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The TPG team recently congregated in L.A. to celebrate the launch of our brand new TPG To Go app. We threw a lavish party at the W Hollywood and Lifestyle Editor Shayne Benowitz checked in for the occasion. Here’s her review of the property. The party obviously gets five stars!
Situated on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame with its sparkling terrazzo stars gleaming from the sidewalk, W Hollywood is centrally located for a fun romp through the neighborhood. The 350-room hotel makes its presence known with its signature “W” glowing red at the top of an imposing cream façade, cluttered with billboards.
Check-in, Lobby & First Impressions
I arrived by car with TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne around 2 p.m. and we parked in the large surface parking lot across the street ($10 per day, as opposed to the hotel’s $39).
The lobby plays on Hollywood glamour with a dramatic spiral staircase covered in red carpet offset by a gilded wall and a chandelier dripping from the ceiling. The spacious Living Room lobby bar is found here with floor-to-ceiling windows and ample black, tufted leather banquette seating.
Check in went swiftly and smoothly. I opted for 500 bonus Starpoints as my Platinum amenity after being told that my other choices were “a tour of the hotel that no one takes” and an apparently unpopular continental breakfast. “Sometimes there’s not even cereal,” the front desk agent told me. He asked if I needed a late check out at 4 p.m., and I declined since my flight was early.
He handed over keycards for a second floor Marvelous Suite (there was some confusion here, as the attendant said it was a Hollywood Wow Suite and signage in the hotel pointed towards Hollywood Wow Suites, while the room actually matched the description of a Marvelous Suite on the website). I asked if there was a higher floor available, but at the moment there was not, so off we went to the second floor.
The Marvelous Suite has a wow factor even before entering the room with a sassy, rhinestone-lined peephole. Inside, the spacious, lavish room features a large white, semi-circle couch with a small table where spirits and martini glasses are perched for in-room cocktails (an extension of the minibar), as well as a wet bar. A sheer curtain separates this “living room” area from the low-slung, king-sized bed in all white linens with a bright throw pillow and cheeky accent runner with “Dream Harder” emblazoned on it.
Perched beside the two large windows are makeshift window seats with gold vinyl cushions and pillows overlooking that surface parking lot where Melanie’s car sat. The view is certainly not the highlight of this room, which is unfortunate considering a higher floor would have provided vantages of the Hollywood Hills and a neon-emblazoned skyline.
The suite boasts a large flat screen TV mounted over a desk on the wall opposite the bed. It’s positioned perfectly so that you can lounge in bed and still see it above the couch in between.
The large, modern, all-marble bathroom is truly something to behold. With a separate water closet for the toilet, the spacious room features a large soaking tub, a glass shower, ample floor-to-ceiling mirrors and plenty of counter space.
A small closet with ironing board, iron and safe are found near the entrance to the room, and while they didn’t immediately present themselves, drawers are located in the bathroom.
Amenities & Features
One perk of a room on the second floor is that it gives you direct access to the mezzanine level’s collection of celebrity portrait photography by Timothy White with images of Nicole Kidman, Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, Liza Minelli and more, overlooking the lobby and the aforementioned spiral staircase. The mezzanine also leads to ample meeting and events space.
The rooftop boasts a small pool and bar with daybeds, cabanas and purple-upholstered lounges. On summer weekends, expect a party atmosphere with a DJ where non-hotel guests can reserve cabanas and join in the revelry.
The fitness center, also located on the rooftop level is clean, updated and spacious with plenty of cardio equipment, free weights and machines.
As with most W hotels, the property features a Bliss Spa, and the in-room Bliss bath products are truly indulgent.
The California-inspired Delphine Eatery & Bar has been well-reviewed by the L.A. Times, and also services the Station Hollywood outdoor lounge. During my stay, I only sampled the room service menu for two breakfasts (huevos rancheros and a fruit and yogurt parfait) and a mid-afternoon Caesar salad. Everything was tasty and on par with what you’d expect from a nice hotel’s room service menu.
Overall, the hospitality was on point. I took advantage of the Whatever/Whenever button for assistance from the concierge in booking a manicure, room service delivery was prompt and housekeeping was polite and unobtrusive. The valet and bellmen were a little lackadaisical, but in the end, helpful.
The only snafu came in an attempt to charge my friend’s iPhone 4 one morning after she drove up for a visit from Orange County. We searched every electronic in the room to no avail (somewhat ironic since I pointed out in my last hotel review that every hotel room seems to still have iPhone 4 docks, even though most people have moved on), and then asked the front desk attendant on our way to breakfast. He informed us that every room had a Sanctuary Charging Station on the desk.
Strange, we thought, since we just scoured the room looking for one. We went back to double check, and alas, no Sanctuary. When we came back downstairs and told him, he looked at us like we were idiots and said sarcastically, “There’s one in every single room in the hotel. That would mean your room is the only one out of 350 rooms that doesn’t have one.”
As it turns out, that’s exactly what it meant. We did have the only room in the hotel without a Sanctuary. And it only required this guy (whose attitude grew more surly by the minute), housekeeping, security and the Whatever/Whenever hotline to get to the bottom of it. As soon as other employees intervened, the problem was solved swiftly and politely. The missing Sanctuary was no skin off my back, but the front desk agent’s attitude was frankly unacceptable.
- Nice rooftop event space, The Loft, where our TPG To Go app launch party was held.
- Too many lights and dimmers to flick on and off throughout the suite.
- Soft surfaces, like desk chair and sofa, a little worn around the seams. In need of a refresh.
- Movies on demand cost $17.95. What?
When it comes to stylish, comfortable digs in a prime Hollywood location, the W Hollywood delivers. You’re across the street from the Pantages Theater and on the same block as the Hollywood/Vine Metro station. Excellent restaurant and nightlife venues are within walking distance, like Katsuya, Cleo at the Redbury Hotel, Hemingway’s Lounge, Beso, The Cosmo and The Frolic Room. Plus, it’s a short drive to all that’s trendy in West Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills.
The modern-trendy décor is what you’d expect from the W brand and the playful take on Hollywood glamour is appreciated, but the aesthetic and the energy feels a little tired here, not quite hitting the mark of true luxury or a bona fide “hotspot.” Though, you’ll still feel plenty pampered and comfortable during a stay.
Points & Pricing
The W Hollywood is an SPG Category 5 property requiring 12,000-16,000 Starpoints for a free night. Paying with your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express allows you to further maximize your points.
My room rate for a Spectacular Room was $220 per night, so the upgrade to a Marvelous Suite was a great value. Room rates in November start around $260 per night.
Have you stayed at the W Hollywood? Where do you prefer to stay when in LA?