Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
When hotelier Andre Balazs opened this first Standard back in 1999, he tried to do for boutique hotels what Ikea did for furniture: offer style on a budget. Targeted at the fashion-conscious but cash-strapped, this hotel offers a lot for a little: a hiply designed lobby and rooms that cheekily mix vintage décor from the '50s, '60s, and '70s; an affordable restaurant that stays open 24 hours for 2 a.m. post-clubbing meals; a convenient location (the nightlife-centric Sunset Strip); and DJs spinning in the lobby and at the hotel's cheekily-named mmhmmm lounge.
Ten years later, the Standard Hollywood still holds up -- for the most part. The rooms with their silver beanbag chairs and Warhol flower-print curtains have remained fresh with new linens. Bathrooms, renovated in 2012, are especially wonderful with gorgeous rain showers. The concierge/front desk receptionist can suggest French music festivals and hip hop nights in the same sentence, and any toiletries you're missing can be delivered up to your room, free of charge. The hotel also maintains regular upkeep of the building, and has replaced the dated carpets and repainted the hallways since Oyster's last visit.
It’s hard to lodge at a stylish place on the Strip that offers this much (a pool, nightlife, cheap and good 24-hour dining) for this low a price -- and affordable style remains the Standard’s primary sell. While the nearby Mondrian and London West Hollywood (with equally choice Strip or just-off-the-Strip locations) have more richly furnished rooms and on-site fitness centers, they usually go for a bit more. If affordable, hip, and on the Strip are your key wishes, welcome to the Standard Hollywood.
On the Sunset Strip, home to some of L.A.'s most famous music venues
Located at Sunset and Sweetzer Avenue, the Standard sits on the famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, the edgier section of tourist friendly Hollywood. The Sunset Strip, which has long been known for clubs like the House of Blues, the Roxy, Viper Room, and Whisky a Go-Go, has gotten significantly more upscale than its strip-club-and-head-shop days in the '70s and '80s. While its days of infamy are long gone, it's still home to some fun bars and restaurants, most with outdoor seating.
In the eastern part of Sunset Strip, the Standard is just a few-block walk from the House of Blues and the Saddle Ranch restaurant (famous for its mechanical bull), as well as the Mondrian and the Sunset Towers hotels (nearest full-service spa). The Whiskey, Roxy, and Viper Room are a little farther west -- walkable, but you still might want to drive the two minutes to avoid the Sunset traffic whizzing by.
The bright blue rooms are furnished in a '50s-meets-'60s style, with silver Austin Powers-like beanbag chairs and Warhol flower-print curtains. Cute, fun, and with solid amenities, the rooms are stylish without being over-the-top. Bathrooms, after a 2012 renovation, are especially impressive, with gorgeous rain showers (and no more bright orange tiling!).
The Standard lacks a business and fitness center, as well as a spa. Guests, mainly singles or couples without children in tow, don't seem to mind this, focusing their attention on the party-hearty atmosphere of The Standard. The pool (see more below) offers a fun atmosphere with wait service until midnight, while the nightclub (cheekily named mmhmmm) keeps guests busy into the wee hours.
A pool with a fun Astroturf deck, and poolside service until midnight
The hotel's outdoor pool with its hard-to-miss, bright blue Astroturf deck remains a huge draw for both guests and private events. It helps that the poolside wait service runs until midnight, turning the deck into a popular evening as well as daytime hangout.
Small dogs only
Dogs weighing less than 25 pounds are welcome. The hotel charges a nonrefundable fee per stay -- but doesn't provide any dog bowls, food, or other pet amenities.
More party spot than family hotel
Although occasionally you will find hip moms playing with their kids on the Astroturf pool deck, the Standard Hollywood feels more like a party hotel than a pit stop on the family vacation. Still, if families don't mind the noise of the Strip or DJs spinning music in the lobby at night, they should enjoy the hotel's cheap kid-friendly food, pool with a pingpong table, and affordable rooms spacious enough to fit cribs and cots with ease. For a considerably more family-friendly atmosphere, try the Magic Castle in Hollywood or the Loews downtown.
Affordable and always on call
At the Standard Hollywood, guests eat for cheap with affordable entrees and cheap snacks like macaroni and cheese, guacamole, and fries. It may not be fine dining, but the casual American-style fare is available 'round the clock at the Standard's 24-hour, diner-style restaurant, or through room service. Even poolside food service runs until midnight.
This 139-room hip boutique offers stylish lodgings and a prime Sunset Strip location for lower rates than the Mondrian (but with less luxurious rooms). You won't get this much (cool pool, cheap 24-hour restaurant, great nightlife) for this little elsewhere on the Strip. But there is no fitness center, spa, or business center on site. Guests, primarily singles or couples without children, don't seem to miss the extra amenities, focusing more on the boutique's party atmosphere and stylish offerings. Families, while welcome, may be better suited elsewhere.