When a lounge shares correlations with the likes of “Beverly Hills”, “Sofitel Hotels, and “the French Riviera” there’s a good chance you’re in for a treat. Riviera 31 at the Sofitel Beverly Hills is no exception, it’s everything you hoped it would be and then some – it’s sophisticated, it’s chic, and it’s one of LA’s new favorite hotel hangouts. I love hotel bars, when ever I travel I make it a point to find and stay at hotels with swanky bars. For example, if I’m in Paris I go to the George V, if I’m in New York I go to the King Cole Bar, here at home in LA my curiosity and love for the finer things in life draws me to places like the SLS, The Standard, and now most recently Riviera 31 at the Sofitel.
I’m not giving Riviera 31 any justice by referring to it simply as a hotel bar. Friends, it is much much more than your average hotel bar, let alone new LA lounge, let me tell you. There’s sexy in the air, a grand piano, an outdoor heated patio with plenty of cabana style seating, chandeliers, well dressed patrons, a fabulous bar, and familiar faces like Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Princess Grace to welcome you and lead you in to the proper golden age era of old Hollywood mindset. If you didn’t already feel stylish strutting through the Sofitel lobby, wait till you see just what awaits you at the end of the dim-lit hallway to the right. If the idea was to give curious guests a taste of what exactly French Riviera posh meets Beverly Hills glam feels like, well my friends then Riviera 31 is doing it right.
Riviera 31 opened very recently and I was fortunate enough to go the weekend after its official opening (two nights in a row!). My first night there I arrived around 9pm on a Friday night and was pleasantly surprised to find the usual ‘after work’ crowd ready to start their weekend off in proper LA fashion by winding down at a bar with friends. The overall feel was relaxed but not boring, crowded but not over crowded – Goldilocks over here was happy to say the least. We secured a corner spot with a table and ordered small bites and beverages (the flatbreads and tuna cone do-da’s were amazing) and enjoyed the familiar tunes the DJ was spinning. Despite my incredibly enjoyable night, I am admittedly disappointed in myself for not having ordered a famed cocktail creation from master mixologist Matthew Biancaniello (formerly Library Bar), but in my defense their wines by the glass were too good to pass up! Good news is I have every bit of faith that I will return in no time for that next beverage.
Funny actually, I returned much quicker than anticipated as I ended up back at Riviera 31 the very next night and I have to say, Saturday at the Sofitel is a freakin blast. I was with a group who was hosting their events after party in the Riviera 31 VIP room and we didn’t realize exactly all the treats we were in for. The crowd was much larger, there was an air of excitement, there were surprise performances by a singer (like a really, really good and extremely babe-ing out of control singer), there was a burlesque dancer, and then of course there was a DJ and dancing on tables. I usually find most of the latter to be sometimes awkward or tacky even, but I tell you what, they were perfect performances and never has dancing on tables seemed so classy. Everyone was oo-ing and ah-ing, socializing, and enjoying the night. Me maybe more than most, I danced on the damn table for cryin out loud! Riviera 31 brought a whole new fun side out in me, and I can officially check “dancing on a table wearing plenty of clothes and Sam Edelman leopard slip-ons without spilling a drop of wine” off my bucket list.
Go for the swank, stay for the cocktails and table dancing. Riviera 31 I will see you again very soon.