Back in December I spent a night at the Andaz West Hollywood. It was a very last minute decision and my go-thotel choice is usually Hyatt. I’d heard great things about the Andaz West Hollywood, so I thought it was a no-brainer. It has a great location, about 15 miles from the airport and is close to a lot of great restaurants. My sisters and I were only spending a single night, so it seemed like a great choice. However, by the time I checked out of this hotel my impression was that the Andaz West Hollywood was pretty much just a glorified motel…
Andaz West Hollywood History
The Andaz West Hollywood opened in 1963 and is known for its association with the music industry. Keith Richards, Led Zeppelin, Little Richard, Elton John and Jim Morrison are just a few of its famous former inhabitants. The movie Almost Famous was filmed here, as were scenes from The Rockford Files and This is Spinal Tap.
The Andaz West Hollywood is located on Sunset Blvd, less than three miles from the swanky shops on Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Center, and The Grove. You can easily (and cheaply) get around town with Uber and Lyft – and the drivers might have some interesting stories about celebrities they’ve driven around town. Side note: If you’re looking for a nearby place to eat (and you’re in the mood for Italian), Il Pastaio is worth the hype – especially their famous Lobster Pasta. You can make a reservation pretty easily and they take walk-ins after 5 PM. We only waited about 20 minutes and ended up sitting two tables down from Paul Marciano, the founder of Guess. But I digress…
Andaz West Hollywood Check-in Experience
When I refer to the Andaz West Hollywood as a glorified motel, I’m certainly not referring to its lobby. It’s absolutely gorgeous – night and day. It featured lots of seating – some comfortable, others purely decorative.
There was a sort of bar area to the left of the entrance, which was always stocked with drinks and snacks. In the mornings it was coffee and poundcake. In the afternoons and evenings there were cookies, pretzels and lemon water.
The staff at the Andaz West Hollywood was friendly. I only had Hyatt Explorist status, which pretty much gets you nothing. But the rep was welcoming and check-in was quick…
Andaz West Hollywood: Standard Queen Room
The room was where the Andaz West Hollywood really fell short. Which is a shame, because that’s the most important part. The place was last renovated in 2009, so maybe that explains it. At first, everything looked perfectly fine. I had booked a Standard Queen room, featuring two double beds.
The room was a good size and featured little extras we’ve come to expect from Andaz Hotels: Free snacks, a pair of earplugs, and a desk/vanity area.
There was a black mirror mounted on the wall by the desk and you could barely see yourself in it. It didn’t make the room look bigger or serve any kind of purpose, really. But the space did have plenty of power outlets, which is nice.
To keep things whimsical, there was a decal on the window overlooking the parking lot. It read, “No matter where you go – there you are.” WTH does that mean?! To add to the funky vibe, there was an orange dog sculpture in the room. It was actually for sale…for $250. I wonder how many people actually buy that thing…
There were little touches referencing the hotel’s rock & roll history: A CD listing all of the amenities guests could request free of charge and a room service menu with an image of a man holding a guitar. When I requested hairspray and toothbrushes, they sent over three travel sized bottles of Treseme and brushes + toothpaste in a little black bag.
Andaz West Hollywood Bathroom
The bathroom looked nice at first sight. It was fairly small and had that really unflattering light that you find at Hyatt Place hotels. There weren’t enough towels for one person, let alone two or three. We requested some and they were brought up fairly quickly. The amenities were from a brand called LATHER and I have to say, they smelled really great!
My Beef With the Andaz West Hollywood
The room was in bad shape. There door had a large crack, the sliding bathroom door was rusty and wouldn’t close all the way. The carpet was in pretty bad shape. As in, the main color was stain patterns. It also wasn’t the cleanest room – lots of dust on the tables and windows. The windows reminded me of my friend’s crappy dorm at USC. It had the same rectangular windows that provided neither sufficient light nor a sense of warmth. But I assume those windows were chosen so that musicians under the influence of heavy drugs wouldn’t throw their tv’s out the window. Yeah, that happened. Twice.
But the worst part about the room was the central AC, which I didn’t know about until I tried to adjust the freezing cold temperature. The thermostat wasn’t working and the front desk informed me it was only there for show. The temperature couldn’t actually be adjusted in the room itself. She offered to send up an engineer:
Me: “But you’re saying the temperature can’t be adjusted.”
Me: “Then what can the engineer do?”
Her: “Well, he could possibly turn it up 2-5 degrees.”
Me: “No thank you. Everyone is asleep and I don’t want to wake them to get the temperature up 2 degrees.”
I went to sleep and woke up 20 minutes later, hearing incessant knocking. It was 11:21 PM. An engineer and staff member were outside the door. I was pretty annoyed, especially since I’d told her 20 minutes earlier not to come up. The engineer had a small heater and said it could “warm up the room a couple of degrees.” She offered us extra blankets but I declined since I didn’t feel like staying awake for another 20 minutes for them to be delivered.
Andaz West Hollywood: Final Thoughts
Overall, I was pretty surprised at how downtrodden the room was. But more importantly, the inability to adjust the room temperature made it impossible for any of us to get a good night’s sleep. It’s such a basic thing that I couldn’t believe was lacking at this hotel. Would I stay here again? No. Is it the worst hotel every? No – the service was great and the location was ideal. But I need my creature comforts and a working thermostat ranks pretty high on that list.
When I referred to the Andaz West Hollywood as a “glorified motel” on Twitter, I got lots of feedback from others who felt the same. I want to hear from you: Have you stayed at the Andaz West Hollywood? How would you review this hotel?