An Alternative to the W Hotel
So I was in town for a wedding and for some reason, my fav, the W Hotel was fully booked, so after a few recommendations by LA friends, I booked a room in the Sofitel Hotel. It's supposed to be perfectly located, across the street from the Beverly Center and walking distances to many places (nobody walks in LA, so this is really a moot point).
Black Lobby Makes Serious First Impression
Unfortunately, I went from the airport to a club and didn't get to the hotel until 4am when the skeleton crew was out. The first impression was one of quiet subduedness. The hotel was large and bright outside, but the lobby was very very dark. The eye candy at the front desk was very nice but couldn't program a key card, no problem, the bellhop escorted me to my room and let me in.
The room itself was very small, granted, I got the absolutely least expensive room, but at $285/night, it's not all that cheap.
The bed was also very nice, with the signature SO feather bed and duvet (I'll confess, I bought a W Hotel bed from Simmons Beautyrest with the plush top, also another uber nice bed a la Hastens' level of comfort, best $1100 I've spent).
This bed is very soft and comfortable, the duvet is snuggly soft and the down pillows are amazing (I need to get some hypoallergenic pillows like these).
I will follow my compliments with the following comment, the featherbed is ideal for sleeping and probably too soft and fluffy for other bed-related activities.
The All-important Amenities
The Frette bath robes x 2 were a nice touch. The Sofitel hotel terry slippers were nice, but were of the disposable variety. The furnishings of the room was slight above standard fare from a Hyatt or Hilton.
A 30 inch LCD LG tv was a nice touch. I must say, for someone who doesn't own a TV at home, I was rather impressed by the picture qualities of the LCD TV on the HD channels, it's hypnotic, I was watching Tiger Woods on HD and couldn't take my eyes away, and I don't even like golf.
Like all hotels, it comes with a safe in the room and a little minibar with microsensors that detect movement of the beverage, so if you move it, you'll get charged. Don't open the thing up to examine it because the door contents might move and you might get charged.
There's soda, Pelligrino, and Heinekin in there, probably $10/bottle. On the other note, there's a bottle of Evian on your nightstand waiting for you. Wonder will they charge you for it? I drank mine.
The Bathroom Scene
The bathroom was very nice, I absolutely loved the shower stall with the overhead shower head. The TV's program is piped into the bathroom via a speaker under the sink. The counter is a smooth polished stone, not marble, maybe lime.
The sink is a very chic rectangular shape, very NYC SoHOish! Front lit lights from behind the mirror plus a magnified vanity mirror ensures you identify all your imperfections prior to hitting the town.
The bathroom door is a slider that gently slips closed. One complaint about the bathroom? The toilet takes too long to refill the tank and it goes about it in a noisy fashion.
Soundproof Rooms But No 'No Smoking' Policy
Now, I don't know if the walls are super thick or what, or maybe my neighbors were just sleeping at 4am, but I didn't hear a mutter from any of my neighbors during my stay, which is what I absolutely need.
I can't stand the TV or muffled conversation noise from neighbors and the Sofitel hotel does not impose that discomfort on me.
Unfortunately, when I woke up, I smelled cigarette smoke. I requested a non-smoking room and called down to the front desk, which confirmed that I was in a non-smoking room, but was able to move me to another floor and room.
The first room opened up to a view of the Hollywood Hills, which is a nice view, but not a huge incentive to keep the tobacco fume filled room. The second room faced the Beverly Center, so I got a view of people taking the escalators to their shopping in Bloomingdales.
I also got to count the number of Bentleys rolling around the streets of Hollywood. [Ed. Question: Could you see if it was Paris driving?]
Service and Room Service Details
The service was prompt throughout my stay. Calls were answered quickly and worries addressed instantly. Room service was nice, they addressed you by your name when you call before you introduce yourself.
The food was pretty good (not that you can mess up eggs over easy or anything) and I guess $27 for two eggs, three sausages, 2 slices of toast, hash brown and fresh squeezed orange juice is a decent price since it is delivered to your door (I think a diner will probably charge about $15, so add about $10 for hotel convenience).
The concierge was also very helpful and fast. From printing the boarding pass for my flight to calling a cab (parked across the street) the wait for service at the Sofitel Los Angeles averaged 5 seconds.
The lobby is very dark at night but more vibrant by day. The front desk is on the left as is the concierge table. The small business office is there too, with internet access while sitting on these ultra cool clear plastic bubble stools.
To the right of the lobby is the gift shop in front of the elevator, I think it's open early because it was open at 7am when I left the hotel. It's similar to the W Hotel gift shop, a lot of novelty item.
Adjacent to the gift shop is a sitting area with deep couches that stretched the length of my 6 foot frame, I had to slouch back on those things and still use a pillow on my back. They are very very deep.
Hot Girls at Stone Rose
The sitting area precedes the entrance to the LA Simon Restaurant which is supposed to be a trendy restaurant with a famous chef (their eggs/breakfast is pretty good, as described above). Also here is the Stone Rose, which is a night club/bar/lounge and supposedly a hot spot.
After the wedding, I returned home exhausted only to discover dozens of hot babes in skirts that ended slightly north of the butt cheeks hovering around the front of the hotel and inside the lobby. I guess it must be a hot spot indeed, to see and be seen.
Unfortunately, I had an early flight, otherwise, I'm there! Oh yeah, being a guest at the hotel gets you onto the VIP list at the Stone Rose.
Overall, the Sofitel was a very positive experience and despite the $285/night price tag, I would return again. The amenities were excellent and the service was outstanding.
· Best Hotel Renovation: Sofitel Los Angeles [HotelChatter]