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I spend a lot of time in the Los Angeles area, typically at the Andaz West Hollywood, which is sort of my “home” hotel in the city. I love the area around West Hollywood, and I find the Andaz to be an all around solid option.
It has great service and Diamond recognition, and a solid breakfast offering. Beyond that, I find the views to be stunning. The Andaz has views of downtown LA in the distance, and the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel right across the street.
I frequently go there for drinks, as they have an amazing terrace, though have never actually stayed there.
One night I thought it would be fun to mix things up and try out a new hotel, so I decided to book the Sunset Tower Hotel. While the hotel doesn’t belong to any chain, it does belong to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which those with the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN have access to.
When booking this hotel through Fine Hotels & Resorts you pay the same flexible rate you would directly with the hotel, but receive:
- Noon check-in, when available
- Guaranteed 4PM check-out
- Room upgrade upon availability
- Daily breakfast for two people
- In-room wifi
- A $100 food & beverage credit to be used during your stay
My rate was about $300, so I figured that was a great rate for a one night stay, especially since I would receive a $100 food & beverage credit.
My commute to the hotel was pretty easy, as I literally just walked across the street from the Andaz. Perhaps I’m letting the cat out of the bag here, but I can’t even begin to say how much I love just about every aspect of this hotel. There are hotels which are “classic” and clearly past their prime, and then there are hotels which feel like they’re from a different era, in a good way. In the case of the Sunset Tower Hotel, it couldn’t feel more “old Hollywood.”
At the entrance I was greeted by some friendly bellmen, who offered to help me with my bags. When I explained I had it covered, they pointed me to the reception desk.
There I was helped by a friendly associate, who had me checked in within minutes. She was extremely thorough, and explained all the Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits. She further explained that I had been upgraded to a junior suite.
She explained that breakfast could be had at The Terrace between 6:30AM and 10:30AM, or otherwise I could have a $24 credit applied towards room service breakfast, if I preferred. She also explained that I could receive two free in-room movies if I completed the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts survey during my stay.
I also appreciated that she proactively offered me the 4PM check-out.
The elevator was located across from the reception desk, and I took it up to the 12th floor, where my room was located (the hotel has 14 floors).
Once outside the elevator I turned left.
At the end of the hallway and on the left was the entrance to my room, which was past another door, presumably so that this room could be turned into a two bedroom suite if needed.
I thought the room was absolutely gorgeous. I think the term “old Hollywood” really describes this place perfectly.
There was a living room with a two seat couch and a chair facing a flat screen TV.
Then on the table under the TV was a Nespresso coffee machine and a well stocked minibar.
Since this was a junior suite, the living room was separated from the bedroom by a partition.
The bedroom consisted of a really comfortable king size bed, and across from it was a TV, desk, and closet.
Then past the bedroom is the bathroom, which consisted of a sink, soaking tub, walk-in shower, and toilet.
The bathroom featured Kiehl’s amenities — very nice!
But hands down the most stunning part of the room was the balcony. This is where we really lucked out, since there are only a handful of rooms at the hotel with a balcony.
The views from the balcony were amazing, with direct views of Chateau Marmont and the Hollywood Hills, and views of downtown LA in the distance.
Looking in the other direction was the Andaz and Sunset Boulevard.
Wifi in the room was fast, and I was also impressed by the turndown service. They brought two cute hotel-branded “jugs” of water, as well as two freshly baked cookies. And they were actually freshly baked, to the point that they were warm. Now that’s turndown service.
As I mentioned above, The Tower Bar and The Terrace are among my favorite bars in the area. They’re low key and have amazing views of the surrounding skyline. I’ve only ever been there for drinks in the evenings, so it was pretty awesome to be able to have breakfast there. It was even calmer in the morning than in the evenings!
I got there at around 7AM, and more or less had the restaurant to myself.
The Terrace overlooks the cute pool.
Through Fine Hotels & Resorts I received complimentary access to the continental breakfast buffet, which consisted of a pretty nice spread. It wasn’t huge, but everything was super high quality.
There were bagels, toast, croissants, danishes, fresh fruit, cereal, etc.
On top of that, there was an omelet station.
I’m not huge into breakfast, so just had some granola with berries and a pot of coffee.
The hotel also had a small but perfectly serviceable gym, which I wasn’t able to snag pictures of.
Sunset Tower Hotel bottom line
Usually I’m all about modern chain hotels, but I loved Sunset Tower Hotel. It’s just such a gorgeous, unique, and “local” property, which really encapsulates “old Hollywood.”
For the occasional traveler, it really makes you question the value of elite status with the major chains. By booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts thanks to my Amex Platinum Card, I received an amazing room upgrade, $100 food & beverage credit, late check-out, etc. What’s the point of being loyal to one chain when you can get that well rewarded at some unique properties?
I’d highly recommend the Sunset Tower Hotel, and just wish it would join one of the major chains!