Guest Reviewer: Chris
An avid traveler and obsessive points and miles hound, Chris is my travel buddy extraordinaire. I love him for his enthusiasm, his sense of adventure, and his many lounge access credit cards. Hope you enjoy his perspective!
Jen and I recently took a weekend trip to Los Angeles and spent a night at the W West Beverly Hills. Normally we're pretty loyal to Hyatt, but there aren't many good Hyatt options in LA: the Andaz West Hollywood is too "cool" for us, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza recently closed, the LAX options are depressing, and the rest are just too far away. We decided to look at Starwood options instead, and found the W West Beverly Hills for $288/night using Jen's corporate rate, which seemed like a reasonable enough price.
We arrived at the hotel around 9 AM, and didn't have any expectation of getting a room yet (we just wanted to drop off our bags before heading Universal Studios). Surprisingly, our room was already available, so they were able to issue our room keys and they also asked what time we'd like to check out. I asked if a late checkout would be possible, and they were happy to give us a 4 PM checkout since I was a Starwood Gold member. Starwood Gold normally isn't worth much, so I was glad it at least counted for something in this case.
The hotel itself was very clearly an apartment complex in its former life and you can tell by looking at the structure from the outside and then again by seeing how the rooms are all laid out inside. Despite this fact, I think they did a pretty good job of converting the space and making it fit with the W brand. You'll notice there's a waterfall behind the stairs as you're walking up the front steps and the lobby is full of unique designs and colors, which sort of conflicts with the fact that there's a residential neigborhood outside the front door.
When we entered the elevator, we found it had a camera which would continually take photos and show them in a series on a screen, which gave us some amusement, although Jen was too short to be seen in the photos, which was kind of hilarious. W likes to make its hotels feel fun and hip, which was a nice change from some of the more business-like hotels we've stayed at recently.
Our room, a "Wonderful Studio", was large and featured a king-sized bed and a couch as well as a desk. There was a well-stocked minibar and a complementary bottle of Dasani water. The bathroom had a tub/shower combo and came with Bliss toiletries, which are standard for the W brand. Since we were eager to get to Universal Studios, we didn't spend much time in the room before heading out.
While the hotel calls itself "West Beverly Hills", it's not actually in Beverly Hills - it's in Westwood, which is a perfectly nice part of town, although quiet. As I mentioned, the hotel is actually situated in a residential area, but we found restaurants and shops a short walk away. At one point, we came across a homeless woman wearing nothing but a towel, but we're used to that from living in San Francisco and in all other aspects the neighborhood felt clean and safe.
After returning to the hotel later that day, Jen decided to take a shower. I lounged on the bed in the meantime, and soon heard a series of shouts from the bathroom. Turns out that the shower had a couple of issues: the first was that the shower head couldn't be tightened, so it would only spray water back toward the wall. The second issue (which caused the shouting), was that the drain was clogged with a giant black hairball, causing the water to keep rising. Neither of us had used the shower previously, so the hairball must have been a parting gift from a previous guest.
Since neither of us felt like digging out a stranger's hair with our bare hands, Jen called the front desk for assistance. They were extremely apologetic and offered to move us to a different room, which we accepted. The "room stylist" also stopped by our room and told us that she'd apply a $50 dining credit to our stay to make up for it, which was a very nice gesture.
We packed up our things and headed to the new room on the 11th floor, which appeared to be a "Spectacular Suite". It had a separate living room and bedroom, although the bathroom was a bit smaller than the previous room. The most important detail was that its shower didn't come with a hairball, so we were happy enough with that. One thing that we didn't understand with this bathroom, however, was the complete lack of counter space. Instead of having any place at all to put anything on a counter, the entire prospective counter space was taken up by a huge long sink. It was the most worthless case of form over function I've seen in a while.
The next morning we took advantage of our $50 credit and had breakfast in the Backyard Restaurant, which is located outdoors next to the pool area. It was a chilly morning, but fortunately they had some heat lamps that provided a bit of warmth. I ordered a cappuccino and a breakfast wrap, which was tasty, and Jen had huevos rancheros, which she thought was pretty good. The pool itself looked a bit beat-up, but it was surrounded by cabanas that looked like they'd be nice to lounge in (had the weather been warmer).
Overall we had a pleasant stay at the W and would certainly consider staying there again the next time we're in LA.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.