One for the Kids
For decades since the Forties, this 1904 estate was home to Philip and Sylvia Lombardi, vocal coaches to opera divas, vaudevillians and Hollywood actors, including a Grease-era John Travolta (his autographed photo hangs near the vintage Kroeger piano in the foyer). But as neighbouring estates were razed and redeveloped, the rambling house faded and crumbled, seemingly destined for demolition. Then Jacques Massachi unveiled the lovingly restored Lombardi House, with funky Santa Fe-meets-Côte d’Azur interiors by local It-girl designer Amber Lewis. Each of the four large apartments has a kitchen, dining table and access to the sweet little garden – but suite 1721 is the winner, with three bedrooms and two pull-out sofas, which easily sleeps eight. Concierge services include babysitting as well as obtaining the standard show tickets. There may even be an exhibition or event on in the restored stable-barn out back. Wedged between Highway Route 101 and the theatres and restaurants of Hollywood, the mansion’s wide lawn and gorgeous grapefruit trees insulate it from the sweltering LA madness. Its laid-back atmosphere is best characterised by the resident iguana, often found sunbathing on the lawn.