Review: W Hotel Los Angeles Westwood

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.

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W Hotel Westwood exterior

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W Hotel Westwood exterior

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W Hotel Westwood entrance

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.

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W Hotel Westwood lobby

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W Hotel Westwood lobby

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W Hotel Westwood lobby

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.

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Guests feeling at home at W Westwood

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.

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W Hotel Westwood hallway

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W Hotel Westwood room entrance

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W Hotel Westwood floorplan

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.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite living room

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite living room

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite living room

They both faced a flat screen TV, hung on the opposite wall.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite living room

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.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite welcome letter

The continental breakfast voucher was worth $12.50 per person, which could be applied towards anything at the hotel’s restaurant, NineThirty.

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W Hotel Westwood Starwood Platinum breakfast voucher

And then there was a $100 spa credit, which could be used towards any Bliss Spa service.

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W Hotel Westwood spa voucher

To the side of the TV was the minibar.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite minibar

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite 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.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite bathroom

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite bathroom

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite bathroom

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite Bliss toiletries

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite Bliss toiletries

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.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite bedroom

The bed faced a flat screen TV, and there was also a chair in the corner.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite bedroom

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).

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite view

Then next to the bedroom was the office, which had a desk, lounge chair, and pull out couch.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite office

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.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite office

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite office

The office overlooked the pool area.

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W Hotel Westwood Fabulous Suite view

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.

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant menu

I had a non-fat cappuccino and a So Cal omelet, both of which were quite good.

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant cappuccino

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W Hotel Westwood NineThirty restaurant So Cal Omelet

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.

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W Hotel Westwood gym

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W Hotel Westwood gym

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W Hotel Westwood gym

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W Hotel Westwood gym

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.

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Bliss Spa Los Angeles reception

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Bliss Spa Los Angeles

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Bliss Spa Los Angeles relaxation room

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.

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Bliss Spa Los Angeles relaxation room spa

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s a nice outdoor pool with plenty of space to lounge.

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W Los Angeles pool

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W Los Angeles pool

There’s also an outdoor restaurant near the pool.

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W Los Angeles pool dining area

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!

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Ben, thx for the review. While I am not the biggest fan of W hotels either, you have to try their Barcelona property (maybe you already did) as it is stunning! It is my favorite W and nicer than the other properties you mentioned. Take care

  2. janyyc says

    The chair is a Eames Eiffel chair. I have a few at home, they’re very comfortable IMO. But to each his own!
    I didn’t like the tiny windows. Definitely a big td to that.

  3. David says

    W – Westwood. I live just around the corner form there. I’m glad you liked it. It’s a regular haunt of mine…well the bar and restaurant are anyway. Did you get to explore much of Westwood village? ( well what’s left of it anyway!) Great review. Hope you come back to LA soon.

  4. Joe says

    Lived in Westwood 2007-2012 while in graduate school, and my folks stayed here a couple of times when they were visiting. Brings back memories! But, wow, you found a great rate! Usually I’ve seen $300 and up. And it’s now a category 6!

  5. Andrew says

    I’m not typically a huge fan of W Hotels in North America but I do like this one. It was previously a residential building which explains both the normal looking exterior and the normal room layouts.
    Also, W has recently re-branded their gyms from “Sweat” to “Fit”. I guess sweat sounds kinda gross!

  6. Andy says

    Nice review. I’ve had 2 projects in LA where I stayed in that hotel every M-Th for 2 months and 4 months straight respectively. Great property, nice location, the mexican restaurant around the corner is excellent as is the pizza place.

    It can get a bit annoying when studios show up to shoot films / TV shows (we were there one week when some studio was shooting a pilot in the lobby of the hotel in the evening and in do so physically blocking guests from entering the lobby and when we did enter, after returning from dinner, they were shooting us nasty looks for invading “their” set as if it was our fault for walking into the lobby of our hotel). The pool is also frequently used as the set for commercials and TV shows.

  7. lucky says

    @ Scott — I’ve had the kale salad over and over and over. Might have to try it next time!

  8. Billy says

    I’m a regular here. This is one of the better W properties in the US. The building itself is former student housing for UCLA.

  9. Charles G says

    I usually stay at this hotel when in L.A. I love it, and it is often reasonably priced. Also a short walk to a great supermarket, and UCLA. One of my favorites. (I did enjoy my stay at the SLS, however.)

  10. John K says

    We will have to agree to disagree. The property is rather dated and it was rather impossible to get a good night sleep with the rackety air conditioning, which could not be fixed.
    It felt like a Westin, rather than a W.
    The swimming pool, feels very overcrowded and it feels like it’s somebody’s private spa instead of hotel pool.
    Granted, service was perfunctory and nothing over the top, but satisfactory.
    I would NOT say that this W is the best in the US by a long shot.
    In fact, the recent move from Cat 5 to Cat 6 is laughable at best.

    I rather stay at W hollywood (Cat 5) or SLS beverly hills (cat 6)

    W hollywood – service is cursory and maybe a miss, but the building, facility, and rooms are very nice.
    SLS beverly hills – service is exceptional…crowd may be a bit on the “snobbish” side, but it’s LA.

  11. dmodemd says

    Have you seen Any Schumer’s skit making fun of the W? She went to a hotel called the U where it is all about U. It’s on her show Inside Amy. Looks like it might have been filmed here…. not sure.

  12. Ivan Y says

    @ Lucky – did they really only take off $12.50 for breakfast? It says “includes your choice of three items: juice, coffee, pastry, cereal, whole fruit, or granola with yogurt” but it’s impossible to combine any 3 items in those categories without going over $12.50.

    P.S. Kale “chips” at Travaasa resorts are also delicious. They bake kale in an oven for 30-45 minutes after lightly covering them with olive oil and some other stuff.

  13. lucky says

    @ Ivan Y — They did indeed. The prices I think reflect the cost of individual items from the walk up bar area.

  14. Ivan Y says

    @ Lucky – Oh, that makes more sense. The hotel looks nice although the pool seems small.

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