LVMH has unveiled plans to open the first U.S. location of the Cheval Blanc Hotel in Beverly Hills. This confirms a report in WWD from March 2019.
The property will be designed by architect Peter Marino, and is expected to open in 2025, following Cheval Blanc hotels at LVMH’s La Samaritaine complex in Paris, currently scheduled for April, and in London’s Mayfair, scheduled for 2022.
The Los Angeles hotel will sit at the the intersection of Rodeo Drive, Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard, encompassing three contiguous parcels of land that the luxury giant has been collecting over the past two years.
In March 2018, LVMH bought a 6,200-square-foot empty retail space at 456 North Rodeo Drive for $110 million. Then, in September, the luxury powerhouse headed by billionaire Bernard Arnault purchased 468 North Rodeo Drive, the 22,250-square-foot, multistory building at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard that was previously occupied by Brooks Brothers, for $245 million from the trust of the family of Margaret J. Anderson, who built the pink stucco Beverly Hills Hotel. In November, LVMH scooped up the 26,523-square-foot Paley Center for Media museum behind the store, at 465 North Beverly Drive, from New York private real estate investment firm Jenel Management for $80 million. Together, the parcels create more than 50,000 square feet of real estate on which to build.
The principal façade will be along Little Santa Monica Boulevard, featuring a port cochere with multilevel landscaping. A pedestrian plaza with a custom art piece will welcome pedestrians at the corner of Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. The hotel will include 115 guest rooms, rooftop pools, a private penthouse pool and a private club, according to a release.
Cheval Blanc Beverly Hills will create an estimated 400 permanent new jobs. It is the latest in a series of investments in Beverly Hills by LVMH, which owns or leases 18 properties in the area, employing more than 240 people and paying $7.2 million in property taxes in 2019, according to a company statement. Total tax revenue from LVMH’s Beverly Hills properties was $26.7 million in 2019. LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co. will increase those figures.
“We are delighted to announce the first Cheval Blanc hotel in the U.S., destined for the heart of Beverly Hills. LVMH has a long and successful presence on Rodeo Drive and we look forward to expanding our role in the City with this exceptional new destination,” said Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH. “Peter Marino has designed a magnificent hotel that will offer unrivaled hospitality, as well as dining and retail locations, and enhance Rodeo Drive’s reputation as an unparalleled luxury destination.”
Marino received his first Excellence in Design Award from the architectural commission of the city of Beverly Hills in 1994 and his most recent award from the city in 2015 for the Louis Vuitton building on Rodeo Drive. His work includes the Fendi and Chanel stores on Rodeo Drive.
Although retail real estate can be finicky in Los Angeles, the famed Beverly Hills shopping thoroughfare has been a bright spot. Christian Louboutin recently revealed he is moving his flagship from Robertson Boulevard to Rodeo Drive, where L.A. designer Mike Amiri will open his first store later this year. Gucci just opened a dedicated men’s boutique and Gucci Osteria restaurant. In recent years, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga both moved from Melrose Avenue to Rodeo, Saint Laurent added a second store (one for men and one for women), and Goyard opened a flagship. And Louis Vuitton had success driving traffic to the street last year with its 10-room Louis Vuitton X pop-up, showcasing the house’s 160-year history of collaborations with artists from Sol LeWitt to Jeff Koons to L.A.’s Alex Israel, in the same spot where the Cheval Blanc hotel will sit.
The art theme will carry over to the new property. “Our intention was to conceive a vibrant addition to the City of Beverly Hills and a new icon for both the city and Cheval Blanc,” Marino said. “Our approach started with the location and context of Beverly Hills, resulting in an innovative, modern, Southern California design. Working with artists is an essential aspect of my work, and site-specific artworks are being commissioned for the new hotel, both inside and out.”
Commissioned art pieces will decorate the interior and exterior of the hotel, including at the new pedestrian plaza. The project will implement a variety of green construction standards designed to achieve the rating of LEED silver or better, according to the release, including electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle parking, provisions for rooftop solar collectors, and the recycling of at least 50 percent of demolition and construction materials.
The French luxury goods firm opened the first Cheval Blanc hotel in 2006, located in the ski resort of Courchevel in the French Alps. Three other hotels complete the roster: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in the Caribbean, Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives and the recently acquired Cheval Blanc St-Tropez, set to open in May. The Cheval Blanc Paris, also designed by Marino, will be the first time the concept is applied to a city.
Over the past few years, LVMH has been ramping up investment in the hospitality sector, purchasing Belmond Ltd. for $2.6 billion, with a portfolio of 46 luxury hotel, restaurant, train and river cruise properties, including New York’s 21 Club, the Orient Express and Royal Scotsman trains. The group also owns the six Bulgari hotels.