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Does The Sofitel LA still have that certain je ne sais quoi we've come to love about Sofitels? A HotelChatter Review
We noticed earlier this year that some changes were afoot at Sofitel Los Angeles, with both a new restaurant and bar coming to the Beverly Hills outpost of the French brand, replacing SimonLA and Rande Gerber’s Stone Rose. Just this past weekend, we had a chance to check it out in more detail, spending the night here while in town.
Check-In: We drove to the Sofitel from LAX, which takes about 45 minutes if traffic isn’t too bad. Valet parking is $34 a day (with in and out privileges), which adds up quickly. Reception is to your left as you enter the black marble lobby, with a beautiful black and white drawing of Los Angeles behind the desk, contrasting with deep purple flower arrangements. After the typical bonjour-greeting, we were on our way to our third-floor room in minutes.
Downtown LA Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Hotel Construction / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
Construction began on the hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel across from the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at LA Live just last March but the hotel looks nearly finished, at least on the outside.
We snapped this pic from the 10 Freeway the other day (Shh! Don't tell the CHP) and the hotel looks nearly identical to the rendering put out last year. And no, it's not your eyes or your computer screen, we think those rooms windows are supposed to have that haphazard look. (Or maybe that was just because we were in motion when we took this pic. Oops.)
When it's completely finished, the 24-story building will house a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott (hopefully with these new "Gen Next" rooms) and a 218-room Residence Inn. Word is the hotel should be done by Summer 2014.
Meanwhile Marriott isn't done with Downtown LA. They are still building a Renaissance Hotel across from the JW Marriott on the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street. The hotel will have 450 rooms when it opens in 2016. Construction is expected to start next year. Perhaps Downtown LA should automatically sign you up for Marriott Rewards when you visit.
[Photo: HotelChatter, while driving. Don't do this at home, kids.]
Hotel Renovations / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / California Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Istanbul Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Club Lounges / → All Tags
The Ritz-Carlton news just keeps rolling in: we’ve heard about new things happening in destinations as disparate as Israel, Bali, Aruba, Japan and beyond already. Closer to home, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel – in Orange County, Los Angeles – is marking its last year as a twenty-something with new-look guestrooms, new f&b outlets, and more.
Perched high on the cliffs above the crashing waves of the Pacific, the hotel’s location was the source of inspiration for the new design. That translates into lots of pale blues against white walls and sheets, with contrasting dark wood in the headboard and furniture. It’s the kind of beach-y modern that sits midway between the more traditional Ritz-Carlton wealthy- great-aunt look and younger urbanite style you’d find in its Georgetown, DC hotel for example.
The Hotel Clark doesn't quite have the green light.
UPDATE: The hotel might not be a King & Grove after all. Read the latest here.
From what we could tell, things look practically ready to go. The signage is up and looking good and we even spied some fancy spherical lighting fixtures at what looks like the entrance. Except it was all gated off.
We drove by the hotel at 933 S. Broadway yesterday and saw most of the old United Artists building under construction, leading us to wonder if a fall opening will really happen. The Ace is currently working to transform the historic 1927 theater and office building into a 180-room hotel with a pool, restaurant and bar onsite. They also plan to restore the original United Artists theater to its former glory. And this being Ace, we suspect a coffee shop will open inside as well.
Check out some more snapshots of the construction below.
If you're feeling a little, um, gross after last week's Hotel Cocktail Week, we've got just the remedy for you--juicing..
Yes, juicing is the latest health craze and these Los Angeles hotels are already on top of it. Here's where you can cleanse out your system from last night's binge.
· Greens 2 – Kale, spinach, romaine, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple and Lemon
· Roots 3 – Beet, apple, lemon and ginger
· Roots 4 – Carrot, Apple and ginger
· Citrus 4 – Cucumber, Pineapple, Lemon, Coconut water, and Aloe vera
· Watermelon Mint
· 8 oz Almond Vanilla milk
MONDRIAN WEST HOLLYWOOD: The chic Sunset hotel has introduced a new Grab N Go menu with freshly squeezed juices on it like the Caribbean Zinger, made with carrot, orange, lemon and ginger. The menu is also serving smoothies like the Singapore Burst made with fresh whole berries, banana, almond nut milk, and a little agave nectar. Juices cost $9 while smoothies are $12 and can be ordered from the new lobby bar or from room service.
Hotel Cocktail Week / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Hotel Trends / California Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Canada Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Atlantic City Hotels / Puerto Vallarta Hotels / Scottsdale Hoels / Los Angeles Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Tablet Hotels / → All Tags
As the grand finale to cocktail week here's a round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know!
A salad in every sip: Complementing the trend we told you about in our What’s Out, What’s In column where the drink IS the meal, we’re finding that crafty mixologists are making our drinks a wee bit healthier and sneaking veggies into them to make sure that we’re getting all of our daily recommended vitamins.
Splashes at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has a VegGin’ on the Rocks made with Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, agave nectar (which is said to have a low glycemic index, BTW, which means your blood sugar won’t spike), lime juice, and baby arugula–-all muddled together and topped with house made soda water. You can really taste the goodness.
The Fairmont Chicago’s Green Goose Cocktail features a trio of super foods: kale, celery and granny smith apples. The juiced greens are mixed with Grey Goose, fresh lime juice, chartreuse, and simple syrup for a nutrient-filled flavor explosion.
The appropriately-named Salad Cocktail from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto is a heart-healthy concoction of juiced celery, spinach, beet, apple and pear combined with 1.5 oz of gin. To top it off, it’s garnished with sherry vinaigrette soaked raspberries and sous vide beets and crisp romaine leaves. We’re getting into the realm of “drink as dinner” with this one.
At Caesars Entertainment Resorts and Casinos in Atlantic City you can find the savoury Red Pepper Margarita–-a mix of red pepper juice, jalapeno rings, five-spice simple syrup and tequila with a smoked salt rimmed glass. Next trend below!
Hotel Cocktail Week / Hotel Drinks / Hotel Cognac / Four Seasons Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The extremely rare bottle of cognac, one of 738, arrived at the hotel in a Rolls Royce Ghost, whose Inca Gold color interior matches the 22-carat rose gold neck of the Rare Cask 42,6 decanter, designed by Baccarat. It was carried by Yves de Launay, Rémy Cointreau's USA Vice President of Prestige Brands.
Why is this cognac so special that it deserved a ride in a Rolls Royce Ghost? Here's a brief explanation:
LOUIS XIII RARE CASK 42,6 celebrates the classic LOUIS XIII blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie, 100 years in the making, here featuring salient aromas that are unique to this one precious cask. Discovered in the fall, it appropriately features autumnal notes of plum and dates, mingling with flavors of gingerbread, prune stone and ginger, and punctuated by a final touch of tobacco leaf.
The iconic black crystal decanter for the LOUIS XIII RARE CASK collection was created exclusively by Baccarat, utilizing all the skill and expertise of the famed crystal house’s talented masters. A team of more than 20 master craftsmen complete more than 50 steps in creating a single RARE CASK decanter, all of which must be carried out while maintaining the opaque crystal at a constant temperature.
As for what 42,6 means, that's the percentage of alcohol by volume--42.6--making it slightly higher than the 40 percent found in the classic Louis XIII cognac.
Advertecture / Downtown LA Hotels / Twinkies / Los Angeles Hotels / Cupcakes / California Hotels / → All Tags
The 88-year-old, vintage building is now part of a central marketing ploy for the re-launch of Hostess' iconic Twinkies, CupCakes and Ding Dongs. After closing down due to a labor strike last November, today is the day America can sink their teeth again into the bakery's sinful (and processed) treats. In an interesting historical twist, the golden sponge cake of Twinkies was first introduced during the 1930s which is around the same time the building went from a YWCA to a tourist's hotel, so the advertisement seems fitting.
Los Angeles Hotels / Hollywood Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / AKA Hotels / Broughton Hotels / → All Tags
· HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT: The hotel lit-up their iconic sign last night in rainbow colors in honor of the DOMA decision. #awesome.
· THE MOMENT: The Moment Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard's Guitar Row, with its 39 rooms, 24-hour room service, "super speed WiFi" and 2,000-sq.ft. roof deck is finally opening for real on July 15. An opening package is now available starting at $239 a night and includes an overnight stay, two drinks on The Moment Roofdeck, Breakfast for two in the Sunset Room or in-room dining and the staff's Hot Hollywood picks on sights, bites and activities (and even snowcones and tattoos, as the hotel's website indicates.) Go here to book.
Hotel Renovations / Los Angeles Hotels / San Fernando Valley Hotels / Studio City Hotels / Broughton Hotels / Larry Broughton / → All Tags
The saying goes, "What's old is new again" but at the iconic Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel in LA's San Fernando Valley, the old has gone away for good.
The hotel is just finishing up a $4 million renovation that will bring the 190 guestrooms as well as the lobby and the pool area into the 21st century. We're talking big comfy beds, great lighting, bold colors, flat-screen TVs, poolside cabanas and best of all, free WiFi.
"We wanted to celebrate the past but make it more contemporary, more fun and more sophisticated as well," said Larry Broughton, founder and CEO of broughtonHOTELS. (broughtonHOTELS took over as operator of the hotel from Joie de Vivre and is also overseeing the hotel's renovation.)
This morning, we rounded up some of the planned luxury hotels coming to this world and while we're excited to stay in those future hotels, that's, like, years away at this point. We need something to satiate our new hotel fix now. Luckily, we don't have to fly around the world--just to Los Angeles. Here are three hotels that are now taking reservations:
· The Line Hotel, Los Angeles: The first Korean-American-inspired hotel in Los Angeles will open now on September 16. Rates on the website are going for about $349 a night, $319 if you use your AAA card. Inside the hotel will be a bar from the Houston Brothers, food options by Chef Roy Choi of the famous Kogi Korean BBQ food trucks and a "carefully curated" art boutique concept store. Los Angeles based designer Sean Knibb did the interiors.
· The Moment, Hollywood: This hotel was supposed to have its big moment in February but now it's happening on June 1. An introductory offer, called "Start Your Moment", has rates at $239 a night and includes two drinks on the Moment Roofdeck, breakfast for two and the staff's Hot Hollywood picks on sights, bites and activities.
· Palihouse Santa Monica: We got the scoop in March on the third hotel from the Paligroup set in a residential nabe of Santa Monica. Now it's your turn to peep the goods, starting on June 1. Rates are going for $299 a night and yes, that includes free WiFi.
[Photo courtesy of Paligroup]