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“I wanted to love it, but just couldn't...not close to worth $$$” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Charlie

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The Charlie
3.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   819 N Sweetzer Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
US
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“I wanted to love it, but just couldn't...not close to worth $$$”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

I will start by saying the good: The Charlie is a super cute group of little bungalows in a GREAT location on Sweetzer right between Santa Monica and Melrose. Lovely plants and such, AND free parking. Also a great deck off our room, called the "Sasha" I think.

Now, I am an experienced traveler and not too spoiled in my hotel choices. I like CLEAN, a good bathroom, decent service, and some convenience. I am used to NYC and Euro hotels, so an expansion in space is always a plus. I have paid a variety in prices for a variety in rooms many times, so I am not being too bias. However, there was just too much that went wrong to make THE CHARLIE worth the price tag (I got it at half off on living social, I would have been PISSED if I paid full price).

WRONG:
- Check in; make sure you are there early. This may be my fault, but I did not realize that after 5pm you are are your own. We arrived around 5:30pm and they were not happy that we were "late" I could tell. (Later I discovered an email and 2 messages also...)
- We were not told anything about the property or the room. We were given the key and gate opener. By the time I realized that the TV didn't work, (5 min later) she was GONE. No one to help. That sucked.
- Parking spaces are TINY (unfortunately we were given a BOAT for a rental so this may not apply to you!) and hard to get in/out of. You have to back all the way out of the gate and out into the street. Not easy. Actually discouraged me from leaving one night (I'm in my late 20's...a capable driver I might add). This could be a big problem for some.
- Front door lock didn't work. Yeah...no deadbolt. Again, NO ONE to contact after 5pm. This was terribly uncomfortable. HOW could they not know this? I don't believe that they did not know, pretty much impossible. I messed with it for a good 15 minutes.
- They have a great TV selection, if it works. The whole first day, night, and half of second day, we had nothing but a blue screen with a "no signal" flashing around. I'm sorry, but for the price this is unacceptable. I do not go on vacation to watch TV, but I like a little something in the background, and I deserve the option.
- We thought we might use the thoughtfully provided DVD player to watch a film since the TV didn't work. The DVD player didn't work either. We were on our honeymoon and used to live in LA. We were there for the romance....so this really sucked. AND, no one to contact.
- Next morning. We got up and got out early. Threw on the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign and took off. (Didn't want to pick up belongings...left out laptop, valuables, etc.) Well, housekeeping HAD TO HAVE SEEN THE SIGN! It's wooden and huge. They came in anyway. This is REALLY upsetting to me. I can't believe that NOTHING CAN GO RIGHT HERE!
- I finally fix the TV myself later, only to discover - NOW THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING - when you change the channel in the living room, it also changes the channel in the bedroom. I'm sorry, but this is no $400.night hotel. Not even close.

I know it sounds like I am a complainer, but I am truly not. I just want others to know exactly what to expect from THE CHARLIE. It is NOT a 5 star, regular high end hotel. The TV may not work, the front door may not lock (most important!), and housekeeping may not pay attention to your "DO NOT DISTURB" sign. There is NO HELP after 5pm. BUT, it is a beautiful little place in a great location. HOWEVER, I would NEVER consider this hotel against say, THE CHAMBERLAIN. I will stay there again next time, at half the cost. That is also a cozy little place tucked in a neighborhood, with a fireplace in the room and 24 hour help.

I love what THE CHARLIE is trying to do, but first and foremost - all doors MUST lock, and TVs must work if you want to charge the price you do. I only spend so much time in my hotel room, and that time should be comfortable. End of.

Room Tip: The Sasha's front door does not lock.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
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    9
    2
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8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Idaho
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

This is one of those hotel that you go just to West Hollywood to stay at. There is so much character here. Everything was done so beautifully that we didn't want to leave. The staff was very friendly, the bungalow very clean, and the garden area fun to sit and drink wine in. It was in a very nice area and in walking distance to lots of restaurants. I would go back to just to stay here again.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Ruth room. Two stories, lots of space!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The property is absolutely charming, tons of character and definitely a hidden gem within the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood. Lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance and it's a safe area. This was a short weekend trip to LA to see a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, I wanted something relatively close via surface streets.

After a small snafu with the booked reservation (resolved quickly), Masha was terrific and rallied to prepare our accommodations on a Saturday. We were in the Ruth suite, a 2 story-1 bedroom that faces Sweetzer Ave (still very quiet and tranquil). It was absolutely terrific, the details of all the built-ins and stained glass windows are true to the design and theme of the building. They blended the contemporary kitchen with the vintage decor perfectly, so you're not without your modern amenities. Now keep in mind, if you plan on a long DIY vacation, be prepared to bring your own condiments etc, laundry soap too. Stores are nearby, so if you don't pack them, you can purchase them very easily.

Gated parking was a bonus, street parking in West Hollywood can be tricky on certain streets that require permits, luckily Sweetzer is not one of them, but the spots can be hard to come by.

We brought our Pugs, so another bonus was that the Charlie was pet friendly and within a residential neighborhood, taking them on walks was just like at home.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

On the positive side, this is a truly charming spot, a cluster of 1920s tudor cottages, all restored in beautiful taste. There is something genuinely magical about the place, with its mullioned windows and ceiling beams and ebonized floors, everything decorated in black and white. On the down side, the customer service that we received was really poor -- when I buzzed in, Kevin answered with 'did you get my message?' in a rather exasperated tone (I don't answer my phone when I'm driving), and then grudgingly said that he would come and let us in. He didn't really explain anything about the place, and never really welcomed us. Each apartment has a full kitchen, which is lovely, but there was NOTHING there, not even salt and pepper. The flowers in my room were more or less dead. The place has been open four years and is getting a bit scruffy, and the gardens seemed really neglected, especially the wilderness of weeds and cobwebs in the back. For the money, I expected something more gracious, especially from the hotel staff.

Room Tip: The Marilyn was very cute indeed; the Sasha didn't smell terribly nice.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Perfection from start to finish. I'm an architecture and film buff too so I was looking for something different from generic hotels and I found it in The Charlie. From arriving via gated security door and driving into our own parking spot (no extra charge), we were greeted by the wonderful manager who ensured we knew how to contact the office at any time and showed us our perfect "cottage" - The Marlene. We were travelling with two teenage girls (very hard to impress) who said they felt like this was "home" and not a hotel. We enjoyed drinking coffee in our own courtyard area but also spent time on the communal terrace deck reading. Gardeners would be in Heaven at The Charlie. The accommodations were top notch. We walked through the neighbourhood (very convenient) to a phenomenal grocery store (Wolfgang Puck deli) for our shopping. Really close drive too to the Hollywood excitement but far enough away to be peaceful too. We want to go back and recommend it for anyone who is heading to L.A./Hollywood area. We are glad The Charlie exists and was restored. It is magical.

Room Tip: Any room would be great!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

We liked every single moment we spent at the Charlie. We are a family with young kids so we were looking for a cozy spacious place with a kitchenette and laundry facilities and the place had it all. We liked how the place doesn't have a Lobby and you go through the flower paths in the garden to reach your cottage which was named after famous old actors, it felt like we were staying in a beautiful secret garden. Moreover the location was perfect in the middle of L.A. but was still relaxing and cozy. We have to say that the responsiveness of the management was remarkable so we really thank you Mike and Masha for making our stay a pleasant and unforgetable stay.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012 via mobile

To start on a positive note, this hotel is situated in a great location - close to shops and beautiful restaurants. The rooms are quite large and come with a fully equipped kitchen. However, there is no food on site and no tea or coffee supplied in the room. It is a good place to go if you want to get away from it all, but I did expect more for the $500 per night...

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Charlie

Address: 819 N Sweetzer Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Location: United States > California > West Hollywood > West Hollywood
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in West Hollywood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Charlie 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Charlie provides exclusive luxurious accommodations to a worldwide clientele, whilst preserving the natural and historical beauty of the property's grounds. The landmark upon which The Charlie resides today was first built & established in 1924 by the Ruth Gordon family. Word has it that numerous movie star legends have roamed these grounds in the past, living out their glorious days to the fullest! Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and Gloria Swanson are only a few of such legends to name, to whom at one point or another The Charlie grounds were believed to have been a home! In 2002, threatened by re-development, this historical landmark was acquired by Menachem Treivush and has since undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. By carefully preserving historically-scrutinizing details, incorporating the technology of today, and dedicating careful attention to detail, Mr. Treivush has rapidly built up The Charlie into the unique establishment that it is today! Since re-opening to the public in 2008, The Charlie has become known as The Hidden Gem of the legendary West Hollywood! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Charlie Hotel West Hollywood

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