Everything needed for a luxurious and relaxing stay in West Hollywood can be found at the Sunset Marquis Hotel. This legendary, sprawling Mediterranean-style “hidden” hotel has been the ultimate destination for music and movie royalty for over thirty years. Strolling around the outdoor, villa style hotel and you’ll feel like you’re in an oasis far, far away from the hustle, bustle and noise of Los Angeles. Notice that near the swimming pool you’ll find a small framed photograph of Joe Strummer circa 1979 posing by the same pool. The hotel itself is located in an enclave hidden away from Sunset Boulevard and filled with lush greenery, vines and trees. Scattered throughout the hotel you’ll also find music memorabilia from some of the hotel’s own musical guests.
The Sunset Marquis is so popular with the entertainment set that they built a state of the art recording studio and movie screening room located in the basement. Interestingly, after a day of recording down in the basement musicians can saunter on up to the sexy Bar 1200 where their newly recorded songs can be played. Bar 1200 is 0pen to the public so anyone can come in and enjoy the music. Now don’t assume that while staying at the Sunset Marquis that you are going to be treated like a second class citizen because you’re not a celebrity or that you’ll have to deal with waiters who act like they are already celebrites themselves *cough let me clear my throat: ChateauMarmont cough*, quite the contrary in fact. The staff at the Sunset Marquis are among the friendliest, most helpful and sincere staff of any other hotel in Los Angeles.
If you need to get a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage the spa located centrally in the hotel features a full service spa with full service treatment rooms and a very light and airy feeling. The interior designer behind the Spa, Olivia Villaluz said that she set out to design a spa that made you feel like you’re floating on air. She accomplished just that because from the moment you step inside the spa you feel like you’re in another dimenstion of an oasis within a larger oasis.
The hotel also has an amazing restaurant known as “The Restaurant”, which features indoor and outdoor seating and a lovely little bar offers excellent continental Californian fusion cuisine. Chef Guillaume Burlion’s menu is unpretentious just like the Sunset Marquis itself and features fresh market quality fare. Dishes to try include Yellow fin Ahi Tuna Poki, with its crispy taro root & wasabi emulsion; The French Onion Soup with gruyere puff pastry is delicious beyond belief, not your average French onion soup; The Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with wilted spinach leaves & ginger ponzu is a star dish; or if you’re in the mood for something really hearty try the Black Angus Filet Mignon with Pomme Frittes. The “Restaurant” at Sunset Marquis is beyond any average hotel restaurant.
It probably goes without saying but the rooms are just as perfect as the rest of the hotel. The rooms are immaculately clean, spacious and filled with all of the things you need for a comfortable stay. The Sunset Marquis is one of the best hotels in Los Angeles, hands down.
Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas
1200 Alta Loma Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069-2404
Recent Renovation at the Sunset Marquis Hotel:
Interior Designer Oliva Villaluz took her singular vision of modern, Zen-infused, casual elegance to dozens of private homes and an eclectic array of prestigious properties nationwide. Tapped by the Sunset Marquis for her rich yet relaxed taste, completed the legendary property’s $25 million dollar redesign and 5 acre expansion in March 2009. The massive undertaking which includes 40 new villas, a 3200 square foot Presidential Villa, impressive Hospitality Suite, new SPA, and indoor/outdoor RESTAURANT took Villaluz three years to complete.
A California landmark and haven to Hollywood and the international jet set since 1963, “The Sunset Marquis has matured,” said General Manager Rod Gruendyke who has been with the property for 19 years. To maintain the classic appeal of the hotel as a coveted hideaway and international escape situated just off bustling Sunset Boulevard, Villaluz chose the contemporary Hollywood glamour décor to reflect the sense of tranquility and comfort for which the Sunset Marquis has become famous. Rich materials such as slate, marble, silk mohair, leather, Murano glass and dark wood make for soothing textural surroundings, while a subdued earth palette sets an elegant and understated tone.
“I want each guest to walk in and immediately feel the welcoming comfort that they experience in their own homes while simultaneously sensing an element of luxury,” said Villaluz.
The accommodations in this all-suite property are designed to create sanctuaries, surrounding guests in indulgent colors and materials. Each room is outfitted with a separate, spa-like bathroom with a luxurious rain shower system and soaking tub set in Cashmere granite, Ambrato marble and Bisazza mosaic glass tile. Additional amenities include a flat screen television, wireless high-speed Internet access, a state-of-the-art sound system. Couches, chairs, tables and cabinetry, such as the custom ebony and steel leg vanities, all designed by Villaluz, are impeccably proportioned and detailed. Avoiding trendy quirkiness while evoking a range of historical precedents from the 1930’s and 1970’s, Villaluz showcases a sophistication that appeals to a wide variety of discriminating tastes. A variety of soft, curving lamps provide a range of light throughout each room while accenting the sturdy rectilinear features of the design. “I want each guest to experience the urge to dive into the bed and sink into the couch,” said Villaluz.
The two-story Presidential Villa – the star of the property – offers guests a private 3200 square foot retreat filled with sumptuous design, amenities and seclusion. Nested within 5 acres of lush gardens, designed by landscape artist Garrett Carlson, guests are enveloped in nature’s pure serenity.
“The Presidential Villa strikes a delicate balance of masculine and feminine elegance with a strong, sophisticated, hip design explosion appealing to every kind of guest,” explains Villaluz. A 5 foot by 6 foot ‘Heart’ abstract painting by Patti Meyers greets guests upon entering the villa which features a spacious living room, private screening room complete with a 110-inch hi-definition projection television and surround sound, a dining and meeting room with able to accommodate up to ten people, and a gourmet California kitchen where guests can hire 5 star / 5 diamond rated Executive Chef Burlion, also holder of the “Chef Escoffier of the Year 2000” award which is only given to a chef once in his/her lifetime, to prepare in-villa meals. The Presidential Villa is home to two luxurious bedrooms with gated access to the Villa pool deck and private poolside cabanas, three bathrooms, three fireplaces, a huge Jack and Jill walk-in closet, executive office and easy access to the private elevator.
To note, the Presidential Villa guests are able to drive themselves around town in their own Bentley or, if they prefer to be driven, a limo or SUV can be arranged for their stay.
Butler Francois Martin attends to the Presidential Villa’s most discerning guests.
The Hospitality Suite sits above RESTAURANT with enough space to host up to a 30-person reception. With one private bedroom attached, the suite is press junket perfect, catering further to the entertainment industry’s elite. “I added the in-suite piano because so many of the Marquis’ musician guests have requested it in the past – especially those staying for weeks at a time while working on a record or seeking inspirational refuge while writing songs,” said Villaluz.
Many aspects of Villaluz’ designs were inspired by the particular demands of the clientele. As the typical stay for Sunset Marquis guests is as short as two to three days to month long visits, she designed dining spaces with wet bars and separate sitting rooms with dressing areas as standard. In the bedrooms, down comforters and 400-thread count cotton sheets ensure a good night’s sleep. Overall, there is a distinctly urban sophistication to the rooms and attention to quality that is apropos of the property’s location – in the center of a major metropolis – as well as to its exclusive clientele.
RESTAURANT seats 60 people inside, 60 people outside, or holds 250 guests standing. With the outdoor tropical gardens, infinity waterfall drop off, walk up bar, and Hospitality Suite with balcony, this venue doubles as the perfect events space for Angelenos as well as for out-of-town guests who have come to call the Sunset Marquis their home. Guests may choose to dine under the viney ceiling of ivy covering the resort-like patio or sink into plush chocolate colored velvet booths, lit by six impressive 20 inch Swarovski crystal globe chandeliers, inside. Wall sized glass sliding doors seamlessly partition the two rooms.
SPA is 1800 square feet and encompasses four private treatment rooms, three of which have 5-foot by 8-foot showers with rain shower heads, vanity areas, and flat screen televisions that play video art by special request. Stained glass tiled walls in aquamarine colorization makes entering SPA feel like diving into a pool. “I wanted everything to feel like water,” explains Villaluz. “I wanted to give SPA guests the feeling of weightlessness, like they are floating.”
Oliva Villaluz’s current design projects include the renovation of the Sunset Marquis’ twelve original Villas, main pool lounge, lobby, and Bar 1200.
In addition to her interior design clientele, Villaluz is an in-demand Art Director whose credits include, designing the “Thinking Chair” for the internationally acclaimed children’s show, “Blues Clues” and memorable print and television advertising campaigns for Gucci, Target, Nike, Barbie, Mattel, Coca Cola, Jeep, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, NBC, ABC, CBS, Macy’s and more.