Tara Bernerd Discusses Designing Thompson Hollywood

Located on Wilcox Avenue north of Sunset Boulevard, Thompson Hollywood—which was five years in the making—is a first, at least in two regards: This is the first California property of the Thompson Hotels brand and the first California project designed by British studio Tara Bernerd & Partners.



Designed by Tara Bernerd & Partners, Thompson Hollywood Recently Opened Hotel Is Set to Become a New Hot Spot in Los Angeles

Despite the challenge to complete everything in the midst of a global lockdown, which required many to work remotely, the result doesn’t disappoint. The 190 guest rooms (of which 16 are suites), lobby lounge and bar, and expansive terrace with pool deck occupy the 11 floors of the building.

“It was a dream project, in a dream location,” Tara Bernerd says. 

A trellis-covered walkway leads to double Crittall doors that invite visitors to step inside the lobby clad in timber, while the pale terrazzo floor is inlaid with a brass pattern. A mix of midcentury and contemporary furniture combines with bespoke Tara Bernerd & Partners-designed rugs as well as rich fabrics and textures in a glamorous atmosphere balanced with an industrial edge. 

The refined yet approachable areas flow seamlessly, including the lobby lounge and bar where guests and locals can sit on L-shaped banquettes or vintage-inspired stools and chairs surrounded by greenery for a fresh touch. 

“We have layered pops of our signature petrol, blue, rich tobacco leathers, and fresh linens, whilst woven textiles add to the interplay of materiality,” Tara Bernerd says.

Created as calm and welcoming sanctuaries, the guest rooms and suites—adorned with walnut wood floors, cream walls, bold midcentury lighting fixtures, and contemporary artworks—also reflects the effortless home-away-from-home feeling, which pervades every space of the hotel. 

“We look to the landscape or cityscape of the location to inspire our palettes,” Tara Bernerd explains.

“By drawing upon the local culture, the history, the climate, and the atmosphere of a place, we seek to embrace the character and identity of the place it is set.” 

For this project, the team was drawn to the local vernacular of the West Coast Modern design movement, which spoke to the architecture of the building, and introduced “a playful dash of old-school Hollywood glamour, whilst maintaining a contemporary approach,” as Tara Bernerd describes.

“The hotel has been designed to appeal to a savvy, sophisticated, design-conscious traveler.”

Approachable luxury is one of the key concepts behind the design of Thompson Hollywood, which has a rooftop overlooking both the Hollywood Hills and the city. A California-style pool bar, lounge chairs surrounding the pool, terrazzo planters, and Mediterranean influences make this outdoor area a true haven in the middle of Los Angeles

“Thompson Hollywood is a project that is very close to my heart,” Tara Bernerd confesses.

“We have been working with Thompson Hotels for well over a decade and have helped them evolve the design DNA for the brand.” The story continues. 

Tara Bernerd & Partners |
Thompson Hollywood |

Bar Lis / Photo Credit: Michael Mundy
The Terrace / Photo Credit: Michael Mundy
Hotel / Photo Credit: Trevor Tondro


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