It’s usually a surprise to people when we tell them that Los Angeles has very strong French influences. But it does!  In fact, we have found so many French connections doing our Finding France: Los Angeles video series at we think they are a great travel guide for an L.A. French getaway! And a room with a view is a great start.

Between Hollywood and Beverly Hills

It makes sense to launch your getaway adventure from a French hotel. When we began shooting our Finding France series, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills gave Leah a lovely room to stay in after her flight from France. For your L.A. French getaway, this hotel might be a perfect place to put you into “l’ambiance.”

The Southern View

The hotel is a 4-star and it is on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard opposite of the Beverly Shopping Center. This is so fitting because the Beverly Shopping Center originally featured a Paris Pompidou Center-style monumental staircase connecting the street to the mall above. The mall is remodeled today. But if you look across Beverley Boulevard from the hotel’s south side, you can still see remnants of these stairs.

The Beverly Center “Pompidu’ Stairs

The Northern View

To the north, the hotel views encompass the landmark Hollywood Sign and the famous Hollywood Hills where the gorgeous homes of so many of L.A.’s rich and famous hug the slopes. The celebrated Sunset Strip follows along the foot of these hills. Another great sight are the colorful buildings of the Pacific Design Center. The easiest to spot is the giant blue glass structure known as the “Blue Whale.” It got its nickname because when it was built in 1975 it loomed large and long over the neighborhood. The leviathan seemed beached and solitary because it was not open to the public. It housed only non-retail stores for professional interior designers.


The ‘Blue Whale’ design center

Today the “Blue Whale” is no longer alone. A red and a green building also make up the 1.6 million square-foot Pacific Design Center campus. The complex contains 100 designer showrooms, public art areas, upscale restaurants, a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art, a conference center, a theater and an office park. Of course, a number of French designers, including the fine furniture and decorative collections of Jean de Merry, are part of the international brands that occupy the showrooms!

Watch The Episode Here!

Very strong French influences

Meanwhile, the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills itself is a unique showroom of sorts. Sofitel’s Cecile Sandral-Lasbordes says they strive to make the hotel a unique France and Los Angeles experience.

“L.A. is so much like the French Rivera, and that is the theme. The Sofitel, in general as a brand, is all about blending,” Cecile tells Leah in our video. “We take the best of local culture and blend it with the French heritage and legacy. So for L.A., the City of Angeles, Hollywood, the story telling we have here is glamour meets French elegance and the connection to it is the French Riviera.”

Cecile says the hotel’s atmosphere is more like the French geographical region of Provence than to Paris. “Absolutely, in terms of climate, the vibe and style, the French Riviera is pretty similar to California.”

You can see that Los Angeles has very strong French influences. The names of the hotel’s restaurant and bar are familiar to the south of France as well. The restaurant’s name is L’Esterel after France’s southern coastal mountains, the Massif de l’Estrerel. The bar, Riviera 31, honors the geographic area of southern France along the Mediterranean Sea.

Restaurant L’Esterel

Even the colors of the decor are keeping with the blending theme, says Cecile.

“Our lobby is much more edgy and modern like the dynamism of Los Angeles. And our rooms are the colors of the traditional villas of the south of France with soft beige and terracotta.”

Then there is what LA and the French Riviera share such as a love of fitness and luxury. Sofitel’s very chic ‘So Spa’ is the only one in North America!

Close To Everything

For your L.A. French getaway, one of the best things about this hotel is it’s location. It is in easy reach of many of the sights of French influence you can find in our Los Angeles Finding France videos and blogs.

From Hollywood and Downtown to Venice Beach, we hope you enjoy the fascinating French connections we are finding and can use them as a travel guide to understanding more about the unique culture of Los Angeles.

Don’t forget, if you make your own Finding France discoveries we would love to hear about them!


Find France for Yourself

Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

8555 Beverly Blvd,

Los Angeles, CA 90048