The iconic hotel – considered the greatest example of Art Deco design in LA and loved by the Hollywood elite – emerged from a multi-million dollar renovation in August last year with new rooms and suites, terrace and swimming pool and a 7,000 sq2 fitness centre and spa.
Sunset Tower, one of Los Angeles’ most iconic hotels, completed a major multi-million pound transformation last summer. Led by owner Jeff Klein, who has owned the property since 2004, the Art Deco masterpiece is located on Sunset Boulevard and has been an exclusive hub for the Hollywood elite since opening its doors in 1931. Today, the hotel has been lovingly restored to maintain its true character without losing its sense of history. The updated design features elegant, stylish new interiors, a beautifully designed Terrace Bar, a fresh outdoor terrace and swimming pool plus wellness area, with the chicest and most welcoming room in town – The Tower Bar and Restaurant – remaining untouched.
Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, Sunset Tower was a trailblazer from the moment it opened. Perched atop Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, its dramatic setting and elegant Art Deco styling, together with its proximity to famous restaurants and nightclubs of the 1930s & 40s, contributed to its landmark status. The floor to ceiling panoramic views and state-of-the-art luxuries made it a hub for the great and the good during the ‘golden era’ of Hollywood when it was tres chic to reside at the Sunset Tower. Residents included Truman Capote, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. John Wayne, whose former apartment is now the hotel’s gym, kept his pet cow on the balcony so that guests could have fresh milk with their coffee.
Notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel’s apartment is now The Tower Bar and Restaurant. Howard Hughes kept several apartments at Sunset Tower for his various mistresses – some at the same time, while Frank Sinatra, who owned a bachelor pad at the hotel, would often propose to Ava Gardner from the edge of his terrace. Iggy Pop would dive from his balcony into the pool and Diana Ross couldn’t work the lift as her nails were too long so made actor Tim Curry play elevator operator. The stories are endless. In 2004, the hotel embarked on a new journey when hotelier and restaurateur Jeff Klein became the owner and developed a love affair with this great Hollywood icon.
Klein’s vision for the Sunset Tower’s refurbishment was to let the hotel design itself. He wanted to restore its heart and soul without losing its character or having a named designer take over such a landmark building. Since taking over the helm 14 years ago, Klein has worked hard to truly get to know the hotel and the clients who enjoy it, putting a great deal of thought and care into ensuring its classical cachet remains intact.
Offering timeless and classic interiors inspired by the iconic building, Klein has stayed true to the Art Deco influences of Sunset Tower while still making it fresh, modern and clean, thus creating a lasting effect that feels inherent to the hotel. Striving for palette continuity, muted pinks, creams, and salmon coloured paint can be found throughout the hotel with chevron detail on the windows.
ROOMS & SUITES
Sunset Tower’s 81 bedrooms and suites have been decorated in a chic and elegant style. While Klein has respected the original palette and direction that interior designer Paul Fortune created when he first acquired and restored the hotel in 2006, each of the rooms have been enriched with dusty pinks, soft creams and brown accents. Overhead spotlights have been replaced with warm cove lighting and bold pieces of art can be seen throughout.
Vintage-inspired lamps have been reproduced from originals Klein found in a Paris flea market, while leather benches inspired by a Hermes version and individually designed ottomans can be found in each of the rooms. The bathroom walls are papered in custom-created drawings by the famous fashion and beauty illustrator Donald Robertson. The playful design, in metallic gold background with black and gold scenes inspired by the hotel, can also be seen in the new Terrace bathrooms.
The Terrace has been reborn, with a dark and glamorous new bar in the same style of the famous Tower Bar, as well as a separate indoor/outdoor restaurant, which is connected to the swimming pool and quintessential LA vista beyond. The pool is more accessible and a seating area at the centre of the restaurant allows for elegant and relaxed dining. The sofas will be covered in one-of-a-kind fabric, which Klein designed himself and pink leather, semi-circular booths allow for utmost privacy. The outdoor patio seating gives the popular restaurant an international flair.
THE TOWER BAR AND RESTAURANT
While The Tower Bar and Restaurant has been left completely untouched, it is still the most popular venue in town and provides a safe haven for those who want to revel in guaranteed privacy. A regular celebrity hotspot, and a favourite of the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Ford, The Tower Bar and Restaurant is housed in the Bugsy Siegal’s old apartment and run by new maître d’ Gabe Doppelt. The classic American brasserie is distinctly Californian, with a focus on fresh local ingredients. The bar’s outdoor terrace has also had a facelift and features chic poolside cabanas and seating on a covered travertine lanai, with spectacular views.
SPA AND WELLNESS
The Spa by Joanna Vargas, the highly acclaimed New York aesthetician, offers a wide variety of treatments in a sumptuous, glamorous setting. While it’s home to cutting-edge technologies such as LED light beds, radio frequency and microcurrent machines, guests can also indulge in facials, massages and anti-ageing treatments. The new bright and airy 7,000 sq2 Mansion Fitness centre, 3,000 sq2 of which is outdoors, houses Cybex equipment, free weights, a stretching area, state-of-the-art treadmills and elliptical cross-trainers. Personal training and fitness classes are also available, including yoga, meditation and boot-camps.