After having successfully matched my Marriott Platinum status to Hyatt Diamond status back in November, I was looking forward to seeing what top-tier status in the Hyatt Gold program was all about with my first Hyatt stay as a Diamond member. A lot of the miles and points bloggers are big fans of the Hyatt Gold Passport program but, although I’ve stayed at a few Hyatt properties using points from my Chase credit cards, I have no experience with the chain as a guest with status.
I booked a couple of nights at the Andaz West Hollywood as part of my 8 Flights, 7 Lounges & 3 Hotels In 5 Days trip and, as I was staying for such a short time, I decided against using one of my Diamond Suite Upgrades (DSUs) to put myself into a suite (an upgrade would have been available had I requested it).
As with just about all hotel reservations I make, I booked an entry-level room at the Andaz West Hollywood – an Andaz King. When I applied a AAA discount to the reservation I got the room for $234.69 per night including all taxes and fees – that’s a good price for the Andaz West Hollywood.
I’m very biased when it comes to the location of the Andaz West Hollywood because I spent a number of years living a 10 minute walk away from the hotel’s front door – so bear that in mind!
West Hollywood (WeHo) is one of the most walkable areas of Los Angeles and the Andaz West Hollywood is in a great part of WeHo to be based.
The restaurants of Sunset Plaza are a 7 minute walk away, the upscale restaurants on La Cienega are between 15-20 minutes walk away, WeHo and all the cafes and bars that go with it are 15 minutes walk away, the Comedy Store is next door, all the bars and clubs of the Sunset Strip are between 2 and 20 minutes walk away and it’s an easy drive to most of the sights visitors tend to want to see.
On top of all this you’re at the base of the Hollywood Hills so there’s plenty of good walking to be done and you’re 10 minutes by car from Runyon Canyon – a “must visit” for anyone who likes a good hike and fantastic views.
In my opinion there isn’t a hotel in Los Angeles with a better all-around location….but like I said, I’m biased 🙂
First Impressions & Check-in
Despite having walked past the entrance to the Andaz hundreds of times I had never actually stepped foot inside the hotel. Lucky (OneMileAtATime) is a big fan of this Andaz so I’ve seen a lot of pictures via his blog but a photo is never as good as experiencing something yourself.
I arrived in the early evening and let the valet take my car – I knew the valet cost was over the top (a staggering $38/day) but I was tired, I was only there for two nights and I knew that finding somewhere else to park in WeHo wasn’t going to be simple.
As with all Andaz properties there isn’t so much a check-in desk as a table with a number of iMacs at which one of the associates looks up your reservation, checks your details and checks you in.
The lobby area was modern and spacious…..
And, at one end of the lobby there was an area with sofas and chairs.
The decor in the lobby (and, as it turned out, the rest of the hotel) embraces the history of the Sunset Strip and the history of the Hyatt Sunset Strip that preceded the Andaz – there are a lot of old images of the Strip and numerous references to rock and rock ‘n roll history all over the Andaz.
The associate checking me in was very friendly and walked be through all the Diamond benefits that the hotel offered:
- I chose to take the extra 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points rather than a bonus amenity
- I was upgraded to a “View King” room which, as well as having a view of the Strip is also larger than the room I originally booked (more on that later).
- I was told that I was entitled to breakfast for up to 4 people – I was on my own but did wonder if that meant I could invite friends in for breakfast, I decided not to try!
- I was asked if I’d like to take up the late check-out option (4pm)…which I definitely did.
The associate then talked me through the various other complimentary items on offer…like wine in the lobby in the evenings, coffee and pastries in the lobby in the mornings and, my personal favorite, cold water and soft drinks available in the lobby all day long – not that important in January but great for when the weather gets hotter and you’re going out for a walk (or coming back from a walk).
It was good first impression. The valet and associate I had met had both been very friendly, I liked the tip of the hat to the property’s history in the decor and the amenities on offer seemed good.
As I’ve already mentioned I had been upgraded to a “View King” room and this is how the Andaz website describes the room:
Offering views of the Sunset Strip and the Los Angeles city skyline from downtown to the beaches, our View King bedrooms feature an additional sunroom sitting area complete with chaise lounge, loveseat sofa and floor-to-ceiling windows. These 342-square-foot accommodations offer one king-sized bed.
To be fair that’s a pretty accurate description.
As I walked into the room, the bathroom and closet were to the left and the rest of the room opened up ahead of me:
Next to the bed was a good-sized desk area….
The desk has two power outlets (US) and was a great size for getting some work done or for leaving your various devices while they recharge.
At the foot of the bed was a large cabinet with a big screen TV….
…and within that cabinet was the minibar with complimentary soft drinks and water as well as alcoholic drinks that are most definitely not complimentary:
One of the larger drawers in the cabinet held the safe which was wide enough for an 11″ MacBook Air but could probably take a bigger device:
On top of the cabinet, next to the TV, were some complimentary snacks and more over-priced alcohol:
The highlight of the room was the “sunroom sitting area” which had an armchair with a stool, a small screen TV (which you really don’t need when you have a view), a small table and a small double-seater sofa:
As good as the desk next to the bed was, this is where I did all my work. When the sun was out the area was bathed in warm sunlight and, as I’ll show in the next section, had pretty good views too.
Here’s a view of the room from the sunroom sitting area:
The last part of the room to mention is the bathroom…which was on the small size but more than adequate:
I’ve only stayed in one other Andaz property (I told you I was new to Hyatt!) and that was the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York and neither had baths….I’ll have to find out if that’s a theme within the brand or just a coincidence.
I wasn’t too high up in the hotel but, due to the nature of the landscape in this part of WeHo, you don’t need to be too high up in a building on Sunset to still get a good view.
From my room, Sunset Boulevard stretched out underneath me and, to my left I could see the Sunset Tower hotel (where Vanity Fair traditionally holds their Oscars party) and, over the Best Western (which is surprisingly good by the way) I could see Downtown LA in the distance:
The view straight ahead was over parts of West Hollywood and LA all the way towards the airport:
The view to the right looks towards the Mondrian hotel (which I’ve never stayed at and which I forgot to photograph).
My photos don’t really do the scene justice as it was a lot nicer than it appears to be coming across above. The sunrises over LA were cool too but, once again, my photographic skills (or lack there of) weren’t up to the job:
WiFi comes as standard at Andaz properties and the speeds were good. I had to upload quite a few images while I was at the property and I downloaded two movies too…all were processed at speeds I couldn’t complain about.
I’ve already mentioned that the desk in the room had two easily accessible power sockets (good news) but another area people expect hotels to provide power is by the bed – luckily it would appear that this Andaz has thought of that and has put two US-style power sockets on either side of the bed.
The Andaz West Hollywood has a single restaurant and bar, The Riot House, on the ground floor of the property.
I only visited the Riot House for breakfast and was given a choice of either a buffet or an a la carte menu (both included as part of the Diamond Breakfast).
This is what the a la carte menu looks like (click to enlarge):
And while that looked perfectly ok, I decided to go with the buffet:
There wasn’t an omelette or egg station for the buffet but that didn’t really matter as you could order whatever eggs you wanted from one of the wait staff:
Be aware that, if you don’t have complimentary breakfast, things can get expensive quickly. The buffet alone costs $27 but, once you’ve added in an “18% breakfast service charge” (steep for a buffet!) and tax, it comes to almost $35….and that’s per person. Bear that in mind if you have the chance to book a Bed & Breakfast rate.
Once again I found the staff to be friendly and helpful and it was good to see that breakfast isn’t finished at some unacceptably early hour (I’ve stayed at hotels where breakfast was over at 9:30am…which is no good at all if you’re on a lazy vacation).
The Riot House is only open for breakfast (6:30am – 11:00am weekdays and 6:30am – 11:30am weekends) and lunch (11:00am – 2:00pm every day) so, if you want dinner, you’ll either have to order room service or visit one of the many eateries in walking distance of the hotel.
The bar is open 5:00pm – 10:00pm (Sunday-Monday) and 5:00pm – 12:00am (Tuesday to Saturday).
Other Hotel Amenities
The Andaz West Hollywood has a fitness facility but I completely forgot to take any photos of it. On the positive side, I’ll be back in February so I’ll take pictures then!
More interesting than the fitness facility is the rooftop pool and deck. This being January there wasn’t anyone to get in the way of the pictures so, hopefully, you get a good idea of what it’s like:
It’s a very cool place to relax but I can see it getting extremely busy/crowded when the weather is a bit better. The whole roof area is not very big and I can imagine a lot of Andaz’s visitors wanting to catch some SoCal rays before they head home – head up there early would be my advice.
If you don’t have time to enjoy the pool deck make sure you at least check out the views:
Here’s a confession: I was expecting to really dislike the Andaz West Hollywood. Some of the reviews I’ve read have been less than complimentary and some of the pictures I’ve seen gave me the impression that the property was trying too hard to be cool.
But I loved it.
I booked the hotel because I wanted to see it for myself (I refuse to judge anything purely on other people’s’ opinions), because its location suited my needs and because I wanted to take my new Hyatt status out for a spin to see what it was like. I’m glad I gave it a try.
The staff were great, the room was a good size, the bed was comfortable, the breakfast was very nice, the WiFi worked well and, of course, the location is fantastic.
I’m heading back again to the Andaz West Hollywood in February so it will be interesting to see if I find it as good second time around – I’ll report back here.