I have just had the pleasure, and I do mean pleasure, of staying at The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is celebrating it’s one year anniversary, so what a perfect time to stay; everything still looks and feels brand spanking new in addition to being gorgeously gussied up for the Holiday Season. All the little kinks that naturally need ironing out in any new venture are gone, and in their place is a thing of perfection. The hotel is beautiful and conveniently located to shopping and, uh…more shopping. The suites are large and well appointed, as are the bathrooms. Room service is excellent and ties with The Carlyle in NY for being the fastest of any hotel I’ve stayed at in the U.S. The restaurants and bar have a lovely warm atmosphere, goodness- even the gift shop is great!! Unfortunately I didn’t have time to experience the 20,000 sq. ft. fitness and spa facilities (Did I mention it was conveniently close to great shopping?!) Most importantly, the service is, in a word, phenomenal. From the moment we got out of our car, til our heads hit the comfy pillows, the staff at the Montage treated us royally. Not in an unctuous, over the top disingenuous way, just super- friendly, helpful and how’s this for a change- they were GREAT at their jobs!! I know… take a moment… sit down if you have to. Alas, some good has come from the recession, at least in the hotel industry; all the cream has risen to the top and they’re employed at The Montage. So if you’re looking for a place to park your weary self while getting your shopping done this season, The Montage, located next to the new Bouchon restaurant and across from Maestro’s Steak house is a real treat. More good news (besides the staff, the beds, the linens, the room service, the bathrooms, the bar, the gift shop and the 20,000 sq. ft. spa) they have great “Anniversary and Holiday packages” right now. With all the gloom and doom permeating the collective consciousness at the moment, a couple of nights at The Montage is like a trip to Disney Land for grown ups. If Mickey really knew his wine pairings.