Dimitri Dimitrov: Man of the Tower
by Sari Anne Tuschman
If you'e ever eaten at the Tower Bar in the historic Sunset Tower Hotel, you know Dimitri Dimitrov. He is the Tower Bar. You can find him six nights a week—sometimes seven—at the host stand of the restaurant, greeting guests with his trademark soft voice, his palms together in front of his chest as he bows slightly, saying in his Eastern European accent what a magical night it’s going to be. And he’s right. More often than not, it is a magical night at the Sunset Tower—largely thanks to him.
“Service is never about me, it’s about the guest having a good time and creating moments that last forever,” says Dimitrov. “Each night is a party of its own, and I’m focusing on these few hours while the guests are here, creating the experience for that particular night.” Those guests are often Sean Penn, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Ford, Anjelica Huston and Johnny Depp, as well as pretty much any movie producer, agency head or boldface name in town. But even a serious level of fame doesn’t faze Dimitrov—as long as you have a great experience, he’s happy. “I’m not starstruck. The regular client is very important—they are the VIPs,” he says. “It’s not about the actor; it’s about the atmosphere they create for the regular client.”
Born in Macedonia, Dimitrov left his native country around the age of 18, relocating to London and then Montreal before trading Canada’s harsh winters for LA’s year-round sunshine. For two decades, he was the manager/maître d’ at the Russian restaurant Diaghilev in the Bel Age hotel—now The London West Hollywood—and also did a short stint at L’Ermitage before being recruited almost four years ago by hotel owner Jeff Klein to head up service at the then newly renovated Sunset Tower. “If you ask me if it’s a job, it’s almost rude. It’s what I do,” says Dimitrov. “The line between when I’m on and off is blurred. I didn’t dream to be anything other than what I am right now—all my dreams have been achieved.”
photograph by Jenn Kennedy