Updated on January 23, 2016
After a great flight on Cathay Pacific First Class we landed in Los Angeles and breezed through security (because of our Global Entry) and were off to our final stay of the trip at the Andaz West Hollywood.
I knew that we would be arriving early in the morning into Los Angeles so when we were still in the Maldives I wanted to reach out to the Andaz to let them know it was our honeymoon and to see if we could check-in early or get a temporary room for a shower. It turns out that there wasn’t really a good email address to contact them with so I reached out to them on Twitter.
I found out that the Andaz West Hollywood Twitter team was FANTASTIC! They told me that they would do the best they could and to please direct message them as soon as we landed so they could see how they could help. As instructed I messaged them when we landed and they said they would check us in immediately since we had such a long journey, and this was at 8am!! We were really happy to get into a room to relax in and have a shower before see some of southern California! Great start to the stay!
When pulling up to the front we were immediately greeted by the valet and doorman, who parked our car and helped us with our respective bags. As you might be able to tell, the hotel has a mostly glass exterior with some interesting art to the right side where the restaurant is located. It is in West Hollywood on Sunset Blvd and is within walking distance (long walk) of the famous Chinese Theater and the walk of fame.
The Andaz brand is a more modern style, in the mold of W hotels, Aloft, etc. and your check-in is done by a representative with an iPad. Although there is no actual front desk in the lobby, there was a central table where they seemed to check most people in.
The person who checked us in was really nice and congratulated us on our recent marriage. He then explained the layout of the hotel and our Diamond benefits. To choose your Diamond benefits they actually give you a piece a paper with options to choose from. We went with the wine and cheese option.
When first walking in the front door this central table is in front of you with guest computers to your left, a lounge area also to your left with a stairway, smaller lounge area and restaurant to your right.
Under the computers to your left when you walk in the front door are little refrigerators where you can grab drinks for free as you need them! We grabbed a couple OJs before heading out for the day.
Check in complete, we were escorted to our room, 405, which was a King Suite I had booked using Points+Cash and a Diamond suite upgrade. This was a corner room giving us windows around half the room, which I loved (I have probably mentioned before, I love windows and natural light).
When we got to our room we were asked a second time if there is anything they could do for us on this special trip, to which we said thank you, but no.
Entering the room you have a table with high set chairs that can seat 4 immediately in front of you with a small sitting area further ahead in front of the window and the rest of the living space to the right of the table. As you look to your right from the door you find a small room with a mirror and closet next to the bathroom and further to your right, the bedroom which also has it’s own bathroom.
Looking more around the room we first see that there is an alcohol mini bar available on the central table.
Going into the seating area along the window we see that it has an interesting set up and there’s a reason for this. These rooms use to have balconies that were enclosed during the last renovation and change into the “Andaz” brand. Before they were enclosed, rock stars would throw things off the balconies during their wild parties! We will get more into the cool history of the hotel towards the end. The views from this little area are great although none of my pictures seems to show it!
Going back in to the main area we find a TV, a small refrigerator and some snack as well as a desk, couch, coffee table and cool orange dog! Another unique thing about Andaz properties is that the non-alcoholic mini-bar and snacks are FREE! So you already have some drinks and snacks ready to go as soon as you arrive!
To go along with this large main area, there’s a nice bedroom that has a second bathroom in it. As you enter the room there is a closet on your right and the bathroom on your left. There is then a dresser with TV above in front of a king sized bed and night stand with another iHome speaker.
The REST OF THE HOTEL
As you walk around the hotel you see more and more of the Rock and Roll theme throughout. On the second floor of the hotel (where those steps lead from the entrance area) there are several doors to meeting rooms, a bunch of interesting pieces of art, a seating area and the gym.
After going to the gym it is time to head up to the roof where the pool and rooftop poolside bar are located with little cabanas and great views of the surrounding area.
As you leave the roof, or on your way up, you can take a look at old pictures and a brief history of the hotel as its name and the hotel itself changed over the last 60 or so years (a few of the pictures are below). As you read through the captions you find that this hotel was THE PLACE to stay for rock and roll stars for decades! With so many crazy people and crazy parties it actually became known as the Riot House. From Jim Morrison hanging off the balconies, to Led Zeppelin trashing rooms and throwing TV’s out windows and Axl Rose grilling out on his balcony and setting off the fire alarm, this hotel has seen some things over the years!
The restaurant located in the hotel is called The Riot House in honor of the hotel’s old nickname from the days of wild rocker parties and mayhem.
It’s open for breakfast and lunch as well as a bar in the evenings. It is also where you get your most important Diamond benefit – your free breakfast! You can order from the menu or just eat at the very extensive buffet (but no where near as extensive as the PH Abu Dhabi or Seoul). We were running a bit later than I wanted the next morning so we didn’t eat much before heading out, but what I did have was really good!
SERVICE and Diamond Welcome Amenity
The service here was FANTASTIC and as I mentioned at the beginning it started before we were even in Los Angeles! It continued through check in and after arriving in our room we even got a call from Catie Walsh, the Director of Sales at the hotel who had helped us on Twitter, to make sure we were settled in okay, congratulate us and ask if there is anything at all we needed! Not only that, she also sent us up a bottle of champagne and a plate of fruit and macaroons later that evening!!
The service here during our stay was truly above and beyond what I thought it would be and I was very impressed to say the least. And this is being said after staying at three straight Park Hyatts in Washington DC, Abu Dhabi and the Maldives!
While I am showing off our awesome gifts I will also show you the Diamond Welcome Amenity we received on this visit.
How do I get there?
In Los Angeles it is a bit difficult to get around without a car. And this hotel is really nowhere near the airport. We rented a SilverCar (which was the best rental ever!), but your could also take a cab or Uber.
Any restaurant suggestions?
For the first time in any of my hotel reviews, no, I don’t. We actually drove up to Ventura and down PCH for our day there and never really ate at anywhere even remotely close to the hotel. We walked around that evening but didn’t find any place worth mentioning. However, I’m sure that they would have a lot of great suggestions once you get there. Sorry, I’m no help.
Cost of 1 night:
I did a Points+Cash booking for this hotel which, as a Category 5 hotel, cost me 10K Hyatt Gold Passport points and $125 (20K if you were to book with just points). I then applied my Diamond Suite upgrade to get us into a suite. During the night we were there a suite was going for about $440 with a standard room running $285. This is a pretty good use of points for a standard room but a great redemption for a suite.
We had a fantastic one-night stay at this hotel. The service was incredible, the hotel facilities, restaurant and decor are great and the location can be excellent depending what you are looking for. If you want to be near all the Hollywood stuff, Beverly Hills and Rodeo then this is a GREAT place. If you want to be near the airport or beach then it would be a bit of a drive, however.
The only minor negative I have is that I thought the rooms were good, but just a little too sterile and plain for my tastes – just my personal preference and in the end it is a very small quibble.
Overall I would happily stay here again and next stay hope to spend enough time to use to the great rooftop pool and have a full breakfast!
Next Up: The Breakdown. In this next post I will break down each aspect of the trip with how much cash and points it cost me as well as do my best to show the cost of those points so that a true value can be obtained.