Smack dab in the heart of Bruin territory, this chic W outpost located walking distance from UCLA buzzes with youthful vitality thanks to its hip poolside lounge, trendy on-site steakhouse and a lobby that could double as a nightclub.
Don’t let the address deceive you. While tucked away in a residential neighborhood, this outpost of the W Los Angeles is anything but relaxed. On any given night, the lobby is chock-full of the city’s most stylish locals, the music is turned up and mood lighting is in full effect. Crushed velvet sectionals and modern artwork give the lobby a living room kickback vibe. And the party doesn’t stop there. During the summer, the compact pool area (aptly named “Wet”), where the real estate is taken up by more cabanas than actual swimming space, transforms into a Las Vegas-style rave complete with DJs spinning and high-priced bottle service. For those spending the night, every one of the 258 rooms is a suite with a name like “Fabulous” and “Wow.” And for the most part, the hyperbole is warranted. These rooms are spacious, each with a separate bedroom, office and den, all with fairly nice views—some of the ocean, others of the neighbor’s backyard.
Location: To clarify, while the hotel is billed as Beverly Hills, the W Los Angeles is in Westwood. The upscale residential community is about a 10-minute drive to the center of 90210 – about 3 miles from the high-end shops on Rodeo Drive and 5 miles from the Getty Center, but a good 20 minutes to the beach. The good news is there are plenty of casual eateries as well as the Hammer Museum within walking distance. It’s a very student-friendly neighborhood.
Diddy Riese: This Westwood staple, just a ten-minute walk, is known for its ice cream cookie sandwich. The lines are long, but so worth the wait.
Fundamental LA: Hidden along Westwood Boulevard, this modern American bistro serves creative food made from farmer’s market ingredients. Grab sandwiches during the day and sip vino at night.
STK Los Angeles: If you are going to splurge on steak during your visit, this restaurant helmed by Chef Robert Liberato is the place to do it. Plus, it’s conveniently located on the ground-floor of the hotel.
The Glendon Bar & Kitchen: Don’t miss the happy hour here, featuring $6 wines by the glass every day from 4pm-7pm and 10pm-midnight. Just prepare to battle the throngs of students for a place to sit. Luckily, it’s less than a ten-minute walk back to the hotel.
Mom’s Bar & Lounge: For the complete dive bar experience, head to this dim-lit tavern (a 15-minute drive) for $3 draft and bottled beers alongside some very entertaining karaoke.
Good for: Its stylish digs, hip attractions and laid-back atmosphere make a stay at the W Los Angeles a quintessential LA experience. Leisure travelers can soak up the sun poolside, sip cocktails in the Living Room Bar, workout and then indulge at the Bliss Spa. Business guests can take advantage of an in-room workspace equipped with a large desk and designer office chair. With a well-stocked minibar and signature W bed in each room, visitors tend to stay awhile.
Amenities: Pool, room service, minibar, restaurant, bar, gym, concierge, spa
Time Out tip: Wi-Fi is free in the common areas, but an extra fee in the rooms ($14.95 per 24 hours), though complimentary for SPG members. For those looking to break a sweat, the gym, otherwise known as “Fit,” is not the finest W workout facility. Some complain it is dark, rather small, and looks out on an alley; so you might be better off jogging around the neighborhood instead.