As you head toward the entrance of the W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills hotel, the loud rush of a waterfall stops you. You can hear the strong, steady stream but you can’t see it. It’s bewildering for a second until you realize the sound is coming from the steps below your dry feet. That’s about the moment you realize fun things are waiting inside.
The W Living Room (W’s take on the hotel lobby) is more than just a place to check into your room. It’s a place to be social and it’s where guests get their first look at a recently completed a $25 million dollar redesign and renovation that spans almost the entire property. Sleek and modern, the look and sound of the Living Room changes dramatically from day to night. Nooks and crannies are filled with colorful stools and swings to sit a spell, maybe play a game of chess or take in the slick scenery.
In the center of the Living Room, a cascade of water becomes the focus once again in the Oasis. A 12-foot water wall doubles as a screen for constantly changing video images. Wherever you land, be sure to look up. The lighting, which took a full million of the renovation budget, shines bright.
The W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills is located in Westwood, right on the edge of the UCLA campus. Walk straight out the door and you’ll be in the heart of bustling Westwood in mere blocks. Head the opposite direction and a quiet residential neighborhood is waiting. The hotel, that once served the area as a college dormitory, seems to fit into both communities.
That said, the 297 rooms have come a long way since their college days. They’re divided into half a dozen categories that range from a Wonderful Studio and Spectacular Suite to a WOW Suite and Extreme WOW Suite that comes with a plush, state-of-the-art theater room.
Though the rooms get bigger and grander as you work your way up the luxury ladder, they all share a common modern design theme inspired by the California outdoors. Shimmering palm tree silhouettes add shine to renovated guest bathrooms while faint shadows of greenery are used on walls above many beds to bring the feeling of the outside in. Sleek, sectional-style sofas are topped with fun throw pillows. Modern light fixtures work with natural light let into the room through louvered windows and sheer curtains.
Flatscreen televisions, DVD players and Bliss Spa products are standard in every room. Ice is easy to grab down the hall, but I missed having a usable refrigerator in the room. (The refrigerator is dedicated to the mini bar.) There’s also no coffee maker in the room. So if you’re craving caffeine, you’ll need to call room service, walk into Westwood or the hotel’s Backyard.
The Backyard restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a poolside setting. There’s also a re-fashioned Airstream that now enjoys a second, popular life as an outdoor pool bar.
During the week, the hotel attracts a strong stream of business travelers, but on weekends a mixed group of leisure travelers move in.
Wi-Fi is free for SPG members, so be sure to sign up before you check in.
The hotel welcomes dogs and cats, offering pet-friendly touches like pet beds and food and water bowls. There’s even a dog menu at The Backyard restaurant.
Dana was hosted by the W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.