When the places you stay at are pivotal to your travel experience–be it by virtue of a uniquely artistic design, a special location, in-house events or unusual services that offer extra insight into the city or town you’re visiting
Contemporary Glamour Meets Hollywood’s Golden Age
By Jacqueline Fitzgerald
Just steps away from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Zorro and Johnny Depp impersonators, tour bus operators and camera-wielding out-of-towners, the Roosevelt Hotel’s lobby provides breezy respite from the hubbub of Hollywood Boulevard. Since 1927, guests have appreciated its Moorish-influenced design (monumental walls, airy arcades, muraled ceilings) and atmosphere of glamorous tranquility.
A favorite of powerbrokers and stars, such as Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, the hotel was built to cater to East Coast movie-makers working in Los Angeles. Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Louis B. Mayer were among its backers.
The first Oscars ceremony took place in the Blossom Room on May 16, 1929. Additionally, the Roosevelt has been a location for many films including Charlie’s Angels II (2003), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Internal Affairs (1990) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).
In 2005, the 300-room hotel became part of the Thompson Hotels Group and underwent renovation by designer Dodd Mitchell. The results managed to preserve the property’s Spanish Colonial Revival character while enticing the Hollywood in crowd and other offshoots of the Beautiful People tribe, whether for overnight stays or an evening’s entertainment.
This isn’t to say that everyone you see is strategically evading the paparazzi. There’s much potential for people-watching of all sorts and plenty of places to explore.
Teddy’s nightclub, for example, bills itself as a celebrity haunt hideaway. At the 1920s-inspired Spare Room, a gaming parlor and drinks lounge, you can bowl, play games or just relax. The Library Bar offers handcrafted cocktails. Public Kitchen & Bar is a casual dining room, and 25 Degrees puts a creative twist on burgers, fries and milkshakes. Outside, at the Tropicana bar, you can cool off with a beverage or a dip in the water and see David Hockney’s work on the bottom of the pool.
On a recent visit, I stayed in one of the cabana rooms, which were refurbished in 2011. Clean lines, neutral colors (white, beige, grey) and a blend of textures (brick, blonde wood, glass and leather) catch the eye and create a mellow mood. The room wasn’t huge, but this is almost always the case in older hotels. If poolside lounging followed by a peaceful night is a priority, a cabana is the ideal place to stay.
All rooms and suites feature temperature-control units, two phone lines with speaker and conference capabilities, and in-room pantries. I enjoyed the oversized terry-cloth robe provided as well as the magnifying mirror and blowdryer in the bathroom. Bath products by C.O. Bigelow included conditioner, which is always a nice touch.
Checking in was easy. The pot of Lamill coffee I ordered in the morning arrived promptly and, when the room phone wasn’t working, a technician came quickly to fix it.
Rates vary but you can expect to pay about $290 in the main building and about $350 for a cabana room. My only quibble is that wi-fi/ internet access is an extra $15/day.
Otherwise, my stay allowed me to enjoy the high energy of Hollywood, knowing I could later escape to quiet comfort.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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