Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A bland, rundown chain hotel that isn't actually in
The nameconjures up images of luxury shopping, mansions, expensive cars, and Rodeo Drive. This isn't that Beverly Hills. The Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills Hotel is a Beverly Hills hotel in name only; both its zip code and surroundings -- on four-lane South Beverly Drive, across the street from a Residence Inn and next door to a Citibank -- clearly place it in a ho-hum stretch of West Los Angeles. About a half-mile up on South Beverly, you hit a lovely stretch of shops and restaurants, but it's a fairly unpleasant, desolate walk there. Rodeo Drive, the center of Beverly Hills luxury shopping and dining district, is about a mile away.
The hotel dubs itself "luxury boutique lodging," but it's neither "luxury" nor "boutique." Sure, you'll find orange and cucumber water in the lobby, but also dusty plants and dated rugs. Ultimately, this is a large, 258-unit chain hotel with ordinary rooms, cottage cheese ceilings, heavy curtains, and gold and black carpets. At 300 square feet, the standard Deluxe Rooms are larger than you'll find at most boutiques in Beverly Hills, like the Crescent and the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, but they're also far less luxurious, with poly-blend duvet covers and CD players, not iPod docks. On the plus side, rooms have small empty refrigerators, coffeemakers, and something the hotel calls a "Sleep Advantage Kit" -- a sachet with an eye mask, ear plugs, night-light, and lavender-scented linens spray. Service also tends toward the utilitarian. The concierge desk was covered with tour brochures and manned by porters, not a dedicated concierge.
With a central location and reasonable rates, the hotel attracts tourists from Australia and Europe, many of them on package holidays. It's the same type of crowd at the nearby and similarly priced Tower Beverly Hills, but the slightly nicer rooms there have balconies. And for these prices, you could grab a smaller but more stylish room at a boutique hotel in Beverly Hills proper, like the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive or Maison 140. Both are within easy walking distance of great shopping and dining. For larger rooms in this price range, check out the Orlando, a true boutique hotel just outside of Beverly Hills on a lovely street of cafes and shops. The Crowne Plaze Beverly Hills is no jewel.
Despite its name, the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills is in, the edgier section of tourist-friendly Hollywood. The location borders Beverly Hills, the enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside, but the premier shopping street, Rodeo Drive, is a 15- to 20-minute walk away. A bit closer to the hotel, about a half-mile north on South Beverly Drive, is a pleasant stretch of restaurants and shops, but they're still a solid 10-minute walk away. The blocks immediately surrounding the Crowne Plaza are populated by banks and other hotels, though there is a Coffee Been & Tea Leaf, L.A.'s famed coffee chain, and a popular deli within a few minutes' walk of the hotel. To reach other attractions in Los Angeles, a sprawling city of almost 10 million and a veritable spaghetti bowl of highways, you'll need a car. Traffic, however, can be infuriating.
The hotel has a basic assortment of features that may make it seem like a worthy, affordable alternative to Beverly Hills boutique properties, but they're unremarkable and add little value. Guests will get more -- better rooms, better location, equal features -- just outside of Beverly Hills at the Orlando.