West Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis Hotel is very relaxed and very cool


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Centrally located between Beverly Hills, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles and the beaches, and mere steps from the world famous Sunset Strips, the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood is a very relaxed and very cool sanctuary in the heart of one of the country’s hippest neighborhoods.

It is a very discreet spot, to say the least. And hidden and laid-back. It does not boldly announce itself with brash signage, look for the tiny twinkling lights on a quiet cul-de-sac. Those who belong know where the Sunset Marquis is. Offering 152 newly renovated luxurious suites and villas intertwined within a 3.5-acre oasis of gardens and private retreats, this iconic hotel is a more than a legend. It is a finely tuned small and calm boutique property catering effortlessly to the most demanding guests.

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Since opening its doors in 1963, the hotel has served as a home-away-from-home to rock legends, filmmakers, writers, actors and discerning guests from around the world. You will find long haired musician and artistic types here but also diplomats, models, hedge fund biggies, and society poobahs, too. The hard working staff knows how to please all and they don’t consider any request too small. From check in to check out, they do everything with a smile. Credit must go to the very gentlemanly and professional General Manager Rod Gruendyke who has been orchestrating the magic here for 25 years and he does it effortlessly.

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The Sunset Marquis features indoor and al fresco dining in its world-class restaurant, Cavatina, two heated outdoor pools, the lively BAR 1200, and a full-service spa that’s open to local and out of town guests. Additional guest amenities include NightBird Recording Studios, home to numerous Grammy-winning artists, and Morrison Hotel Gallery, featuring a collection of some of the most renowned celebrity photography, of which more than $1 million worth lines the walls and corridors of Sunset Marquis.

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Walk through a mature very green tropical garden and over a koi pond to your room or villa. Our villa was surrounded by bamboo trees, palms and blooming exotic foliage and had a roomy living room and sunny bedroom. Fruit and cheese and a bottle of excellent Rosenthal Cab awaited us as a gift. (George Rosenthal, the dynamic Renaissance man who owns the hotel is also, among other extraordinary talents, the charming owner of Malibu’s best winery). The bathroom was huge and brilliantly lit with a marvelous jumbo bathtub, large enough for a Busby Berkeley spectacular. Imported towels, designer toiletries, a well-stocked minibar–details were all first quality. Our pillow top beds sported heavenly Frette Italian sheets. The room was impeccably maintained; housekeeping would please the most demanding of royalty.

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At a hotel with a restaurant named Cavatina Restaurant, your own anonymity goes without saying. If you’re going to live like an A-lister, you might as well eat like one. The vibe is totally California; the ingredients, market-fresh. The main dining room exudes casual elegance, but hey, this is LA, so sit outside if that tickles your fancy and enjoy the stars both above and around you. Partner and consulting Chef Michael Schlow passionately creates innovative cuisine with simple yet bold flavors.

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We enjoyed crunchy eggplant, scallop crudo, lamb meatballs, deviled eggs with Calabrian chilies and crispy chicken for starters. Then came plates of Kusshi oysters and classic steak tartare. And we were just getting started. Carefully prepared Mediterranean sea bass, slow-roasted filet mignon, and lemon-thyme roasted chicken finished the savory meal. Wines were carefully selected by a considerate and knowledgeable waiter and were reasonably priced. Desserts were elysian. We can imagine how the Sultan of Zanzibar must have felt after one of his indulgent repasts.

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You feel very special at the Sunset Marquis, as if you’ve somehow been invited to Beyonce’s and Jay Z’s house for a party. This is the soul of Sunset. There is nothing hit and miss going on here as there is in so many hotels—everything and everyone is perfectly in its place. Like a Patek Philippe watch, it operates meticulously and elegantly. Steeped in music history, it is a classic hit today with every modern touch. The vibe is pure Hollywood and we are all treated like rock stars here. A blissful gem. http://www.sunsetmarquis.com

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