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Friday, April 21, 2017

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: Fabulous Melange of Old and New Hollywood

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The privilege of occupying Room 910 (pictured below), which is one of two suites with a stress-busting soaking tub, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel while covering the TCM Classic Film Festival in early April 2017 awesomely made your not-so-humble reviewer feel like Hollywood royalty in contrast to box office poison.

Another notable aspect of 910 was being confidentially told that a true show business legend stayed there; stating that the large walk-in closet that other hotels would have rented as room was an apt metaphor for this star early in his career does not betray that trust; it seems equally fair to state that the Roosevelt being an easy walk from the large Los Angeles Scientology Center lacks any relevance regarding this subject.

As an aside, the size and the style of 910 made it very apt for social and business meetings with Hollywood power brokers of any wattage with whom you connect.

The stay at the Roosevelt including a look at a King Deluxe room showed that every accommodation class had the same elegance and exceptional cleanliness. It is only the rooms that get smaller; the star treatment retains and the space still is good sized and has a comfy leather arm chair.

Both rooms also had the benefit of being soundproof even when the barn door that further insulated the sleeping area from the rest of the hotel was open. Concern regarding 910 being around the corner from the elevators quickly dissipated. I could not even hear people in the hallway.

All of this (and much more) proved that the Roosevelt hired Baby Bear to design the rooms and to choose every element in them. The bed magically was just right and provided a better night's sleep than my newish top-of-the-line bed at home; the same applied regarding the pillows, the sheets, and the duvet.

On a larger level, the Roosevelt evoked thoughts of a limited-run '90s ABC sitcom with a title that has escaped me for years. An episode of this "Seinfeld" clone had the central group of yuppie friends travel to different cities each week (for a long-forgotten reason) and check in at the local version of a large hotel chain. The joke was that the lobby, the desk clerk, and the guests looked virtually identical in each city.

Conversely, the decor and the service at the Roosevelt provided a sense of staying someplace special and of returning to 1927 when the hotel opened. Kyle, Mark, and their fellow charming bellmen deserve special praise for incredible knowledge of the area and making everyone feel valued.

New Hollywood comes in the form of climate-control systems that quickly bring your room to the desired temperature, waterfall shower heads augmented by the hand-held pulsing shower head with the bidet option that regular readers knows delights your truly, (the glass walls in the large walk-in showers are perfect for writing "redrum" and "Shine on, Danny" to entertain the next user of that delight),  stylish hi-tech digital alarm clocks that also tell you the weather, and plenty of outlets to charge devices.

Further, the WiFi is as reliable home systems; this network quickly simultaneously downloaded several long videos from the cloud for viewing on the flight home. It is equally likely that guests can watch YouTube videos of the Krofft '70s Saturday morning kids' show "Wonderbug" without buffering issues.

Moving onto the public areas, the Spanish-style lobby truly is grand and cavernous with comfy leather sofas and chairs that awesomely welcome you back to the temporary home that you truly will never want to leave. Just one night in the hotel will show you why Marilyn Monroe and many other stars took up long-term residence there. The sullen, surly stud with the hoodie and the dark glasses in the lobby indicated that that tradition continues.

The pool area was just as grand as the rest of the facility. A 40-minute workout while looking down at the art that painter David Hockney created for this amenity provided a great workout. If the pool is not Olympic-sized. it comes very close. It further is nice to swim laps without having to dodge toddlers and teens.

Additional poolside entertainment came in the form of having dreamy studs who most likely will end up on the silver screen graciously bringing the best hamburger sliders in the world and other delectable treats to you just before a poolside screening of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Seeing a strutting shirtless inked-up hunk posing for photos corrected a prior assumption that he practiced  profession older than modeling.

Limited time and numerous options (including the best pizza in the world) precluded trying all of the dining options at the Roossevelt. Speculating that the 25 Degrees eatery right off the lobby was the source of the aforementioned sliders that would transform a a lifelong vegan into a carnivore prompted having lunch there.

The friendly and efficient waiter correctly told us that their burgers were even better than the poolside fare. Mine was my first ever medium-rare burger that actually was medium rare. It was a Baby Bear one, rather than being too pink or too overdone. The fresh and tasty bun holding up to the barbecue sauce, the minimal burger grease, and the wonderfully gooey cheese was a good bonus.

The success with the burger made 25 Degrees the go-to place for a powerish breakfast meeting with an actor/PR friend the next morning. His Eggs Benedict could have been photographed for a magazine, and I could eat my perfectly prepared vanilla pancakes every morning the rest of my life, The restaurant serving real maple syrup was the awesome bonus that time.

25 Degrees being the most informal of the Roosevelt dining options is a good omen regarding the fancier options. One cannot imagine having anything less than a perfect meal at any of them.

Wrapping this up from the perspective of a former regular guest at the much-more generic and not nearly as nice Four Seasons Hotel in Boston is that the Hollywood Roosevelt experience offers everything for which a traveler could hope. The staff is welcoming and does their jobs perfectly, there is nary a smudge nor an empty glass in sight in public or private spaces, and the rooms provide a perfect escape from the exciting Hollywood lifestyle that literally awaits you beyond the front doors of the Roosevelt.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding the glory that is the Roosevelt is strongly encouraged either to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.

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