Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hollywood: London West Hotel

 We realized not long ago that we've lived in Southern California for over 2 decades, and not once have we explored the LA area! That's an amazing thought, given that Hollywood / Beverly Hills is about 100 miles away. So we picked a weekend and spent two nights at the London West Hollywood, a hotel half a block off of Sunset Strip.
 Let me set the picture of our arrival. On a Friday morning, we left our house not long after dawn and made what turned out to be a 3 hour journey (with traffic) to the Bronson Sunset studios. That is where they film People's Court, Judge Judy, and Let's Make a Deal (LMAD). We had tickets to LMAD and spent from 10 AM to 3 PM in the hands of the LMAD staff. We will be on the center aisle on episode 2066 which airs Dec 22. Nikki wore a devils costume, I wore just a weird combination of "stuff". We were exhausted when we left LMAD so we made a beeline to check in. Still in costume. We pull into the valet parking line (that's all LWH has) alongside the Jags, Rolls, and Bentlys in our little rented Chevy. And out walks Nikki, high heels, short devils costume, horns and pitchfork. We shocked the upper class. The lady behind the counter, giggling, asked us where we had been. I told her. A big smile came across her face and she said it sounded fun! So up to the room we go.
 The door in the rear left of this photo is the front door. I had reserved a corner suite. The room was very large, but was not divided up so the living area and bedroom were one large room. Believe it or not, it worked very well.
 Turning 180 degrees, this is the other half of the room. A tic-tac-toe board set up and waiting. On the second day here as we returned to the hotel, I noticed a Hollywood tour bus stopped out front, with the tourists snapping photos of our hotel like crazy. So I started a wild Google search to find out why.
 The sofa that was quite comfy. The results of my search? The hotel used to be called the Bel Age until it was sold and renamed in 2008. The Bel Age was originally decorated in the 1980s and was the home of one Vince Neil (singer from Motley Crue) for awhile as he sorted out his life. His car collection resided downstairs. But I don't think that is why the tour guide stopped here. I also found out that this was the hotel featured on several episodes of Beverly Hills 90210. Specifically, Dylan lived here during the first season. And in the third season, this was the hotel where Brenda catches Dylan in the pool with Kelly. (the rooftop pool is spectacular, btw). Apparently, in another episode this is the hotel where they caught Kelly's mom having an affair. (I have no idea who those characters are, as I've never seen 90210. Just repeating what I read online)
 Luggage was stacked behind the bed, just in front of the door. Note the devil's fork sticking out of the bag.
 Now, let's go into the bathroom (door on the right).
 Huge shower with two shower heads. Very nice.
 I got drenched one morning as I turned on the shower and the cleaning woman had left the wand on, and pointing right out of the shower! It actually soaked the whole bathroom.
 A very deep tub with a wild tile pattern.
 The sink area.
 If one follows the wall with the bathroom door further to the right, there are closet doors and a great view of the Sunset Strip area.
 Another view out the same window - Sunset Strip is where the tall brownish building is.
We were lucky - the day was quite clear.

 Going to the southern end of the room close to the tic-tac-toe board, this is the other view from the room. The row of tall buildings in the distance is Wilshire Blvd, I believe.
 This is Garbanzo, the mascot of the LWH. He greets visitors every Friday from 3 to 6. I bet he smiled at the devil costume, too.
 But these photos were taken at 6 PM when Garbanzo was going home. taxEEE!
And away he goes. His keeper told us he was going to a movie premier. lol. Overall, a nice hotel in a great location. We'll stay there again!

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