With the January 2010 opening of the W Hollywood hotel and residential complex in Los Angeles, the reinvigoration of the historic Hollywood and Vine district has taken a major leap forward, or upward in the hotel’s case.
The 15-story combination hotel and residence tower stands in the heart of Hollywood. The W Hollywood (6250 Hollywood Blvd.) took about 10 years to come to fruition and opens as redevelopment in the formerly notoriously seedy section of Hollywood continues at full steam to transform the area into both a tourist and residential destination.
The multi-million dollar complex offers 305 high-end hotel rooms along with 143 luxury condominiums. Both guests and residents can enjoy a number of amenities including restaurants, bars and a rooftop pool with spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills, including that famous “Hollywood” sign, as well as the skyline of downtown Los Angeles.
The W Hollywood is just one of the many W Hotels scattered throughout the world. One of the unique aspects of the Hollywood location is that it is a somewhat unusual collaboration between the public and private sectors. The various developers of the W Hollywood partnered with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro), which owns the land and has a newly refurbished station steps away. Marty Collins, the president and CEO of Gatehouse Capital which developed the complex, is pleased with the results.
“We have paired an iconic brand to an iconic intersection in a city that is a global destination recognized the world over,” Collins said. “And, in doing so, ushered in a second Golden Age that will redefine and revitalize modern Hollywood.”
Guests entering the W literally get the Hollywood red-carpet treatment on the hotel’s red-carpeted staircase. The lobby, or “Living Room,” is a massive space sitting below a 34-foot-high ceiling. An elegant 18-foot-tall crystal chandelier winds its strands of fiber optic lights down above guests who can lounge in comfy sofas while imbibing their favorite beverages.
There is both an entrance to the hotel off the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame and from the motor court just around the corner on Argyle Avenue. The W offers visitors any number of pieces of art, but for those driving into the motor court comes the awesome spectacle of the “Wave.” This massive piece of stainless steel – 170-feet-long by 55-feet-wide – is covered in 40,000 LED lights that appear to flow like a moving wave.
In the hotel’s lobby area is the Delphine Eatery & Bar (323-798-1355) that offers diners a mix of French cuisine including foie gras and chicken liver mousse. Braised lamb, garlic chicken and pizzas are just many of the of the dishes found on Delphine’s menu.
Just outside the “Living Room” is the “Station Hollywood,” which is an open-air space housing a bar, food service, fire pits, teak seating and a 600-square-foot pull-down movie screen.
Besides the fabulous views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown Los Angeles, the rooftop pool offers guests cabanas ($500 a day) and curtained daybeds ($250 a day) as well as a bar. Opening in March and sharing the rooftop space is Drai’s Hollywood, a steakhouse and nightclub.
The hotel rooms offer guests a variety of amenities, including king- sized platform beds that are covered in 350-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose down comforters. There are also flat-screen televisions and marble baths. The W also offers, for a fee, in-room DVD rentals, and iPod and Wi-Fi services. Rooms begin at $219 and run up to $4,000 for the “E-Wow” (emphasis on “wow”) suite.
For guests who need some pampering, the W offers “Bliss,” an upscale worldwide chain of spas. Bliss takes up two floors and 6,000 square feet to offer a variety of tension-fighting treatments for both men and women. And for those needing a workout, there is “Sweat,” the hotel’s fitness center.
People staying at the W are within easy walking distance of the historic Hollywood Pantages Theatre (6233 Hollywood Blvd.). This classic Art Deco theatre originally showed films and was the home of both the Academy and Emmy Awards’ ceremonies for a time. Now it offers patrons live theater productions that have included performances of such stage shows as “Cats,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Riverdance.”
There are many nightclubs in the Hollywood and Vine area near the W Hollywood. One bar that has been around since opening in 1938 is the Frolic Room (6245 Hollywood Blvd.) It, like the Pantages, is just a couple minutes walk from the W and sits a few yards from the theater’s entrance. Unlike many of the neighborhood’s nightclubs, there is no cover charge to enter the Frolic. It is more of a locals’ bar, except when productions are going on at the Pantages, in which case it is pretty jammed just before and after shows. Drinks top out at about $6, with beers a bit cheaper.
Tourists staying at the W and wanting to visit Universal Studios can simply walk out of the hotel and descend into the Metro station just outside the hotel’s doors. In just a few minutes, you can be enjoying the theme park’s fun.