Located near the Sunset Strip's famous bars and nightclubs
Rooftop pool with panoramic views
Free snacks and nonalcoholic drinks in rooms
Free property-wide Wi-Fi
Historic rock 'n' roll hotel -- formerly known as the "Riot Hyatt"
Smallish rooms for the price
Not great for families
It's no longer as hip or famous as its West Hollywood neighbors (the Chateau, Sunset Tower, and Mondrian), but there's plenty to like about the Andaz, which was once (in)famously known as the "Riot Hyatt". The hotel boasts rotating art exhibits, a lovely rooftop pool, free Wi-Fi, and sleek rooms with sweet views and free snacks and drinks.
A hip, midsize hotel, the Andaz joins an already-crowded -- and competitive -- field in West Hollywood hospitality.
A lot's changed at 8401 West Sunset Boulevard since 1975, when Robert Plant allegedly yelled, "I am a golden god!" from one of the hotel's balconies. The hotel once known as the "Riot Hyatt" has softened its edges considerably, reopening in January 2009 as Hyatt's second Andaz property. Gone are the balconies from which rock's two most famous Keiths -- Moon and Richards -- both tossed televisions; they have been replaced with glass-enclosed, rockstar-safe "sunrooms" that overlook the Sunset Strip. Also gone: windows that open, thanks, at least in spirit, to Jim Morrison, who lived at the hotel until he was reportedly evicted for hanging from his window, suspended above the Sunset Boulevard pavement. (For more on the hotel's riotous history, click here.)
Not that the Andaz has completely abandoned its rock(y) past. This is, after all, where the rockingest of all groups, Led Zeppelin, rented as many as six floors in the mid- and late-1970s for the band and its entourage. Each stylish room includes a different LP (remember those?), which, though not terribly practical -- don't try to play it in the iHome -- provides a faint reminder of the hotel's storied history.
Andaz means "personal style" in Hindi, and the Southern California branch sports plenty of the sleek, sexy modernity you'd expect in West Hollywood: an inviting rooftop pool with 360-degree views and fun modern art. The spacious, comfortable rooms feature some nice freebies, notably the high-quality snacks and (nonalcoholic) drinks and the Wi-Fi ("Our goal is to be hassle free," it says on your screen when you log in. "That's why the internet's on us. ... Surf's up!").
The Andaz sits on the same stretch of Sunset Boulevard as a number of other impressive hotels, including the achingly hip Standard Hollywood and celebrity magnet Chateau Marmont, which are down the road, and the extravagantly designed Mondrian and understated Sunset Tower, which you could hit with a television from the roof of the Andaz. It's a nice mix of style and comfort at a reasonable rate, making the Andaz an excellent pick.
The Sunset Strip, which has long been known for its famed music clubs like the House of Blues (right across the street), 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. Not that all the grit is gone -- a few (now legal) marijuana dispensaries dot the area, and panhandlers still operate along Sunset. Overall, though, the neighborhood is safe and clean.
10-minute walk from Sunset Plaza, a half-mile stretch of upscale boutiques and restaurants like BLT Steak, Roberto Cavalli, and Catherine Maladrino
Two miles from the heart of the Hollywood and its Walk of Fame
Universal Studios is about 20 minutes away by car.
Clean, sleek, high-tech, and well appointed. Bonus: most boast scenic views.
The Andaz's rooms are excellent. Completely overhauled in 2008, they excel in both the crucial elements (beds, bathrooms, technology) and the little things that make a hotel stay special (bath products, freebies, views). Standard rooms run 300 (Andaz Rooms) or 350 (View Rooms) square feet -- about average for L.A., but they feel plenty spacious, partly because the bathrooms are quite small. The free snacks and drinks are supposed to be healthy and include items like Popchips and Nature Valley bars.
Rooms overlook the Hollywood hills on one side (the "Andaz" series) and most of rest of L.A. (at least on a clear day) on the other. It costs for an upgrade from an Andaz to a View, which also gives you 50 more square feet and a sunroom. But even the view from the Andaz rooms is picturesque, so you can't lose either way.
Comfortable beds with Sealy Posturpedic Mattresses, soft pillows, and Pacific Coast down duvets
37-inch LG flat-screen TVs with about 40 channels
Free and reliable Wi-Fi, but it's not terribly high-speed (just fast enough to stream YouTube)
iHome iPod docks
Free snacks and nonalcoholic beverages (liquor and beer, also available, cost extra)
The usuals (gym, meeting rooms), plus a lovely rooftop pool
The Andaz boasts the standard big-city business-hotel collection of amenities -- fitness center, meeting rooms, public computers -- but the highlight, to be sure, is the pool atop the 14-floor building. Reliable word has it that it's a pretty wicked place to kick it when the sun is out. Even if you're not in a drinking mood, head up there, snag one of the cabanas overlooking the rest of L.A., and take in the killer view.
Pool open sunrise to sunset, but special requests are usually accommodated
Pool Cocktail Hours, when the weather's nice, on Friday and Saturday nights
Modern, well-equipped fitness center with cardio machines, free weights, strength-training machines, and complimentary bottles of water (but be sure to bring your own headphones if you want to listen to music or enjoy the TVs on the cardio machines)
Four small but stylish and high-tech meeting rooms (called studios); one larger ballroom on the top floor (2,700 square feet), which is great for weddings and other events
No business center, per se, but there are three free computers in the lobby
What makes West Hollywood so appealing -- its bars and nightclubs, high-design hotels, and sedate vibe -- are precisely what make it less family-friendly than other neighborhoods in L.A., particularly Hollywood and the beaches. Still, there's no reason in particular not to take the kids to West Hollywood -- the Sunset Strip's seediest days are long gone -- and if you do, the Andaz is one of the more family-friendly options in the area.
Free cribs and rollaway beds
Connecting rooms available
Pool can be sceney, but children are welcome
Le Parc Suites, also in West Hollywood, isn't as nice as the Andaz, but it's far more kid-friendly. For a list of the best family hotels in all of L.A., click here.
A nice restaurant and bar on-site and plenty of other good options nearby
The Andaz's restaurant, Riot House, isn't particularly well known, but that's a reflection of the stiff competition in the area (including some high-profile eateries at other hotels), not the quality of the food. Serving California cuisine, meals are delicious and not outrageously expensive.
Steak, sushi, Italian, Mexican, burgers, and diner fare are among the many dining options within walking distance, though a car is definitely useful (as always in L.A.).
Food and drinks also available poolside at the Sundeck.
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