Los Angeles was the last place I traveled to before the world shut down last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also the first city I visited since quarantine orders lifted in various cities across the country. While it was a necessary work trip that caused me to head west, thanks to its resort-like amenities and responsible COVID protocols, my stay at the Hollywood Roosevelt made me feel like it was okay to enjoy leisurely travel again.
If you don’t know the history of the Hollywood Roosevelt, the iconic hotel opened its doors nearly 100 years ago and was the site of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. It was also a favorite of notable old-Hollywood celebs like Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who has a suite named after her on the site. Remnants of that golden era are seen throughout the décor in the property, from the ‘60s-style pool to the adjacent cabanas. And though you’ll find yourself right on Hollywood Boulevard when you walk out the front doors of the hotel, behind them, you’ll feel like you’re in your own private oasis.
I stayed in a one bedroom suite in the Roosevelt’s Towers during my time in LA, and let me tell you, it was the accommodation I never knew I needed. Working remotely while in Hollywood, I had at least five celebrity interviews over the course of five days – not to mention work meetings – and I was beyond appreciative to not have my unmade bed in the background of those Zoom calls.
The living room portion of the suite gave me a clearly defined area to take care of business and created a physical division between my workspace and resting place which prevented me from sleeping with my laptop at night (again). Being able to eat in this area also kept my quarters neat and clean which requires more effort on the part of guests these days as the Roosevelt, like many hotels at this time, have halted daily housekeeping service as part of their COVID safety protocol. Don’t worry, you’ll get extra trash bags to discard of anything you need each day and ordering extra towels, toilet paper, or Maison Margiela Replica toiletries is no big thing. If I was an LA resident, I would absolutely take advantage of the Roosevelt’s Workation program and book a room at least once a month.
Had I not stayed in my suite, a Cabana would’ve been my next accommodation choice (well, after the Gable & Lombard Penthouse where that famous scene in A Star is Born was filmed). Situated across from the Tropicana Pool & Café, these classic dwellings feature retro décor and either a patio garden or balcony overlooking the pool.
The design instantly makes you feel as though you’ve transported yourself to another place in time, which is part of the allure of getting away. And with fully stocked minibars and open living spaces, you’ll definitely want to invite a few friends during what may possibly be your first reunion since COVID.
Speaking of coronavirus, the Roosevelt makes you feel comfortable letting your guard down just a tad during your stay, knowing the policies they’ve put in place. Guests have their temperatures checked immediately upon arrival and when you check in you are required to note any visitors that may want to join you during your stay so as to keep the number of people on the property to a minimum.
In that same vein, you must make an appointment to exercise in the workout facility on site to prevent an influx of fitness enthusiasts at one time, and guests are encouraged to only allow one person/family in the elevators at all times. The L.A. Tourism board will also be the first Sharecare VERIFIED™ destination in the United States, which is an initiative developed by Sharecare and Forbes Travel Guide to verify the health security of all hotels with 50 or more rooms, so if you’re going to make any destination first on your post-COVID travel list, L.A. should be it.
Though there’s plenty to explore in LA – not to mention a number of great Black businesses to support – what’s so perfect about the Hollywood Roosevelt is it’s a getaway within a getaway. Work doesn’t feel so much like work when you’re snacking on crispy cauliflower (which I ordered nearly every day) underneath a table umbrella surrounded by palm trees. The Roosevelt gives you a mix of the city and the serene which is the ideal balance for an extended stay. And if you’re not comfortable dining inside of the hotel restaurant, 25 Degrees, you can have anything off the menu sent up to your room, including cocktails – I learned that the good way.
As the entire city of LA begins to open up and welcome visitors back to the area with its #StartYourComeback campaign, which features amazing deals and perks from a number of top-tier hotels and hospitality businesses, the Roosevelt will also reopen some of its staple amenities. This includes the Spare Room, which is a prohibition-style cocktail lounge and game room, and its newly launched Italian steakhouse, The Barish by Nancy Silverton. Plus with a massage garden, movie nights, poolside comedy shows, Mindful Breathwork & Meditation, and morning and sunset yoga sessions on the roof which offers a stunning view of the city, you don’t have to leave the property once you arrive unless you absolutely want to. That fact alone makes any risk you feel you’re taking by traveling more than rewarding once you land.