- Fee for valet parking
- Fee for Wi-Fi
- Smaller than average rooms for L.A.
- Poolside rooms can be noisy.
- No guaranteed guest access to in-hotel club Teddy's
A historic landmark with a modern Hollywood party scene, the Roosevelt is a destination hotel right on the Walk of Fame.
Like an aging Hollywood starlet, the 300-room Roosevelt, which first opened in 1927, still has a spark of something special, even if its special glow has long faded. Host to the first Academy Awards and, over the decades, the temporary residence to a roster of stars longer than a summer blockbuster's credit reel, the landmark hotel sits on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, just steps from today's home of the Academy Awards, the Kodak Theatre. Guests, provided they bring enough cash, can certainly play the part of a movie star in the ornate Spanish-style lobby, the hotel's numerous bars, and the airy, candelit Bridge restaurant.
The Roosevelt became a Thompson hotel in 2005, and despite the brand's reputation for chilly service, most of the staff was cheery and helpful, an experience an experience similar to other trendy L.A. hotels like the Standard Hollywood and the Mondrian. However, the Roosevelt's storied history, massive pool, and prime Hollywood Boulevard location are tempered by small rooms and an exhausting nightly party scene. Not even guests can get on the list at A-list favorite Teddy's, and the party at the poolside Tropicana bar goes until 2 a.m. (Good to know if you book one of the cabana rooms that overlook that scene.) Added to the teeming nightlife of the Roosevelt in 2011 are The Spare Room--touted as a modern day gambling and cocktail lounge--and Beacher's Madhouse--a Vaudeville inspired theater with nightly variety acts ranging from firebreathers and contortionists to live animals and burlesque. Hedonist's dream or nightmare, you decide. Those caveats aside, many guests choose to stay at the Roosevelt specifically for the scene, which often includes internationally known DJs dropping by and celebrities spending the night. The similarly priced Sunset Tower, another historic Hollywood hotel, is much calmer -- in part because it has only 74 rooms.
Warm and helpful service is the norm, from housekeeping to the concierge.
Despite Thompson Hotels' reputation for spotty service, everyone from the valets and front desk to waiters and housekeepers were warm and helpful.
In the heart of Hollywood, the hotel is close to many attractions.
The hotel is in the heart of the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard and just steps from the Kodak Theatre, the home of the Academy Awards. Other Hollywood attractions, like Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, the Chinese Theatre, the Knitting Factory, and El Capitan, are also within walking distance. Dining options in the vicinity are plentiful.
Los Angeles is a sprawling city of almost 10 million people and a veritable spaghetti bowl of highways. Traffic can be infuriating -- and parking can be nonsensically expensive -- but renting a car makes touring the city much easier than relying on limited public transportation options.
Smaller-than-average rooms are nonetheless well designed.
At 300 square feet, the king superior room in the main tower is smaller than average for the price. (The London's base room is more than double the size; rooms at the Chamberlain and the Beverly Hilton start at 350 square feet.) But the Dodd Mitchell design, completed in 2005, manages to squeeze plenty into the space, including a flat-screen TV, desk, two bedside lamps, and a king-size bed. True to Thompson form, everything's branded, from Sferra linens to C.O. Bigelow toiletries to Dean & Deluca minibar snacks to Frette bath robes.
There's plenty to do at this iconic property. Three bars -- including Teddy's, which guests often can't get into -- complement two full-service restaurants, one of which is open 24 hours. The massive pool is busy, but not packed, at all hours. A relatively large fitness center has top-quality equipment and is well maintained. The historic lobby is a Hollywood Boulevard tourist sight in its own right. The hotel also has the vintage-inspired Spare Room, complete with two-lane bowling alley (which carries a hefty per hour per lane pricetag) and cocktail lounge filled with games.
One of L.A.'s biggest pools also hosts internationally known DJs late into the night.
The massive 80-by-30-foot pool, featuring an underwater mural by British artist David Hockney, is a major draw not just for daytime lounging but also for nighttime debauchery. Before lunch, lithe twentysomethings lounge away the previous night's fun while slowly sipping cocktails. In the evening, groups rendezvous over beers to plan out the night's fun. Even later, big-name DJs and guest hosts like Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke keep the crowds -- including those who might be trying to sleep in their poolside rooms -- energized until 2 a.m.
Surrounding the pool are 60 cabanas that were completely renovated in 2012. However, they can be noisy, depending on how wild the partying becomes; that said, many guests find the proximity to the pool an asset.
The Roosevelt isn't a family hotel.
Despite the party scene, the hotel is well kept.
Rooms and bathrooms are in good shape, save the worn edges of the platform bed and desk. Public spaces are similarly well maintained.
Two restaurants and three bars fuel the party around the clock.
With both fine and casual dining restaurants as well as poolside food service, guests can eat around the clock at the Roosevelt. (Room service is available 24 hours a day too.) A poolside bar, a dimly lit cocktail den, modern gaming lounge, vaudeville theater and an exclusive nightclub round out the broad array of food and drink options.
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