Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Play


at the Mondrian Hotel
8440 Sunset Blvd. (at Queens Road), West Hollywood, CA
(323) 848-6025 or (323) 650-8999


Leonardo DiCaprio stayed in a penthouse suite at the Mondrian Hotel for a weekend party. Jean-Claude Van Damme met (and fell in love with) singer Jewel at the hotel's Sky Bar. Rod Stewart held court poolside. Melissa Joan Hart of ABC's "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," doesn't like the atmosphere. Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser M.D.") does.

The Sky Bar is the creation of Randy Gerber, the husband of supermodel
Cindy Crawford.

The Mondrian hotel has long been popular with the rock crowd, attracting members of the Smashing Pumpkins, Guns and Roses, Public Enemy, Hole (with Courtney Love), The Who, Poison, the Cranberries, Gipsy Kings and others.

     

But the Sky Bar has quickly become the hottest night spot in town for celebs. It's an intimate, low-key outdoor venue, where stars lounge poolside, enjoying a spectacular view of L.A. below. But it's hardly glitzy - it's more or less an open-air hut made of logs, with a tin roof and white curtains for walls. Chaises longues (described by some as "large mattresses") are arranged near the pool below ("The Water Salon") where guests can recline under trees decorated with lighted candles, sip drinks and take in the city view. There's a 40's ambiance of sorts, including period furniture and a roaming cigarette girl. Waitresses dressed in halter tops and white skirts serve drinks to guests in the bar and around the pool. It's been said that the place "looks like a movie set."

Following the 2002 Academy Awards, the Sky Bar played host to a party featuring Best Actor winner Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"), Benicio Del Toro, Tara Reid and Rachel Weisz.

Mel Gibson, Holly Hunter, Aaron Spelling, Neve Campbell, Jacqueline Bisset, Elle Macpherson, Peter Morton, Anna Nicole Smith, Joely Fisher, Oliver Stone, Quincy Jones, Robert Forster and Gabriel Byrne have all been spotted here.

The problem with the exclusive Sky Room is getting in. Most walk-ins have little luck getting past the doorman. One sure route is to stay at the Mondrian hotel as a guest - a hotel room key immediately gains you entrance to the Sky Bar. Otherwise, you might want to try to calling for reservations for dinner (served until 9 p.m.) to get on the guest list. The peak social scene is around 1 a.m. And the Sky Bar isn't cheap - drinks are a flat $18 each (age 21 & over only).

One alternative is to settle for the hotel's lobby bar - "The Table"; it's easy to get into, and also boasts its share of celeb guests.

In February of 1999, the Sky Bar got a new neighbor at the Mondrian: a new restaurant called Asia de Cuba. . According to the L.A. Times, stars seen at the restaurant in just the first two weeks include the Rolling Stones, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Wesley Snipes, Michael Richards, k.d. lang, Rebecca De Mornay, Lara Flynn Boyle, Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley. A 1999 Oscars party at Asia de Cuba drew Sophia Loren, Warren Beatty, Gina Gershon, Michael Eisner and Governor Gray Davis, among others.

In 1999, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman showed up for an Esquire party, along with Andie MacDowell and Jason Biggs.

And more recently, Asia de Cuba has seen the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson.

As you might expect from its name, the restaurant offers Asian-Cuban food - served family-style.

Getting there: The Sky Bar is located behind the Mondrian Hotel, at the southwest corner of Sunset Strip and Olive Drive, just east of La Cienega Blvd., and across Olive from the House of Blues. The outdoor bar area itself can be tricky to find (located down a modest walkway.).

[For more information about the Mondrian Hotel, you can access their website at: http://www.mondrianhotel.com/mondrianhotel.]



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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