The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Downtown, Los Angeles, California

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Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • At least 30 minutes from the beach
  • Dated decor; cement lobby was built in 1977.
  • Fee for Internet access
  • Pricey parking
  • Expensive business center

Bottom Line

Like downtown neighbor Wilshire Grand, this towering hotel offers many perks for the price: pool, shops, large fitness center -- only with better views. Plus, the hotel completed a much-needed room renovation in 2011. Just don't expect elegance outside the rooms -- the dated, cement lobby looks like a cross between a parking garage and a shopping-mall food court.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A massive business hotel, with a six-story shopping mall and lots of amenities, in downtown L.A.'s financial district

The lobby
The lobby

Part shopping mall, part hotel, all big. This 1,354-room hotel's five cylindrical towers, made of reflective glass, shoot 35 stories into the sky, rivaling the nearby skyscrapers that bear names like UnionBank, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. External glass elevators rocket guests up to their rooms at ear-popping speed. On the top floors, LA Prime serves expensive steaks, and customers sip drinks in the rotating BonaVista Lounge as they take in 360-degree views of the Los Angeles skyline.

Given its location in L.A.'s downtown financial center and its 110,000 square feet of convention space, the hotel caters primarily to business travelers. But for a business-oriented place, the Westin Bonaventure packs a load of additional leisure-style amenities: a heated, outdoor pool, a huge spa, a host of dining options, and extensive workout facilities. And then there are the shops. A giant, six-story atrium contains an entire mall's worth of goods and services -- everything from a dentist's office to a Panda Hut Chinese restaurant and an FTD florist.

Although there's plenty to do in the building, the common areas are far from beautiful. The hotel was built in 1977, and the architectural style emphasizes artificial materials: steel, glass, and lots of cement. The interior design doesn't help; plastic plants on the lobby level and chlorinated fountains are as good as it gets. Luckily, things improve a bit in the rooms (renovated in 2011), where floor-to-ceiling windows offer great views of the city below.

The only other mega-hotel in the area that offers similar amenities (but no spa) is the enormous Wilshire Grand, which also underwent a renovation at the same time. Travelers should consider whichever option is cheaper. For a downtown location with better decor and classier public spaces, you can pay more and stay at the Omni, although its rooms are underwhelming.

 Service

Extensive services and efficient execution, though nothing special

The front desk
The front desk

The service here is pretty standard for what you pay; the staff does a lot for guests, but only if they ask. Several doormen stand ready at the entrance to hail cabs when guests approach, but they don't run out to cars to grab bags from new arrivals. At check-in, the clerk hands over a key, points out which elevator the guest should take, and that's about it. Although the staff isn't proactive initially, they follow up on requests with a phone call to the room.

  • Dedicated concierge available throughout the day
  • 24-hour room service has selections from Lake View Bistro and high-end LA Prime steak house; guests can also request snacks and drinks for in-room refrigerator.
  • Free newspaper delivery on weekdays
  • Turndown service on request
  • Laundry/valet service
  • Car rental desk on-site
  • In-room spa treatments from the on-site Bonaventure Spa
  • Dog beds provided on request

 Location

In downtown Los Angeles, within walking distance of several major institutions

The Westin Bonaventure sits right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, the city's central business district and the hub of its developing rapid transit system. It's within strolling distance of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and a few blocks from the 7th Street Metro center, a key hub of the city's woefully underappreciated subway system. The Westin has a slight edge over some other downtown hotels because it's only a block away from the Harbor Freeway, which connects to both the Hollywood Freeway and the Santa Monica Freeway for quick access to other parts of L.A.

  • The Staples Center (where the Lakers and Clippers basketball teams play) and the Los Angeles Convention Center are a five-minute drive south.
  • 10-minute walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the only L.A. museum devoted entirely to contemporary art
  • 15-minute walk to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a high-design building that's home to the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Within walking distance are the seedy, but lively, diamond district, and the garment district (aka the fashion district), a 90-block hub of the apparel industry, including wholesalers, retailers, and designers.
  • Five- to 10-minute drive to Union Station, with access to the Metro
  • 30- to 45-minute drive from the beach (Santa Monica is the closest)
  • 25- to 30-minute drive to Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills, with high-end shopping and swanky mansions
  • 20-minute drive to Universal Studios Hollywood theme park
  • 15-minute drive to touristy Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
  • 20- to 30-minute drive to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

 Rooms

All rooms were renovated in 2011 and offer great views

The view from the Tower Suite
The view from the Tower Suite

The Westin Bonaventure underwent renovations to all its rooms in 2011, replacing tube TVs with flat-screens, changing the carpets, and replacing beat-up furnishings with new pieces. Now, all the rooms feature solid amenities for the price and great views of the Los Angeles skyline from floor-to-ceiling windows.

  • Standard rooms vary in size, but start at 200 square feet, small for downtown hotels, but about the same as at Wilshire Grand.
  • Great views of the downtown skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows (much better views than at Wilshire Grand)
  • Standards have one king or two double beds with famously comfortable Westin Heavenly brand duvets and mattresses
  • 32-inch flat-screen TVs with pay-per-view movies.
  • In-room Internet is charged per day, but it's fast and reliable.
  • Average-size bathrooms with granite countertops, Heavenly Spa toiletries, and the Westin's trademark double-headed shower
  • Coffeemaker with free instant Starbucks coffee
  • Suites range up to 2,520 square feet and have separate living areas, microwaves, minifridges, and wet bars; the most basic suite starts at 380 square feet and costs roughly $60 more than a standard.

 Features

All the features one expects at a high-end hotel, although some are below average

The spa's waiting area
The spa's waiting area

The Westin Bonaventure has all the requisite amenities of any large downtown hotel chain, plus a few more -- a good number for the price range. However, some, such as the pool, are lackluster and others, like the business center, are expensive.

 Family

Decent for families, but there are better options in the neighborhood

The pool
The pool

The hotel's downtown location is a mixed bag for families. It's not near any of the major tourist destinations or the beach, but it takes less than 45 minutes to get to the majority of them. The small rooms and business vibe aren't ideal for families, but the on-site pool is a plus. If you're going to be downtown, however, the Wilshire Grand -- with many of the same amenities -- has an edge because it's nearer to a Metro station for service to Universal Studios.

  • Outdoor, heated pool is good for kids.
  • Less than 45-minute drive to major tourist destinations like Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Lots of indoor space for kids to run around, just like the Wilshire Grand
  • Free cribs; rollaways are charged per night.
  • The hotel has adjoining rooms, but guests can't request them in advance; you have to try at the hotel.
  • 10-minute walk (longer with kids) from the nearest Metro station
  • Kids' menu for room service, plenty of fast-food and simple, kid-pleasing dining options

 Cleanliness

Very clean

All rooms and public spaces are clean and well kept, especially since the 2011 renovations.

 Food

Huge variety of restaurants on-site, from fast-food to fancy steaks

Bonaventure Brewing Company
Bonaventure Brewing Company

Guests have plenty of restaurants to choose from at the Westin Bonaventure. Options include a Subway, several Chinese restaurants of varying price, and several hotel-sponsored restaurants. Many are scattered throughout the first six floors in the lobby atrium; LA Prime and the BonaVista Lounge are on the hotel's top floors, providing great views of the city.

  • LA Prime is a New York-style steakhouse; entrees range from fettuccini to steaks -- all fairly pricey.
  • Lakeview Bistro offers casual dining, breakfast, and lunch; entrees range from fish and chips to pan-seared salmon.
  • BonaVista Lounge, a revolving cocktail lounge with panoramic views.
  • Lobby Food Court Coffee Bar serves light breakfast fare from early dawn till noon, cocktail service throughout the day.
  • Many other restaurants in the food court: fast food, including Subway and Panda Hut, and casual sit-down places, including Mandarin West
  • Additional drinks options at Suede and Bonaventure Brewing Company

 Bottom Line

Like downtown neighbor Wilshire Grand, this towering hotel offers many perks for the price: pool, shops, large fitness center -- only with better views. Plus, the hotel completed a much-needed room renovation in 2011. Just don't expect elegance outside the rooms -- the dated, cement lobby looks like a cross between a parking garage and a shopping-mall food court.

Things You Should Know About The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Address

  • 404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Los Angeles Westin
  • Westin Bonaventure
  • Westin Bonaventure Hotel
  • Westin Los Angeles

Room Types

  • Bi Level Suite
  • Laguna Parlor Suite
  • Malibu Parlor Suite
  • Master Suite
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Tower Executive Suite
  • Traditional Room
  • Westin Workout Tower Executive Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1354
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown, Los Angeles
Address: 404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
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