After Ninety-Plus Years, The Hollywood Roosevelt Remains Iconic As EverAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
The abstract concept of “Los Angeles” conjures up all sorts of mental imagery for non-locals: marathon spending sprees on Rodeo Drive, sunsets over the Santa Monica Pier, unexpected run-ins with A-list celebrities at overpriced juice shops, etc. But it’s hard to think of anything more quintessentially “LA” than the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt. Located smack dab in the center of the Walk of Fame and a stone’s throw from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the hotel’s location alone is enough to secure its spot as a must-see destination. But the landmark’s rich history and stunning design are what truly sustain its enduring legacy.
Named for President Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel opened its doors in 1927 and quickly became an integral part of the entertainment industry: in 1929, the Roosevelt’s Blossom Ballroom served as the site of the first Academy Awards. The property’s lobby was — and remains — a jaw-dropping ode to the warmth and romance of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, hosting events and casual meet-ups around a tiled fountain and under an antique cast-iron chandelier. And nothing could truly cement The Roosevelt’s Tinseltown status like the fact that screen legend Marilyn Monroe took up residence there for two years while she got her modeling career off the ground, and even posed for her first commercial — a suntan lotion ad — on the pool’s diving board.
Let’s talk about that pool. Serving as one of The Hollywood Roosevelt’s most legendary attractions, the palm tree-encircled ’60s-style Tropicana Pool & Cafe serves up all-day eats and cocktails for guests looking to see and be seen. And those seeking to host a private event have the rare opportunity to treat their attendees to a million-dollar piece of artwork (courtesy of famed muralist David Hockney who decorated the pool floor in 1988).
But despite its undeniable outward beauty, Hollywood Roosevelt isn’t all about appearances — the property effectively marries form and function throughout the accommodations and common spaces and manages to stay relevant, even ninety-plus years after making its debut. Guests have the chance to customize their experience by booking a stay in the classically-styled tower or the Mad Men-esque cabanas. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the palette of the tower rooms incorporates Spanish-inspired patterns, subtle textures, supple leathers, and soft grey tones with persimmon red accents (but the smart TVs, WiFi access, and blutooth connectivity keep the old-school spaces up to date). And movie buffs will geek out on the fact that the three-level, 3,200-square-foot Penthouse Suite wasn’t just once the home to legendary couple Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, but it was a major scene-stealer in this year’s hit, A Star Is Born.
Meanwhile, the cabanas feature details like sleek white furniture, hardwood floors, and vintage Eames pieces. The Marilyn Monroe suite offers a wrap-around balcony overlooking the Tropicana Pool & Cafe and the Cabana Garden Bungalow Superior features mid-century furniture and a simple palette of natural oak and charcoal against bronze mirrors and ebony floors.
The Roosevelt has continued to stay current in other ways too. In addition to its 25,000 square feet of flexible space, the property recently created an exclusive, secluded studio space known as the White Room, newly available for private meetings and events. Located just off the pool, the bright space is outfitted with simple, contemporary furnishings for a versatile setting fit for modern meetings. Attendees can also access the space via the Joshua Vides hallway, a secret walk-through art installation painted by the acclaimed urban artist in his signature graphic black-and-white style.
Then there’s the entertainment. Justin Willman stars in The Magic Show at The Roosevelt, an upscale, mysterious experience that takes place in a hidden, unmarked theater at The Hollywood Roosevelt. Willman, best known for multiple appearances on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Conan, and @Midnight, has performed live at the White House for President Obama and garnered over 50 million views of his online videos. His debut series, Magic for Humans, is a hit on Netflix, and his theory11-produced live show has been selling out night after night.
Of course, no luxury experience is complete without some seriously extravagant dining. And the Hollywood Roosevelt delivers, with six on-site food and beverage destinations (in addition to decadent 24-hour room service). Between Public Kitchen & Bar, The Spare Room, 25 Degrees, The Rosy Oyster, Teddy’s Bar, and more, guests have their pick of an exclusive lounge, a game parlor with vintage bowling lanes, a 24-hour burger joint, and a slew of other culinary options and spots to kick back with a cocktail.
The Hollywood Roosevelt is located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90028. Call 323.856.1970 or visit thehollywoodroosevelt.com for more information or to book a reservation.