Visitors to Hollywood come to snap pictures of the iconic hillside Hollywood sign, gawk at the glittering sidewalk stars, and pray for celebrity sightings. It’s good fun, but downtown Hollywood has its own gritty glamour outside of the kitschy tourist elements. Up-and-coming bands rock out in Hollywood’s dive bars; elaborately coiffed transvestites preen; and food trucks dish out cheap, tasty ethnic foods from all over the world. The city, home to some of the world’s most famous streets including Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, offers plenty of cushy hotels to make visitors feel like stars.
In a city filled with legends, Chateau Marmont Hotel shines as an iconic Hollywood hotel known for well-heeled celebrity patrons. A fat roster of amenities includes heated garden swimming pool, free wireless Internet access, flat-screen TVs, DVD players and video library, cell phones available for guests, iPod docking station, cashmere blankets, and 24-hour shoeshine services. Soundproof walls silence any late-night partying, and penthouse suites include fireplaces, full kitchens, formal dining rooms, private terraces and dressing rooms.
Star-struck visitors stay at the Hotel Roosevelt, home of the first-ever Academy Awards ceremony, where Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe number among the establishment’s previous guests. Rooms feature oversize terry robes, LCD flat-screen TVs; suites offer lofts and living rooms. In the pool-view bar, guests can sample self-serve sangria recipes featuring black mission figs, white peaches, apricots, fresh herbs and spices.
Guests enter the glam Hotel Mondrian via 30-foot mahogany doors for a luxury experience. Ramped-up rooms include rainfall showers, high-definition TVs, down comforters and wireless Internet access. The Hollywood hotel’s open-air Skybar offers views of downtown LA and the swimming pool. On-site spa treatments include oxygen facials, bamboo and wild mango scalp massages, and airbrush spray tans. Guests dine on a outdoor trellised patio lined with oversize terra cotta planters filled with ficus trees and California’s classic bougainvillea blossoms.
Downtown Hollywood remains a convenient gateway for nearby LAX, Long Beach harbor and other commercial business centers. Business travelers staying at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa have access to copy and fax services, overnight package delivery and pick-up, secretarial services and translator services. Suites have extra room to accommodate small business meetings, and some rooms offer panoramic views of Hollywood. On-site coffee shop, lounge and cocktail bar provide additional settings for business interaction. Busy guests can arrange for local restaurant dinner delivery, and international travelers will appreciate access the on-site foreign currency exchange.
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images