Andaz – West Hollywood, LA
By Sam Norton
Deputy Editor Sam Norton has had a lust for LA ever since her first trip… so would a return to Andaz West Hollywood prove just as successful? Turns out, it’s a resounding yes.
Last year was my first visit to L.A and I was hooked! It was also my first visit to the Andaz hotel in West Hollywood, and so when I knew I was returning to Los Angeles for work this year then I jumped at the chance to stay here once more.
Set on the Sunset strip at the foot of the Hollywood hills, this high-rise hotel was built in 1963 and was then named the Hyatt Hotel. Through the 60’s and 70’s it developed its now infamous rock and roll reputation. Led Zeplin often hired the entire 11th floor where their then tour manager Richard Cole would ride his motor bike through the corridors. Jim Morrisson also lived here for a while during the Doors residency at Whisky A Go Go until his eviction for hanging from the balcony by his fingertips.
It was, I’m sure, the scene of many a raucous party, with beer bottles, T.Vs and other items of furniture being thrown from balconies by various rock star guests. Hence the nickname The Riot was born. In 2009 after an extensive multi-million dollar renovation The Hotel was renamed Andaz West Hollywood.
Fast forward to 2018 and although the rock and roll scene is not as wild, it’s a memory that lives on, with the art and stories giving this hotel that glamorous edge. A huge mural of the Rolling Stones hangs from the lobby stairs, and music-inspired art is dotted throughout the building. The mezzanine gallery showcasing artwork is the perfect space to have a glass of something chilled, and makes for a fabulous backdrop for those LA photos. The huge Angel Wings by Colette Miller in the lobby is a must for a pose, even for the most camera shy.
There’s a relaxed, informal, yet glitzy vibe here – perfect for my four day stay.
A quick room inspection – huge bed, great view of the hills and a mini bar with complimentary soft drinks and snacks. Talking of complimentary, there is also free wine from 6-7pm in the lobby, plus daily coffee, pastries and fruit to help yourselves to. All this and we haven’t even been to the pool. Ahhhh the pool! The highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles. There’s a bar and shaded cabanas if needed, or sunbeds directly in the sun if you want to catch some rays and work on that Californian glow.
I manage to get a spot in the late afternoon sun. Decked out in a tiny animal print bikini (my love of leopard print knows no bounds) and brand spanking airport-fresh Dolce and Gabbana shades, I feel completely L.A ready. I am also in heels… I know, but if you can’t teeter about for at least five minutes in heels on a rooftop pool overlooking the Hollywood hills then where can you? That said, I do have my flip-flops in my bag.
The pool area has a very cool party vibe going on – nothing wild and crazy, but you can’t help but feel swept up in the glamour of it all, (and who doesn’t love a bit of glamour, right?). There’s perfectly pitched beats to listen to while you enjoy some afternoon cocktails. There is also an addition since my last visit – the Red Cabanna by the pool, plus the hotel’s new Red Suite which is a collaboration with RED – the AIDS organisation. The red suite was designed by Jonathan Adler and 30% of the nightly rate goes directly to this charity. Note to self: book all of this on my next stay.
After drinks next door, and a rather late night, I was amazed to be up so early the following day – but LA will do that to you. Plus the excitement of being at the Andaz compels me to spring up without my coveted lie-in.
Breakfast at Andaz West Hollywood is indeed a feast. There’s a sprawling, delicious buffet of charcuterie, fruit, flaky pastries, a steaming pot of porridge, eggs, glorious bacon, and the list goes on. Plus you can order from the a la carte menu. Suddenly ravenous hunger kicks in and I can’t possible faff about with waiting, instead making the decision to stack up a plate of delicious fresh melon, a bowl of porridge (to fuel me through the upcoming shopping trip, naturally) and a taste of soft, perfectly-cooked scrambled eggs with that maple bacon.
In addition to the pool, the scrummy breakfast, and the general understated glamour of it all, the hotel is in THE best location.
Firstly, next door is my personal favourite, The Saddle Ranch (I do love a cowboy theme). My god this bar is fun – beer, bucking bull thing, karaoke on a Tuesday (and as it’s in LA everyone sounds like a professional so needless to say I did not get up there). I didn’t eat while I was here but I hear good things about the s’mores (second note to self: find out what s’mores are). A totally different vibe, ten minute walk from here, is Chateau Marmont. A must for a drink at the bar and dinner if you can get a table. Weekdays you will probably be fine not to book, but just in case I’d recommend reserving your spot. After all, it’s one place you are bound to come across a celeb or two, especially if it’s Golden Globe or Oscar time.
Opposite the Andaz you have Sunset Tower (not a nursing home) – another gorgeously dimly-lit hotel bar that I’ve previously spent a rather fun drunken night at. Along from here, still walking distance, is Skybar on the rooftop of The Mondrian. Across the road is Katana – a hotspot for sushi and cocktails.
Then there is the shopping. You are so near Melrose, both high-end and eclectic fun boutiques, plus that pink Paul Smith wall that all the bloggers have a picture taken at. This will be busy especially at the weekends. I may or may not have made a special trip just to get the perfect shot!
While pondering all that surrounds the fabulous Andaz West Hollywood hotel, be sure to head to the bar and try their Rock and Roll cocktails before heading on. They were delicious!
In fact all the drinks were getting good points to be honest, the Bloody Marys the morning after a hazy night out were a godsend. To put it simply – I adore this hotel. The vibe, the glamour, the location, the history… it all just makes me want to return as soon as possible. Hollywood dreaming – I’ll be back!