Free Wi-Fi for members of Omni's free-to-join loyalty program
Wi-Fi costs a daily fee
Plunked down in the middle of office towers; a no-man's land at night
Self-parking not availablef
This 453-room upscale hotel caters largely to business travelers and wedding parties with its extensive special-event facilities, but its spacious standard rooms, heated lap pool, and proximity to attractions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art make it a fine choice for families and leisure tourists. Most rooms feature great views of downtown Los Angeles, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, and all come with 42-inch flat-screen HDTVs and stocked minibars. Omni Los Angeles' two restaurants both specialize in California-inspired cuisine; Grand Cafe serves casual comfort food for breakfast and lunch daily (plus brunch on the weekends), while Noe Restaurant's upmarket dinner menu features seasonal local fare with French and Japanese influences. Cool-seekers more interested in trendiness than luxury will probably prefer the nearby and comparably priced Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, though it lacks a spa.
Clean and well-appointed hotel in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood
The glass atrium lobby really defines this hotel: It's large, bright, and inviting, filled with fresh-cut orchids and art -- including Yellow Fin, a 3,284-pound steel sculpture by David Stromeyer -- and has a library-like nook where one can quietly read a newspaper or peck at a laptop. It makes the perfect introduction to the elegant and artsy Omni, part of the Texas-based hotel chain that runs nearly 50 properties in the U.S. Formerly the Hotel Intercontinental, the Omni Los Angeles opened in 1992 as part of the California Plaza complex, a group of office towers that share an outdoor shopping and food court and a water park -- basically an elaborate fountain -- where concerts are held in the summer. The Omni Hotel chain acquired the property in 2000 and stuck to the original plan of mixing art and commerce, catering to business travelers while decorating the place with works by blue-chip artists like Frank Stella, Lita Albuquerque, and Norman Sunshine. The Frank Gehry-designed stainless-steel Walt Disney Concert Hall is two blocks away and can be seen from hotel windows facing west and north. The Omni chain encourages each employee in its vast empire of hotels to smile, make eye contact, and remember first names -- and here, they practice what the home office preaches. Bellhops immediately grab your bag when you arrive and whisk you to the front desk and then up to your room, evening turndown service available on request (including resupply of linens), and room service is available around the clock.
The Omni is a self-contained full-service hotel with a spacious, window-filled fitness center, a spa with a sauna and steam room, a decent-sized lap pool, two restaurants, a breakfast/coffee shop, an array of meeting rooms and function halls, and an impressive two-story lobby that's a work of art in itself. Concierge service is top-drawer, valet parking expensive, and the menu at the Noe Restaurant adventurous. The hotel's standard rooms are larger than most, with plush beds and nearly floor-to-ceiling. For travelers who want plenty of space as well as a modicum of luxury, the Omni is probably the best choice downtown.
The Omni sits on Bunker Hill in the financial district of downtown Los Angeles. Originally a wealthy Victorian neighborhood and later a slum and stomping ground of L.A. literary bad boys like Raymond Chandler and John Fante, Bunker Hill was leveled in the 1950s to make way for towering skyscraper complexes like the Wells Fargo Center and the California Plaza towers, which overshadow the Omni like power forwards closing in on a point guard. It's a great location for travelers who want to check out L.A.'s art scene, the Lakers and the Dodgers, and see rock concerts. The ride to LAX airport is a straight shot down the 110 freeway and can take about 40 minutes, depending on traffic. If you want to visit Los Angeles for sunshine, beaches, celebrity sightings -- basically to catch the glitzy movie star experience -- you'd be better off staying in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. For those who like traveling off the beaten path, the Omni is a comfortable, civilized way of doing it.
Five-minute walk to Museum of Contemporary Art and The Broad, home of the Broad contemporary art collections
Eight-minute walk to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (two blocks away)
10-minute walk to Pershing Square Metro station
13- to 30-minute walk to the gallery and cafe scene of the Bank and Arts Districts
20-minute walk to Little Tokyo, one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets, especially for foodies who love fresh sushi and sashimi
35-minute walk to Staples Center for Lakers games and other sporting events
35- to 45-minute drive to Los Angeles International Airport
Very spacious standard rooms with sophisticated decor
At 384 square feet, Omni Los Angeles' standard-level rooms -- called Deluxe Rooms -- are more spacious than typical base rooms. Deluxe Rooms, like all rooms at the Omni, feature sleek and urbane navy-blue-and-white decor with a slight Hollywood Regency vibe, as well as amenities like 42-inch flat screen HDTVs, stocked minibars, work desks, and safes big enough for laptops. Serta pillow-topped beds (either one king or two queens) are covered in white, crisp sheets and cushy down pillows. Bathrooms are generic in look, but feature large and well-lit mirrors, wide counters, hotel-brand toiletries, and bathrobes. There are both shower/tub combos and separate walk-in showers in the bathrooms.
Club Rooms are similar to Deluxe Rooms, but come with access to the Club Lounge, which offers a great view of downtown Los Angeles, plus free continental breakfast and evening drinks and snacks. For views of Bunker Hill, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, or California Plaza, book either a Premier and Premier View Room. ADA Accessible Rooms are 406 square feet and feature wide doors and roll-in showers or shower/tub combos with hand-held showerheads and grab bars.
Suites range from 820 square feet to 2,855 square feet, and come with perks like separate living rooms and whirlpool tubs. The three California Suites are 1,300 square feet and come with Club Lounge privileges.
Free cribs and cots are available. Wi-Fi is available for a daily fee.
Fully loaded with a full-service spa, gym, and restaurants
In Los Angeles, a heated outdoor lap pool is just about standard issue, but in downtown, it's a rare bird. So is a full-service spa with a sauna and steam room and a good-sized fitness room with lots of cardio equipment and free weights and sliding glass doors opening out to a terrace. The full-service spa offers body wraps, river-rock massages, facials, and reflexology -- even craniosacral and energy work. The spa is open until late, seven days a week, and will accommodate outside-hour appointments for an additional fee. Treatments can also be held in guest rooms.
Noe is an upscale foodie feed with a pricey menu featuring California fusion dishes, which means Japanese-style fish appetizers and entrees (braised black cod with maitake mushrooms), French bistro fare (seafood bouillabaisse), and American red meat (prime rib eye). A three-course tasting menu is also available. The Noe also has a lively bar and a bar menu with finger food like daily cheese boards, fish tacos, and tuna tartare available until late. An open patio, popular for afterwork drinks and alfresco dining, has great views of the surrounding skyscrapers, especially at night. Grand Cafe, on the same floor as the Noe, serves a la carte and buffet breakfast, as well as a la carte lunch during the week and a la carte brunch on the weekends. Morsel's is a takeout coffee shop/breakfast bar and gift shop. Room service is also available around the clock.
Omni's 20,000 square feet of flexible and audio-visual-equipped event space includes the Bunker Hill Ballroom, a popular venue for wedding receptions.
Though mostly geared to business travelers, spacious rooms, lots of amenities, and proximity to family-friendly tourist attractions makes this a decent choice for families. And the hotel offers check-in packs with activity books, crayons, and stickers to children. Families tend to book rooms in the summer during baseball season, when the Dodgers are in town.
Omni accepts pets 25 pounds and under in exchange for a non-refundable cleaning fee. Valet parking costs a high fee per night, standard for the neighborhood, and comes with in/out privileges. Omni's car service will take guests up to three miles for free. The service is based on availability and has restrictions, including no advance reservations. Wi-Fi costs a daily fee, but is free for members of Omni's loyalty program (which is free to join).
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