Everything at the London West Hollywood Hotel is more than perfect and well-functioning – apart from the fabulous rooftop terrace, that is.
All the good stuff:
The location of this hotel is great just one block off Sunset Blvd. and within easy walking distance to i.e. the Sunset Plaza for a wide choice of restaurants/cafés; the legendary night clubs “Whisky a Go Go” and “The Whiper Room” are just around the corner, and drives up The Hills are just across the street. Yet you are not disturbed by any noise at all. From all rooms there are lovely views from the balconies of either The Hills, downtown LA or Century City.
The rooms are all very spacious and offer a unique layout with a freestanding kingsize bed with a ceiling high separation forming a small entrance area while a cozy freestanding corner-sofa offers sort of a separate lounge area and a tiny kitchenette with coffee-brewer and fridge is to be found in the corner. To our understanding all rooms have some sort of balcony/terrace – in our case a small but OK balcony with a tiny seat for two and a small coffee table. Everything beautifully decorated in a state of the art fashion. What really sweeps your feet away is, however, the bathroom. Wow… very spacious offering not only a huge tub, he and she wash sinks but likewise a spacious double shower. Everything in strictly white tiles with loads of soft towels and free bathrobes at your disposal. We loved it!
Check-in was smooth and swiftly and we were happy to learn that our comment and wish for a room on one of the upper levels with a West facing balcony had been duly noted. The entire staff – apart from the one at the roof terrace – were very accommodating and pro and the concierge helped us most gladly with table reservations and driving instructions. Unfortunately, parking is a bit problematic and one need to make use of the rather expensive underground valet service meaning, that if you don’t call down ahead, you’ll often have to wait quite a while to get your car. But with a bit of planning and taking into consideration that we are talking a city hotel, it is acceptable.
Breakfast is included with your room and we were thrilled with great delight when we were presented with the huge breakfast buffet. Absolutely delicious and very delicately arranged. Fresh fruits, home baked pan cakes and tiny croissants and you name it. All but hot dishes included. Top.
Having previously stayed here, when it was the Bel Age Hotel, we knew that the rooftop terrace was to die for offering a sparkling turquoise pool, sunbeds and stunning views. We couldn’t wait to re-visit knowing that we could combine touring with “beach-days” on the roof. Hence, we were thoroughly disappointed that it turned out that the very reason for us to choose especially this hotel was only partly available to us and one evening not at all… From being a relaxing spot for the hotel guests for a refreshing morning dip in the pool, soaking up the sun in the afternoon and unwinding in the corner-spa or taking in the lights of the city in the evenings – the terrace has turned into a snobbish pool deck during daytime and a hip bistro/lounge/night-club in the evenings where most of the time part or whole sections are closed off for private functions. Not one single night did we succeed to lounge in our fave corner facing The Hills…
Big cabanas have been placed along the one side blocking the uphill views and taking up space for needed sunbeds while dining tables fill up the opposite side. A staffed bar has been added – and when one afternoon we came up with a half finished beverage in hand we were denied access till we had emptied it. While everything and everyone else in the hotel were to perfection and pro, this didn’t apply to the staff on the terrace that did make it clear to us, that this area now is the “cash-cow”. The first evening we found a single-party going on not only in the private function area to the right but all over the terrace. It was stuffed with young people with drinks in hand and we had to search high and low to find a tiny area to place ourselves in the far corner where the furniture were left in a mess with yet not cleaned extra dining tables squeezed in. We were offered a free drink as an appology… but it was not enjoyable. The second evening the terrace was transformed into a jazz-club open to the public, and once again we found ourselves surrounded by cocktail clad guests, noisy music from a DJ - and too few sofas/chairs to accommodate us properly. Not exactly an environment to enjoy a relaxing evening swim in the pool… I felt uncomfortable in my swimsuit and wet hair amidst these elegant people. Third night we had more luck – “only” the popular cabana and fireplace corner had been blocked off for a private function. Coming our last day in LA we had planned for a relaxing “beach-day” on the roof terrace – but only by bedtime the night before we received a note from the management, that the following day the entire rooftop area would be closed off as from 16:00 hrs. due to a private function! Hence, at 15:30 hrs. the staff started to clear the place and we were left with the only option of withdrawing to our own balcony for a sundowner and to spend our last night in LA. Not exactly the al fresco experience we had looked so much forward to. As compensation we were offered a free glass of juice/wine in the restaurant…
In closing. We find it truly sad that the remodeling and upgrade of this otherwise beautiful and legendary hotel has taken such a greedy twist. At our return we did write the hotel and the management apologized duly and told us that they would pay more attention to this and try to avoid similar situations. I’ve been waiting to post about this but do find it important to make future guests aware in order to set expectations in the right perspective and avoid disappointment. Our travel plans may very well take us back to LA later this year – and in spite of our sad experiences with the rooftop terrace – we’ll most likely book with The London West Hollywood once again, so don’t get me wrong – it is a beautiful spot!
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- Also Known As:
- The London West Hollywood Hotel West Hollywood
- London West Hollywood
- London Hotel West Hollywood