Cal-i-fornia Dreamin’ on such a winter’s day….
Happy New Year, InnLovers! I hope everyone had an exceptional holiday. Well, I am back (again!) and excited to share with you my trip to California to cheer on the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl. This blog is a special one, because we have never covered this brand of hotel. Drum roll, please… I introduce to you the Loews Hollywood Hotel at the corner of Hollywood & Highland.
There are about 30 Loews branded properties across the country and we do not have any currently in Ohio. Established in the 60’s, Loews still runs as an independently owned family hotel company and pride themselves on delivering hospitality that comes from the heart. Your experience is driven by you.
As we drove up to the hotel we passed a waterfall wall with lit letters that read “Loews Hollywood Hotel” embedded in the water, we turned just past the wall and wrapped up to the porte-cochere and unloaded. Windows wrapped along the sidewalk to the lobby. High ceilings with an open lounge area that had large ottoman style seating, tables with couches, and a large hollow square bar welcomed us. Large cluster-like chandeliers hung over the bar and sparkled in the sunlight.
As we checked-in, I noticed a cool pod design of lit gems that decorated the wall behind the front desk. Since, there were A LOT of Buckeye groups staying at this property, they also had various elements to welcome the fans such as clips from every game this season playing on repeat throughout our stay. It was projected on a white wall just above the front desk. We made our way to bright white and stainless-steel elevator bank and up to the 11th floor we went.
Off the elevators, I immediately noticed the directional signage as it was all individual shiny silver letters and numbers mounted on to the wall. They sat on an equally shiny silver line which made them look underlined. The hallways were minimal but the carpeting was bright with pops of hot pink, orange in circular pattern.
We walked in to our room and immediately walked over to the floor to ceiling windows. It was the Golden Hour when we caught our first glimpse of our view that included the Hollywood sign to the left and downtown L.A. to the right. The room was modern, spacious for work and play. I loved the in-room snack and beverage bar. The packaging of the snacks are great (I am such a sucker for packaging…sigh).
Off to explore! We jam-packed our Saturday-Wednesday trip with all the Hollywood & Rose Bowl goodness we could possibly experience. The location of the hotel was an area commonly known as Hollywood & Highland. Here, we were in the middle of a tourist paradise. Right next door was a multi-floor shopping and dining mecca designed like something you would see in Las Vegas.
We visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the celebrity handprints & footprints outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre featuring popular favorites such as Robert DeNiro, Sophia Loren, Robin Williams and Jennifer Aniston.
By night we visited the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. This strip started making an infamous reputation in the 20’s and is more recently known for being the mecca of the rock movement that had celebrities like Led Zeppelin to David Bowie grace its streets.
My husband’s favorite band of all time is Guns N Roses and it just so happened that while we were visiting a GNR cover band with the original drummer, Adler’s Appetite, was playing at the World Famous Whiskey a Go Go! Such a cool, intimate setting for a concert. The history of rock ‘n’ roll truly lives in these walls.
The notable adventure the next day was our hike up to Griffith Observatory where views of Los Angeles are raw and in every direction. From this point we also got a better view of the Hollywood sign. What a BEAUTIFUL view and the weather was just perfect.
Time for the Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Well, you can’t go to the Rose Bowl without attending the Tournament of Roses Parade first, obviously. So, we did just that. We left our hotel for Pasadena at 6:00am to get in our seats for the parade. If you love flowers, this is the parade for you. I’ve always watched the Rose Parade & Bowl growing up, but to see those floats live is an entirely different experience. The intricate details of the floats are unmatched. All the materials used are from natural plant materials…FLOWERS, so many beautiful blooms, braided leaves, cranberry seeds, tapioca pearls and list goes on. (I really, really loved the parade and recommend it to anyone who may head out west to the Rose Bowl in the future!)
After the parade, we made our way to the stadium in the most picturesque setting. Just beautiful. The mountains peeked over the stadium and really made a perfect backdrop for the game. A large public fan fest was taking place outside the stadium where there were tons of local vendors. One of the beverages they were serving was “Rose Bowl Rose” which I of course loved, AND it came in a souvenir stemless champagne flute with a rose on it! (I am not the proud owner of a set of two.)
The game itself was exciting, (a little too exciting in the 4th quarter if you ask me) and the setting for college football was perfect. Before long the sun set on the mountains and we were celebrating a victory. Memories I will not forget any time soon.
A Very Happy Ohio State Alum,