Tried & Tested

Hol­ly­wood, CA

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

Loews Hol­ly­wood Ho­tel; LOT Pol­ish Air­lines NewYork JFK – War­saw In­ter­na­tional 787 Busi­ness Class

BACK­GROUND In a town fa­mous for its iconic ho­tels, the Loews Hol­ly­wood be­gan life some­what more mod­estly in 1972 as a Hol­i­day Inn. In 2001, the 20-story property was re­flagged as a Re­nais­sance and con­nected to the Hol­ly­wood & High­land Cen­ter shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment com­plex, note­wor­thy for its enor­mous neo-Baby­lo­nian gate and quasi-In­dian ele­phants.

Loews bought the ho­tel in 2012 and launched a $26 mil­lion top-to-bot­tom ren­o­va­tion, the in­au­gu­ral ac­qui­si­tion in an am­bi­tious strat­egy to ex­pand the brand’s port­fo­lio to more than 30 owned or man­aged ho­tels over the next five years.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? We were guests while Loews was putting the fin­ish­ing touches on the ren­o­va­tions, so there was a con­sid­er­able buzz with teams of work­ers and rem­nants of scaf­fold­ing here and there. But that was only a mi­nor dis­trac­tion from the over­all grandeur of the place. The mas­sive lobby is all decked out in stone and glass, with splen­did light­ing and a real sense of space. But at the same time, de­spite its size and edgy de­sign, it’s cu­ri­ously peo­ple­friendly, with an un­der­stated check-in area and plenty of room for guests to con­gre­gate for con­ver­sa­tion and net­work­ing or the oc­ca­sional ad hoc busi­ness meet­ing.

WHERE IS IT? Lo­cated at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­land Av­enue and Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard, it doesn’t get much more Tin­sel­town than this. Close to lots of shop­ping and din­ing, and ad­ja­cent to the Dolby Theatre where the Os­cars are handed out, the ho­tel is walk­ing dis­tance from such land­marks as Grau­man’s Chi­nese Theatre, the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame and the Hol­ly­wood Bowl.

ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES Un­like some LA ho­tels I’ve been in, my king room was gen­er­ous, but not au­da­cious, in size. What it may have lacked in space it more than made up for in com­fort, style and ex­pan­sive, peace­ful views of the Hol­ly­wood Hills. The dé­cor was un­der­stated and clearly no de­tail had been over­looked in the ren­o­va­tion.

The spa­cious bath­room fea­tured one of the most re­vi­tal­iz­ing show­ers I have ever en­joyed in any ho­tel, bar none. Noth­ing fancy, but ev­ery­one in our group com­mented on the qual­ity of the show­ers in their rooms.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The good news for culi­nary fans is that with more than two dozen din­ing al­ter­na­tives just out­side the door in the Hol­ly­wood & High­land Cen­ter and plenty more within walk­ing dis­tance, any ho­tel restau­rant has to be above par. That is cer­tainly the case with Pre­ston’s, one of Loews en­tries into the area’s cui­sine scene.

Pre­ston’s serves break­fast, lunch and din­ner in a fresh mar­ket con­cept. The break­fast buf­fet was limited, but tasty. My grilled sal­mon with creamy pep­per dress­ing was a per­fect lunch, and we’re told the salad se­lec­tions and tuna-tor­tilla stack are quite won­der­ful. BUSI­NESS MEET­ING AND LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES The property boasts a mas­sive 120,000 square feet of flex­i­ble meet­ing space in­clud­ing on­site ex­hi­bi­tion space and a ball­room large enough to ac­com­mo­date up to 2,000 guests. In ad­di­tion, meet­ings can spill out onto the pool ter­race or in the Dolby Theatre.

The ho­tel of­fers a 24hour busi­ness cen­ter with com­put­ers, copy ma­chine and fax ma­chines. A 24-hour concierge is on hand to see to any­thing else you need.

On the fifth floor is where you’ll find the heated out­door pool with its stun­ning views of the Hol­ly­wood sign and Loews ex­hale Spa. The ho­tel also of­fers a well-equipped in­door and out­door fit­ness cen­ter, com­pli­men­tary for all guests.

VER­DICT Loews Ho­tels is mak­ing an en­er­getic move to build its port­fo­lio, and the Hol­ly­wood property marks a sig­nif­i­cant start­ing point. Judg­ing by the re­sults here, I’ll look for­ward to check­ing out the other high-end ho­tels of­fered un­der this brand. BT

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