A shimmering, chrome-and-white exterior with just a hint of midcentury flare belies the Andaz West Hollywood’s tabloid-splashed background. Barely recognizable in its latest incarnation, the Hyatt-operated boutique hotel was once the Sunset Strip’s iconic Riot House—alternately known to those not in the rock-star club as Gene Autry’s Hotel Continental, the Continental Hyatt House, the Hyatt on Sunset, and the Hyatt West Hollywood throughout the years. In the '60s, '70s, and '80s, musicians virtually ran the joint, taking up residence and partying for days in between shows at the Troubadour, Roxy, and Miyagi’s down the street; Jim Morrison was evicted for hanging off a balcony, Led Zeppelin occupied the 11th floor, Keith Richards dropped a television out of a window, and Axl Rose threw seared steaks to fans off yet another balcony. Up-and-coming comedians hoping for a spot at the Comedy Store next door hung out in the bar, and the late Robin Williams famously performed in the lobby for the graveyard shift.
These days, the rock-star legacy carries on mostly in hotel lifestyle: free minibar snacks replenished daily, a personal everything-you-need Andaz Host, the highest rooftop pool in L.A., a see-and-be-seen lobby bar, and only the most central location on the Sunset Strip. For those who need to fully live out their rocker fantasy, the only room left with a balcony is the penthouse.
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From its perch on the Sunset Strip, across from the House of Blues and next to the Comedy Store, the Andaz West Hollywood couldn't be better placed for live entertainment. The Roxy, Viper Room, and Whisky a Go-Go are all just down the street; the Troubadour is only a slightly farther drive (or cab ride). Catalina Bar and Grill and the Jazz Bakery attract jazz aficionados. By day, peruse titles at the iconic Book Soup, visit the architectural masterpiece Stahl House, grab a star-studded drink at Chateau Marmont, and sample delicious Thai cuisine at Night + Market.
Need to Know
Rooms: 239 rooms, 20 suites. From $295. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: A sleek and sultry vision of glass, marble, and polished wood, the Riot House restaurant and bar (RH, to locals) hardly resembles the hotel’s raucous rock 'n' roll past from which it takes its name. More than a few music industry stars sip wine and cocktails behind the bar’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the beating heart of the Sunset Strip, and they power lunch over farm-to-table comfort food in the restaurant. But it’s a much more grown-up scene nowadays. Concertgoers pop in for the daily happy hour before shows. And on Sunday afternoons in summer, the show comes to the guests-only rooftop pool—where drinks and food can be ordered to loungers—during the chilled-out DJ series. Spa and gym details: Not only are morning laps acceptable in the rooftop pool, the Andaz has a 24-hour fitness center with a full range of top-of-the-line equipment; personal trainers and yoga instructors can also be arranged. Because the hotel sits at the base of the Hollywood Hills, the Andaz Host concierges can suggest hiking and running trails. A curated range of in-room spa and beauty treatments from renowned local day spa OleHenriksen can be booked.
Who's it best for: Refined rock stars and music lovers. Our favorite rooms: When the hotel was converted to its latest incarnation, the infamous balconies off each View room and Suite were transformed into sunrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, which means that these rooms—all of which face downtown—have possibly the best views of the L.A. basin from a hotel. For art lovers: The Andaz might have a musical history, but these days its focus is trained on visual art. The Art Seen @ Andaz initiative works with a renowned local curator to display rotating collections of work by L.A. artists throughout the hotel, and all art is available to purchase. Art and cultural events are also held regularly at the hotel as part of the project.