If These Walls Could Talk


The penthouses inside the historic Hollywood Roosevelt hotel are made new while celebrating the past

The living area in the Johnny Grant apartment features a vintage sofa from Antique Revival and a draper made by AP Drapery Design. Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

Historic places and spaces are often deeply rooted in shaping the history of a city. And one specific property comes to mind when reflecting on L.A.’s glamorous and sometimes scandalous relationship with the entertainment industry—the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.

Black-and-white checkered floors, created with stone from DDS and Architectural Surfaces Group, dance across a living room.
Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

Built in 1927, the iconic hot spot was the known playground for Hollywood greats including Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable. Located just steps from the Walk of Fame, today’s celebrities can often be found hosting celebrations for their own star unveiling in one of the hotel’s main spaces, which were updated by Yabu Pushelberg, or at one of the exclusive penthouses recently rethought by L.A.-based designer Kevin Klein. “The renovation was inspired by the need to maximize the utility of the most covetable real estate within the hotel—the rooftop and top-floor suites,” says Klein. “With 360-degree views of the city and a shared 2,500-plus-square-foot rooftop, the suites are simply too valuable to have sitting in any condition other than perfection.”

A custom banquette is covered in Tiger Mountain by Dedar. Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

Designed with a dual purpose—for hosting intimate private events and housing long-stay guests—the suites were customized with materials and finishes which pay homage to L.A.’s artistic culture while making guests feel at home. “The suites are tailored to be like single-family homes than a typical hotel room,” he says. “You can actually live in these suites and have no reason to leave.”

A richly maroon-hued kitchen was designed to match the Fisher & Paykel appliances. Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

Since the hotel played host for the first Academy Awards and is located in the heart of Hollywood, Klein and his team imposed a design that paid tribute to its heritage without being too predictable. “We wanted to make sure that some facet of Hollywood glamour was felt in the design,” he recalls. “We didn’t want to be too over-the-top with the stylistic notes, but we definitely wanted to make sure that there were nuanced hints of the heyday of Hollywood opulence.”

The primary suite in the Johnny Grant apartment features a custom bouclé bed and vintage table lamps found at Balder Design.
Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

When stepping inside the 2,100-square-foot Gable Lombard penthouse, which features two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sunken living room and sunken bar, you understand the intention. Wood-clad walls adorned with Murano sconces, marble-checkered floors and lush upholstered furniture capture the sultry essence of the past while ushering the space into current culture. Named after the legendary radio host and TV producer Johnny Grant, the 2,800-square-foot apartment next door features a dedicated elevator and dining area equipped to host up to 16 guests.

The primary bathroom inside the Gable Lombard penthouse features fixtures from Waterworks, vintage Murano lighting and marble checkered floors. Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt.

“We wanted the guests entering the suites to be uncertain whether the renovation had been completed in the 2020s or the 1920s,” Klein remarks. “We obviously had to ensure each space felt new and updated, but at the same time we needed them to feel lived in, timeless and of a previous generation.”