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While you might be decorating your house with garland right now, we're thinking of another kind of Garland right now. Los Angeles' North Hollywood neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley is finally getting a much-needed boutique hotel, giving visitors to Universal Studios a stylish place to rest their head for the night (as opposed to settling for a budget chain nearby.)
The existing Beverly Garland Hotel, founded by the actress in 1970, has just started a $20 million, multi-phase redesign that will culminate in the reopening of the hotel this summer as The Garland. The renovation will upgrade all 242 guest rooms, 14 suites and public spaces with a new look designed by Forchielli Glynn, who have designed the suites at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. The Garland will also get a pool bar and a new "secret garden" outdoor venue for weddings and social events.
While the rooms do look gorgeous, we're most excited for Executive Chef Warren Schwartz's new restaurant. Previously, Schwartz worked at the Viceroy Santa Monica before leaving to open the Westside Tavern on Pico in West LA (which is still one of our fave pre/post-movie dinner spots.) Here at The Garland, Schwartz will open The Front Yard when the hotel reopens this summer. In the meantime, he's running Warren's Blackboard, an experimental sort of restaurant that will show off the "culturally diverse Los Angeles food culture." Eater LA says, "Think Korean braised short rib with spiced pumpkin and spinach; pappardelle with lamb tomato ragu; and churros with dulce de leche ice cream."
Yum. Heading out to the Valley never sounded so good.
As you can tell, the hotel is open through the renovations. We found rooms for next weekend for $169 a night.
[Photo: The Garland]
If you're headed to Hollywood to spend the day (or two or three) at the Universal Studios Themepark, then your closet bet for lodgings is the Sheraton Universal Hotel. While the hotel looks more office tower than resort, the interiors have gotten a "Hollywood Regency" upgrade worth about $25 million.
To celebrate the new look, its 40th anniversary and any sort of celeb connection they can ("Jennifer Aniston once worked near here!"), the hotel is offering guests a Ruby Anniversary Package that includes an executive suite with a living area and a view of the Hollywood Hills, a six-course dinner for two with wine pairings in the re-launched Californias Restaurant and an in-room dessert of chocolate truffles accompanied by Dow Late Bottled Vintage ruby port. That's actually not so bad if you and your partner love Universal Studios as much as you love each other.
And the prices are do-able too at $349 a night. If you want to celebrate a special occasion, throw in some crystal ruby dangle earrings from Beverly Hills jeweler Geary's for a total cost of $844. Use code 40THANIV to book. Regular rooms start at around $139. There will also be a $16 self-parking fee.