Last week, I had my first opportunity to stay at an Andaz Hotel, which is part of the Hyatt Hotels brand. Andaz hotels are described as “upscale, boutique-inspired lifestyle properties that distill the best of their locale.” They first launched in 2007 in London but they now have properties in Los Angeles, San Diego, Shanghai and two in New York City (Andaz Wall Street and Andaz 5th Avenue). They currently have plans to open Andaz Hotels in Maui, Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Delhi.
I spent a Thursday night in the Andaz West Hollywood (I was hosted by Hyatt) because I was doing a presentation on Friday morning on Social Media + Travel to 85 employees of Wagstaff Worldwide.
Everything went well and the only bummers were that I could hear my neighbor’s toilet flush (twice) in the middle of the night and my room smelled terribly of spray paint when I returned from breakfast. (I wasn’t the only guest who smelled it yet the hotel staff had no answers.)
Regardless, my overall experience was positive and I would love to stay there again.
Here are 10 reasons to stay at Andaz West Hollywood:
The Andaz West Hollywood is located right on Sunset Boulevard across from The House of Blues and next to the popular Saddle Ranch Chop House. I grabbed a salad to go from there.
I arrived at the hotel at a busy time and valet was backed up but the staff did the best they could with their small driveway. The dedicated Andaz hosts in the lobby quickly made up for it. The staff is friendly, they approach you the moment you enter the door and they check you in with an iPad. That’s right, an iPad! My host told me to choose a seat anywhere to do the check-in. Or, we could have done it standing up at the door or at one of the communal workspaces featuring oversized tables, computers and outlets.
3. Free drinks
My host Ron asked me if I would like something to drink and then explained that there’s complimentary coffee, water, wine and snacks in the lobby.
4. Free mini-bar
My eyes lit up when Ron told me that the mini bar in every room is complimentary for the non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. It’s not often you get to raid the mini-bar for free. I felt like saying what Cleo in the movie Coming to America said to the King. “I don’t know whether to kiss your hand, or bow, or what. I feel like breakdancing.”
5. Comfortable room
The rooms at Andaz West Hollywood are contemporary and fun … on my desk were some old vinyl albums! But I appreciated the comfortable bed with cozy sheets and the lightweight comforter the most. The pillows were a bit too soft for my liking but the large flat screen TV and the chairs situated so you could look out over the city, were a nice touch. The bathroom was great too and it came with a brand new tube of toothpaste, which you rarely see but I always appreciate.
I was on the 8th floor and had a view of the Sunset Strip and the city. It was excellent but the other side, facing the Hollywood Hills, wasn’t too shabby either, especially from the higher floors since you can admire all the beautiful homes, no doubt owned by folks in the entertainment industry.
You have to love a hotel that offers free Wi-Fi throughout the building. The Andaz people are smart, too. After you agree to the terms, their landing page directs users straight to their Facebook page, which makes for an easy ‘like’.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make time to hit the gym (slacker, I know) but they do have a state-of-the-art fitness center with 24/7 access and personal trainers.
I did find time to check out the chic rooftop pool and sundeck, which has spectacular views. It’s also where the Panorama Room is located, which is where I gave my presentation (below) to Wagstaff Worldwide.
After doing a search I learned that The Andaz West Hollywood used to be The Continental Hyatt Hotel and has a lot of Hollywood history. Here are a few tidbits:
- Led Zeppelin used to occupy six floors of the hotel in the mid-to-late 1970s and their drummer, John Bonham, was reported to have driven a motorcycle down the hallways.
- Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones dropped a TV out the window from room 1015
- They filmed scenes from the 2000 movie Almost Famous here. One of them was when Russell Hammond cried out, “I am a Golden God!” which was a reference to Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant who allegedly said the same thing while looking over Sunset Strip from one of the hotel’s balconies in 1975.
- The roof of the hotel is where they filmed the end-of-tour party in the movie. This is Spinal Tap.
- Little Richard lived in room 319 through much of the 1980s and 1990s.
- Jim Morrison lived in the hotel until he was kicked out by management for hanging out of a window.
11. “Riot Hyatt” (BONUS)
This came in from a reader. It used to be called the “Riot Hyatt” when it was a not so nice experience (unless you like all night parties and hard foam pillows). But the restaurant in the lobby is called “RH” in homage to the Riot Hyatt (corporate will tell you it stands for Riot House…so as not to stick the company name in there).
As you can see, the Andaz West Hollywood is a special place and after spending just one night I could see why it’s popular with leisure and business travelers … and rock stars, too!
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