Let’s face it: Hollywood does things to people. We are drawn to movie making, stardom, glamour, and the trappings of fame and celebrity. This is not a new thing. Even the most jaded of us will get a little wonky when the buzz of celebrity is close by. And the nucleus for all this continues to be Hollywood.
So it figures that somebody would build a luxurious hotel smack in the middle of it. Which is exactly what a legendary group of people did in 1927, with names like Mayer, Pickford, Fairbanks and Grauman involved. Two years later the very first Academy Awards were held in the hotel’s “Blossom Room.” Walking into this beautiful, historic room is to feel some magic of those first glamour days of the American film industry. And this is only a small part of exploring this great hotel.
The construction and decor of The Roosevelt is a wonderful example of early Southern California style and architecture, lovingly restored and preserved by the Thompson Hotel Group. From the polished floor tiles to the clever, intricate deco ceilings and wall reliefs, the eye is dazzled. Chandeliers and lobby and lounge lighting fixtures are simply amazing.
And the scene. Understated, humming, wink-and-a-nod cool, it is clear that this is a place a celebrity or business group can seek quiet, and a little anonymity. The Roosevelt provides quite a few venues to make this happen and they each do their job in unique ways: The Spare Room, with its leathered elegance, clubby game tables, and two-lane bowling alley (with on-site bowling coach) is a favorite for celebrities and guests. Windows out to Hollywood Boulevard help keep an eye on the crowds across the street at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The intimate Teddy’s, and the mixology fan’s dream, The Library Bar, are must-stops for any stay at The Roosevelt as well.
The famous David Hockney-painted pool, with its adjacent Tropicana Bar, emphasizes the understated, privacy-focused nature of The Roosevelt. While it can be a wonderful party at the cocktail hour and is frequently the site of record label and movie launch parties, this area of the hotel retains its exclusive character with the help of the attentive and professional hotel staff. Business gets done around this pool and in the adjacent cabana rooms.
Rated by the Los Angeles Times as serving one of L.A.’s best burgers, 25 Degrees restaurant in The Roosevelt is a cozy, friendly and casual eatery. Belly up to the counter and have a delicious milkshake (or a martini) with your burger. The fries are memorable as well. The Public Kitchen and Bar, with its plush banquettes, is another place to dine in the hotel, a big enough room to get a feel for the Roosevelt’s venerable history.
The rooms have a modernist feel to them without trying to be too cute and there is enough of a range of options all the way up to the Marilyn Monroe Suite, or the Gable Lombard Penthouse to suit any needs, and the valet parking at The Roosevelt is well run, safe, and worth the price. This historic hotel has a long life ahead of it. Enjoy!