ANDAZ West Hollywood

ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood  |  Los Angeles, United States  |  This week we stayed at the ANDAZ West Hollywood, yes the same one that made the news this week for the LGBT Wedding of the Editor in Chief of The Advocate Magazine. For those of you not familiar with the brand, ANDAZ represents a refreshing take on the boutique-style hotel by Hyatt Hotels (aka. sort of the W Hotels for Starwood), offering an atmosphere that is personal, vibrant and uncomplicated. Each hotel features the most adventurous, globally influenced design, yet also inhabits the sights, sounds and tastes of its surrounding neighborhood. Located over Sunset Boulevard, just a few steps away from La Cienaga Boulevard, in the heart of West Hollywood and close to Beverly Hills.

We stayed at a Suite, which was very comfortable, located on the 10th floor. These expansive one-bedroom accommodations offer a total of 800 square feet of space and views of the legendary Sunset Strip and Los Angeles city skyline. Enjoy listening to your Geneva Sound System among striking modern décor and artwork including Eero Aarnio’s playful orange abstract plastic puppy, Harry Bertoia’s trademark Bar Stools and an aluminum Cellula chandelier accentuated by Swarovski crystal pendants. Suites feature a separate living and sitting area as well as a sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows to ensure that you don’t miss a minute of the Hollywood happenings. Andaz West Hollywood is a non-smoking hotel. LATHER bath and body products.

ANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe hotel has a fantastic 24 hour fitness center, overlooking Sunset Boulevard, but this is something that you find at most luxury or 5-star hotels within the Los Angeles area. The rooftop pool is quite nice as well, despite we were not very lucky with the weather, as you can see by the photos below. The views from the pool are not the most spectacular.

ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comSome of the amenities I enjoyed were: Free WiFi Access, limited on bandwidth, but still good for emails and work matters. Free pastries, coffee and tea every morning at the lobby. Complimentary, non-alcoholic minibar that is replenished daily. Free access to MAC Stations and printers.

ANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comSince we were on a very tight schedule and social events for Rubin Singer Couture, we did not have time to try/experience the restaurant at the hotel. But we did order room services for breakfast every morning, and it was fine in quality and price.
ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe hotel offers Valet Parking. The cost was approx. USD 30 x day with unlimited times. Usually they were very good with timing, and having the car ready.
ANDAZ West Hollywood by www.carlosmeliablog.comI really enjoy the concept and style by ANDAZ properties. The only comment I have about ANDAZ West Hollywood, which I have not experience at the other properties in the past, is that they perhaps  border too much with informality. When the Front Desk Agent or Valet Parking calls you “Dude”, I mean, I truly enjoy sophisticated things that are also the most simple, but maybe they go a bit beyond simplicity. What do you think ?  Overall, a great stay, location and reasonable price. Mostly, we were happy to stay in a LAX hotel, which didn’t have the stereotype LAX attitude and crowd, where everyone thinks is someone, if you know what I mean. The views of the Hollywood Hills on one side and the Sunset Strip and downtown Los Angeles were a plus. Andaz West Hollywood the most sophisticated things are also the most simple. You may read my reviews staying at other ANDAZ properties in the past here. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by ANDAZ West Hollywood by*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone # 917.754.5515. Check our schedule bespoke groups, escapes and retreats at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
ANDAZ West Hollywood by**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. And if you want to travel like me, or would you like to join me, check Coups de Coeur.

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination  |  Los Angeles, United States  |  Luxury and Experience, such big words and so often misused right ? I am sure most of you will relate to this story. Sometimes things do not go as planned, and sometimes (so called) luxury hotels, do not perform as they should or we would expect. From last Wednesday night till today, Monday, we stayed at the SLS Beverly Hills, which in the beginning promised to be a fabulous experience, and in the end fell short on every single aspect you could imagine and beyond. Beautiful comfortable Signature Suite indeed, but unfortunately nowadays this is not sufficient to guarantee a decent stay, according to the standards SLS Hotels nor The Luxury Collection portrait worldwide. How may I describe how we, and when I say we I mean myself among other six guests in our group, felt during our entire stay… I would most accurately use Entitlement, Attitude, Lack of Service, Party Crowd and the worst unfortunate incident to top our disappointment and anger, after being discriminated by one of their employees, who felt by us being a Gay Couple staying in the same rooms, was not up-to his standards, although SLS Hotels, prides itself from being a fully Gay Friendly property. This post is not intended to question or damage the public image of SLS Hotels, just a true report on our latest stay with them from ( July 24 – 29, 2013).Our Signature Suite was lovely, perhaps not the style I particularly like, but no complains over this matter other than that I was not 100% keen on the bathroom concept, the sliding doors and the lightning concept. But trust me, this was nothing compared to what we have in line, to put up through, during the rest of our stay. Philippe Starck-designed guest rooms and suites are at once ultra-modern and classically elegant – just what you’d expect from Beverly Hills. If you like him or not, then that is another question.

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe following is what SLS Hotels state on their website, perhaps SLS Beverly Hills is the exception to the rule, and I mean this, not in the most positive way …” The brainchild of Sam Nazarian, SLS Hotels has created a new paradigm in the luxury hotel experience that speaks to a global, sophisticated audience. Taking service and luxury standards from traditional 5-star hotels and injecting elements of creativity and community, SLS delivers a guest experience that seamlessly delivers service, style and fun….”  

SLS Beverly Hills Entitlement & Discrimination by www.carlosmeliablog.comI do not want to spend much time on this review, since negativity is not my thing, but I do want to share the email I sent to the Sales and Public Relations Management, expressing our discontentment and anger, after being openly discriminated by one of their Food & Beverages employees, when he walked into our suite to deliver Breakfast and found out that we were two men (aka. a Gay Couple) staying in the room. His face change the minute he saw me on my computer, after my boyfriend opened the door, he made a face of full dissaproval, and literally left the wheeled-table and without even taking the metal lids off the plates, tried to get out of the room after collecting abruptly the check. Situation to which we had to ask him to, quote in quote ” Get Out of our Room “.


Here is the full body of my email sent to the management. I will keep their reply private, but I can tell it was one of those classic copy/paste corporate replies, that did not solve anything other than having employees running after the two of us, apologizing for what had happened. But even that did not last too long either, since the following day we went back to reality to suffer the same situation of entitlement, attitude and lack of service.


If you ask me, SLS Beverly Hills is far from being a Luxury Hotel, other than their pompous zip code. I would better describe the property as a Party Hotel with low customer service standards conducted by their aspiring entitled staff, where the focus is more oriented to those in-house guests and outsiders willing to visit and be part of the cool party crowd of LAX. far from ” a global, sophisticated audience”. Well fortunately or unfortunately, that is not who we are AT ALL… I mean celebrities, fashion, luxury…. not trying to be snobbish at all, but we live surrounded by this almost every day of our life, so when Checking IN at a hotel we expect merely and plain service, experience, customer service, respect and class. None of those were offered nor delivered to us. I want to make VERY CLEAR that both my partner and I, are low profile and never play the card of being anything else other than a guest, and for that, although having the benefit to access to pompous VIP treatments, we get to see and experience first hand, how a regular guest experience unfolds. Nothing personal to any of the employees of this company, other than this caveman that decided to openly discriminate us, but after a week of being at this hotel, both of us, same as our entire group, were BEYOND excited to Check OUT and leave… I am the type of person, and you can see this by reading my blog, that I love to spend time in hotels, but this time I was SOOOO DONE. !!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends


Dear Emily and Jeanie
Good Morning. !!
I am sorry to say that our stay has been one of the worst I have ever had around the world, and trust me we travel extensively. Beautiful room indeed, but the level of entitlement and attitude of your employees is beyond annoying and uncomfortable. This was the comment of all those in our group. To top this experience, this morning when we order breakfast in our room, we have to experience funny looks and lack of service when one of your servers, realized that a Gay couple was staying in the room. Very avant-garde in sync with the concept SLS Hotels stand for correct ?
Problems when ordering our car to the Valet Parking, long ridiculous waits for breakfast, lack of service, going to the pool to relax and having to beg for a chair to seat. RIDICULOUS.
Sorry I come back to both of you this way, but the whole experience has been beyond uncomfortable, unpleasant and disrespectful, to end it up with issues with us being gay.
I just though you both should know.
Thank you


(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

AVALON Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group

AVALON Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group  |  Los Angeles, California  |  Last night we Checked IN at the quaint and unexpected AVALON Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group Hotels. Highly recommended by a local friend and travel agent, we discovered this hidden gem, which I would define motel meets Glam-Design-Intimate chic boutique hotel.Hidden from the public eye, distinguished by its novel physical space, this Beverly Hills California hotel is set around a dramatic pool terrace with private cabanas and the chic Oliverio Restaurant – all just steps from shopping at the finest boutiques, galleries and restaurants nearby.  Inspired by the relaxed “patio lifestyle” of mid-20th Century Southern California, Avalon’s 83 Beverly Hills hotel rooms, suites and penthouse studios offer guests comfort and style in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Custom-designed and classic furnishings by Kelly Wearstler. Pampering Beverly Hills accommodations include custom furnishings and beds with sumptuous Italian designer lines and Neil George amenities. Located in the Beverly Tower, our Deluxe Room is 350 sq. ft. of retro-style décor perfectly balanced with modern touches. Rooms feature mid-century artwork and both classic and custom designed furnishings. Avalon Beverly Hills’ Classic Queen Rooms are comfortable and functional whether you’re traveling on business or to get away from it all.
The hotel has the touch by Kelly Wearstler written all over. And from what I heard this former apartments property, used to be home to Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz.

We are invited for dinner tonight at Oliverio Restaurant by Executive Chef Mirko Paderno envisioned Oliverio as an Italian eatery influenced by his love for his native country’s food. Hailing from Milan Paderno’s new menus showcase what he calls “Italian food with a regional flair.” More about this later.

While traveling, it is important to stay focused on your fitness and wellness goals. At Avalon Beverly Hills, our fully-equipped wellness studio offers cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines and bikes. In addition we offer a lat machine and incline bench, as well as a variety of free weights, balance balls and body bars.
Location wise, at the crossroads of Beverly Hills’ shopping district and an intimate residential neighborhood, Avalon Hotel is also convenient to many Southern California attractions. The Sunset Strip, Santa Monica beaches, and Los Angeles International Airport are just a short drive away. We are just minutes from all of the entertainment, restaurants, shopping, and attractions in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Happy to have discovered this quaint property. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Hotel Check IN at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group

Hotel Check IN at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group  |  Los Angeles, United States  | Last night very late, after a six hours flight from New York City, I Checked IN at my lovely Premier Guestroom at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group, in Beverly Hills, over Burton Way, minutes away from Rodeo Drive. My room is wide and very good looking, like everything here in Los Angeles I assume.  I have not seen much yet, but so far the hotel seems very quiet, very reserved. The rooms have quite an Asian style, that transport me back to hotel groups like Setai. 117 distinctive guestrooms at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills offers approximately 675 square feet of space – the largest Beverly Hills accommodations – while most feature balconies with stunning views of the city of Beverly Hills or the beautiful Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Unfortunately this is not my case, since although I got a huge Premier Guestroom, my balcony faces a quite dull parking lot view. I guess you cannot have it all right. Back keep this in mind when booking yours. Continue reading Hotel Check IN at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills by Viceroy Group

Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel

Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel |  Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California | better location IMPOSSIBLE, right on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, close to the main highlights of the city and steps away from Rodeo Drive and Beverly Drive. Thompson Beverly Hills, reflects the merging of bohemian downtown Manhattan with the manicured lawns and pristine homes of Beverly Hills.
Exquisite and Luxurious dark modernism, inspired the concept of this charming hotel. Thompson Beverly Hills is home to 107 sophisticated rooms, including 91 deluxe rooms, 14 one-bedroom suites, a signature Thompson Suite, and an eighth-floor Penthouse Suite.

80’s sleek dark styled rooms featuring same tone marble bathrooms. 24-hour Concierge and Room Service. State-of-the-art Fitness Center. The room amenities are signature of Co Bigelow.
Thompson Suites are great, following the same style of the rest of the rooms, but with the plus of an extra living room/open kitchen and a very comfortable and spacious bathroom with shower and bathtub.
The design of the Thompson Beverly Hills is very modern and to the detail as Dagmar Neo – Director of Sales explained to me. We consider to be very open minded. For example, do you know what the metal rail on the headboard of you bed is ? she asked. And I immediately knew what she was about to say… To grab from when you are having sex.? I replied. Exactly she said. Good for Thompson Hotels. !!!  (not only that… but also in the amenities cabinet you have several brands of condoms).
Roof top with 360 panoramic views of Los Angeles, where you can glance at the Hollywood sign while enjoying your morning breakfast or you evening cocktail seating at one of their cabanas. Heated rooftop Swimming Pool. (exactly where I am seating right now while writing and sharing this post).
Former Bondst (same as in New York), soon to be reopened as a new restaurant, the Japanese eatery features 80 seats, an outdoor terrace, sushi bar, and the exclusive second floor LOUNGE with a private library alcove. ABH (Above Beverly Hills), a bi-level roof deck, also serves signature cocktails, sushi, and appetizers poolside.
I recommend Thompson Beverly Hills after my stay there this January 2011. Gay friendly and welcoming, professional staff and great location. Thompson Group also counts with hotels in Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and Toronto.

(*) Special thanks to Martin and Dagmar Noe – Director of Sales for Thompson Beverly Hills for hosting me during my stay in Los Angeles.