I spent a week in Los Angeles after flying from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles on Etihad’s inaugural flight. My “go to” hotel in the LA area is usually the Andaz West Hollywood. I love the Andaz brand and I love Hyatt Gold Passport, though after a few nights there I decided to check out the W Hotel Westwood Los Angeles, which I’ve heard good things about.
I have pretty mixed feelings about the W Hotel brand. I love some of their international properties, like the W Taipei, W Guangzhou, W Singapore Sentosa Cove, W Retreat Bali, etc. They’re just spectacular hotels.
Meanwhile in the US I’m not really a huge fan of the brand. I find the service is usually lacking, elite recognition is poor, and they often feel like they were designed by someone that has never stayed in a hotel before. The W San Diego, W New York Times Square, and W Boston come to mind.
Anyway, I have friends that swear by the W Westwood, so I figured I’d check it out. The weekend rate was about $200 per night, which is cheaper than normal. On top of that I was able to book through Luxury Privileges, which got me complimentary breakfast and a $100 spa credit. At that rate I figured the hotel was worth checking out for a weekend.
As the name suggests, the W Hotel is located in Westwood. I haven’t previously spent much time in Westwood, though after staying there I have to say I loved it. You’re still not far from Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, but it feels much more residential and “alive,” given how close it is to UCLA. There are tons of coffee shops, restaurants, etc., and unlike the rest of LA, people actually walk in the area.
The exterior of the W Hotel looked very un-W-ish, which is probably a good thing.
The reception was located inside the lobby to the right, where I was greeted by Vince, the associate that would be checking me in. He was super friendly and informed me I had been upgraded to a Fabulous Suite. This is actually an all suite property, though that’s one of their better suites, I guess.
He confirmed as a Starwood Platinum member I’d receive:
- Guaranteed 4PM check-out
- Choice of a welcome amenities, and I could choose between breakfast, 500 Starpoints, or a local gift (I selected the 500 Starpoints since my Luxury Privileges rate included breakfast)
- 15% off dining at the on-site restaurants just for being an SPG member
I liked the lobby — it was simple and didn’t look like your usual W Hotel lobby where you feel like you’re being judged just for walking in. You really felt like you could make yourself feel at home in the lobby. Like, really.
And actually that’s a theme that continued throughout the hotel. Aside from the room furnishings, this hotel didn’t feel like a W, in terms of the design and service.
I took the elevator up to the eighth floor, where my Fabulous Suite was located. I was assigned room 807.
The Fabulous Suite actually consisted of three rooms — a living room, bedroom, and office. Near the entrance was the living room, which had an “L” shaped couch and glass-top table with two chairs.
They both faced a flat screen TV, hung on the opposite wall.
There was also a bottle of water, a sheet explaining some of the features of the hotel, and a welcome letter which had my breakfast vouchers and spa credit.
The continental breakfast voucher was worth $12.50 per person, which could be applied towards anything at the hotel’s restaurant, NineThirty.
And then there was a $100 spa credit, which could be used towards any Bliss Spa service.
To the side of the TV was the minibar.
Next to the living room was the bathroom. The one major downside of the suite is that it seemed to just have a “standard” bathtub. There was no walk-in shower or soaking tub, but rather just a shower/tub combo. It did feature double sinks and Bliss amenities, though.
Then at the far end of the suite was the bedroom, which featured a king size W Bed. I love W Beds, so slept incredibly well.
The bed faced a flat screen TV, and there was also a chair in the corner.
As I mentioned above, Westwood is a residential area, so it was pretty cool to literally be looking out over someone’s back yard from my window (they probably don’t feel the same way… especially if they’re trying to sell their house).
Then next to the bedroom was the office, which had a desk, lounge chair, and pull out couch.
I appreciate having a separate office since I live in hotels and love having a dedicated place to work (working from bed simply doesn’t end well… well, unless that’s your job), though I do wish they had a more ergonomic office chair. This one was about as comfortable as one of those foldable chairs you’d bring to a Little League game.
The office overlooked the pool area.
The hotel’s restaurant, NineThirty, serves breakfast daily from 6AM till 11AM. You can either have a sit down breakfast, or they have a bar area where you can just pick up something to go.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
I had a non-fat cappuccino and a So Cal omelet, both of which were quite good.
In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, the gym (or as W Hotels call it, “Sweat”) is located on the second floor and sort of overlooks a service alley. I’ve generally found W Hotels to have fairly good gyms, though this one was dark and on the small side.
Since I had a $100 Bliss Spa credit I did get a massage. I booked a “blissage 49,” which is a 49 minute massage. The price was $125, which is of course on the high side, but was much more reasonable after a $100 voucher. The spa treatment itself was very good, though the facilities were lacking. There was no whirlpool or anything, but rather just a steam room and sauna.
Lets be honest, the real reason we all go to spas are for the snacks they have in the relaxation room, and this one had fairly good ones, including cheese and crackers and brownies. I like to tell myself they’re healthy since they’re served in a spa, so… yeah.
In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s a nice outdoor pool with plenty of space to lounge.
There’s also an outdoor restaurant near the pool.
But lets be honest, when you’re in SoCal the only place to eat is Veggie Grill. Their “All Hail Kale” is life changing. Previously I thought kale was supposed to taste like horse $*&%, but they know how to make it tasty!
While there were a few things I would have changed, I really liked the W Westwood. The elite treatment was excellent, the employees were super friendly across the board, and I love being in Westwood. It’s probably my favorite W Hotel in the US, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return if the price is right.