Loews Hollywood Hotel Overview
by Regina Hinrichs
The Loews Hollywood Hotel California (formerly the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel) gave me a case of “déjà vu all over again.” I know by its location that I stayed there before, but this sure isn’t the run of the mill chain hotel that it once was. It’s fantastic!!
While it is in the heart of Hollywood, it creates its own environment. When you pull up to the entrance, there’s an ingenious fountain wall that partially blocks the direct view of the street. Usually city hotels mean pulling up along the curb and frantically trying to get the car unloaded before traffic backs up. Not here. There’s a spacious driveway with Valets waiting to help you.
The vibrancy of the city spills over into the interior. The lobby is cavernous with a convenient lounge and comfy chairs on your right, and believe it or not, a Zen garden on the left. There you are, in the center of a city and there’s a little, tranquil oasis right in your hotel.
One thing you notice right away is the art work. There are over 80 pieces of art in the public spaces. We’re not talking stand behind the velvet ropes paintings of fruit. This is high energy modern art that draws you in for a closer look.
The Loews Hollywood Hotel California’s guest rooms have the same attention to detail. Sleek, comfortable and surprisingly large for a city hotel. The views are amazing. We could see the landmark Capitol Records building (which I’m happy to report is restored to its former glory since it was demolished by Aliens in “Independence Day.”) In the morning, we looked to the left and there it was, the Hollywood sign! (This was blown to bits in the move “The Day After Tomorrow” but no one besides me saw that one.)
Every amenity that you would want is provided. Internet access, coffeemaker, CD player, fridge, Playstation, safe and bathrobes are there for you to enjoy. If you bring your computer, the desk is great. It’s in two sections making it very easy to use your laptop.
The bathrooms are fully enclosed with a big granite vanity and lighted makeup mirror. It’s easy to prepare for your “close-up.” The best part is the bathtub. You are in Hollywood baby, and you’re standing on non-slip stars.
A big concern about any city hotel is the noise and light factor. We recently stayed in an upscale DC hotel that provided earplugs and clips to hold the curtains closed. They could learn a few things from the Loews Hollywood Hotel. They have a special shade that blocks out the light, and the soundproofing is amazing. Any sounds were so muffled that they didn’t interfere with a good night’s sleep.
One thing that was a bit familiar from my previous stay is the outdoor pool located on a fifth floor roof extension. Now it has private cabanas, glass fencing, and a view of the Dolby Theater arches that is indescribable. You expect to tip your sunglasses and see Brad Pitt lounging poolside. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)
The other concern about being in the city is well, being in a city. To give you a timeline, when I stayed here 30 years ago, it was touted as being around the corner from Grauman’s Chinese Theater. We had fun touring the area. Twelve years ago we visited with our children. We stayed on the city outskirts and it was suggested that we simply drive past Grauman’s and not stop as it was a bit on the seedy side.
Now along comes the Loews Hollywood Hotel California and the connected Hollywood & Highland Center. You have this beautiful hotel, an attached mall with a great variety of restaurants and shops, the Dolby theater, the Disney owned El Capitan theater which is connected to Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it’s all literally at your doorstep. I wish I could turn back the clock. The kids would have had a great time here and we’d have none of the past safety concerns.
Imagine getting a real taste of Hollywood within one city block! You don’t have to drive in city traffic, you don’t have to go into unfamiliar areas, you just have to slip on your Keds and go. If Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive are a must, it’s a short drive away.
I still can’t believe this is the same hotel that I stayed at so many years ago. Not only has the hotel undergone an astonishing transformation, the area is revitalized. A stay at the Loews Hollywood Hotel should be on everyone’s list of “must do’s” in California.
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