I've stayed here a couple of times now and dined a few times more. Knowing many of the wild goings-on here for years, I had to see for myself what this place was like.
It felt like I was staying at a hacienda, even read it described as similar to a bordello. The patina was very appealing to me: from the tiles to the wood. If you're looking for a 5 star hotel (they're a dime a dozen in this town), you'd be disappointed. I came for the history and its character, so I wasn't. It was, after all, built in 1929 and even served as a bomb shelter at one point. It was where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the Last Tycoon and where Howard Hughes lived at the penthouse for three years. The walls had so many stories to tell.
The first time we dined at the private restaurant inside and sat beside John Malkovich, 3 of the Spice Girls (this was many years ago) and some other European actor whose name I can't recall just now. I found it very cozy and full of character. Brunch in the patio was really nice but it was open then, now the outdoor restaurant has been covered up and I do like the bedouin-tent look about it. I enjoyed all their food.
The last time we stayed at the main part of the hotel, not in the bungalows, our room was retro and the bathrooms can use some updating and still keep its flavor. Next time I'll probably stay in one of the bungalows and, if I'm feeling flush with funds, even at the penthouse.