After our long transit from Mumbai, I was looking forward to having a regular bed to sleep in. However, with a longish scan of our bags at Los Angeles Airport, we were delayed in that. On coming out of the airport, we took a cab to the Andaz West Hollywood, where we were going to stay for three nights to explore Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has pretty limited number of upscale Hyatt hotels, and apart from the Andaz, there was the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, which is a convention hotel of sorts and massive in size. Also, I’d already stayed there back in the day. Hence, Shipra and I agreed to book the Andaz West Hollywood for this stay. Additionally, the Andaz is a hotel with a lot of character and a lot of association to many artists and rock bands of days of yore. We could do with some of that for her first trip to LA.
Initially, the rates were hovering in the $300 bracket per night, so we opted to book the hotel on cash+points, with $125 and 10,000 points per night, however, when the prices fell to ~$200, we moved to an all-cash rate. On top of this, we applied a Diamond Suite Upgrade, and were confirmed for a King Suite at the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel at about 2 in the afternoon, we were met by the hosts. The Andaz does not have a conventional check-in desk, and hence you will usually have hosts, who double up as the front office, concierge and bell desk all in one. We met a rather not-so-friendly one in the first instance, who informed us our room was not ready, yet. She advised us to leave our bags with her and come back after a couple of hours by when the room would be ready.
Uh-oh! I was not looking forward to this reply, not specially at an Andaz, where the crew is supposed to be friendly-er! She sounded non-negotiable, but I asked her for further information, because sure as hell after that long transit I was not in the mood to go out and get lunch! I asked her if it was possible to give us a regular room in the meanwhile, which sounded like an idea which did not strike her before. Anyhow, we were checked into a regular room, and we were on our way.
The lobby in itself was lined up with rock-n-roll memorabilia, given that we were on Sunset Boulevard, and other interesting artifacts for the lack of a better word. They also had a nice and big Christmas tree up.
Andaz King Room
My first reaction after entering the regular room was that the room was a bit too small! But it had a nice view from its window up the hill, giving it a very residential feel. However, I was thanking my stars that I’d have a bigger space in the Suite
The room had a very modern furnishing, and also the famous dog they place in every room. Also, the minibar was stocked up and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks could be had for free.
The bathroom, on the same lines, was very functional. There was a fixed and a handheld showertop with nice pressure. The hotel used Lather amenities, which were good.
We got some sleep and took a shower, and asked the hosts to inform us when our room would be ready. Soon enough, at 5 in the evening I got a call stating our new room was ready, and we could come and collect the key card on the ground floor, or they could send it up with someone who could help us move our bags as well. We went and collected the key, and decided to head to our new suite, where we discovered we were upgraded to the Penthouse Suite.
Andaz WeHo Penthouse Suite
The Andaz West Hollywood knew it was our honeymoon trip, and they decided to treat us to the Penthouse Suite, which was usually sold for $800 over and above the cost of the regular Andaz King Suite. This was just wow, to have a 1400 sq. ft. Penthouse Suite on the 14th floor for our sojourn in town. This suite, for reference, was going over $1300 per night for the nights of our stay.
We arrived on the 14th floor with our bags.
The entrance opened into a hallway, with a nice picture and some stools for good measure. Just incase you kicked off your shoes there.
On the right, was the living room, which was perhaps bigger than the entire room we had before this one. It had a massive lounging couch, an entertainment corner with a television outfitted with a Geneva music System, and a large marble-top high table for dining. We did find some confetti stuck around in the lounging couch, leading us to believe there was a party here not too long ago.
Also, the hotel had already placed a nice bottle of Prosecco on ice, along with strawberries and cream for us. This trip just went over the top when we set foot in this room.
It was dark already, and the views of Los Angeles from the room were just mind-blowing. For instance, this is a picture I posted on Instagram
The living room and bedroom also had a large balcony which was separated by a roof to floor glass window, and had a sliding door to access. There was a big lounger placed outside as well.
The hotel is on the busy Sunset Boulevard, and there were picturesque views of the traffic as well.
Back, inside, there was a small kitchenette with a sink set up in one corner, and there was a Nespresso coffee machine, apart from a tea kettle and a stocked up minibar as well. I loved the crisps they set up and I ate them almost everyday.
On the other side of the hallway, was a massive bedroom, with a walk in closet at the back. Electronic controls for the drapes were installed by the bedside. There was also an iHome station, which came handy to set an alarm or charge the iPhone every now and then.
The bedroom also opened into a big bathroom, which had his and her sinks, a very big bathtub with a view, and a shower with good pressure. The hotel used a different range of Lather amenities in this suite, but they had an awesome multi-orientation roof shower head installed as well.
Oh, the lavatory. Usually the boring part of a room, had all the shindigs of being a riot house by itself. I could start to put together the casual mention made by my host in the evening when they said this room had a very good toilet. In fact, I looked it up, and it was an intelligent toilet with its own remote control. The darn thing had selection of the colour of ambient light I wanted in the toilet when I was there, and also the music channel they would play from all the FM stations in the region, apart from temperature controls etc.
The suite also had another half bathroom, which was pretty rudimentary.
Since we were pretty tired, we went off to sleep early on the first night, and woke up early too. At the crack of dawn, we had some amazing views of Los Angeles again.
We managed to go for a swim on the rooftop pool on the first morning of our stay there. The pool was gorgeous, and they had cabanas there with sunbeds.
The views continued to be amazing for the rest of our stay during the day time as well, and we made it a point to get our morning coffee amongst the amazing views as much as possible, where we had the lounger as well as some chairs and a table.
The bedroom also had a reference to Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” overlooking the hills.
The lobby used to have free coffee set up every morning, along with some sort of short bite like cakes or cookies. Sometimes we would just pop down for a coffee to go along with an early morning walk on Sunset Blvd.
The Andaz also turns conventional wisdom on its head, so don’t mistake those computers in the lobby to be front office computers. They were for the use of the guests. The hotel did not have a formal business centre but this was their equivalent. They also laid out the newspapers everyday to read or to take.
Coming to the dining. Andaz WeHo had one restaurant called the Riot House, which extended from the lobby of the hotel and would have some nice views of the boulevard. This was also the place they would serve breakfast every morning. They had seating organized in the alley next to the kitchen, and a bigger section overlooking the bar, where one could perhaps catch a drink and watch a game in the evening.
For breakfast, as a Diamond guest, we were allowed to order a full breakfast, complimentary every day. Breakfast was served from 6:30 AM to 11 AM every morning. The menu offered to guests offers a breakfast table, which includes the continental buffet laid out every morning along with eggs made to order. Here is how the breakfast table was set up on one of the days we were around. It included pastries, cold cuts, cereal, yoghurt and some other stuff.
We tried out various things over different days of our stay here. Some days we went with a smoothie over a juice.
Some days we tried their breakfast burrito and eggs benedict. Both were excellent breakfast options.
We also tried out their omelets one morning
Everyday we were brought a check to sign, which included gratuity. We signed the check every day, however the charges were removed from our bill at check-out.
The hotel also organised wine tasting every evening for guests in the lobby, however we were out at those times and hence never managed to get ourselves some free wine.
On the last day, we requested for a late check-out since our flight was at about midnight, and the hotel honoured the request. Since we still had time after check out, we left our bags with them and moved out for the evening.
In terms of service, apart from the one slightly clueless agent we met on the day of arrival, everyone was very friendly. It was holiday season and the hotel was almost busy all the time. I was in touch with a couple of staff members before arrival because I needed to have some documents couriered in and held with the hotel, and also to make sure that we had a good stay on this trip of a lifetime. Karina and Jennifer definitely went above and beyond to make sure this particular stay was a memorable one.
Bottomline: With a vibrant neighborhood, a lovely staff, an awesome restaurant and some great views from the hotel, I can’t help but recommend the Andaz West Hollywood.
What have been your experiences at the Andaz West Hollywood?