners in crime for the day arrive. In tow is Dana Damato who is a lifestyle and entertainment journalist, Ryan Totka who is the owner of Athlete Promotions as well as a marketing guru, and finally Terez Owens of TerezOwens.com. When we arrive on the rooftop and enter to serene scene by the pool and I ask the bartender for Emily Bernstein, who is the magical woman that set up the whole day for us. The bartender, Jorge, tells us to pick any cabana we want and says another classic line to make us feel like home, “We’ve been expecting you.”
As the clothes come off and the sun kisses our perfectly oiled skin, well at least Dana and I, the laptops come out and the WiFi starts buzzing. You didn’t think I was just going to lay out by the pool without attending business did you? Our waitress Amy and Rochelle greeted us and made sure our mouths were not parched. With mojitos on their way, the boys watching ESPN in the cabana, the MacBook fully charged, and the light breeze that caters to our hot bodies I realize that this is the life.
The rooftop pool is framed by, well just that frames. Along the glass walls is peppered with beast like mirrors that are framed in baroque-ish gold and silver frames. Each cabana has a privacy to it but also enough room where you can peek out and talk to your neighbors. Since the rooftop pool is only offered to guests of the hotel it gave us a sense of security. The SLS is inviting to all genres of people so there is an eclectic array of people watching. Whether its Hollywood’s latest leading lady, music’s most influential Rapper, Wall Street’s hippest broker, or LA’s hottest bloggers and creators there is still a sense of community that this place offers. We at least all agree on one thing. Good taste.
Throughout the day we are constantly checked in on by my Diego Sosa, Manager of F&B venues. I realized he was meant to be my right hand man for the day when I noticed his pink collared shirt that was hiding behind a perfectly matched pink tie. Once again he and the rest of the SLS staff made sure we had all that we wanted.
If you think it’s impossible to do work at a pool I’d beg to differ. While managing my social media and writing articles I hear Terez say that he has invited a few friends to stop by. As always all of our networking skills go into play. Arriving with her hot legs was Brittany Gilman who owns BG Sportswhich is a marketing, PR, and management agency that handles some of NFL’s top athletes along with other sports. Along with her was Indy race care driver Ryan Phinny who shared some fantastic stories about his career. As much as we laughed and enjoyed each others company, we also talked shopped. Ryan Totka talked to Brittany about branding her athletes and getting them booked at events and updating their websites while I later talked to Brittany about doing some social media work. So don’t let the string bikini’s full you. It was all about business. If you can have a hotel make you feel like home but luxurious enough to handle business all by the pool then this should be where all professionals go.
Later I finally met Emily Bernstein who is Director of Marketing and she was an absolute doll face. She greeted me with a huge smile and I told her that everyone was impressed and it looks like more like minded people such as myself will be looking to the SLS for their next event or stay. After thanking her for setting us up for a whole day ofSunBlogging I polished my delicious french fries from Jose Andres kitchen and started packing up. I’m sure he would have wanted me to have a more delectable course but those fries were crunchy on the outside and pure mash on the inside. I couldn’t resist.
As I left the hotel and walked to my car I realized that in fact I had it all wrong. I thought I was doing everything right. I brainstormed creative ideas, made contacts with new people, got a bronzed suntan, and even had a delicious cucumber mojito that I hope they put on their menu this summer and call it the ‘Lauren Pacheco‘, but I still felt that I forgot to do something. Then I realized what I didn’t do… I should have booked a room there! All that business by the pool is quite tiring. So next time you want to do business at the Altitude pool be sure to book a room so that you can retire for a few hours before hitting up their restaurant The Bazaar, then when you wake up the next morning you can do it all over again.
A special thanks to Chanell Oliver for introducing me to Emily Bernstein who essentially made the day a perfect fantasy land. And of course Diego for his charm, Amy and Rochelle for their constant catering, and then to bartender Jorge with the mesmerizing blue eyes and the heavy hand. Thanks for the “We’ve Been Expecting You” attitude.
I’ll be back.