Attractive design throughout, with some of L.A.'s most uniquely designed rooms
Rooms and suites have king beds, rainfall showers, bathrobes, and minibars
Great views from the pool deck; poolside drink service available
Automatic guest access to Skybar, one of L.A.'s toughest doors
Market-driven restaurant serves all meals, plus 24-hour room service
Lobby bar serves coffee and pastries in the morning, drinks and small plates at night
Excellent 24-hour fitness center, and a business center with free Wi-Fi
On-site boutique sells high-end clothing and accessories
Two meeting rooms, plus other hotel spaces available for groups and events
Good service for the price, including plugged-in concierges and swift valets
Fee for Wi-Fi and valet parking
No coffeemakers in rooms (but coffee available in the lobby)
No spa (in-room treatments can be arranged)
Nightly see-and-be-seen scene might not be for everyone (certainly a pro for some)
The 236-room Mondrian Los Angeles Hotel is a Sunset Strip icon, one with even more of a scene than the equally legendary Sunset Marquis. The design-centric hotel's common areas -- lobby, restaurant, pool, and lounges -- are all geared toward socializing. The cutting-edge style of the rooms doesn't interfere with their comfort; beginning at 325 square feet, all rooms feature king beds, minibars, separate bathroom vanity areas, and Malin + Goetz toiletries. But guests are usually more interested in spending time at the on-site dining and nightlife hot spots than staying in. Those looking for a more relaxed scene in the same neighborhood and price range might prefer the still-cool or the low-key-but-fashionable .
A Sunset Strip institution for decades, the sceney Mondrian still buzzes with a preening crowd, outlandish design, and a party that goes until the wee hours
Morgans Hotel Group opened the 236-room Mondrian in late 1996 with an over-the-top design courtesy of Philippe Starck, who also directed the styling of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, which opened a year later. The intention, according to the hotel, was to bring the beach to Hollywood, with blond wood floors in the lobby standing in for sand and a massive slatted pool deck playing the part of beach. The open-air Skybar, renovated in 2012, to this day is a fixture of L.A. nightlife, and recalls a surfside drink shack -- albeit one slinging cocktails for double-digit prices and bottle service for even more.
In the late aughts, Starck's original design was given an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired refresh by designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz. While keeping many Starck elements, the lobby was refitted with banquettes inspired by Park Guell, one of Barcelona's most beautiful parks. Guest rooms were warmed up with bamboo floors and oversize mirrors that double as TV consoles. While the staff is refreshingly attitude-free, the Mondrian is still very much a part of L.A.'s who's-your-cosmetic-surgeon scene -- which for many guests is part of its allure.
In the heart of West Hollywood, on the Sunset Strip
Located in the heart of West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, the hotel counts among its neighbors the Standard, Hollywood, the Sunset Tower, and the Chateau Marmont. The signature 30-foot-tall mahogany doors marking the entrance make the otherwise nondescript exterior impossible to overlook. The Sunset Strip, which has long been known for its music clubs like the 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 -- though some seediness remains.
Sunset Plaza, a walkable half-mile stretch of designer boutiques and upscale restaurants, is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The heart of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is two miles away, the Hollywood Bowl is a 15-minute drive, and Universal Studios is about 20 minutes by car. Santa Monica and L.A.'s beaches are a nine-mile, 20-minute drive. Depending on traffic, Los Angeles International Airport can be as much as a 90-minute drive from the Sunset Strip.
Some of the most stunning rooms in L.A.; the high design doesn't interfere with comfort
Designed by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, Mondrian's 236 rooms and suites are some of the most impressively designed in L.A. Despite their emphasis on outlandish design elements, rooms are still very comfortable and bright, with touch-sensitive reading lamps built into the nightstands, plenty of power outlets (a thoughtful addition), and massive windows that let in lots of light. (Rooms on the south side of the building overlook the pool, but they're still quiet, thanks to to sound-proofing on the windows.) At a starting size of 325 square feet, rooms are slightly bigger than what you'll find at the Standard, Hollywood or Maison 140, but smaller than those at the SLS Hotel.
Comfortable, custom-designed king-size beds come with Egyptian cotton linens and Hollywood-Regency-inspired white leather headboards. All rooms feature a signature vanity mirror (pivotable, in some rooms, in order to face either the bed or the sofa) concealing a flat-screen TV and DVD player. Work tables have intentionally mismatched chairs, and extensive minibars contain snacks, various sundries, soft drinks, beer, wine, and spirits. There are bathrobes, laptop-size safes, and, for a daily fee, Wi-Fi.
Some guests might miss having a tub, but most find the dual-head rainfall shower a treat. The big bathrooms also contain chrome vessel sinks, separate vanity areas, and Malin + Goetz toiletries (full-size versions in the room are available for purchase, as are Dollar Shave Club kits).
With a pool-slash-popular-lounge, a California restaurant, and an excellent gym, the hotel offers plenty to do on-site
Mondrian's shallow pool -- surrounded by potted plants, flowering vines, and lantern-strewn trees -- is better suited for lounging by than swimming in, while taking in the great views of Los Angeles. At night, the area transforms into one of L.A.'s premier lounges, Skybar. Open nightly, Skybar has a notoriously tight door, but all hotel guests are automatically on the list. Mondrian's lobby bar is open throughout the day for morning coffees, juices, and pastries, and nightly for drinks, small plates, and fantastic people-watching.
Ivory on Sunset is the hotel's full-service restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily) with indoor and outdoor seating. Menus, especially lunch and dinner, focus on fresh California cuisine, with items like roasted artichoke flatbread and organic chicken. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
The hotel has an excellent 24-hour fitness center overlooking Sunset Boulevard, with treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbant bikes, as well as free weights, Star Trac strength machines, and other equipment. A business center features work stations with free Wi-Fi, a color laser printer, and a fax machine, all free for guests. There are two dedicated meeting rooms, and groups can also book other spaces throughout the hotel, including the restaurant, Skybar, pool cabanas, and certain hotel suites, like the Penthouse. The on-site Exxhibit Boutique sells a curated selection of upscale clothing, earbuds, jewelry, beauty products (like Lux nail polish), and various sundries, like Listerine and glass-bottle Coke.
Valet parking and Wi-Fi both cost daily fees.
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