Arrival/Check-In: Pulling up to The Orlando in West Los Angeles was a surprise, as I had no idea the pedestrian-looking portico we parked under was indeed my destination. Though unassuming, it appeared intimate, and a valet attendant greeted me straight away. Carrying only one roll-aboard bag, I approached the check-in desk just steps from the entrance, where hotel staff offered welcoming smiles. While not immediately shown to my room, I was told they reserved a lovely patio room for me. It was being prepared for my arrival; and since I was checking in a few hours early, they would need 30 minutes. I passed the time at The Churchill, an attached gastropub with a noteworthy craft beer selection.
Guest Quarters: Once in my second-floor room, I settled in and took a brief rest on the king-sized bed. The mattress was comfortably firm, and the pillow selection was plush. The room was slightly larger than average, but the sitting area and large workspace provided greater comfort and utility than your garden-variety boutique hotel room. The relaxing interior conveyed a calm California Zen motif, and the room opened up to a semi-private patio and adjacent pool area. The bathroom was oversized and modern, with brand-new fixtures including a large tub and a generous vanity area — more than I have come to expect at a boutique hotel.
Services/Amenities: Just steps from the patio seating area, not even 10 paces from my room, the oasis deck overlooked Orlando Street. It had a hidden urban appeal, as both power lines and palm trees were almost eye-level with the elevated pool area. Only a handful of guestrooms have direct access to the pool, so it can be enjoyed without the worry of overcrowding or intrusion. The sounds of the street below and the cooing of the evening breeze provided a unique and enjoyable poolside sensory experience.
The workout room was also nearby; though small, it had good cardio equipment and enough weights to allow a handful of people to exercise comfortably at once. Each floor of The Orlando has a soothing lighting design, and it’s impossible to miss the large bowls always filled with Granny Smith apples so bright they appear to be fake fruit meant for decoration. They are not fake but fresh and no doubt organically grown locally, handpicked and walked over from the neighborhood farmers’ market. The West Hollywood neighborhood, only a literal stone’s throw from Beverly Hills, is rife with boutique shops, cafés and restaurants down West Third Street — not the least of which is The Churchill. The restaurant attached to The Orlando is spacious, with reclaimed wood interiors and high ceilings; a kitchen and a bar from which room service is also delivered was a particular highlight of my stay.
The Experience: The Orlando is a standout urban boutique with details so closely attended to that the overall stay can feel like a pleasant contrivance. However, like the fresh, green Granny Smith apples adorning each common area, once you take a bite and the time to enjoy, you discover the bright organic richness that makes this hotel unique.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- Iron and ironing board
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- State-of-the-art fitness center
The Orlando Hotel
8384 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
tel 323 658 6600
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I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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