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My review of the W Hotel Hollywood in today’s Chronicle

April 24th, 2011 3 Comments

In today’s Good Life Section of The Houston Chronicle you’ll find my review of the new W Hotel Hollywood. On the corner of Sunset and Vine, the compound seems MASSIVE, but inside it’s a small hotspot for rockers and rappers.  Included below are my pics too!  (Tumblrs click through to see the pics embedded in the article.)

“Shack up like a Rock Star in Hollywood”

After staying in W Hotels all over the country, l know what to expect when I walk into the trendy chain: The lighting is dim, the color is gray, the furniture is modern and the techno is pumping. Always.

You can usually find hipsters, celebs and a handful of randoms who desperately want to be cool enjoying this manufactured chic setting. The scene is like a Vegas lounge that seduces you to stay inside because the best party is here, right? I’m not a fan.

Which is why I was shocked and pleasantly surprised with the new W Hollywood. When creating this new hot spot, the designers embraced the California lifestyle and let the sun shine in.

Flooded with natural light thanks to three-story floor-to-ceiling windows, the lobby and lounge are the hub of the action in the hotel. A prominent chandelier and sprawling red carpet show reverence for classic Hollywood amid an otherwise contemporary dé cor. Within just a few months, rock stars, rappers and other elite members of the music industry have embraced the hotel as their stomping, romping and relaxing grounds. After visiting, you might want to join the band.


If you’ve ever been in a W Hotel room, you know they all follow the same formula, using white, modern and minimal furniture with splashes of color here and there. Cozy would not be an appropriate adjective to describe the aesthetic, but I enjoyed tucking in there for a few days. The rooms have a lovely little bay window bench where I sipped coffee and read the paper with a view of the Hollywood Hills.

(Love this big tub AND it’s fully stocked with Bliss products!)

When visiting Los Angeles, Houstonians usually opt to cozy up in Beverly Hills at more traditional hotels such as the Peninsula or Four Seasons, then venture out to find the latest hot spots. At the W Hollywood, you need not go further than a few floors from your room to find it.

As you would expect, the rooftop pool is where the fit and fabulous trendsetters hang out. Imagine a Dolce & Gabbana photo shoot come to life, complete with beauties in designer bikinis and actors with rock-hard abs perfectly posed on the chaises.

At night, the doors open to the adjacent Drai’s nightclub. Use your assets — and Benjamins – to jockey for a table, then enjoy an atmosphere that would make any New York promoter’s jaw drop.

If you’re attempting to find an element of reality in this rock star fantasy, sink into a wicker chair at Delfine. Decorated in beige and linen, the restaurant at first feels ridiculously out of place but ultimately offers the serenity of a Cote D’Azur café amid the chaos.


(Their selection of boutique beer is respectable…probably one of the best in town.  The food is also super fresh.)

For another means of escape, visit the Bliss Spa, where you are guaranteed a solid massage and could luck into a mani-pedi next to Ashanti or Timbaland. Neither the restaurant nor spa are phenomenal, but they help the hotel be a one-stop Hollywood shop.


Bottom line: The W Hollywood is for those looking for a good time. Sleek, chic and cheaper than comparable hotels in Beverly Hills, this compound offers you a place to rest or rock out anytime of day.

W Hotel Hollywood: 6250 Hollywood Blvd.; 323-798-1300

(Full disclosure: Only lunch and spa treatment where generously comped while I was there. Many thanks for hosting me!)

Originally published in the Houston Chronicle here.

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  • sandeep sharma

    Well written & informative. Loving that chandelier by the stairs.

  • Shari

    Your review took me there just as intended. The only thing I await now is a plane ticket.

  • I LOVED reading this! I’m having my sister’s bachelorette party here in September and can’t wait to send this write up to the bridal party. I agree with you 100% on how normal W’s are all the same and this one has a little more edge to it. Drai’s is such a scene but great for out of towners to get that hollywood experience!