I recently did a four night stay at the W Westwood (Los Angeles) hotel. While this is my first review of the place, this was actually my second stay at the hotel over the past 3 years or so.
For my first stay a couple years ago, I ended up getting a really nice upgrade to (what I think was) a "Fabulous Suite"on the top floor thanks to my SPG Gold Membership.
This time around, I didn't have a Gold card so we were given exactly the rooms that we had reserved. We had two separate reservations and two different rooms for our stay as the first part was a corporate reservation (working in the area) and the second part was to explore around Los Angeles over the weekend.
You may read in some places that this is an "all suite" hotel, which isn't exactly true. The smallest rooms are named "Wonderful Studios", but they absolutely aren't suites and instead end up being actually quite dinky and cramped. We did this kind of room for the first part of our stay. This room had a sliding glass door between the room and the bathroom area, and no ventilation fan within the bathroom, so any noise or action happening in the bathroom will be amplified out to the main room (in other words, if there are two people in these rooms, you'd better be really comfortable with the one you're traveling with).
For the second part of our stay, I had reserved a "Spectacular Suite". Unlike the Fabulous Suite on the top floor, this one had a closeable door between the sleeping area and the living room area.
The rooms I stayed in had room safes, closets that nicely lit up when their sliding doors were opened, robes, an extra blanket & pillow, an iron and a board.
While the room windows are somewhat smaller, I did very much appreciate they weren't locked and instead could be opened to let in lots of fresh air. If you do this, be a considerate guest and turn off the A/C unit. Speaking of the A/C unit, I'm one of those guests who likes to have some ventilation and air circulating while I sleep, but in these rooms I wasn't able to get the fan speed above "barely audible". In other words, the in-room A/C & heater units aren't super powerful.
To be honest, I'm pretty certain that no two rooms in this building are exactly alike, even if there are multiple rooms of the same room type. The reason for this is because this building was originally built not as hotel, but as a UCLA dorm. It's then gone through a few extensive renovations. After a dorm, this was a convalescent home, then an independent hotel (the Marquis), and finally the very first W hotel run by Starwood. Many of the standard room features you'll see in W's around the world started here (e.g. the recessed and brightness-adjustable florescent lights in the wall). Speaking of renovations, the building is due to get another set of extensive renovations -- especially in the lobby area -- relatively soon as the building has been purchased by new owners. The hotel will continue to remain flagged as a W for the foreseeable future.
The one and only free thing you can do on the computers in the lobby is print out boarding passes for your flights. Anything else you want to do on those computers will cost. If you have your own laptop and don't have SPG Platinum (i.e. super frequent guest) membership, WiFi access runs $15 for 1 day, $28 for 2 days, $39 for 3 days, $48 for 4 days or $55 for 5 days. One nicer gesture here is that you can get an hour of WiFi time for free and I believe you can repeatedly renew that when the hour expires.
I tried out the gym downstairs, which had a nice collection of free weights and benches, a Nautilus machine, four treadmills, two elliptical machines and one bike to work with. The "Wet" pool behind the hotel is actually pretty small, but when the weather is nice, it's packed with people. Some months out of the year they'll convert the pool into a skating rink called "Chill". The neighborhood that this W is found in is really pretty, with lots of leafy trees all around.
Another nice current promotion is for all current SPG members (regardless of elite tier): show your SPG card in the restaurants for lunch or dinner and the restaurant manager will adjust your check down by 15%.
A couple "F.Y.I." things here:
1) There's construction happening on the 405 and consequently, traffic on the freeway, the on & off ramps and even the surface streets around the area is even more wretched than usual. Budget plenty of extra time in any of the driving you plan to do.
2) Breakfast vouchers are handled in an incredibly clunky, almost customer-hostile way. While I paid a bit more for a "breakfast included" rate, it turned out the breakfast that's included is a "continental breakfast" (check the fine print on your reservation details) which ends up being worth only $12.50 per person. In the restaurant, cooked-to-order items on the menu start at $13… and average around $18. If one does end up using the $12.50 per person credit, the server may unilaterally slap the guest with an unexpected and not pre-disclosed mandatory 18% gratuity fee, too (I'm not sure how that happened, we didn't have any bad interaction with this server or perhaps he was having a bad day or simply misunderstood the voucher rules). And while the restaurant confiscates the breakfast vouchers, the bills they handed me had the full price with nothing adjusted off of it. They instruct the voucher-using guests to go to the front desk to get the bill adjusted. Huh? Then what was the point of the vouchers?
3) Valet parking continues to be a steep $38 per night, including taxes. At least there's in & out privileges with that. There's a (non-W-affiliated) self parking deck about one block away (the corner of Hilgard & Weyburn), but I'm not certain if the deck allows overnight stays for your car.
4) Pay close attention to your bill at the end. While my first bill had taxes that were well itemized, my second bill lumped all the taxes & fees into a single line item confusingly named "room revenue". And the taxes & fees billed were twice as much as the 17% taxes the original reservation had estimated. A call to the front desk from the airport got the bill corrected, but I'm guessing plenty of guests (especially ones on expense accounts) overlook stuff like this.
Would I stay here again? Not certain. For the most part, the staff here is nicer and less snooty than at the other upscale W's I've stayed at over the years, but I didn't necessarily feel like I got a decent value for the $350 (including taxes) per weekend night I was paying. Hopefully you can find a deal or package where you're paying less than what I was.
Hopefully this information helps you out. And if you did find useful information in my review, please let me know by clicking the "Helpful" link down below. Have a great stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Luxury Los Angeles Hotel is at the foothills of Beverly Hills/Bel Air, squarely in the center of glamour, W Los Angeles Hotel Westwood is located between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- w Los Angeles - Westwood Hotel Los Angeles
- w Hotel Los Angeles
- w Hotels Los Angeles