Stay the night: The London West, Hollywood
Sunday 22 February 2009
LA is currently a little bit in love with Britain – or at least with some of our glossier exports – and tonight, Oscar night, this is where you’ll find many of our A-listers in attendance.
David Collins (hotel designer de nos jours, responsible for Nobu and the Blue Bar at the Berkeley) and Gordon Ramsay (needs no introduction) teamed up to create this luxury hotel off Sunset Boulevard and it has become just as buzzy as its east coast sister, The London NYC. David Beckham attended the opening party and a bellhop, wearing a grey bowler with a partridge feather, told us he lived for glimpses of Lady Posh.
The rarefied cream-and-black Art Deco lobby has echoes of Claridges, and there are playful touches of Anglo-Saxon style – a topiary bulldog here, a planter of English roses there – but the service is all American. Staff jump to your every whim, and use your name at every opportunity. However, the concierge service, run by Quintessentially, is hardly humble. They can book you a private jet, but are stretched to find a good local map.
Rooms are soothingly muted, all chocolate leather and bleached oak. The 200 suites are spacious (the smallest measures 750 square feet) with bathrooms you can get lost in. These feature walk-in double rain-showers, vast tubs, and movement-sensitive lights that switch on as you approach.
Rooms have complimentary Wi-Fi, superior coffee-making machines (handy, since a latte on room service costs $12) an iHome iPod docking station, and a mini-bar complete with cocktail shaker. The only oversight is the French windows, which were not upgraded during renovation; street noise can infiltrate lower, west-facing rooms. Incredibly, all phone calls to London are free.
The food and drink
To dine at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant, book early. It’s also a good spot for breakfast, featuring dainty pastel pink decor, a sunny view over Los Angeles, and the sight of glamorous young Hollywood players nervously ordering a Full English. Ramsay’s room service also has a British twist, featuring strawberries and cream or Scottish smoked salmon.
The rooftop terrace is designed to replicate “the tranquillity of an English garden” – except the lawns are made of plastic grass and the shade comes from palm trees. No matter, it’s a gorgeous spot, with stunning views, a sizeable pool, and complimentary iced tea on tap.
Children are welcome, and pets under 25lb. (It wouldn’t be LA if you couldn’t bring the handbag pooch.) General wheelchair access is good, with rooms adapted for guests of limited mobility. There are Braille facilities.
Rooms start at $199 (£140) per night, excluding tax ($28) or breakfast (from about $30).
The London West Hollywood, 1020 N San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (001 310 854 1111; theLondonWestHollywood.com).
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