Who would have thought that a 240-room hotel situated on busy Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles would provide such a lively and inviting vibe. From its helpful, young staff (Josh, Larry and Christian) who greet you upon check-in, to the free afternoon wine hour and super hip décor, Kimpton's Palomar Hotel has all the making for a fun escape from home or a good spot to do business.
The five-year-old hotel seems to cater to both leisure travelers and business people. During a recent overnight there was a big Kawasaki group decked out in full motorcycle regalia, lots of young business types working their iPhones, laptops and iPads, foreigners and a sprinkling of locals.
We spent the night in a spacious Sky Suite (thanks to an upgrade) which had such creature comforts as flat screen TVs, huge Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, king size bed, mini bar and fridge, WiFi and a sweeping view of Los Angeles from Century City to the Pacific Ocean). The only thing lacking was light, the bathroom is so dimly-lit it’s hard for a woman to do her makeup and a man to shave. But then this is probably a good way to save on electricity.
A really cute touch to the rooms are the adorable plush animal print robes you get to wear while you’re there. There’s also Frette zebra linens on the beds along with black faux fur throws for wrapping up on cool nights. And to go along with the animal theme, the hotel allows guests to bring their furry friends.
Amenities include a well-equipped and spotless fitness room, an inviting lobby-level outdoor deck with heated pool and lounges so comfortable you don’t want to get up. There is also cold water everywhere to drink and in the morning free coffee served in the lobby from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the good, strong stuff, too.
To compensate for the lack of a spa the hotel offers in-room massages and other treatments on request and for an added fee. There area also yoga mats in each room as well as sessions offered in the fitness center and in your room so desired.
For happy hour aficionados or tipplers there’s a very spirited bar with savvy staffers who know how to mix a mean martini or one of the hotel’s specialty cocktails (of which there are many). We stopped there before dinner at Blvd 16 and the place was packed. The restaurant wasn’t very crowded, though, so we enjoyed a nice, leisurely meal with some hits and misses (a charred Caesar salad didn’t quite cut it, but a grilled salmon was very good). Our waitress was exceptional and even sent a note up to our room thanking us for dining at BLVD 16 (a really nice touch).
In all Palomar presents comfortable away from home housing, perfect for a quick local escape or to recommend for friends or relatives visiting Los Angeles. It is part of the Kimpton Hotel chain which really does know hospitality.
Hotel Palomar is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard, just a short distance from Westwood (home of UCLA, shops and restaurants) and Beverly Hills (where higher-priced shopping and restaurants reside). | For information or reservations call 310-475-8711 or go to www.hotelpalomar-LAwestwood.com.