Staying at The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California

By Shandelle Battersby

Shandelle Battersby steps back in time at The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California.
The Hollywood Roosevelt hotelin California.
The Hollywood Roosevelt hotelin California.

Location: This very famous hotel, named for President Theodore Roosevelt, was built on Hollywood Boulevard (at No7000, to be precise) in 1927 and has hosted stars such as Charlie Chaplin, and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who carried on their affair in its penthouse. Former resident Marilyn Monroe lived for two years in one of the poolside cabanas, which has been named and designed in her honour with 1950s-inspired decor. The hotel's iconic rooftop sign is visible for miles.

History: The first Academy Awards ceremony was held here in 1929 in the hotel's recently restored Blossom Ballroom. Back then, the ceremony only took 15 minutes.

Check-in experience: A little confusing because our Uber dropped us off at a side entrance. The hotel's dimly lit Spanish Colonial Revival-style historic lobby is home to a bar, tiled fountain, magnificent cast-iron antique chandelier, leather sofas, tables and chairs, and is where everyone parks up to use the free wi-fi.

Check-in is on the ground floor near the valet parking, and once we found it, registering was smooth sailing. There are computers and an ATM here too.

What's in the neighbourhood? You're right on top of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and all of Tinseltown's grime and glamour. The Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are now held, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre are across the road, and the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center and Metro Red Line are a short walk. There's also a number of museums and attractions nearby for the kids - or just take them along the madness of Hollywood Boulevard. Beware of the many people dressed as movie or cartoon characters - they want money in exchange for a photo.

The room: A huge - huge! - very chic loft-style double studio on the 8th floor of the 12-storey Tower, which has been recently renovated by international design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The room was light and airy, and its three big windows were dressed with curtains and blackout blinds. We had an ultra-comfortable king-sized bed each - so soft it was like sleeping on air - with large dark wooden headboards, and the room also had a lounge area, desk, and two wardrobes. Hardwood floors are covered with stylish rugs, and the rooms can be closed off from the entrance with a huge sliding barn door. Photographs and contemporary art lined the walls. The bedside table comes with a couple of power points. Definitely one of the nicest hotel rooms I've ever stayed in.

The view: We looked down on to the Walk of Fame - outside the hotel are the stars of Hugh Hefner and Tom Cruise. Downtown LA's skyscrapers were visible in the distance.

The bathroom: Bigger than some of the flats I've lived in, with an absolutely enormous shower stall, and a fabulous gray, white and black tessellated pattern on the floor.

Toiletries: Davines, which were divine.

Food and drink: There are no less than seven places to eat and drink on-site, including the 60s-themed poolside Tropicana Pool Cafe, 24-hour burger joint 25 Degrees, and Vaudeville-inspired theatre venue Beacher's Madhouse.

Room service: Of course, 24-hour. A 1.5L bottle of Armand de Brignac Rose will set you back US$2500 ($3349) or a magnum of Grey Goose vodka US$750. The minibar is worth a mention here - housed in a classic wooden drinks cabinet that I'd be happy to own, it was loaded up with top-shelf liquor.

Facilities: Famous for the million-dollar David Hockney artwork on its bottom, the pool is amazing. The scene around it, which includes those using its famous cabanas and patrons drinking at the Tropicana, is casual, with lots of families and people from all walks of life. The hotel also has a lovely garden area with fire pits, palm trees and a built-in bar; a small gym; and a number of meeting rooms.

Don't miss: The black-and-white photos of celebrities including Bruce Springsteen and Robert Redford by the elevators on each floor of the Tower, and the historic features that have been kept, such as the original mail chutes.

Noise: None at all, though housekeeping had thoughtfully put earplugs in little Hollywood Roosevelt monogrammed cases next to the beds.

Price: You'd be looking at around NZ$600 a night for a double studio room, probably more. The cheapest rooms, Queen Superior, start from US$200.


Perfect for: A taste of old Hollywood glamour.

- NZ Herald

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