What it’s like? The Andaz West Hollywood, part of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, opened in January in the revamped “Riot Hyatt” on Sunset Boulevard – famed for its popularity with rock stars who liked to hurl TVs out of the windows and drive motorcycles down the corridors. Although the Andaz is now attracting a more salubrious guest, the balconies, which caused many a headache for hotel management, have gone (Axl Rose was reportedly caught barbecuing steaks on his, before throwing them at people on the street below).
Entering the gleaming, 14-storey glass block will take you, not into a conventional lobby area but a lounge where young, beautiful staff in cashmere sweaters and velvet dresses greet you. The décor is pure Hollywood chic – the carpet is custom-made, the walls are made from pressed steel and glass, the lighting is low, and the artwork is specially commissioned. Instead of checking in at a counter, guests are offered a glass of wine or a bottle of water and encouraged to take a seat while one of the “hosts” enters your details on a portable PC tablet. You can also ring ahead to check in. In the morning, free coffee and pastries are laid out.
Where is it? The hotel is in the heart of Los Angeles, on Sunset Boulevard. Note that the road is 35km long, so head for West Hollywood and Sunset Strip, between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard. Valet parking is available for US$28 per night. The hotel backs on to the Hollywood Hills.
How many rooms? 257 rooms plus one presidential suite. The room categories include Andaz, Andaz King, Andaz Queen, View King, View Queen, View Deluxe King, View Deluxe Queen and Sunset Suite.
Room facilities All the bedrooms feature cool, minimalist décor in slate grey, white and moleskin brown, high-quality upholstery and furnishings. While most rooms come only with showers, a few have baths, and all but the lowest-category rooms have a glass-walled seating area sectioned off from the main room by a curtain.
Facilities include a flat-screen TV, large workdesk, free Wi-Fi, free minibar, an iHome stereo, robes, safe, 24-hour room service, an iron and ironing board, and motion-activated lights in the bathroom. The private sunroom is a plus point.
My view Deluxe King Room came with sweeping views of the city and a great little private sunroom. While the marble bathroom was small, it offered everything I needed, including generously sized bottles of environmentally friendly shower products.
F&B On the ground floor is RH, which has a grey and white mosaic-tiled floor, tall-legged chairs and communal tables made of thick wedges of pale marble. An à-la-carte breakfast is served all day and offers everything from original bircher muesli (US$8) to pancakes with spinach and smoked salmon (US$16).
There is also a private dining room for groups of up to 18, and a wine store behind a glass wall. Everything on the list is Californian, as is the beer, and most of the food is bought fresh at LA markets. To the right of the main eating area is a light-filled bar that serves cocktails and customised juices. Dinner is served until 11pm, and as well as the à-la-carte menu, there is a “market menu” that allows you to create your own dish from a list of proteins and side orders. The relaxed, enthusiastic staff are happy to advise on tasty combinations. I had seared yellow fin tuna with chilli, onion and kaffir lime chutney and a dish of cauliflower gratin (US$22) – delicious.
Business facilities A function room on the penthouse level, next to the rooftop pool terrace, has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the city and space for up to 190. There is also an airy breakout space and four meeting rooms on the mezzanine level that can cater for up to 20.
Leisure facilities There is a dazzling outdoor pool and sun terrace on the roof with a bar, sunbeds and private cabanas. The fitness centre on the mezzanine level is open 24 hours and has Life Fitness cardio machines, weight systems and iPod hook-up.
Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in October start from US$196 for an Andaz King Room.
Verdict An elegant, relaxed hotel that caters well for the corporate guest. It is in a great location and has a gorgeous rooftop pool, an excellent restaurant and helpful staff.
Contact 8401 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, tel 1 323 656 1234