In the past few months I've stayed at both of the W's, the Mondrian, Sunset Towers, Hyatt's "Andaz" property on Sunset Blvd., the Avalon in Beverly Hills, and both the Hyatt and Intercontinental in Century City (half way between Hollywood and Santa Monica).
I ended up at the Loews at Hollywood Blvd and Vine, adjacent to the landmark Graumann's Chinese Theatre, via a blind-bid on Priceline.
Here is why this venue is a deal: Fussy travelers like me would never think of Loews as a 4-star place to stay. Especially in L.A., where there is so much competition in this tier. The Loews brand was tarnished by middle-brow cineplex movie experiences -- and never achieved the aura of, say, Virgin (another experience retailer that crossed over into the travel category).
Therefore, this hotel is priced well-below the competition. Call it an arbitrage play. Examples:
- The Loews pool is on the 5th floor, and has a gym that extends to an outdoor canopy. It's a big pool. Compare it to the pools at Mondrian, Sunset Towers and Andaz, which are more like decorations
- Loews is not in the middle of nowhere; It's part of an outdoor mall complex that includes Starbucks, a USPS, bank, etc. Compare that to the Hyatt and Intercontinental in Century City -- you need the company limo to drive a mile to get a latte. Oh, unless you want to pay 7 bucks, including a modest gratutiy, for a double at the Intercon.
- The Loews staff is as smart and cool as any of the other properties I listed above
I have mixed feelings about sharing my big L.A. secret by potentially pushing the demand-curve to the right for this venue but this hotel is now my ATF in LA.