Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
A solid but undistinguished 600-plus-room property drawing mostly business travelers, one block from the Walk of Fame
The two most noteworthy elements of the Loews Hollywood Hotel (formerly the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa) are the location in the heart of Movieland -- a block from Hollywood Boulevard and its many attractions -- and its luxury spa. And even though it offers clean, comfortable rooms; amenities aplenty, including a nice rooftop pool; reliable service, and some of the drawbacks are the generic decor. Since changing ownership in 2012, however, the hotel announced plans to undergo a massive $26 million renovation by the end of 2013.
As for now, the Loews Hollywood may feel rather nondescript, but you have to credit the hotel for incorporating its famous locale into as many aspects as possible. Staffers are known as "cast members"; housekeepers are called "room stylists." Famous Hollywood goodbyes ("Farewell, Mr. Bond"; "That's all folks!"; "Hasta la vista, baby") crowd the envelope that holds your receipt on the morning you check out. The on-site spa -- which joined the luxe exhale chain in 2013 -- has hosted Millionaire Matchmaker and The Bachelorette, and some of the suites and Executive Bedrooms include makeup rooms that performers use to prep for TV and film appearances.
In more ways than not, the Loews Hollywood is a solid but run-of-the-mill hotel dominated by business travelers five days a week most of the year. Still, the only other major hotel in the area is the iconic Roosevelt, so if you want to be near the Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscars), and other Hollywood attractions, the Loews Hollywood is your only midrange option. And, to be fair, a totally solid one. Generally, though, you'll find better deals and more interesting hotels a few miles west, in West Hollywood.
Efficient and cordial, but nothing extraordinary
The service is what you'd expect at this price point: solid but unspectacular. The bell staff will greet you at the curb, help with your bags, open doors, and flag taxis; the concierge knows her stuff. Just don't expect any above-and-beyond service or surprising extra touches.
In the heart of Hollywood, close to many attractions
The Loews Hollywood is literally attached to the Hollywood & Highland Center, a block from Hollywood Boulevard and its Walk of Fame. The once-infamous Boulevard has been revitalized over the last 20-plus years, and it now sports more dudes in SpongeBob and Spider-Man costumes than prostitutes and drug dealers. Other tourist(y) attractions on the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard just steps from the hotel include Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, the Chinese Theatre, the Knitting Factory, El Capitan Theatre (where Jimmy Kimmel Live! is filmed), and the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars are held.
The rooms are hit-and-miss. Unlike many hotels, the Loews Hollywood hits on the details and misses on a few of the basics. First, the hits. The rooms are large (standard rooms run 456 square feet), well lit, and, despite not having been fully renovated since 2001, still in good shape (see Cleanliness, below). Mostly, the rooms succeed in the details, notably the technology -- flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and fast, reliable Internet (either wired or Wi-Fi). Unfortunately, the rooms fall short in two important facets: the bathrooms (weak water pressure in the shower; thin towels) and the beds (cheap- and foamy-feeling, generic-brand mattresses; cotton-polyester blend sheets). It even took five minutes for the water to heat up in my bathroom, something I would have brushed off as an isolated phenomenon had I not called down to the front desk and learned that it "happens sometimes." Funny, I thought I was in L.A., not Saskatchewan.
In addition to the standard big-city big-hotel collection of amenities -- fitness center, business center, and meeting rooms -- the Loews Hollywood boasts a luxury spa and an inviting rooftop pool, complete with a view (albeit partial and distant) of the Hollywood sign. The pool would be quite inviting on a warm day -- a spacious, sunny deck with shaded cabanas and comfortable lounge chairs.
A good place for kids, mostly because of the location
The hotel's proximity to Hollywood Boulevard makes it a solid choice for families. That sentence may strike some readers as preposterous, given the Boulevard's once-notorious reputation as L.A.'s epicenter of seediness. But the area has been revitalized, and it now sports more dudes in SpongeBob and Spider-Man costumes than streetwalkers. Also there: a host of kid-friendly tourist(y) attractions, including the Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, and Madame Tussauds wax museum.
Despite not having been fully renovated since 2001, the Loews still looks sharp. I found some small stains and a few nicks and scratches in my room, and the light on the magnifying mirror in my bathroom didn't work. But overall the property is very well maintained. An extensive renovation to the property is slated to be complete by the end of 2013.
The hotel's eatery, Twist, is your standard big-chain hotel restaurant: i.e., totally decent but generic and overpriced, and it's not open for dinner. You're better off dining off-campus, especially since this is one of the few spots in L.A. where you can find a host of options within walking distance.
The hotel also has a tapas joint called Preston's. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A large, midrange chain property that draws primarily business travelers, the Loews Hollywood lacks the glitz and glamour that Hollywood connotes. Still, it boasts a luxury spa, inviting rooftop pool, and prime piece of real estate one block from Hollywood Boulevard and its attractions. Besides, the only competitor in the area is the pricier -- and noisier -- Roosevelt. A full-scale renovation of the restaurant, lobby, guest rooms, and fitness center will take place throughout 2013.