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Once again, here's your semi-regular update on the Los Angeles hotel scene....
The Loews Santa Monica: We've been chronicling the exterior update to the Loews Santa Monica since the beginning of the year. The other day we drove by at sundown and noticed special light projections on the exterior as well as a living wall. Pretty! But it turns out changes were happening on the inside as well. Guestrooms have new glass balconies that enable better enjoyment of the Pacific Ocean views. Later this year the pool will get premium poolside cabana rooms and beach-level rooms that will have residential-style patios, complete with fire pits. Rates at the hotel start at $498 a night for a weekend in mid-May. Ocean view rooms are more at $588.
The Moment: Last we checked in on The Moment, the new boutiquey hotel in Hollywood (above), the place had missed its planned February opening. Looking on the hotel website today, we still can't book a room for tonight or later this weekend or the first of May. We were, however, able to find a room in mid-May for $235 a night for a queen bed. That includes free WIFi and complimentary bikes. While the website may not have room rezzies open for tonight at this time, it does sport some cool new photos of the rooms. If you can splurge, the king suite patio at 600-sq.ft. looks the coolest with two flat-screen TVs and even a Keurig machine.
Attention "Mind Body Spa" junkies! Exhale Spa is now officially open at Loews Hollywood (formerly the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel), so Core Fusion fans no longer have to trek to Santa Monica for barre squats. We do love the beach but you can bet we're signing up in Hollywood STAT.
Exhale had a grand opening party on February 13 and we are officially regular customers. The 7,000-square-foot spa has men and women's changing rooms equipped with glass-wall steam rooms, a relaxation lounge with clove-spiced, hot-neck pillows and another lounge with all sorts of munchies and beverages. There are seven therapy rooms (two that have showers), including a couple's room with jacuzzi tub. Clean up them nails in the mani/pedi station and, should you need to cool off, the outdoor swimming pool with cabanas is plunge-worthy.
Exhale means serious business here. As in, they knocked down three hotel rooms to accommodate for their cultish classes (ahem, Core Fusion), so expect that to roll out this summer. In the meantime, get a massage, facial, acupuncture, whatever you need to restore Zen. If you require some inspiration, there's a Buddha statue in the hallway. Namaste!
Rates from $249 a night.
[Photo: Exhale Spa]
We just drove by the newest hotel to open in Hollywood, The Moment Hotel, and it was not the moment we'd been waiting for.
The site, initially expected to open this month, is still heavily under construction. It did look like one wing of the former 1950s motel known as the Sunset Inn & Suites was completed and we even spied curtains in the windows. However, the entrance and the funky rooftop bar are still taking shape.
A sign out front is now saying The Moment will open sometime this spring but according to the hotel's website, reservations open as early as March 1.
We're guessing the hotel and its 39 rooms will soft-open around then as there's no way the entire spot can be finished in 10 days. But with rates starting around $220 a night, we say save your $$ and wait until it's completely finished before spending the night.
[Photo: Juliana Shallcross for HotelChatter]
Hotel Hell The Show / Hotel News / Gordon Ramsay / Reality TV Hotels / Hotel Contests / Hollywood Hotels / → All Tags
Starting at noon and running until 8pm, a giant hotel door will be placed on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Hollywood & Highland complex. Hotel Hell bellhops will hand out branded keycards to onlookers and challenge them to see if their key will open the door.
Only three of these keys will actually work and those holding the keys will win an all-expenses paid trip to the U.S. destination of their choice. No word on what hotel they will stay in.
In the meantime, we'll be anxiously awaiting the premiere of Ramsay's show. Wethinks we might need to come up with a drinking game of some sort. We'll work on putting that together this weekend but just remember, you're always encouraged to share your own personal hotel hell with us anytime!
[Photo: Hotel Hell/Facebook]
Welcome to another hotel dispatch from our newest special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he's spends about 70 percent of his time on the road, staying in all the hot hotels and checking out their restaurants and bars to see if the social scene is up to snuff. If you're deciding whether or not to take a chance on that hip boutique hotel in the city, read The Smooth Operator for his opinion first. (Or send us an email and we'll have him answer it for you!)
The W Hollywood Hotel and Residences is the one Starwood Hotel that came with a "warning" three days prior to my visit. If you’re looking for "adult entertainment" and want to "live large, you’ve come to the right place." (see the notice I received before my stay in the gallery of photos below.)
At check-in, I was upgraded to a premium Spectacular room with a city view – which was exactly the same room I had last time and upon entering the room it was pretty obvious there was no city view – just a view of the fair going on in the parking lot across the street.
Not long ago, The BLVD Hotel opened up in Studio City giving Valley visitors to Los Angeles a stylish, boutique place to stay (as opposed to a chain brand.)
Well, despite a minor setback a few months after opening, it looks like things have gone well enough as BLVD is now readying a new spot in Hollywood.
Located on Highland and Franklin Avenues, not Hollywood Boulevard, in a former Comfort Inn, the BLVD Hollywood Hotel & Suites will have 62 rooms when completed, all done in a sleek and contemporary style. There is free WiFi on the property but only in the public spaces. Sorry, no pets are allowed and be prepared to spend $15 a night for parking.
The hotel's website says the hotel is still undergoing renovations and therefore not accepting reservations but we were able to check rates on Hotels.com and saw that they were around $121 a night. That's not bad for Hollywood but we hope when the celeb-loving BLVD opens for real (they already hosted a pre-opening bash with Mario Lopez), they can keep rates around $121 a night.
Hotel Rebrandings / Loews Hotels / Renaissance Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel News / YouFirst / → All Tags
Loews snapped up the property as one of its first steps in expanding the brand. There is already a Loews in Los Angeles on the beach in Santa Monica but the property at Hollywood and Highland is not only larger (632 rooms), it will get far more exposure and traffic as over 80 shops, 26 restaurants, two nightclubs, seven movie screens, eight bars, 12 bowling lanes and the Dolby Theatre (previously the Kodak) are all right there next to the hotel.
For now the rooms and public spaces at the Loews Hollywood will remain the same but Loews will begin a $26 million renovation later this year. The good news is, the hotel will stay open during the work.
Bummer for those guests who liked to use their Marriott Rewards points to stay at the Renaissance but with Loews' YouFirst loyalty program, after two stays you can get free WiFi.
Rates for the hotel in June start around $299 a night.
[Photo: Kalboz/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
Celebrity Scoop / Angelina Jolie / Thompson Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Wedding Hotels / Engagement Hotels / Celebrity Hotels / → All Tags
Professional lip pouter Angelina Jolie has officially announced her engagement to Brad Pitt. And whether the two of them will live happily ever after trotting the globe with their ever-expanding caravan of kiddies remains to be seen. However, all she's really concerned with now is showing off that 16-carat diamond ring on her finger.
Photographers caught a glimpse of the ring yesterday when the actress made her way into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. But what was she actually doing there? We know you're all dying to know. So here, as we see it, are the most likely scenarios:
She Scored a Deal On Hotwire
Everyone loves a bargain, and whether you're making minimum wage or you're the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, nabbing a room at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt for $122 a night is no small feat. Yep, that's the rate we scored a while ago during one of our routine Adventures in Blind Booking, and as we recall, it was a pretty awesome stay.
Hollywood Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Hilton Garden Inns / Hotels Near the Hollywood Bowl / → All Tags
After undergoing a modernizing makeover a few years ago, the former Holiday Inn just steps away from the Hollywood Bowl, reinvented itself as the hip new Hollywood Heights Hotel.
Aside from good-looking rooms at decent prices, the hotel also hosted quite a few post-show themed bashes depending on whoever was playing that night at the Bowl. But will all that change now that the hotel is turning into a Hilton Garden Inn?
The changeover officially happened on March 6 and there have been quite a few changes made. For starters, the Hideout restaurant has been replaced with the Great American Grill which is serving cook-to-order breakfast and dinner as well as evening room service.
Hotel Hype / Dream Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hampshire Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Looks like Hampshire Hotels will be "hopping off the plane at LAX with a dream and their cardigan." Ok, well maybe not the cardigan but definitely a dream...a Dream Hotel, that is.
The LA Times reports that construction on the 148-room hotel will begin in the spring at Selma Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard, right in the middle of Hollywood (and closest to the W Hollywood and The Redbury.)
Not many more details have been released but the hotel will have a rooftop swimming pool, a restaurant and a lounge. It should open in the fall of 2013. Is it us or does that just seem like forever away? Let's hope we don't forget about this dream in the meantime. But considering how long we waited for the Dream Downtown in NYC, we guess we'll be able to tough it out.
[Photo rendering: LA Times]
Miranda July, whose new movie The Future is narrated by a dying cat, turned up at the Standard Hollywood last month to do press interviews. Though we've never had the unique pleasure of being besieged by dozens of journalists in a fancy hotel room (all we can think of is that scene from Notting Hill, when Hugh Grant pretends to be a reporter from "Horse & Hound" in order to speak to Julia Roberts), we imagine things must get a little tedious.
But the ever-resourceful July made use of her idle time in the hotel room to compose a poem—about the hotel. Ready for the cutest, weirdest, and albeit shortest, hotel-inspired poem ever? Read on.
Nary an episode of Entourage airs without at least one scene taking place in a hot Hollywood hotel so it's no surprise that the final season of the bro show is starting off with Vince, Turtle, E and Johnny Drama living it up at the Hollywood Roosevelt in a penthouse suite.
Granted, they are only there because Turtle accidentally burned down their house but still, the guys have had a long love affair with the Roosevelt. (See here and here.) This time around they are presumably shacked up in the Gable Lombard Penthouse Suite at the hotel which has three full-size bedrooms (we're guessing Turtle and Johnny Drama are sharing) as well as a full-sized kitchen, vaulted ceilings, 1,500sq.ft. of roof deck space underneath the Hollywood Roosevelt sign, and a built-in surround system, among many other amenities.