I am staying at this hotel at present. It is a decision I regret.
I have come to realise that I am, in fact, not a fan of the W brand of hotels (as I had convinced myself I was) but a fan of the W South Beach and, to a lesser degree, the W Barcelona. They are in a class of their own and are in no way representative of the rest of the group. Not just in terms of location but in aspects which could and should be replicated across the group, irrespective of being a beach or City hotel.
What is wrong with the W Hollywood?
Well, firstly, it enjoys an unattractive location (my 600 sq ft suite overlooks a parking lot). This it cannot help so I will stick to the things it can help otherwise my criticism would be unhelpful and unconstructive.
Generally: it lacks polish in most respects. It tries to compensate for that by attempting to exude energy in the décor (lots of red) but, in my opinion, wholly fails to do so.
Bathroom is fairly good but shower head was not descaled so water shoots out at every angle except straight down. I cleaned it myself and now it works fine. Not a special shower, but good enough. It is a shame the housekeeping don’t descale the shower heads as a matter of course. A bulb in the ceiling is out. These are both small things you would ordinarily overlook if a hotel made up for it in other aspects. So far, however, the W Hollywood it is falling woefully short so I will mention the small things.
The bedroom has a dated feel to it despite being a modern property. It lacks the sophistication of South Beach or Barcelona decor. Old fashioned blinds you have to draw, light switches which are not interconnected so you have to walk around the room turning each one off before you go to bed. I would summarise it as spacious but ugly. It is more like the W Lexington with 150% more space.
Noise from street (despite being on 8th floor) and a constant dull humming of an outside generator or fan or suchlike is plaguing my room. This will not be a restful sleep.
It feels like the best suite in a really nice airport hotel. I’m afraid I do not regard that as a compliment.
I am told I am in one of the best rooms, which I am struggling to process. It feels dark and dingy yet is a 'suite'.
It is akin to a conference hotel atmosphere. The bar is in the lobby. I saw it on a Saturday evening. There were approximately 20 people in there at 8pm. It may have got busier later. I doubt it but could not swear to it. I find it extremely hard to believe that this is, in reality, a 'destination' bar. I think that is probably a myth. In terms of service, the staff is genuinely smiley and eager to please. But they severely lack the polish that an upscale hotel demands. An example:
A smiley waitress arrives with my beer in one hand and a glass in the other:
Waitress: would you like a frosted glass for your beer (which the glass she is carrying is not)?
Me: yes please (thinking to myself, who wouldn't?)
Waitress: (looking around the room somewhat confused by her own offer of a frosted glass) oh I don't think we have any there are quite a few in rotation.
Me: Oh (somewhat amused) but you just offered me one?
Waitress: well I can go check if there is one and bring it to you?
Me: yes please.
Frosted glass arrives 30 seconds later.
This is merely an example of how the staff simply lacks polish. The above conversation shouldn't have occurred in a hotel which attempts to have leading hotel quality. It is all in the training. I would summarise service as polite and cheerful but poor execution.
The rooftop pool:
This feature, so far as I can tell, is the only thing which ought to redeem this rather average offering. I am astonished and truly disappointed that it does not.
I was informed yesterday by a doorman that the rooftop pool has no service. In other words - you can swim or sunbathe up there but don't expect anyone to ask you if you’d like a drink or something to eat. Forgive me, this may sound a little demanding, but when I am staying in an upscale hotel I do expect to be able to order a beer, a bottle of water, perhaps, a Caesar salad maybe...by the pool.
NO - apparently not at the W Hollywood. I was told one can go down to one's room, call room service and then have them bring refreshments to the pool. But, a bar allowing guests to have a nice glass of wine or a cocktail or even a soda by the pool – this apparently does not exist. My jaw dropped when I was told this. I think it's an absolute disgrace and casts this property so far beneath a basic level of luxury one should expect from an upscale hotel. This part I am genuinely angry about.
I am afraid there is nothing special about this property. It feels like it could be a decent conference hotel in downtown Detroit. There is no magic, no sparkle, no wow. It is similar in a sense to the Hollywood Roosevelt which attracts a similar crowd and equally lacks polish. I have stayed there several times but am not a big fan but even the Roosevelt seems to have more of a sparkle to compensate for the lack of polish that this W Hollywood.
I have never written a hotel review before, though I stay in many. Something has to be fundamentally wrong to compel me to do so. I understand a great deal about how hotel service should be and how it should not be (within the realms of relativity and practicality). I usually choose more wisely but sadly I could not get into my preferred West Hollywood hotel on this occasion at short notice and so, once again on the strength of the W South Beach or W Barcelona, I booked the W Hollywood. They are worlds apart.
I would ordinarily stand by my principles and try to move hotel but I would be left stranded on 31/12 as none of my preferred hotels have availability on that night so I am somewhat trapped in my disappointment (though I will keep trying a couple of other hotels).
I sincerely hope it improves as there is no aspect of this hotel experience I am enjoying and I think I am done with the Ws (except for W South Beach) which was slick, elegant, immaculate service etc and I would put on a par with The One and Only, The Palm, Dubai. For anyone who has stayed there, this is high praise.
I will try to end on a redeeming note. The concierge seems seriously switched on. Very cool and seems like he knows what he's talking about and is clearly an asset to the hotel.
While it is clearly going to be of no benefit to me, I hope at least this review helps others to make more informed decisions and the hotel itself to evolve – albeit there need to be some fundamental improvements such as serving food and beverages by the pool. This is a Southern California hotel. Unacceptable.
Apparently I am in a good room so I'm not sure I can offer a constructive 'tip'
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Each of the W Hotels offer something a little different from the decor to the personality. While we all stay true to the brand, we each capture the city we live in. We are fairly modern property but will be making some updates very soon. If you find anything not to your liking throughout your stay, please let us know. We will be happy to fix it to your liking.
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We very recently took over the rooftop as it was previously managed by Drai's. The transition is a work in progress but I assure you will be better than it has ever been.
I am glad to see you were about to meet Chris and found him to be knowledgeable. I do agree that he is an asset to our team here.
Thank you for your feedback.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.