This upscale Los Angeles Historic Landmark hotel is steeped in history -- Charlie Chaplin even lived here for seven years in the prime of his career. Built in the 1880s, it offers rooms with a classic gentleman's club feel, along with premiere access to the vast 88,000-square-foot Los Angeles Athletic Club facilities -- which include a pool, squash/racquetball/basketball courts, and a full fitness center. The property is the site of many "Mad Men"episodes (it stood in for the New York Athletic Club), a reference that speaks to the vibe: classy and quiet with a large business clientele. Rooms are spacious but masculine with comfortable beds, antique accents, and modern amenities (free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs). The downtown Los Angeles location is convenient for business travelers and those heading to events at the Staples Center or Nokia Theatre.
A members-only feel and decor incorporating nods to the past
Rich with old-world influence, this centuries-old property revels in its historical landmark status. Charlie Chaplin lived here, "Mad Men" filmed here, and present-day business types will love the members-only feel. Though children are welcome, this property definitely gives off a more adult vibe. The hallways are lined with antique photos of former athletes and a trophy or two, as well as a display case of Jim Beam. The Olympic Lounge is reminiscent of a private library or gentleman's room from a bygone era, with lovely crushed-velvet chairs and couches, and elegant wooden tables. Museum-quality original artwork is on display throughout the hotel. The dark-hued color scheme and preserved original elements are contrasted against more modern upgrades. It's an interesting blend.
In the heart of downtown L.A. right near the arenas
This hotel is perfectly situated for concert-goers, art lovers, and sporting event spectators, since it is a five-minute drive to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, and L.A. Live (home to The Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, and Los Angeles Convention Center). The area around the hotel is gritty urban Los Angeles, but along with the homeless found in most downtown areas, there are city dwellers, business people, and artists sprinkled into the mix. Jewelry stores, banks, and restaurants also line the block on which this property is located.
The hotel's 72 rooms and nine themed suites (which have names like "Polo Club" and "Yacht Club") were all converted from apartments. All are quite large, with a masculine feel and dark color palette -- an extension of the old-world gentleman's club feel present in the main areas of the hotel. The beds are awesome, with pillow-top mattresses and luxury linens. Rooms are showing some signs of wear and tear, but they're generally kept clean and comfortable thanks to daily housekeeping, regular deep cleanings, and new linens swapped in monthly. The bathrooms have good water pressure in the shower/tub combos, and there are fluffy robes for guest use. And to keep things modern, there are flat-screen TVs with premium satellite channels, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffeemakers in each room.
Gigantic fitness facilities, rooftop lounge, and free breakfast buffet
The athletically inclined will be in heaven here, thanks to the 88,000 square feet of fitness facilities to which guests have full access. The offerings include a heated indoor lap pool and children's pool, free weights and cardio machines, dedicated yoga and aerobics rooms, a kickboxing area, and a stationary cycling studio. Squash/racquetball courts and a large basketball court are also available. There are three main restaurants and bars: Famous Players for a classic vibe; Invention Bar, for sports on TV and live piano; and the Fresh 8 snack bar for healthy bites. The rooftop lounge and bar has a terrific view of the city skyline. There is a full-service spa offering a variety of treatments (mostly massages and facials), as well as a salon. The business center is well-lit and has several full-sized computers for guest use. Included with the room is a full Americana breakfast buffet.
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