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“Soft spot for old ladies”

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Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles
Ranked #92 of 355 Hotels in Los Angeles
Reviewed December 15, 2013

I'm way too forgiving when it comes to historical hotels so if you want the perfect room in a perfect hotel, don't take my advice. The more historic the hotel, the more forgiving I am and this hotel is one of the most historic I've ever stayed in. If you are a Hollywood-phile, there is so much cinematic history that has taken place at this hotel, it takes a while to read up on it. The number of movies and TV shows that have been shot there seem endless. I think their list of movies and TV shows shot just in the last 25 years was two pages long.

You are immediately harkened back to the days of yore once you enter the lobby and surrounding areas. "Grandiose" is an understatement. Yes, there are signs of wear of the ages everywhere but I was so overwhelmed with the surroundings, I barely noticed.

Unfortunately, it drops off quickly once you get to the room. In my case, the many-times painted door lead to a smallish room. Bed was comfortable enough but looking out the window, the paint on the outside sills on my room and surrounding rooms was peeling severely. The bathroom was very small with an industrial-type flush toilet that you'd expect to find in a public restroom. The sink extended into the shower over the edge of the bathtub. I had to be careful to snake the shower curtain over and around the sink and edge of the tub so I didn't flood the room when taking a shower. However, the shower head/water pressure was old-style e.g. not the pathetic "green" showers you find so often that barely spit water out.

I was at the hotel for a series of meetings that were conducted at the hotel. The food was exceptional including the desserts. I think they got some of the desserts from Bodega Louie down the street. Exquisite stuff.

All of the staff members I experienced were cordial, polite, sharp, and helpful. A housekeeper cleaning a room down from mine peeked out when I passed one morning and gave me a a hearty hello. Check-in and out was quick and efficient.

In conclusion, if you're like me and have a soft spot for grand old dame hotels rich in history and are forgiving about the rough edges, I definitely recommend this hotel. I would stay here again. If you're into the trendy, smart, perfect hotels, this one isn't for you.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,171 - 1,177 of 3,126 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2013

Came in the first weekend of December to stay at the Grand Dame of all LA hotels with its location across Pershing Square and all of its 90 year history. Many movies have been shot here. Parking is valet only at $40/day. The lobby is beautiful, with the giant Christmas tree that soeared to the ceiling, which is a stained glass reportedly used as the one at the SS Poseidon in the Poseidon Adventure. The original lobby was fronting Pershing Square but was moved to Grand where there is a driveway people can pull into and not obstruct traffic. Planners did not anticipate that LA was going to be the car society it would be which also explains why there is no parking lot built into the hotel. Check in was nice and friendly. I take the small elevators in the middle of main foyer to my 10th floor room in the club level. The room is beautiful and huge! I love the classic design (versus boutique) and I am glad that they kept it in its traditional décor.
The beds were very comfortable, the workspace big, nice flat screen TV, huge closet and bathroom. Although the hotel is old, everything was in good working order. I was looking for the coffeemaker but I guess they didn’t have it because it was so close to the Club Lounge. I had my evening snacks there and it was great. The wi-fi is $9.95/day but worked well.
It was nice to look out into Pershing Square which was all nicely lit up at night.
The hotel, as always, is festooned in all its Christmas glory. Each of the 4 major ballrooms are beautiful. There is a nice gallery of historic pictures leading to the Biltmore bowl as well.
I took lots of pictures before I left to go to the skating rink across the street and Santee to shop.
If you like contemporary boutique hotels, stay away. But if you like traditional, grand, history and pageantry, this would be the hotel to stay or have your party at!

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the skating rink/Pershing Square!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RichieSel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

The Biltmore is a beautiful classic, ornate hotel. Unfortunately, some aspects of the service and, for sure, the plumbing are quite ornate, too. We had called ahead 3 times to reserve a particular room for early check-in. We were assured the room would be ready, making the last call the morning of our check-in. It was not -- so, since we had to change clothes to attend an event, we had to settle for a smaller, yet, at that time, adequate room. In the middle of the night the toilet fixture started leaking. In the morning, I called Housekeeping to inform them that what started as a trickle out on the floor was becoming an untended sprinkler system for the toilet and all over the bathroom. I told them it was an immediate problem. It took 40 minutes for the "Engineer" to arrive. In the meantime I arranged with a Housekeeing staff person to temporarily use another room. We were checking out in a couple of hours. By the time we left the room, there was water all over the floor, the toilet, the sink and it had invaded the rug, soaking a 2 ft. square area. What a shame to ruin the rug due to a too late response. When we checked out, I called the extension for valet parking. Twice, I let the telephone ring for 30 times...never was an answer. We reported all of this to the manager who, of course, was routinely apolegetic and did deduct the parking fees from the bill. It really is a beautiful hotel that usually is just fine...This time...unfortunately..not so.

Room Tip: A corner King if they let you have it.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RH2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013 via mobile

I travel a lot for business and visit LA about two times a month. This time, I decided to give this hotel a try despite the questionable reviews on this site and others. Unfortunately, many of the negative comments I've seen in other reviews appear accurate.

I get that the hotel is old and in some ways unavoidably dated. That said, my room smells moldy and there is trash from a previous guest in the closet. On the positive side, the bed is nice and comfortable.

For me, the most significant and unforgivable aspect of this hotel is the unfriendliness of staff, particularly the front desk staff at check-in. Without going into details, the front desk staff need to go take lessons from the desk staff at Westin, Hyatt, or even Motel 6 for that matter. Poor customer service is simply inexcusable because it's a failure of management that indicates fundamental organizational problems.

While the common areas of the hotel are grand and full of vintage charm, this grandeur unfortunately does not find its way into either the guest rooms or the attitudes of staff.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
6  Thank Infuniform
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kendra W, Public Relations Manager at Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Thank you for your valuable comments and sharing with us your experience at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. Your business is extremely important to us and we greatly appreciate your feedback. We are steadfastly committed to providing guests with a superior experience and take very seriously your concerns about the customer service you received and your guestroom accommodations. We want to reassure you that our hotel currently is undergoing an improvement project and reinforcement of customer service training throughout the next 12-18 months to remedy the very issues you have raised. Additionally, your comments will be addressed with the relevant managers so that necessary corrective measures can be taken. In the meantime, please accept our sincerest apologies for our performance and for having caused you disappointment and inconvenience. We hope that on your next visit to downtown Los Angeles, we will have an opportunity to restore your confidence in our hospitality.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

You cant go wrong staying at this hotel. It has a very historical and interesting history and a wonderful ambience about it.
We spent most of our time out and about on tours so it was nice to return to the hotel and relax in the Roman style pool and use the wet and dry sauna's. The gym has state of the art "hydraulic pump" machines which I have never seen in any other hotel I have stayed at before.
The hotel has a real "grandeur" feel about it.
Star Bucks was at the end of the street, Subway was around the corner (great option if you wanted a cheap breakfast on the run) and enough restaurants close by to tempt any palate.
I would stay here again if I was to find myself back in L.A.

Room Tip: Like any hotel, you "generally" get what you pay for. If you want a fancy, fully fruited...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sandgroper-Hank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This can be a frustrating hotel, with a grand lobby and public space, old-world afternoon tea and ambiance, and the chance for the best or the worst that could happen in the "room lottery" at check-in. Loaded with history and pictures of its grand old days, right now the best is behind this hotel, although as this stay showed, it could be comfortable and worth the stay. I go once a year, for a meeting, so I have the chance to try it out annually.

To be candid, if this were not the site of a meeting I would never stay there, although I kind of like the funky, seedy, real feel of downtown LA.

The hotel is old and your room will be too. Nothing wrong with that; it can be very fun to have a charming old room with some of the flavor you don't get from the prefab chains. That said, it all depends upon the room you are given. I seldom compplain in hotels unless it is dreadful, and in the past I have had to have my room changed. Not so this time. I had a very large room on the 7th floor. It was clearly a reconfiguration; the carpet and floor dipped where a wall had been torn out and not filled in with material; they just carpeted over it. Not what I would do at home, but this is a big place and a deal can be had on a room here.

My view was of a building right next door, so not much to see. I had two double beds and enough space for a few more, although I was alone. There was noit a whole lot of funiture, so aside from the desk and chair, and an armchair and dresser, there was a lot of wide open space.

It was cleaner than rooms I have had in the past and as I was checking in a man was installing a new shower curtain, so that was a promising sign. The bathroom was small but functional. I did Purell a good portion of the doorknobs, switches, remote and faucets; while clean it was old-clean, not new-clean, if you know what I mean.

The bed was very comfortable and the towels were just barely enough for one if I went to the gym and took a second shower.

Finding the gym was a workout in itself, although the old-world pool and feel was charming.

I liked the food; I had a few meals there and found it to be local and good. I also ate out a few times and while a woman alone at night is a bit dicey if you go far from the hotel, there is food to be had.

The parking still costs too much, and a trip to the airport is also very expensive. But I had a good stay, enjoyed my funky room (I have had rooms there in the past not much bigger than the walk-in closet in this room!) and I suggest that you negotiate right at the checkin for the room you want!

Room Tip: Make the front desk work with you on a room regarding noise, size, cell-phone coverage, etc.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank withkidstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2013

First stayed here in 1980 and have been coming back whenever in LA ever since
One of the old iconic hotels where the Oscars were conceived and is used in lots of movies.
Always stay on Club floors which are higher, have access to lounge, internet, breakfast, nibbles, drinks wi fi etc. Worth the extra and will actually save you money.
Staff were great, let me use Lounge after checkout as had an evening International flight

Room Tip: Stay in Club rooms, apparently are much better appointed and you get the additional use of the `Club...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Peccaviman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles

Address: 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071-2602
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #92 of 355 Hotels in Los Angeles
Price Range: $189 - $333 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles 3.5*
Number of rooms: 683
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel has been a legendary Los Angeles landmark since 1923. With exquisite Spanish-Italian Renaissance architecture, including stunning hand-painted ceilings, it's rich history is most noted for its connection with the Oscars - the founding banquet for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held in the Crystal Ballroom in 1927, where the original "Oscar" statuette was sketched on a Biltmore napkin, and eight Academy Awards banquets were held in the Biltmore Bowl during the '30s and '40s. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore

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