- Other than UCLA, not much nearby
- Fee for overnight valet parking
- Small, unimpressive pool
- No spa
This 238-room Westwood hotel has a warm staff, free coffee and wine-hour mixers, and big rooms with free Wi-Fi. But other than proximity to UCLA, there's little reason to book in this neighborhood.
There are two reasons you book at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood: You need to be near UCLA or your gigantic Weimaraner needs a home. On a strip of Wilshire Boulevard lined by luxury high-rise condos (thus referred to as the "Golden Mile"), Hotel Palomar lies neither in the most picturesque nor in the most happening neighborhood (little here in the way of destination bars, restaurants, or nightlife). You're also no closer to Santa Monica or West Hollywood than if staying in Beverly Hills (where you can find equally nice hotels well within the same price range). The Getty and Hammer art museums may be close, but it's really the short walking distance to UCLA (and its huge medical center) that's the big sell -- that, and the best pet policy in LA. Pets of all shapes and sizes are welcome at the Hotel Westwood at no additional cost, and they're furnished with free bowls and treats.
Once pet lovers and UCLA visitors get in the door, they'll find all the cool, quirky style that Kimpton is known for. The substantial 350-square-foot rooms with huge 42-inch flat-screens, ETRO toiletries and Frette linens, as well as top-notch service and freebies, may be reason enough to book again. Expect solid service all round, from the attentive porters and valets and prompt 24-hour room service, to the separate concierge (but alas, no poolside drink service). Hotel Palomar also offers those free daily wine and coffee hours that have become de rigueur in Kimpton hotels, as well as the Kimpton guest-loyalty program. Guests can fill out their particular requests (type of pillow, room location, any special needs), which will be saved for their next visit (they also score a free voucher for the minibar).
Granted, the Hotel Palomar's narrow, slightly depressing pool is no match for that of the bigger, cheerier one at the W hotel in Westwood, with its larger deck and poolside restaurant. And Palomar offers only in-room spa treatments, while the W has the on-site, full-service Bliss Spa. But rooms at both hotels are comparable in size and amenities, and the W costs a bit more. If a spa and better pool make the difference, book the W -- but if not, you'll save at the Palomar.
Classic Kimpton attentiveness
Hotel Palomar may not have the nearby W hotel's complimentary Acura, but other than that, there's little this Westwood hotel lacks. Everyone -- from the porters to the room-service staff to the waiters -- are attentive, with a casually friendly, warm vibe that makes guests feel at home.
In Westwood, near UCLA but little else
Located in Westwood, an area in west L.A. best known as the home of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the Hotel Palomar sits on a strip of Wilshire Boulevard lined by luxury high-rise condos (thus referred to as the "Golden Mile"). It's neither in the most picturesque nor happening neighborhood (short of premieres at the many vintage movie theaters and a popular In-N-Out Burger, there's little here in the way of destination bars, restaurants, or nightlife). Most guests book at Hotel Palomar because it's within walking distance of the massive UCLA campus.
Big rooms with luxe amenities
With a design (supposedly) inspired by L.A.'s movie industry, Hotel Palomar is boldly furnished with teal blue accent pillows and black fake fur throws, offset by a lipstick-red bathroom door and red metal bedside drawers. Much like the animal print robes for sale (and free to use) at this and other Kimptons, the decor could be seen as daringly fun or a bit cheesy. Either way, what's not in dispute are the luxury amenities: 42-inch, flat-screens, Frette linens, and ETRO toiletries make these rooms a match for those at the nearby, and more expensive, W.
Hotel Palomar offers the same excellent free coffee and wine hours as at other Kimpton hotels, plus a sunny, light-filled 24-hour free Precor fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows. But the pool can't compare to the one at the nearby W, and there's no spa.
The most pet-friendly hotel in L.A.
Pets of all shapes and sizes are taken at the Hotel Palomar, at no additional cost, a much better pet policy than other L.A. hotels.
Big rooms and a kids' program: great for families
With large, 350-square-foot rooms that offer space for the rollaways (low fee) and free cribs available, plus a pool, and a kids' program, this is a good choice for families.
Serving a solid, if not culinary groundbreaking, menu of continental American farm-to-table cusine, BLVD 16 is patronized primarily by hotel guests. The menu includes favorites like mac-and-cheese, roasted salmon, and calamari appetizers. It does offer a mean happy hour deserving of a larger crowd, however. The restaurant's emphasis is on sustainable and free-range meats and seafood.
Clean and fresh
A diligent housekeeping staff keeps the rooms spotless and the bathrooms mildew-free.
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