The Hollywood Roosevelt was built in 1927 and was the site of the first Academy Awards in 1929. The hotel has had a number of famous long-term tenants, including Marilyn Monroe, who lived there for two years. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard lived in the penthouse which now bears their name.
The hotel is still popular with celebrities in town for movie premieres at the Chinese Theatre and the Oscars, which now take place across the street at the Dolby Theatre.
It's interesting to go take a look at the hotel even if you're not staying there. The grand lobby off of Hollywood Boulevard has high ceilings with painted patterns between the beams. The current management still keeps it a lot darker than it used to be, but at least they've thinned out the heavy dark furniture so you can once again appreciate the space.
The hotel reception is actually at the back of the hotel off the parking lot, one level down from street level.
The Rooms at the Hollywood Roosevelt
The rooms at the Roosevelt vary in size and quality, with some being quite tiny, and others spacious, even in the same room category. I think the Cabana rooms have a lot more character than the rooms in the main hotel. Most of the rooms have walk-in closets with a couple shelves, which, I guess, are supposed to stand in for the non-existent dressers.
I think the lack of desk was more of an issue with today's guests, so some form of drawer-less desk has replaced the dresser. I do appreciate that almost all rooms now have a comfortable chair or sofa.
The Pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt
The pool is one of the most popular attractions at the Hollywood Roosevelt, featuring a floor mural painted by artist David Hockney in 1988.
The pool has its own status as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, separate from the hotel. The pool is surrounded by plenty of lounge chairs, which are reserved for guests only until noon. After that, a minimum food and beverage order can score anyone a seat.
The pool is only open for swimming until 7 pm, which is a drag if you're coming back from a long day of sightseeing and want to take a dip.
Dining and Nightlife
Public Kitchen is a restaurant off the historic main lobby known for its meaty American fare, open for lunch and dinner.
The Roosevelt's popular 24-hour burger and wine bar 25 Degrees is at the front of the building, open to Hollywood Boulevard. 25 Degrees refers to the difference in temperature between a raw hamburger and a well-done burger. It's the only restaurant that offers breakfast.
For late risers, Tropicana Pool Cafe and Bar starts serving at 10:30 am and serves food until 10 pm. In the evening, the Tropicana is leased out to a promoter as a nightclub and the pool itself is covered with translucent flooring. The hotel has negotiated automatic access for guests in Cabana rooms, but everyone else has to get on the guest list like the general public to get into the club.
The Spare Room is a prohibition-era themed bar and gaming parlour with a two-lane vintage bowling alley next door. The dark, wood-paneled lounge is a fun place to enjoy classic cocktails over wooden board games.
The Library Bar is another dark corner where mixologists create custom cocktails to suit the whim of each guest using fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to enhance the alcoholic ingredients. No guest list required.
The Hollywood Roosevelt also has 24 hour room service.
- Most rooms are reasonably comfortable
- Lots of history
- Great location for Hollywood sightseeing
- Variety of dining and nightlife options
- Great pool
- A-List nightclub if you can get in
- Free coffee and tea in the lobby
- Expensive Parking
- Charge for WiFi in the room
- No coffee/tea in the room
- The poolside Tropicana Bar is loud late into the night
- Hotel guests have limited access to the pool after 7 p.m.
- Hotel guests in the tower can't get in to the Tropicana on weekends
- There are no dressers in the rooms
- Address: 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
- Phone: (323) 466-7000
- Reservations: 1(800) 950-7667
- Room Rates: $$$
- Website: www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com
- Amenities: Pool, Restaurant, Bar, Nightclub, Fitness Center, Business Center
- Parking: $23/night
- Metro: Hollywood and Highland - 1 block