Arrival/Check-In: Escaping the East Coast just prior to a monster snowstorm, I arrived at LAX on an early Sunday afternoon flight, grabbed a cab and headed to the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The hotel is located approximately 14 miles from LAX, and given L.A.’s erratic traffic patterns, travel time can range from 40 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes, depending upon day and time. My experience reflected the former. (Ask your cab driver if it will be less congested and faster to get to the Loews via the highway or local streets. Both run more or less parallel.)
At the Loews, I was greeted by a bellman who secured my luggage before I even finished paying the cab driver. Terrific! I was struck by the hotel’s expansive entryway and lobby designed in such a way that you must pass a large seating/lounge area and fully stocked bar (roughly 50 feet across, backed by an enormous wall-mounted digital TV monitor) before checking in. The lounge area is equipped with numerous well-concealed outlets so you can connect your various devices while enjoying a cup of coffee, afternoon tea or end-of-day cocktail.
The gentleman at the desk greeted me with a smile and efficiently squared me away as I embarked upon a three-night stay in a studio king suite.
Guest Quarters: The spacious lobby of the Loews is rivaled only by the size of the studio king suite. Uncluttered and neutral in colors (shades of blue/gray and a dash of red), the décor triggered a Mad Men office feel complete with an exceptionally comfortable sitting area and spacious desk with panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood sign. The sitting area included two chairs, a small sofa and a coffee table where I had the pleasure of dining by way of outstanding room service during my stay. The television, albeit a sizable digital flat-screen, was hampered by limited programming and inconsistent picture quality.
With not one but two heavy doors hinged so as to close automatically, the bathroom offered a single sink and makeup area behind the first door and a toilet and glass-enclosed shower (no tub) behind the second door. Tired of repeatedly opening doors, I improvised and propped them open for the duration of my visit. The shower was terrific, as were the vanity, lighting and overall bathroom counter space.
Services/Amenities: My tight schedule afforded the briefest of opportunities to explore Preston’s for breakfast, a couple of floors above the main lobby. The same hostess greeted me with a smile each of my three days and immediately directed me to the standard four-seat table, although I could have chosen to eat outside on a small patio. Faced with a choice of ordering from the menu or the buffet, I opted for the latter and was impressed by the selection and quality, right down to the freshly squeezed orange juice. I was also impressed one day when I sought a cup of coffee from the dispenser and the attendant insisted on ushering in a freshly brewed pot.
Of note: A large corporate meeting took place during my stay; and although cognizant of their numbers, I never felt impeded from freely maneuvering around the hotel; accessing the various amenities including the fitness center, lounge and restaurant; or readily securing a cab.
The Experience: Upon exploring the property, I was surprised to see the enormous amount of meeting space. Events both small and large can be accommodated without intruding on other events or guests. Throw in a complete FedEx Business Center, a luxury pool deck and a helipad (yes, a helipad), and the Loews Hollywood Hotel strikes a terrific balance of being both a business- and leisure-oriented property in the heart of Hollywood, Calif.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
Loews Hollywood Hotel
1755 N. Highland Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028
tel 323 856 1200
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
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